N-Gage QD – A long time User Review

The N-Gage QD has been the first phone in my life. I have been a faithful user of the N-gage QD since I bought it in last Feb. ’06. I bought it after reviewing almost half a dozen phones in the market. It had almost everything I needed like a Symbian OS, MMC Support, Truetones, out-of-ordinary looks, ease of use and the sturdiness of a military device. It has been almost a year now, good time for writing a review on the long time use of a phone, right? But unfortunately the phone is no longer available in the market and there are rumours that there will not be a part-3 of the N-Gage Series.

About the Phone:

Nokia N-Gage QD, with Symbian OS, v1.

ngage-qd.jpg

The Good:

Good application support considering that it runs on the Symbian. I use it more like a mini-hand-held than a phone. I use the net on it, chat on it, read RSS feeds, listen to online radio, mp3 and real media and as my personal organizer.

It has a good battery backup, it lasts a full day of always-on GPRS, loads of Bluetooth transfer, calls, games and as a modem. The keypad is set to auto lock period of 30 sec, which it never completes!

Another good feature of this phone is its use as a modem. I connect to the internet with it via GPRS, the speed though is not very great, it serves the purpose.

BTW, did I tell you that this phone was dirt-cheap and one of the lowest priced Symbian phones available on the market? I bought it at a price of Rs. 7000 or 153$, a very good price indeed, good enough considering its capabilities as a smart phone and a real eye-candy looks!
But the low price had both its advantages and its disadvantages too.

The Bad:

The display was nice but had only 4086 colours, which meant lower contrast.

I use a 512 MB card, which is essential considering that the phone’s internal memory was only 4MB! yea 4MB!! The phone did not have a option for saving the messages on the MMC, so one will have to use a software like MsvDrive for that.

There is no support for themes or video tones, which meant the same old boring looks. But I found a way to get past it using the SysIconz software. There was no Gallery option in it, everything from images to videos are strewn across the phone. No MP3 tone support, though there was a plug-in, it never worked for me.

Another obvious disappointments was the lack of camera and the radio.

But since it was primarily designed to be a gaming phone, I can forgive the lack of it and some features mentioned above.

The Ugly:

This part lists the horrible features of the phone. According to my usage, it needs to be flashed consistently at least every 3 months due to one reason or the other! I end with a phone with the factory settings, phonebook clean-shaved, all my settings and shortcuts gone! It is one heck of a job to get everything normal again.

The second problem is its side beading, though it looks kinda hi-profile and out-of-ordinary, it wears out pretty fast, say once in 5 months.The first time it happened, the people at Nokia Care were kind enough to replace it with a original, the second time I had to replace it with my own cash 🙁 It seems to be a designing error of this phone as almost everyone using it are complainingl.

The GPRS connection breaks down on an average of once in 2 months, this is the worst part of this phone as I am heavily dependent on this phone for my access to the net. The customer care of my mobile connection say this is a common problem of all Symbian devices, it seems to be a software bug. Once this happens, you will have to reset your phone and start installing all your applications and stuff again.

WSOD or known as the White-Screen-Of-Death is another worry if you run out of your phone memory of 4MB, though I have not been troubled by this yet.

Is it worth it?

Yes, every penny of it. Weighing its cost, its features and the trouble it gives me, I think it has been a pleasant journey till now. The looks it get when you use it, the questions like :

“Excuse me, Is it a phone?”
“Err…where do you speak into and hear from?”
“Can it be opened to reveal a treasure inside?”

Well, they make you look kinda sophisticated, and I absolutely love it!

The future of the N-Gage seems to be in a fog right now, but the only consolation is that the new N-Gage definitely a possibility as Nokia is very ambitiously pushing the N-Series now.

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