Nokia N-Gage – Pricing, Specs and Why it Failed

Nokia during their good times did a plenty of experiences, some of them succeed and some failed. One of the failed experience was Nokia N-Gage, the smartphone specially targeted to the mass of avid gamers. The device was launched in 2003 to give a great completion to the gaming industry like Nintendo.

Nokia N-Gage Design

The Nokia N-Gage was built in a way most of the gaming consoles are built. Which made it quite easier for gamers to access gaming controls. The screen was set up in the middle with 8-way controller in the sideways left and right. Moreover it looked like a Gameboy advance.

One of the major reason of its failure was the design, which wasn’t user friendly at all. In order to start a new game user had to remove the battery, insert the game and then again reassemble the device.

Nokia N-Gage Specifications

Nokia N-Gage featured a LCD display with a resolution of 176 x 208 pixels. The backlit screen was of 1.4 inch. Though Nokia N-gage had 4096 colors to provide better gaming graphic experience.

Nokia N-Gage

Though built for gaming core the device supports Bluetooth and FM. It also had an email client for the internet surfers with an MP3 players and radio. With an internal memory of 4MB, device was capable until 64MB using the external support cards. Nokia N-Gage ran on Symbian 6.1 OS and had an energy supplier of 850 mAh. Nokia N-Gage had no camera.

Nokia N-Gage Pricing

Nokia N-Gage was priced at 18000 INR in Indian market and $299 retail price in US and UK, but it couldn’t get the mass attention. After the flop show Nokia launched N-Gage QD, an upgraded version of the device but still it went the same underground.


Nokia N-Gage Review

For and avid gamers who has been on Nintendo and other gaming devices, Nokia N-Gage was a nightmare to use. The device didn’t feature a great list of games out of the core.

With that as we said before the process of changing a game is a head scratcher – off the device, remove the back panel, remove the battery, replace the game chip, put the battery, put the back panel and then start the device again.

Though Nokia featured a MP3 player in the device, it wasn’t up to the mark even the sound of the device was poor. With that it was of single use – that mean either play the game or listen to the music, you couldn’t do both simultaneously.

The battery life on N-Gage gives 10 hours of backup when listening to music and stands 6 hour on gaming. With 3-4 hours of gaming and few voice calls the battery would just give up. The device syncs with the Bluetooth for email purpose which is quite slow. The earpiece and speaker is placed at the top of the device so to make a phone call you have to put it upside down. The games which came up as in a form of cards usually cost $30 around in the US market.

Due to one of the biggest failure of Nokia’s, Nokia N-Gage has also been at “Museum of Failure” of Sweden newly museum. Nokia targeted to sell the 10 Million units of the device but only ended up selling 4 million units before it got discontinued by the company. While the device didn’t meet the expectations of the users we cannot deny the fact that Nokia N-Gage was a masterpiece and far ahead of its time. Did you own any the device, share with us.

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