Flashback: Nokia N-Gage - the gaming phone ahead of its time

18 August 2019
This phone was ahead of its time, offering MMORPGs during the height of the genre's fame, but it failed to vanquish Nintendo's GBA.

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At first, I do wish on a modern N-Gage. But you know what? Get any Motorola Moto Z/Z2/Z3/Z4 phone and moto gamepad mod. If only more games can support that mod...

  • Maria

To be honest, I had one in 2004 with O2's 12 months contract....what a lovely year!

  • AnonD-819322

evilmessiah, 18 Aug 2019Still have my OG N-Gage. Still works like a charm. Love playing ... moreBatteries for the N-Gage are very easy to find as it uses the BL-5C battery, if you're in the UK, you can order a brand new, original 1020mAh battery here - https://www.uk-mobilestore.co.uk/products/genuin­e-nokia-bl-5c-battery?_pos=1&_sid=c6ad0769f&­amp;_ss=r

The "Taco Phone" lol.
The concept was ahead of its time, but the execution was flawed. There are so many designers in the Nokia division at the time, that its baffling how they could mess up so much.

And not just that, it was lacking in the games department as well, making it not very appealing to buy. I know so many people interested in this during 2003, but instead they would've bought an older Nokia 6610/i and a GameBoy Advance separately.

In fact, there was the Nokia 6800 released at the same time, which would've been a much better form-factor. Sure, if the issue was internal space for the battery (700mAh - 1,100mAh) then that would've been understandable. However, the N-Gage wasn't released with a big battery either.

So here's how I would've improved it:
- Made it rectangular, so that it actually slips into pockets
- Doubled the battery size to 1,500mAh
- On the right-side would only house the 12 buttons for T-9
- On the left-side would house the D-Pad, and three buttons below it for No-Menu-Yes
- Partnered with more Games Studios like Sega (since both Sony and Nintendo were doing their own thing, and Microsoft was doing its own thing with "Pocket PC" and "Xbox").
- Had some popular games upon launch such as... Ridge Racer, Lemmings, Sonic Adventures, BattleToads, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Zork, Legacy of Goku, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Baldurs Gate, Ultima, Dune, Diablo, Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem, GTA 2, etc etc.

  • NiKiLL

The gimmick from the past, Affordable!

Still have my OG N-Gage. Still works like a charm. Love playing Rifts, Pathway to Glory 1 & 2, Sims Bustin Out and Colin McRae Rally (still teaches some so called racing games today about physics). Only problem is to find good batteries for this gem nowadays.

xRocker, 18 Aug 2019For me the phone was great. only one things was missing - camer... moreElop pushed Symbian to death, it was neither Android nor ios who kill Symbian. When Burning memo leaked marketshare wise Symbian was Ahead of Android and iOS, After that memo then Symbian start to lose ground against Android and iOS.

I still have it in my phone collection, it works perfect. This is what I call a true gaming phone not the crap made today. I would really love to see a 2019 version of this made by any producer, doesn't matter who but with high quality materials and care not in a hurry. Amazing phone with years and years ahead of it's time.

  • Franceso

"Sometimes a company launches the right product at the wrong time" perfect definition

Still have it!! What a memories

The thing was, it was launched on N-Gage and then, "ported" to any other Symbian S60v2 and after that, S60v3. Think Nokia 6600 and a few after, 6680, but with some force close sometimes. You only needed the NGK file (A dump file of the RS-MMC-card a the time) and it was installable. I played to some games like that :D

Ahhhhh, what a time ... Way before Symbian "Touch" S60v5 (Except Symbian UIQ) and Android was (kinda) non existant at this time. Same thing applies to the certificat needed after for any installation of apps (Like "APK" today), that's what've been crushed Symbian in the end.

  • xRocker

For me the phone was great.
only one things was missing - camera and battery life was short.
Anyhow, symbian was a great OS, the multitasking was way ahead of the android one, it is just sad that two worse OS pushed symbian out to the missery.