N-Gage QD - Less is More?

There's less to the N-Gage QD in feature count, but does this make it less of a device?
Yet do much less ... --so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.
There burns a truer light of God in them,
In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain ...
- Robert Browning

Bold words indeed, but how do they apply to the N-Gage QD? Well there's certainly less; no MP3 player, no FM radio, no USB socket, less weight, less bulk, dual-band GSM instead or tri-band, and if Nokia have got their figures right, less cost to you the punter.

Does this really equate to more? Yes, I believe it does, here are some of my reasons for thinking the N-Gage QD is a good thing.

Nokia are continuing with the N-Gage range

There had been rumours, minor implausible ones, but rumours none the less that Nokia were going to abandon the N-Gage "experiment". The sword of Damacles hanging over a product is always going to hamper sales and user acceptance, by launching another N-Gage device Nokia have confirmed their commitment to the N-Gage range.

It's more variety

We like variety, "one size fits all" as a slogan doesn't inpress me. Any mobile device is a bundle of compromises, getting the particular selection that best fit your needs, tastes and pocket means that unless there are a range of devices offered, the product will invariably be a poor fit to your requirements.

Nokia have "fixed" some of the glaring N-Gage flaws

Sidetalking and hot swapping the MMC are not actually major problems for most N-Gage users, but they're a marketing disaster. By fixing these simple problems the press are happy that they've influenced Nokia, Nokia are seen to be reactive to customer concern, and the ridicule diminishes. Smart move, great for PR. Nokia have listend to everyone and reacted well, admiting mistakes but improving themselves in the process. Something that wasn't trumpeted at the launch was the bigger capacity battery, which I suspect may also fit quite nicely into the 3650, N-Gage "classic", 6600 et al and make a lot of people happier.

The games are beginning to roll out again

Or so it appears, we heard rumours that the QD was coming a while ago, and the flow of games seemed to dry up after Christmas, maybe Nokia originally intended to launch the QD earlier? Who knows, at least it's here now, and there's a tsunami of games massing on the horizon.

Diversity of devices means more phones shipped, which creates a bigger market for games writers, ergo more games.

That's my theory, I think it's simple enough to make sense and it should happen. Then again, the market may see the QD as being Quite Dull and the Taco Classic as too eccentric, we hope not.

All of these facts ignore whether I think the N-Gage QD is a good device, as an N-Gage "classic" owner I have little need to rush out and buy a QD, primarily because I spend 2-3 hours a day on public transport and I'm a heavy user of the radio and MP3 player. Otherwise the QD is a nice device, the reduced size and increased battery life are worthwhile improvements and dual-band is no handicap for me or many other people, I've yet to need a US frequency phone even though I've travelled over much of the rest of the planet, and I'm currently in no hurry to go to the US...

Published by Jim Hughes at 21:50 UTC, April 28th

Section: Articles
Categories: Comment, Hardware
Platforms: Series 60, N-Gage