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Mobile Gaming: Nokia Phone Meets the Gameboy
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In addition to being a game deck, the N-Gage is also a high-end mobile phone of the latest generation. Below is a rundown of its features:

N-Gage: features
GSM triple band frequencies 900 / 1800 / 1900
Internet browser WAP 1.2.1 and XHTML
Connection HSCDSD and GPRS
Operating systems Symbian OS 6.1
Java MIDP and MMS
Connectivity Bluetooth and USB 1.1
Java API CLDC 1.0, MIDP 1.0, Nokia UI API, MMAPI (JSR 135), WMA (JSR120)

For messaging, there is an integrated client messaging system compatible with the IMAP, POP3, SMTP and MIME2 protocols. But for sending simpler messages faster, the N-Gage is of course compatible with the latest generation of SMS and with MMS (MultiMedia Messaging).

And that's not all, because Nokia has also thought about multimedia functions. So you have access to an MP3 and AAC player, a RealOne player and an FM tuner with a facility for encoding in AAC format.

Conclusion

In the N-Gage, Nokia has a well-made product with a high technological potential. Though they insist it is a game deck, there is bound to be some confusion about what it is really for, especially since the device cannot work without a SIM card. Moreover, to use it as a phone you have to wear the headset (fortunately supplied), otherwise folk will stare at you with that huge device stuck to your ear.

With regard to games, the analysis is more qualified. The games are very good and highly playable, but they are not exclusive and no outside publisher has planned an original title. So Nokia has stated its intention to launch into development and should shortly announce a game specifically for the N-Gage.

The final matter is the price. As from October 7, the N-Gage will be shipping at an official price of $380 (349 euros), though there are already advance order prices of $348 (299 euros). It is a lot more expensive than the Gameboy Advance $70 (95 euros) and Gameboy Advance SP $100 (120 euros). But the Nokia device could be purchased at reduced rates if you take out a subscription contract with a phone operator. This could give you a discount of $50 to $150.

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