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The N-Gage QD was Nokia's successor to the N-Gage and was released six months after the first N-Gage, replacing it in 2004. It revised the device's physical design, being smaller and rounder. It corrected the previous perceived 'flaw' of the cartridge slot with a more convenient one on the bottom of the device. This design also moved the earpiece to the face of the device, rather than on the side, as in the previous model. Despite the revision, many were quick to criticize the unit, just as they did the original N-Gage. Some noted that the rubber fitting side that closed the gap between the device top and bottom casing could be easily loosened over a few months if it were dropped regularly, although this was hardly a recommended practice in taking care of the unit. Once the rubber piece was removed, the device became more vulnerable to water or particles entering the internals unless the fitting was replaced. The fitting was available at Nokia's service centers, and was also available in a variety of colors through various third-party sellers via online electronics suppliers or eBay.
The device retailed at a lower price, further aided by the fact that it was generally sold with a pre-paid cell phone service contract and the corresponding subsidy. In the United States, the N-Gage QD was available as a prepaid phone offered by Cingular for $99.99 at retail games stores such as Electronics Boutique and GameStop. This is no longer the case as the device has reached the end of its lifespan and the above mentioned stores have discontinued carrying the QD.
Some of the 'bulky' features of the system such as MP3 playback, FM radio reception, and USB connectivity were removed from the device, presumably to cut size and cost. The QD did not support MP3 internally; however, it could still play MP3s with third-party software, albeit only in 16 kHz mono.
Instead of using the N-Gage with generic USB removable drive drivers, a user would use either Bluetooth or a separate MMC card reader to transfer files onto the device memory or an MMC card for use in the N-Gage QD.
Another change from the original unit was the "Orange-and-grey" theme of the face of the unit as well as the GUI. Some felt this was an unwanted change from the 'more colorful' GUI of the original N-Gage. Even then there were some third-party applications that enhanced the interface or replaced the system shell.
As for the telephone portion, it no longer supported the three GSM frequency bands 900/1800/1900; instead it came in two dual-band variants, one for the American market and one for the European and Asian markets.
The rest of the N-Gage QD hardware specifications were otherwise the same as the original N-Gage; same vertical screen layout, button configuration, etc.
Hardware specifications: Weight: 143 g, dimensions: 118 x 68 x 22 mm.