You’ve heard of gaming on your mobile phone of course, but this – gaming FROM your mobile phone is a bit of a new concept, at least for the Indian market. Undoubtedly if you watch any TV you’ve seen the Akshay Kumar ad with him giggling ridiculously, jumping around and waving the handset in the air. I’ll admit, the ad is a bit queer but does get the message across. Micromax’s G4 Gamolution mobile handset is designed to take mobile phone gaming to a lightly new level, here’s a closer look.
The G4 is a sleek looking handset. Its black brushed metal finish and gold tinted chrome keys and borders gives it an air of luxury. The buttons and navigation system are well designed and extremely comfortable for typing. The added weight of the handset also makes it seem quite sturdy. I’d seriously recommend getting a screen guard for the 2.4-inch display (240 x 320 pixels) as after a bit of wear and tear it can look a bit shabby with scratches. Volume/Zoom keys are on the side above the dedicated camera button and a micoSD universal port is located on the other side. The Handset comes with a sturdy adjustable strap that comes in real handy while playing.
The navigation pad and three chromed buttons double up for game-play. The Bluetooth sensor that ties in to the tiny USB BT dongle supplied is located at the bottom of the handset. A CD with the GSensorGame software is provided. Two games are free and a code card, that refused to work, is also bundled to access the other games. Games like NFS Underground and virtual Tennis also seem like they're available however there didn’t seem to be any information on how to download them.
Features and Performance
Underneath the jazzed up UI beats a heart of Pure Java. Other than the slick looking interface all functionality is typical of a standard Java handset. There’s no lag in transitions or when it came to accessing features. Dual SIM handling is simple and easy to manage.
It’s quite unfortunate that once again we have a handset that’s well designed, has a great gimmick that I’m sure a lot of work, money and effort went into for development and the company just found the cheapest set of earphones they could find and simply threw them into the box. Audio for calls, music, radio and any other feature that would require you to use the handsfree sounds hollow and drab. Even with the EQ presets and 8 band customizable option, you’ll never be able to enjoy it thanks to the cheap quality earphones. The radio’s auto-scan function seemed to recognize even static as a channel and I ended up with over 4 more channels in addition to the 9 actual stations. At least the nine actual stations were picked up well enough. A scheduled FM recorder option is available in addition to the voice recorder.
Standard 3GP and MPEG4 mobile videos framed badly during playback. The bigger issue was that the 320 x 240 pixel resolution MPEG4 video couldn’t be read and the lower resolution videos that play on other budget handsets were framing as well.
It’s a simple set up process, install the software plug in the Bluetooth Dongle pair the handset, launch the software and you’re good to go. If you find that game-play is sluggish reduce the display quality to suit your computer's configuration. The games are very Wii like and so is the UI. The G4 uses Bluetooth of course and a motion sensor as opposed to the Wii’s IR sensor. The games are just like the Wii’s and quite a bit of fun. If you have a partner with the same handset and a large enough monitor, you can play co-op or against each other. You can also configure the handset to work as a controller for other games you might have loaded on your PC like NFS Underground, Virtual Tennis and others.
The screen automatically switched off when you’re connected to the system to save on battery life and off course calls will still take priority so they just might interrupt your game. Even though the technology may not be as sophisticated as the Nintendo’s, game play still ends up being quite strenuous. It’ll take a little while to get the co-ordination just right for those smash shots but if you’re used to the Nintendo you’ll adapt a lot sooner.
The G4 supports GPRS and WAP connectivity for surfing the web through the native browser, MMS and downloading emails form POP or IMAP accounts. There’s no other use for it as the handset is devoid of any social networking or chat apps. Bluetooth for file transfer, stereo wireless audio and gaming of course is present and then there’s USB for using the handset as a webcam or transferring data.
The handset’s additional features are very mundane. Aside from the usual features like a Calendar, Alarm, E-Book reader, currency (not even a universal) converter and a couple of games, the handset has nothing else spectacular to offer.
The VGA camera features white balance, a few color options brightness and contrast, delay timer and a night mode. For a VGA phone camera, images aren’t too bad.
Battery life was decent. The 850mAh battery can dish out about 3 hours of talk time on an average. You should get a little over a day and half of usage with a few calls and messages, music and gaming thrown in.
The Bottom Line
Micromax’s G4 is priced at Rs. 6,000 (MRP). It’s got a great gimmick as a wireless Wii-like gaming mobile and that works out almost as well as the ad says it does. It’s also very well designed with a sophisticated look but its features could seriously have been better managed. Micromax could have shelled out a few rupees more and invested in a better handsfree kit, included a better camera and included a few preloaded social networking options as well. Even if that boosted the pricing it would still make it a worthwhile option seeing as is, its media functionality just doesn’t cut it.
Nevertheless it’s a one of a kind handset and its core functionality is quite noteworthy. If you don’t have the money to invest in a Nintendo Wii or its Mitashi clone, this is as close as you can get.
Published Date: Apr 22, 2010 12:20 pm | Updated Date: Apr 22, 2010 12:20 pm