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Russians ready Tsar-studded Nokia 8800

I'm Lenin on a lampost at the corner of the street...

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And what mobile telephone will Moscow's most fashionable oligarchs be clasping to their ears this spring? If Russian handset supplier Isse has its way, its re-styled Nokia 8800, the Monaco, that's what.

The two models strutting out on Isse's website reveal a pair of regal designs that hark back to a former era of the Tsar, St Petersburg, the Winter Palace and Tom Baker as Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine.

Isse Nokia 8800 Monaco edition

"It's all a bit Nikolai Dante, if you ask me," the TOYboy* called, looking up from behind this week's 2000AD. I don't know - men and comics...

Not that the 8800 is particularly futuristic by today's standards: tri-band GSM/GPRS, 0.48-megapixel camera. That said, the screen's a neat 208 x 208, 262,144-colour affair, helping give the shiny 8800 a high pose factor. I don't see too many tech-fans 'Russian' off for one though...

Isse Nokia 8800 Monaco edition

Isse's incarnations of the 8800 include a gem-encrusted ice-like model and a more regal red version, both with a sumptuous textured keyboard cover. Very deluxe.

According to Isse, the Monaco handsets go on sale on 19 March.

the hardware widow

*The Hardware Widow is hitched to a geek who thinks he knows more about technology than she does...

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