Russian cell phones probably aren't the first set of handsets you think of when considering your next mobile phone. You're probably more inclined to go to Korea and check out Samsung cell phones, or maybe you'll take a short trip to Finland to see what Nokia cell phones tickle your fancy. That's not to say that Russian cell phones should be completely ignored! Quite the contrary!
Russian cell phones may not be particularly well-known, but a number of handsets coming out of that country come packed with the latest features and -- perhaps more notably -- some rather exclusive materials. Yup, these are some rather unique and unusual cell phones.
Russian Cell Phones
Because of its Communist history, Russia has not experienced the same level of cell phone market penetration as we have seen in Canada, the United States, Japan, and the U.K. This is slowly starting to change, however, as more people are starting to buy Russian cell phones. In fact, if you have a Russian cell phone, chances are that you paid a pretty penny for it. Before we get to the current offerings, however, let's have a look at where it all started.
The First Russian Cell Phone
Although mobile phones did not really hit the mainstream until the late 1980s and early 1990s in North America, the Soviet Union (as it was known at the time) had a cell phone as early as in the 1950s! One of the first Russian cell phones were created in 1958 as part of a cooperative project "by the group of the Soviet scientists from different cities."
It was far from being exactly portable, but it was a fully functional cell phone that could be installed in a car. It was used by the Russian elite, featured a full duplex link (unlike PTT (Push to Talk)). This Russian cell phone certainly wasn't the most attractive electronic device, but it worked!
High Fashion Hits Siberia
In more recent years, Russian cell phones have hit up the higher end of the market by creating mobile phones encrusted with jewels or made with very unique materials. Here are three examples of some of the most expensive, most exclusive, and most unique Russian cell phones.
- Nokia 8800 Monaco Edition: The Nokia 8800 was one of the first mainstream phones to feature a slider form factor and when it was first released, it was very expensive for what you got. The features weren't that much better than lower models, but it could easily cost you three times as much to purchase. That level of prestige is starting to wear off, so to bring it back to its former glory, ISSE Russia created the Nokia 8800 Monaco Edition, featuring various colors and designs. They all include expensive jewelry.
- Gresso African Blackwood and Gold: If you're looking for advanced features, this phone is not for you. If you're a lover of nature, you probably won't like this phone either. Instead, this Russian cell phone is decidedly for the upper class who want something that is very different from everyone else. Because it uses African Blackwood, no two phones will be alike as no two trees are the same.
- Gresso Pink Gold: Don't want to raze a forest in order to create a cell phone? How about raiding a gold mine and creating this cell phone out of pink gold. It seems that this is otherwise identical to the African Blackwood phone mentioned above, meaning that it'll have limited features and limited functionality, but it most certainly is limited edition.