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Nokia looks east with its first phone tailored for China. The Nokia 6788 uses the new TD-SCMA 3G phone system, a standard designed to give fast, reliable service in China’s crowded cities. But that’s not the only advanced technology inside this elegant sliding handset. The 6788 is a fully featured Symbian OS smartphone running S60 version 3, with a document viewer for Office files, a multi-format media player, accelerometer, A-GPS and Ovi Maps.

Inside the matt metal shell, a punchy 434MHz ARM processor powers through websites and multimedia attachments, while the 6788 can also act as a high-speed modem for mobile computing. Around the rear, a 5-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera enjoys dual LED flashes and can capture VGA-quality MPEG-4 videos at a flicker-free 30fps (with video light). The screen is one of Nokia’s finest, featuring a smooth 2.8-inch LCD boasting 16 million colours and QVGA resolution.

If you only do one thing

Explore the world’s most populous country with one of the planet’s fastest 3G technologies, China’s very own TD-SCMA system. The Nokia 6788 has a full HTML browser and ships with Flash Lite 3.1 on board for speedy, seamless web wandering.


China developed its own 3G phone standard to avoid paying patents abroad as well as to improve reception in its populous cities. Countries the world over have chosen to tread their own technical path – sometimes with bizarre results….

Australia once had so many different gauges of railway track (ranging from 2 to nearly 5 feet), that you had to change trains six times to cross the country.

Only Burma, Liberia and the USA have yet to officially adopt the metric system. Confusions over metric and imperial measurements led to the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft in 1999..

In September, Samoa was the first country over 30 years to change the side of the road for driving. The switch from right- to left-side traffic is hoped to encourage ex-pat Samoans in Australia and New Zealand to send old cars to the Pacific island nation.

The oldest standard still on the books at the British Standards Institution dates from 1927 and relates to the dimensions of rivets.

One of the first acts of the International Organization for Standardization when it formed in 1947 was to standardise its own name as ISO, to avoid different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French, etc). The ISO has now published over 17,500 international standards.