Do you have both a work phone and a private phone? Do you need to keep in touch with your usual number when you travel
with an international number?
Then you need a Dual Sim phone! That literally means you can put two SIM cards, with two different numbers, in the same device.
HOWEVER! There are several factors to be aware of:
- 1) OLD 2G TECHNOLOGY FASING OUT:
Up until recently, almost all Dual SIM phones only worked on 2G for the second SIM card. This was good, because it 2G used to be the most common, widely covered network. But several markets, Australia included, are fazing out the 2G network. Meaning, if you bought a traditional Dual SIM phone with only 2G on the second SIM, the second SIM tray is pretty much useless now here in Australia.
Relatively few devices are capable of better than 2G on both SIMs. So look for devices where both SIM trays can handle 3G or better!
- 2) STAND-BY vs. ACTIVE:
Just because you have a Dual SIM phone, does not nessessarily mean you can sit back and receive calls randomly on one or the other.
The simplest form of Dual SIM is where you need to change a setting in the phone in order to use the other SIM. So your phone might be sitting there, totally inactive, while a call comes in on the other line and go straight to voicemail. This is because the device only has ONE MODEM, and you have to chose which SIM is connected.
Te ultimate form of Active SIM devices on the other hand, have two modems built-in that can operate at the same time. You can even be on a call when another call comes in on the second SIM, put the first caller on hold and switch to the other line in mid-stride!
- MOSTLY ACTIVE:
For most users, this type would still be as functional as an Active Dual SIM. It still can happily switch from one SIM to the other without having to manually change any settings, but it cannot deal with calls on both SIMS at the same time, such as call-waiting, hold-and switch, and conference calls accross two SIMs. For most people this is still practical and we at MyMobile and UniqueMobiles still call this Active Dual SIM.
So, simply look for "Active Dual SIM" in the specifications, right? Ha, not so easy! Strangely enough, even manufacturers get this terminology wrong. We have observed a surprisingly large number of Dual SIM devices, whose specs either completely lack any detail on the 2G/3G network capability of the second sim, or incorrectly call the device Stand-by when it is in fact Active, or vise-versa.
So here at MyMobile And UniqueMobiles, we have taken the safe route and tested the capability ourselves, and only if physically proven, award a device with the "Active 3G Dual SIM" - label,
according to OUR DEFINITION:
"Active 3G Dual SIM devices can handle take 3G calls on either SIM without having to change a setting in the device."
So don't get caught out - check our verdict before buying!
One last thing to consider: Hybred vs. Dedicated SIM-Trays
You can imagine all that tech takes up a lot of space in a product where space comes at a premium. That's why many phones use what is called a Hybred Tray that caters either for for the second SIM or a Memory Card (SD-Card), as you can see in the photo above and the illustration below. So if you want to use two SIM Cards and a Memory Card, look for a device that has a dedicated slot for all 3 cards.
Confused yet? Don't worry, you're not alone. If in doubt give us a ring and we'll help you out as best we can.