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[Research] Do you need a dual-SIM phone?

Dual-SIM phones are becoming trendy since this year's Mobile World Congress. Dual-SIM phone provides more flexibility to international travelers as well as users who carries multiple phones for different purposes. Some OEMs also offers micro-SD card capability to the second SIM slot. Within this discussion, we would like to learn your experience or possible usage scenarios with dual-SIM phones.

Have you traveled internationally within the past 2 years?

     a. If yes, did you chose to use U.S. carrier's roaming service or chose to use a local carrier?

     b. How did you obtained the local mobile service? How was your overall experience?

Have you ever encountered a situation where you wish you had a second phone (number)?

Do you use voice mail on phone? How often do you leave voice mail to other people?

Do you use micro-SD card for your phone?

Please feel free to share your comments or thoughts about dual-SIM phone in this discussion!


  • runtohell121runtohell121 Analyst United StatesPosts: 2,262 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I have traveled internationally in the past 2 years which was Hong Kong/Macau/China

    Once I got on the airplane, I immediately removed my AT&T SIM to avoid roaming/international charges. When I got to HK/Macau, I went for a hunt for phone service provider which offers way cheaper service compared to the crazy roaming charges from AT&T. I think the service I got was roughly ~$35 USD for unlimited data (could have been cheaper if I didn't need unlimited data, but was still way cheaper than what US carriers would offer). The experience was okay, as long as you know the language (Cantonese or Mandarin), you wouldn't have an issue obtaining a local mobile provider SIM and they do offer a lot of options for prepaid SIM.

    I really don't think I need a second phone number, but wouldn't mind. I do carry 2 phones or so at times and wish both phones had good service, but plans in the US is quite expensive if it's on the big carriers.

    I rarely use voice mail option, but from time to time if someone leaves a voice mail, I would go in and listen to it, but prefer visual voice mail, something like the iPhone.

    If the phone comes with 32gb or more storage, I rarely need to use a microSD card, but that's just me. I know some people that have a huge media collection and have it on their microSD which is useful if the phone does have that slot available.

    Dual SIM phones are getting more popular, but at the moment, in the US, it seems somewhat useless in my opinion. Carriers plans are just too expensive for one to have 2 service and even then, it might not be useful for some to have multiple service for themselves. Having a Dual SIM phone is handy though when you think you need it for traveling and don't want to remove and store your personal SIM elsewhere. I do however wish that the Dual SIM tray is just for SIM slot and an additional slot for the microSD card slot itself, so the user can have storage and Dual SIM if needed, not one or the other.

  • Yes! I only own unlocked or unlock able phones and with things like project fi (Google) T-mobile's WONDERFUL data plan but non-existent calling on their phones (call me crazy but I think the first thing a phone should be able to do is make and receive calls, right?). So with this example I could have a t-mobile sim in slot 1 for the data and project fi sim in slot 2 for minutes and SMS /MMS. BY DOING THIS I would come out paying less overall, and have the best of both worlds. I'm currently on Cricket (Leap Wireless owned by AT&T) and they just introduced a TRUE UNLIMITED plan. $70.00  per month and there is no data cap, no throttling, just have fun. The only drawback of this plan is that they do not offer Hotspot or Tethering. With a dual sim phone I could just find a way to pay as I go for my limited tethering /Hotspot I would like to use each month. I've even seen a dual sim phone where on of the sim slots doubled as a micro SD slot. I don't know how I feel about that but it is interesting nonetheless. Okay, have a great day!

  • Indeed. I'm a Tmo customer and travel to Southeast Asia once a month. The second SIM is indispensable in a number of ways:

    1 - I have a post paid plan in Vietnam and use this number to have clients contact me. While in the US, I use WiTalk, a version of wificalling VOIP, which has made my business only more seamless and professional. Dual SIM allows this to happen.

    2 - While in Vietnam, or any country, it is essential that my US clients can always reach me via Tmo.

    3 - Other messaging apps, eg WhatsApp, are essential too, and may one day takeover. But having post paid accounts (and get good data rates) is going to be key the next 3 years at least.

  • chuckbortchuckbort Chuck United StatesPosts: 608 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't do any travelling and thus dual sims are not necessary for me.

  • DoppelgangerDDoppelgangerD Master Of Ceremonies United StatesPosts: 1,847 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I personally do not need a dual sim phone right now.
    I know lots of others who do use their phone for that purpose, and one scenario is that I like having the option in the phone,
    so if I do need it for travel or for a new job, the option will be there for me to use as needed.

  • tomhardytomhardy Posts: 133 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I travel extensively (20-25 weeks a year) to Europe for pleasure and always buy a local sim at least for data.  Data is so much cheaper locally than the US.  Scenarios:

    1.  Buy data only SIM locally and use in one slot and keep my Truphone international SIM in other slot.

    2,  Use Toggle Mobile (12 countries with local number dirt cheap international calling and SMS-expensive data) in one slot local data SIM in other slot.

    3.  Buy call+SMS+data SIMs for two counties one in slot one in slot two.

    .Truphone and Toggle Mobile SIMs both work great in the US as well as Europe and are non-expiring.   I keep a Lebara Germany SIM and a 3 UK SIM alive.  Almost anywhere in Europe its cheap and easy to buy a SIM and have it working in less than 30 minutes-recently this has been the case in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Latvia, Estonia ...

    I also pack two phones and carry one.

    I really only need a local phone number for the country I'm in.  I'm retired so no work number is needed.

    I use voice mail primarily to leave messages.

    Use micro SD card in an Asus Zenfone Laser 2 dual SIM phone.  With the Axon 7 64 GB memory I can get by-although 128 would be better.

    The most important thing of all is that the phone supports USA and Europe bands.

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I have two SIMS. 

    Enjoy having two numbers. 

    One is for business the other personal. 

    Also when traveling even here in the US there are spots that are better suited for a different carrier. 

  • maulgandhimaulgandhi United StatesPosts: 519 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have never used dual sim phones, but i have friends who works for VZW and they get work phone, so he has to carry personal device as well as VZW phone and I bet if he had this device, he would be happy.

    Personally, I have not use dual sim before, but recently i came across Freedompop plan, which basically gives out free data to use, so i popped one right in and it created problems for me than anything else. Freedompop sorta interfere with T-mobile service and vice versa. I am sure if i had at&t service, there would not be any issue at all.

    I have been to asia, where people are crazy about dual sim phones. Everyone has two numbers. One for incoming and one for outgoing. Asian market is perfect for dual sim phones. It would be booming in asia, but in N.American market, i highly doubt it would ever pick up in masses.

  • syaoransyaoran Manassas, VA/Toronto, CanadaPosts: 185 ✭✭

    Dual-SIM is the way I would like to go.  I have carried two phones for years now because I have always felt like I would have to give up what I like about my phones in order to settle for a dual-SIM device.  Currently, I carry a Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P, none of which have Micro-SD card slots.  Both of these phones are larger in size, have quad HD displays and decent specifications, both run stock Android, both have dual front-facing speakers, both have decent battery capacities, both offer respectable camera experiences, both work with T-Mobile's WiFi Calling, and both offer a vast variety of compatible bands for cellular providers around the world. 

    Due to my line of work, hobbies, and family, I travel quite a lot, especially up to Canada.  I spend most of my time between the United States and Canada but also spend a couple of months over in the UK and Europe once or twice every couple of years.  I do have a VodaFone UK SIM I use when I go overseas but I also allow my T-Mobile USA SIM to roam when overseas.  When in Canada or the US, I use both my Telus Canada and T-Mobile USA SIM's regardless of which country I am in and both also have voice mail on them.  My main use SIM/number is the T-Mobile USA SIM.  My T-Mobile SIM includes roaming in Canada and Mexico in my base plan, making it extremely convenient to use anywhere in North America at no extra cost. 

    T-Moible has always been my go to carrier after one poor experience after another with AT&T.  The excellent customer service, whether in-store or over the phone, really goes above and beyond what I have experienced with any other carrier I have used.  Telus is also decent but Canadian's do not grasp the American concept of what good customer service should be.  That said.  Telus could still teach AT&T and Verizon a few valuable lessons in how to treat current and future customers. 

    I was interested in the Axon 7 for a few months before the phone was available for pre-order.  I didn't pre-order the device though because I have never owned anything made by ZTE.  As a cautious buyer, I feel like I made the right choice, especially after all of the quality control, software, and hardware issues with the device.  I have been quite interested in the Xiaomi Mi MIX but decided to pass on that because it didn't have band 12 and band 66 support.  The Axon 7 ticked a lot of what I want in a phone to the point where I would have purchased two if they had lived up to the hype even though it didn't fully meet my expectations for what I personally want in a dual-SIM device. 

  • nthall350nthall350 Kansas City, MissouriPosts: 505 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have traveled internationally, but it was for vacations, and I just used my own carrier. When I'm on vacation the phone is the last thing on my mind. The few calls I have made were to home, so a second number wasn't really necessary.

    I like the option of having a second SIM slot if I was in the situation where it would be useful. I carry at least two phones on me most of the time anyway. I have my personal phone and another for work. If I were to use a dual sim I would have to let IT install their software on mine, and I don't like the idea of that. I usually carry a spare with the power turned off with me too if I'm wearing a jacket or have a bag with me.

    I do use SD cards frequently. I use my phone as a portable hard drive, and it's nice to have the extra space and ability to pull the card out and put it in a PC if necessary.

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I still do. 

  • taotao Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have not traveled internationally in the past 2 years, but a trip "here or there" at any time is possible.  Therefore it is nice to have a second sim card.

    I have not yet encountered a situation which I wish I had a second number.  However if I ever have a work number and need to have a cell for that, a dual sim card would be extremely useful.

    I use voicemail on my phone.  Voicemail has been replaced my text messages for friends and family, but when dealing with organizations, voicemail is used for both parties.

    Yes I use a microSD card on my phone.  I use it for music, and leave the on board memory free in case I need to take a lot of pictures or a long movie.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I don't travel internationally besides Canada but now with T-Mobile I get service/data their as well so I have no use for it. But I do feel that unlocked international phones like the Axon 7 should have dual slots because of convenience. Most of my family lives in Europe they are always traveling around Europe and I can see it being essential for many Euro users.

  • kumatora0203kumatora0203 Danvers, MAPosts: 262 ✭✭

    I don't use the 2nd sim slot for a sim, I use it for a 128gb micro sd. Don't travel a lot and I want to have as much storage as possible

This discussion has been closed.