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What you should consider before you buy dual-SIM phone

ByinTips & Guides | January 26, 2015

Dual-SIM PhoneSince we’re living in a very hectic world, more than one phone number is sometimes a bare necessity. But, people simply don’t like to carry round more than one phone finding it extremely inconvenient. This is why we can recently observe significant increase in demand for dual-SIM phones that are capable to carry two separate SIM cards. Usually one is dedicated for personal use, second serves business purposes.

Consider before you buy dual-SIM phone

Standby Dual SIM PhoneMobile manufacturers seeing that dual-SIM phones gaining on popularity in the market, began releasing more and more sophisticated devices to the public that offer two SIM-card slots. But which one to choose? What aspects to pay attention to when buying one? In order to help you o make the right decision, we have prepared a short guide on what features you should consider before you buy dual-SIM phone.

There are several types of dual-SIM phones currently available on the market with main difference lying in how easy it is to switch between SIM cards. It’s not easy to choose a perfect phone since all of the handsets have their own advantages and disadvantages. The main question we recommend to ask yourself while purchasing a phone is: why do I need a dual-SIM phone for?

Traditional Dual-SIM Phones vs. Standby Dual-SIM Phones

There are two main variants of dual-SIM phones: a traditional dual SIM-and a standby dual-SIM phone. What’s the difference between these two types? A traditional dual-SIM phone houses two SIM card slots that have to be physically turned on and off, which means they cannot be used simultaneously.

In case of using a standby dual-SIM phone you don’t need to switch on / off manually between SIM cards. In this version one processor controls two SIM cards at the same time. When one card is being used, second operates on standby mode, which means that it remains active but temporarily out of use.

Taking into consideration lower costs traditional dual-SIM phones are still more popular than the standby, though technically speaking they don’t have any other significant advantages over the standby mode models in terms of specs and features.

By contrast, standby dual-SIM phone exceeds the other variant considerably giving its users opportunity to use two phone numbers at the same time, which is especially important when your phone hosts a business and personal number or two separate business numbers. Note that a traditional dual-SIM phone won’t alert you about incoming calls on the disabled SIM card.

Standby Dual-SIM Phones vs. Active Dual-SIM Phones

Active Dual-SIM PhoneThere is also a third type of dual-SIM phones – the active dual-SIM phones, that feature two processors, which each is responsible for each SIM card making the two SIM card slots always available.

A main difference between standby and active dual-SIM phones is that when using the standby version your caller will receive a message that your are not available at this time, where in comparison, an active dual-SIM phone will keep your caller waiting on the line. A person trying to contact you is conscious of your presence on the other end of the phone.

All of these make active dual-SIM phones working much like a traditional landline phone that can deal with few phone calls at the same time, which appears highly professional, especially for all those folks using their phones for business contacts.

On the other hand not everyone needs a standby or active dual-SIM phone, so there’s no use paying more for more advanced phones. For instance, if you want to have two SIM cards because you travel abroad and you want to avoid nasty roaming fees when making local phones using a local SIM card, the standard dual-SIM phone will serve its purpose perfectly.

Similarly, when there’s a clear distinction between hours you use the SIM cards, for example one operates from 9 am to 5 pm, the other after 5 pm as a strictly personal number, then ask yourself whether it is necessarily and reasonable to buy a standby or active dual-SIM phone.

Quad-band Unlocked Phones

GSM Dual-SIM PhoneAnother aspect you should pay your attention when getting yourself a dual-SIM phone is with how many different service providers the device is capable to operate with and where you are planning to use the phone.

Remember that dual-SIM phones don’t need to be used with the same carrier’s SIM cards enabling you more flexible use of your phone. For example unlocked phones can operate with any carrier that operates on GSM frequencies. This is particularly useful feature when you want to take advantage of different calling plans choosing the most profitable deals and offers. Also consider purchasing quad-band phones as they can be used everywhere abroad, unlike dual or tri-band phones due to  limited frequency capability.

Battery Life Capacity

Moving on, before buying a dual-SIM phone check out its battery life capability. Since standby and active dual-SIM phones run on two networks simultaneously, they often consume more energy than standard traditional handsets. But, knowing that mobile manufacturers are constantly working on improving their batteries, so low battery capacity is a rare problem in newly released dual-SIM phones. If battery life is a priority for you, you may want to pass older models released a year or two years ago.

Also note that some functions require more energy than others. For example, making calls consumes more battery juice than listening to audio files. Typical standby time in smartphones rates around 500 to 600 hours, talk time may be around 15 to 20 hours and mp3 player might round 40 to 60 hours. So, if the battery life of the phone you plan to buy is considerably less than these numbers, you’d better check the market for newer models.

Check other specs and features

Traditional Dual-SIM PhonesSince you won’t only use your dual-SIM phone for making and receiving phone calls, remember to check and compare other features when purchasing one, including: operating system, hardware specs, connectivity options or video-camera features. For example if you are going to use phone quite often to snap photos, check the phone optics parameters, such as: camera resolution, optical zoom, image stabilization option or video functions.

The same with other features, everything depends what you are planning to do with the handset and what are your expectations towards its additional functions for fun and productivity.

And last but definitely not least, when buying your new dual-SIM phone you should also pay attention to its design. Since the external appearance, size, weight and display may also be an important feature.

Hope our guide will help you to pick the right dual-SIM phone. Remember, there are few key things you have to consider while buying the phone: its mode type, unlocked and quad-band capability, battery life capacity and other features you may find necessary. Of course, price, specs and the overall design are also worth paying attention to.

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