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Dual SIM handsets – are they a good investment?

A lot of people will find that a single SIM handset is enough for them, but that’s only because they’re not aware of all the benefits dual SIM phones have to offer. They’re also not aware of how much single SIM handsets might be limiting them. 

While dual SIM models tend to be more expensive than regular handsets, they could also potentially allow you to save. They also allow you to switch networks or use both networks at the same time, which allows you to do many things you wouldn’t be able to with a regular phone. Let’s take a closer look at whether dual SIM handsets are a good investment.

Flexibility and convenience

Being able to use two SIM cards at the same time gives you more flexibility and could allow you to save a lot of money. This should be something to consider if you travel a lot. You could pick up a SIM wherever you are so you can make cheap calls in that country and use your regular plan to speak to people back home. Another example is if you have people who are living abroad. Some carriers will specialise in international calls and have much cheaper deals, so you could use one SIM for those calls and another one for domestic calls. 

Providers like Lebara are a perfect example. If you use international minutes a lot, check out these SIM only plans from Lebara. They apply to over 41 countries and they offer some of the most affordable deals in the industry. Lebara SIM only plans also allow you to switch carriers whenever you want. Also, you could decide to activate your plan only when it’s advantageous to you.

Separate work and play

There’s also the benefit of being able to have two phone numbers, but only one phone. A lot of people still carry two phones, usually because of work-related reasons. But with a dual SIM phone, you only have to spend money on one phone.

You will also be notified about from which SIM a particular call is coming, so you’ll be able to mentally prepare yourself. At the end of the month, you’ll also be able to clearly see usage and expenses for both your accounts, which will make cost management easier.

Wider coverage

Some networks are more reliable than others while others offer more coverage. If you’re somewhere out in the country, you might be surprised at how bad the coverage can be with certain carriers while others will have absolutely no problem no matter where you are. Having both SIMs means that you might not have to worry about bad coverage ever again as you can prioritise the best network out of the two.

Get the best of both worlds

Some carriers offer much better data plans than others. Some also have text and data deals, while others have voice-only deals. Mixing and matching could allow you to maximize deals and save even more, or you may want to choose the one with the best technology. 

The issues with dual SIM phones

You should also know that dual SIM phones are not perfect. They have a few drawbacks that you will need to know. They aren’t all dealbreakers, but they could be inconveniences you weren’t ready for. Here are a few of them.

Battery life

One of the things that many people don’t consider when looking at dual SIM phones is that they can use up a lot of energy. Running on two networks at once is very demanding on a phone, so battery life will need to be a major consideration when picking up a phone. Alternatively, you might want to look at portable power banks for backup.

Storage limitations

If you like to use your Micro SD slot for additional storage, you will need to forget that with many dual SIM phones. In many cases, the second slot will be taken by a SIM card, so you will not be able to use it for a Micro SD card. This could be a big issue if you like to download a lot of apps and media. 

More EMF

If you’re very sensitive to electromagnetic fields, it has been shown that dual SIMs emit stronger ones. Their harmfulness has not been completely proven, but that is still information some people would like to know. Know, however, that newer models do much better in that department with some emitting only 40% more than your regular mobile handset.

Network issues

While a dual SIM phone can sometimes improve your coverage, there have been reports of people struggling with network issues with their phones. It’s usually an issue with the phone, and some state that they always have issues connecting to at least one network.

How to Choose a Dual SIM Phone

How well your dual SIM phone will perform will largely depend on the phone that you pick. First of all, you have to make sure that the phone has at least a 5000 mAh battery. This is the bare minimum, but you have batteries that go well over the 10,000 mAh mark, so we suggest you give those a look as well.

Another very important thing you’ll have to know is the difference between dual-active SIM phones and dual-standby models. Simply put, dual-active phones allow you to use both SIM cards at the same time while dual-standby will put one of the cards on standby while the other one is active.

This means that if you’re receiving a phone call from someone, you won’t be able to get a call from someone else on the other card. For some people that might be an issue, but not for everyone.

If you’re a business owner, you might want to go only for a dual-active phone as you don’t want clients to go to voicemail. But, if you simply want to switch between plans and get the benefits of cheap roaming or international calls, you probably won’t get two calls at the same time enough to warrant paying a premium.

Another factor to consider is network types. You have phones that have 4G on both SIM cards while others are 4G + 2G meaning that one card will have 4G connectivity while the second one will have 2G. This might seem like a small detail, but some carriers do not support 2G, so that will be very important when choosing the carrier for the second slot.

Some countries are switching off 2G altogether. Some examples include Japan and Australia. AT&T has also switched off 2G in the US, and the service is only available on T-Mobile. So, this is something you’ll need to take into consideration if you were intending to travel to other countries.

Another thing you have to check is the design of the SIM card tray. Not all phones will use up the Micro SD card slot for the SIM. Some will have a distinct port for SD cards and two SIM trays. This is something you need to look at if you want to be able to extend your storage capacity.

Dual SIM handsets can indeed be great investments depending on which type of user you are. They are also a bit more expensive and are not perfect, so make sure that you look into them in detail before making your decision.

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