What is dual-SIM? Phones with dual-SIM

29 Mar 2019

Close up of a dual-SIM phone

Dual-SIM phones are extremely popular around the world, but the UK has been a bit slow to catch on. That’s slowly changing, with more and more consumers looking for phones with a dual-SIM capability and phone manufacturers are offering plenty of models to choose from. Below is our guide to dual-SIM, its advantages and disadvantages, plus some of the best phones available with dual-SIM. 

What is dual-SIM?

Every mobile requires a SIM card in order to work. SIM stands for Subscriber Identification Module, and it’s the tool that connects your phone to the mobile network. You need a SIM for your phone to work, but you have a choice when picking your phone deal, whether to get a full package (phone contract with SIM and handset), a SIM-only contract, or to buy the handset upfront without a contract.

Phones with dual-SIM capability can hold two SIM cards at the same time. Typically, both SIMs in a handset will be on standby mode (ready to be used), but only one card can operate actively at any one time. Not to worry, you’re still able to receive calls and texts from either SIM without having to swap between them physically. Should you get a call on one number when you’re active on a different call you won’t be interrupted, dual-SIM phones currently don’t have the capability to put your current caller on hold from separate SIMs. 

Why you might choose a dual-SIM phone

Dual-SIM offers a lot of advantages and flexibility to the right people. Get a lot of work calls? Dual-SIM helps to keep work and life separate without the need to carry two handsets or mix up your personal number with a business one. Reimbursement for work calls will be easier to track – no more studying of the itemised bill.

You can take advantage of two different deals with a dual-SIM, so if you find an excellent offer for data and another for calls and texts, then you can sign up for both to create a truly personalised plan.

Dual-SIM can also increase your coverage if your SIMs are supplied by different networks. Additionally, two SIM cards mean double the storage and the capability to store different information on each SIM or just use one as a backup.

A final bonus is that dual-SIM phones aren’t locked into a network by default, giving you the freedom to sign up to any provider you like, meaning you can shop around for the best deal.

Phones with dual-SIM

If you’re after a dual-SIM, then your choice of handsets will be a little limited. Still, there are plenty of models on the market with the right functionality. Below is our pick of the best. 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Not only is this one of the best phones on the market right now but it also has dual-SIM (GSM and GSM) capability. It particularly stands out thanks to the mega-powerful smart Huawei Kirin 980 chipset, the first 7nm Android chip that outmatches any other Android chipset from 2018.

It also comes with a massive 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, plus an impressive triple-lens rear camera that has photography enthusiasts beyond impressed. Other highlights include the beautiful OLED screen, battery life of up to 2 days, and a feature that would turn your handset into a wireless charging pad for other devices. Read more about the Huawei Mate 20 Pro specs and find the best deals now.

iPhone XS

The new line of handsets from Apple (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR) are all dual-SIM. It’s important to note that they’re different from other dual-SIM models because they use two different ones; one slot fits a nano-SIM card, the other is an eSIM. Most other phones work with the same sized SIMs. An eSIM is an electronic SIM card that cannot be removed – it can change networks without the need to change cards although not every network supports these types of cards at the moment.

Still, it’s a really great phone all around and needs to be included in our top picks. The design is sleek, with a slim feel, and an all-screen front that makes watching video feel genuinely immersive. Face ID has been perfected even further, and the dual-lens rear camera takes excellent snaps every time. Find out more about the iPhone XS specs and the deals available here.

Honor 10

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is known for releasing lower priced handsets that deliver on value. Sure, you’ll sacrifice a few features, but it might just be worth it considering the attractive price point. The Honor 10 happens to be a standout phone even when putting the price aside. Its shimmery glass finish gives it an expensive look, and the specs are impressive too. The handset has Hybrid dual-SIM capability, using nano-SIMs.

The screen comes in at 5.84 inches and 1080x2280 resolution, with 128GB of storage, the dual lens rear camera has 16MP and 24MP lenses joined with a 24MP lens on the front. Finally, the phone comes with facial recognition and a fingerprint scanner. If you’re interested to learn more about ‘Best Value’ phones, then read our quick guide here.

Huawei Honor 10

There you have it – Hoppy’s quick guide to everything dual-SIM. When looking for the right dual-SIM handset remember to check whether it’s running the same or different SIM card types, so you’re not unpleasantly surprised. With dual-SIM you get even more choice when it comes to finding the best deals so comparing is essential. That’s where Hoppy comes in to lend a helping hand, compare the best deals with us today. 

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