What Are Dual SIM Phones? Do You Really Need One?

MakeUseOf | 11/21/2019 | Megan Ellis
marikamarika (Posted by) Level 3
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Dual SIM phones come with a variety of benefits, making them a must-have for many people. However, not everyone understands what dual SIM means or how dual SIM phones work.

We’re here to explain everything you need to know about dual SIM phones, their benefits, and how eSIMs fit into this picture.

SIM - Phone

What Is a Dual SIM Phone?

Dual SIM phones support the insertion and use of two SIM cards on a single device. This differs from a single SIM device, which only has a slot for one SIM card.

Majority - SIM - Phones - SIM - Functionality

The majority of dual SIM phones have active dual SIM functionality. A dual SIM phone can support two active SIMs at the same time, without requiring you to remove and swap SIMs to change phone number.

This means you can receive calls and texts from both lines. You can also usually adjust which SIM is your primary data or voice call card. Some dual SIM phones even support the ability to hold a single conversation with two callers on two different lines.

Type - SIM - Phone - SIM - Device

Meanwhile, the other type of dual SIM phone is a standby dual SIM device. Standby dual SIM devices require you to switch between SIMs in your device settings to activate them. Your phone only connects to one network at a time, so you won’t receive texts or calls for both at the same time.

There are also dual SIM smartphones that support the addition of either a second SIM or a microSD card—not both. This is a limited type of dual SIM functionality seen on older smartphones that means you have to choose between a second SIM or extra storage.


What Is an eSIM?

A more recent type of dual SIM phone is one that supports an eSIM. An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a built-in microchip that acts as an electronic (rather than physical) SIM card....
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