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End SIM Swap Nightmares: The 9 Best Dual Sim Smartphones Explored

dual SIM smartphone

Picture this: you are sat in a taxi, overseas, on a bumpy journey from the airport to the hotel, and you are trying to exchange one SIM for another. You only have one SIM slot in your phone, and it is a balancing act. Find the pin to get the tray out, take out the SIM, store it somewhere safe, exchange the SIM. Wait, where has that other SIM gone? Enter the dual SIM smartphone. A feature that allows you to have two SIMs in your phone at any one time. Having to make the swap is a nightmare. If this rings true for you, we have something to make your life easier! We have reviewed the nine best dual SIM phones that just might end your SIM swap calamities.

We will look at the types of dual SIM phones, how they operate, and those additional features that make a phone great. Join us as we explore a variety of makes and models, and who should be considering them. Gamers, writers, photographer, editors, and anyone with a busy lifestyle. We have something for you!

dual SIM smartphone
Photo by Patrik Michalicka on Unsplash

Can dual SIM Phones be on different networks?

Dual SIM phones are a great option for people who need a phone for work and play, but who also want to use these side by side. This is why dual SIM phones are absolutely able to support two different cellular networks! Additionally, if you are abroad or travel frequently between two countries, you can easily switch between. What you might not know, however, is there are different types of dual SIM phones.

The two main types are dual active SIM (DSA), and dual standby SIM (DSS). While the former supports two SIMs operating in tandem, the latter allows you to choose the SIM you want to operate from. If you need to use the other SIM card, just manually switch over in the settings menu.

There is also a third member of the party. The hybrid dual SIM (HDS). This is a SIM slot that doubles as an MicroSD memory card slot, to expand the internal storage. Some phones will have a dedicated MicroSD slot, whilst others will save space by introducing one of these babies.

Whilst having two SIMs is the aim of the game, this can still be a useful function for transferring and storing files from your phone. Most mobile companies, however, will have systems in place for file transfer etc., so it isn’t too much of an issue. We will be pointing out which device has which option as we move through this review, so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

dual SIM smartphone
Photo by Zana Latif on Unsplash

The Best Dual SIM Smartphones

Alright! We are about to delve into the best smartphones, and this is where you will find something for everyone. Are in the market for a cheaper model that functions well but without the bells and whistles? Are you an avid gamer looking for something to use for work and play? Perhaps you are a budding film maker or photographer, and you need the latest camera technology and editing capabilities? Whatever it is that you require, you are sure to find something that fits form and functionality with aplomb. We will start with out best foot forward, the king of the Android scene.

Samsung 6.8″ Galaxy Note10+

Samsung have taken up space as the primo purveyor of large screens for a while now. They have risen with Apple, but so has the price. It does, however, have some nifty functions and features that make it worthwhile. The S pen is of course a big feature. With the addition of air gestures, use your pen like a wand to scroll and change camera settings from a distance. Record hand-written notes that can be converted to text. the device familiarises itself with your handwriting, getting smarter as you write!

This model has 12GB RAM and operates using Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855. This is an HDS model, with two SIM slots to toggle between via the phone’s settings menu. If you want to insert a MicroSD for extra storage, however, you will have to use one of the SIM slots. But the 256GB internal storage is likely to keep you going.

The innovative design of the curved-edge screen is great⁠—and looks fantastic⁠—but can be a little frustrating to get used to. As the fleshy part of your palm cradles the screen, your phone often reads that as a command. As the largest Galaxy model at 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm, getting used to using two hands regularly to work the device is a learning curve. But a large 6.5″ screen has its benefits. The 1440 x 3040 pixel resolution is crisp, plus that 1200nits screen brightness makes it easy to see the screen on the brightest of days.

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With a set of 12MP rear lenses for normal, telephoto and ultra-wide, the lenses are decent. The cut-out front facing camera is also 10MP, and both give impressive colour reproduction. There are some minor issues with low-light settings, however, with less clarity and detail. 4K video can be recorded at 30 or 60 frames per second (FPS), and there are a wealth of additional video effects and editing software in-built. Not quite industry standard, but good for making for social media.

Another neat feature is Dex, turning your phone into a desktop computer. Simply connect to a laptop and easily move files between devices. You can also make calls whilst working on the big screen. Overall, this is a great device with innovative features, and great for a tech-head. Its aluminium frame and Gorilla glass exterior gives the premium finish you’d expect. It is also dust and scratch resistant, and water resistant up to 1.5 metres for thirty minutes! One caveat is the lack of headphone jack, as apparently Samsung feel bluetooth headsets are standard at this point.

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Product Features

  • USB-C 3.1
  • Li-Ion 4300 mAh with 45W fast charging, and 15W wireless charging
  • 4K Video at 30 or 60FPS
  • 12GBRAM and 256GB storage
  • S pen with integrated slot.

OnePlus 8 Pro

For a small Chinese company, OnePlus are making big waves, and with a dedicated fanbase gathering. The features and functions of this flagship model certainly meet and sometimes exceed those of its rivals, and with the mammoth 6.8″ screen, it rivals the Note 10+. It’s also slightly cheaper than other options with similar specs.

This is a 5G ready device with a triple Camera, Dual SIM DSS, and Alexa personal assistant built-in. It has an impressive 16MP front-facing camera, second only to the Asus ROG phone in this review of dual SIM phones. Additionally, with the 48MP rear and ultra-wide, and 8MP telephoto lens, the possibilities for capturing images are almost endless.

Unfortunately there is no option to include an external MicroSD card. However, with 256GB internal storage this issue is minimal. It also has 12GB RAM, boosting the performance of that octa-core Snapdragon 865. The QHD 1440x3168p AMOLED screen also has a 120HZ refresh rate, which means better viewing capacity all round! But you also have the option to reduce this to 60Hz. When it comes to customising display, you have plenty of options to play with This makes for a great device for photo and video editing on the go! And when it comes to recording video, you can achieve 4K quality at 30 or 60FPS. The front facing camera also records 1080p (HD) video at 30FPS.

As with the Galaxy devices, the 8 Pro has curved edges. OnePlus, however, have made great strides in avoiding issues with touch sensitivity. Being less likely to press buttons with the fleshy parts of your palm is a godsend! And yet it is still very tactile for page scrolling. The only issue with the overall build is that it can be a little slippy in your grip, being that it has a Gorilla glass front and back, and aluminium frame.

Whilst OnePlus are light on gimmicky features, one great selling point is its ability to support gaming of the most graphics-intensive quality. Forza, Call of Duty, you name it! And when gaming has rinsed the battery life, the Warp Charge 30T innovative charging system will get you back to 100% inside of an hour.

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One major thing to take note of is the type of battery this uses. Whilst other models in this dual SIM phones review use Lithium Polymer batteries, this uses Lithium Ion. Using that latter means you can charge the Note 10+ without draining it first, and it wont compromise the overall battery longevity.

Product Features

  • USB-C 3.1
  • Li-Po 4510 mAh battery with 30W fast charging (50% in 25 min) and 30W wireless charging (50% in half hour)
  • 48MP camera with 16MP front facing ‘cut-out’ camera
  • 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
  • 120HZ refresh rate

Samsung Galaxy S20

Next up for dual sim phones, another flagship model. This is actually the smaller sister to the other two flagship devices, the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra. And, according to many, this is a smartphone to rival many budget laptops! Interesting, though we aren’t entirely convinced given that it doesn’t have the largest screen, and no external keyboard to speak of. Having said that, it does pack a lot of punch. Its 1440 x 3200 px resolution and 20:9 ratio is put to great use by the edge-to-edge display.

Whilst the 6.2 inch display is a little smaller than its flagship sisters, this can be a major plus to some users. That 120Hz refresh rate and Adreno 65 graphics card (GPU) makes every image crystal clear with seamless video quality. One thing to be aware of however: when opting for QHD display (rather than FHD) in the menu settings, this does drop the refresh rate down to 60HZ.

In terms of the SIM set-up, this is a DHS, giving you the capability to hold two SIM cards (one on standby), or one SIM card with the second slot as MicroSD storage. With 128GB internal storage, this might not come in useful, but is always handy to have! You also have the capacity to use an e-SIM! The 8GB of RAM also supports the octa-core Snapdragon 865 processor to give you speedy functionality and multi-tasking capabilities.

When it comes to the cameras, Samsung have not skimped on quality or quantity, with 12MP lens for standard and ultra-wide, and a whopping 64MB for the telephoto lens. It also has a 10MP cut-out camera in the front. Colour reproduction and depth is incredibly satisfying, and though there are still issues with darker scenes, overall the cameras perform well. Plus, this device has one of the best video functions, with 8K video recoding at 24FPS! In terms of camera specs, this is a big one. You can of course also record 4K videos at 30 or 60FPS.

Overall, this is a great addition to your life, with many of the usual features and functions of the Samsung gamut, and lots of creative capacity too. Measuring 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm, it is a smaller device without reducing the quality of the output. It is also a great device for gaming on the go, with snappy speeds that make playing graphics intensive games a joy. As with many Samsung products, this is water resistant to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes, and has a lovely glossy finish to its Gorilla glass 6 front and and back. The aluminium frame also keeps its light at 163g.

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Product Features

  • 12GB RAM and 128GB storage
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor
  • USB-C 3.2
  • Li-Po 4000 mAh battery with 25W fast charging, and 15W wireless charging
  • 8K video at 24 FPS

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Surprisingly, since Apple cornered the market in smartphones once upon a time, they only began making dual SIM phones back in 2018. One would expect that they would be the innovative front-runner of HDA’s and make their devices capable of running SIMS in tandem. Alas, no dice, these are expensive to produce, so it is very hard to find this kind of technology at this time. But certainly Apple or Samsung would be one to watch for this technology. Although, Asus also have the been toying with the idea.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max needs no introduction. Here you will have a very different chipset to that of any Android model with Snapdragon. The A13 Bionic is supported by 4GB RAM, a ‘hexacore’ processor and quad core graphics. Images and video content are a slick dream. However, with only a 60Hz refresh rate, it isn’t quite upping the ante against other models for a lesser or similar price. The 1242 x 2688 px resolution and 19.5:9 ratio hold up however, and every image feels sharp with beautifully rendered colours.

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Yes, there is no doubt that beauty is what Apple do. And with the inclusion of Dolby Vision and True-tone, plus a wonderfully wide colour gamut, it really does deliver. And that Oleophobic coating https://www.thierry-corp.com/plasma-knowledgebase/oleophobic-coating helps keep your device clean and free of oily fingerprints.

The Cameras are fairly standard, though with some excellent additions, as usual. The three rear and one front facing lenses are 12MP, with that SL 3D depth sensor making playtime interesting! And with up to 512GB to play with, though sadly no MicroSD slot. This is standard for Apple models however as they offer iCloud storage connectivity instead.

This dual SIM phone has all the best features you would expect from an iPhone, including fingerprint and face recognition, great sound and fantastic picture quality. Its slim frame and narrow bezels make it a joy to hold, though at 226g it is a little on the heavier side. This does add to its robust feel though. The battery life is as you’d expect from an Apple model, but the promise of fast charging to 50% in 30 minutes you can forgive that.

Product Features

  • USB 2.0 Lightning
  • RAM & Storage: 4GB + up to 512GB
  • Apple A13 Bionic processor / supports iOS 13.1
  • 4K video at 24, 30 or 60FPS
  • 3969mAh battery with 18W Fast Charging (50% in 30 minutes)

ASUS ROG Gaming Phone 3

You might be familiar with the ROG name in the gaming world, as Asus make monitors and other gaming equipment for the hardcore fanatic. If you’re looking at dual sim phones as an avid gamer, you need this! Not only is this a powerful device that will get you through the day, it is a powerful gaming tool packed with additional design features like air triggers. These sit on the right hand side of the phone and act as pressure sensitive shoulder buttons. You even have to play a short racing game as part of the setup!

The technical additions that make this a great on-the-go games console is also what make a great phone. With Snapdragon 865+ and an octa-core processor backing up the Android 10 operating system and Adreno 650 graphics card, this 6.5″ screen can handle a lot. On top of the OS, you also have ROG UI. And this is all backed up by the 144Hz refresh rate. Plus you can head into splendid settings to customise the display. And with the 6000mAh battery, you can rest easy knowing your phone can last the day, and night. In fact, you can pretty much get away with charging every two days.

Aside from being a great gaming device, it also has a mighty powerful camera collection. As is standard with these high end models, you have three cameras located at the rear, all at 64MP. The front facing camera also packs a powerful 24MP! There is even a 5MP macro lens. And that’s not all, you can record 8K video at an impressive 30FPS, and 4K at 30, 60 or even a blistering 120FPS. And when it is time to store all those games, videos and pics, the 256GB of storage is ample. Sadly there is no option to add a MicroSD card.

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Playing Fortnite and don’t want to be disturbed? Simply turn off calls while you play! And Asus have supplied some additional items in the box to promote extended gameplay. A handy phone case with reinforced rubber edges that protect the corners, whilst simultaneously leaving those air pressure shoulder pads exposed. Also, a stand that boosts cooling with a selection of fans inside. They really have thought of everything! The two front facing speakers deliver some pretty impressive audio, more than perhaps any phone we have ever reviewed.

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Alas, Asus have also done away with the headphone jack. And while some Asus models in the past have included a DSA slot, so you can use two networks side by side, unfortunately not for this model. Though you can easily toggle between the two via the settings menu. And with so many extra bells and whistles including two USB-C ports, this is a minor gripe.

Product Features

  • Li-Po 6000mAh battery with 30W fast charging
  • USB-C 3.1 and USB-C 2.0 ports
  • 8K video at 30FPS
  • 650nits brightness
  • Up to 16GB RAM and 256GB storage

Sony Xperia 1 II

For Sony, this flagship device is just good enough to make it into this review of dual SIM phones, without being overtly impressive in the arena. Undoubtedly there are better smartphone providers around, but if you are looking for additions like CinemaWide display, this could well be a good option for you. And for around half the price of the top level players. The 6.5″ 4K OLED display is really quite beautiful, and with a 1644 x 3840 px resolution you really get a great viewing experience with this device. We do feel, however, that Sony have skimped with the 60Hz refresh rate.

The Xperia 1 II boasts an octa-core Snapdragon 865 processor, and Adreno 640 graphics card, making everything look smooth and balanced. And with 8GB or RAM that is just enough to keep up with multi-tasking demands. Plus, the lightweight skin has no effect on its performance. The 256GB of storage is ample, which is great as it is fitted with a Hybrid HDS slot. The battery life leaves a little to be desired, given the energy sucking features inside. Though the fast charging capability does redeem the Xperia somewhat.

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The device follows the crowd with three rear lenses, though with only 12MP between them for standard, telephoto and ultra-wide there isn’t a tonne to write home about. The front facing camera is fairly decent at 8MP, and the colour reproduction on photos and videos is ample. You also have the option of recording 4K video at 24, 25, 30 or 60FPS, which is a lovely touch. In fact, the 4K display all round is the most enticing part of this device. Plus, the 6.5 inch display is compact, weighing just over 181g total and measuring 165.1 x 71.1 x 7.6 mm. The Gorilla glass 6 front and back are also sleek and simple, and with a lightweight aluminium frame. And one more gift, the increasingly elusive headphone jack is included. Thank you Sony!

Product Features

  • Water resistant up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes
  • 4K Video at up to 60FPS
  • USB-C 3.1
  • Battery: 4000mAh with 21W Fast Charging and 11W wireless charging
  • Includes headphone jack

Realme 6 Pro

If you’re done with single SIM phones, but are limited on funds to splash on those high end models, we have something for you. For a very reasonable price you can get the Realme 6 Pro, with a 6.6 inch display and the ability to hold two different network SIMs. It also comes with a dedicated MicroSD slot, backing up that 128GB internal storage.

As with most budget options though, you have to make certain little sacrifices. This model houses the older model Snapdragon 720G octa-core processor, and Adreno 618 graphics card. It also has 1080 x 2400 px resolution and , 20:9 aspect ratio, and rocks a Full HD AMOLED screen. Though it does hold a 90Hz refresh rate, which is better than the Xperia in this dual SIM phones review. The Realme 6 Pro actually delivers some very slick speeds and great brightness levels that makes watching video content an absolute joy. You can also use the Dolby Atmos® settings to switch up the audio quality to suit your viewing.

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It is also capable of recording 4K video at 30FPS. And with a 16MP wide and 8MP ultra-wide selfie camera, you can capture some pretty impressive selfies. Plus the three rear lenses combine 64MP wide, 12MP telephoto and 8MP ultra-wide options.

The 6 Pro looks really good too, with a lovely slick back cover that deserves to be seen. And with the front side coming to you with a pre-installed screen protector over the Gorilla glass 5 screen, the phone stays in tip-top condition with daily use. And, while it is waterproof per se, its triple layer protection means it stays safe from splashes or rain. It does simp a little on the frame, as it is made of plastic rather than aluminium. However, the whole device seems to be hard-waring, and with extra safety precautions taken by Realme this can withstand almost anything.

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Product Features

  • 4300mAh with 30W fast charge (70% in 30 minutes)
  • USB-C 2.0
  • 4K video at 30FPS
  • Dedicated Micro SD slot
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage

LG G8X ThinQ

This LG model is a little different. Not only is it have a tray for two SIM cards, it has a second screen on a 360° hinge. And it is detachable! It acts as a protective screen cover when flipped on top, and when removed makes the G8X very thin and lightweight. The screens can be used for multi-tasking, or watching a film while replying to a text. Or, when playing games, the other screen becomes a controller. The limits are pretty much endless.

Whilst the 60Hz refresh rate isn’t the slickest, the octa-core Snapdragon 855 processor, Adreno 640 graphics and 6GB RAM are ample to boost performance in gameplay and video content. Plus, when making your own videos, you have a 32MP front lens with the ability to record 4K video at 30FPS, and a rear standard 12MP lens which records 4K at 30 or 60FPS. It also has a 13MP ultra-wide lens, though sadly for some no telephoto lens. The 128GB storage is bulky enough to store plenty of Apps, files and content, and with the DHS you can boost storage with a MicroSD.

And when its time to kick back and watch, you are in for a treat. One thing LG knows is screens, and with gamma adjustment and a beautiful brightness level, you can boost your viewing pleasure even further. The 1.2W speakers at the top and bottom of the device are awesome in quality, with options for DTS:X 3D Surround and Hi-Fi Quad DAC when using headphones. And yes, there is a headphone jack!

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At 6.4″, the displays are just big enough without being too bulky. Its also equipped with a handy display on the back of the second screen, showing time and new notifications. When connected, the dual screens weigh over 300g combined, fairly hefty! Though the additional screen can be a godsend to busy people, budding editors, writers and gamers. It is also very sleek in design, with Gorilla glass 6 on the front and back, and sporting an aluminium frame. Plus, both OLED screens are 1080 x 2400 px resolution, so there is no skimping on this dual option. Though it only features the Android 9.0 operating system, you do have the option to upgrade to Android 10.

Product Features

  • USB-C 3.1
  • 4K video at 30FPS with front and back camera. 4K at 60FPS with the back camera
  • 4000mAh battery with 21W fast charging and 9W wireless charging
  • water resistant up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes
  • 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage

Google Pixel 4a 5.8″

Whilst this option is technically a dual SIM phone, it operates a little differently. This has the option to work with a regular SIM alongside an e-SIM. Meaning there is not physical card, but rather a digital one. This isn’t likely to be much of a caveat however as a fair few networks do commonly offer this service. It could be an issue if going abroad, however.

Google have skimped slightly on power, running with a Snapdragon 730G processor and Adreno 618 graphics, and with a 60Hz refresh rate. Any lag, however, isn’t really noticeable when supported by the FHD OLED screen and 1080 x 2340 px resolution. Plus that 6GB RAM is good enough to keep you multi-tasking smoothly. A little light on mod-cons, but the Pixel 4a works very well, operating with Android 10, with the option to upgrade to Android 11. It also comes with some pretty nifty flagship features, like the recorder app which transcribes audio. A great option for writers who do a bit of interviewing!

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If you aren’t too fussed about having a large collection of camera lenses, this could be your go-to. You get one 12.2MP lens at the back, and a front facing 8MP cut-out lens for your buck. Image capture is good however, and you still have the option to record up to 4K video at 30FPS.

At 5.81 inches, this is the smaller display in this review, though for some this is a major plus. it is small enough to use one handed, and you can drag down the menu from anywhere on the screen. You can also use the rear mounted fingerprint reader to drag down the menu as well! It’s these little touches that make it worth considering.

It is a fairly subdued model, with a classic black plastic back and Gorilla glass 3 keeping your device free from dinks and scratches. Simply put, it is a slightly underwhelming model in terms of this review, and there are other options around the price point that give you more for your money. But it does have a few redeeming features that have earned its place in this review of dual SIM phones.

Product Features

  • 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G
  • 4K video at 30FPS
  • 3140mAh battery with 18W fast charging
  • USB-C 3.1
Photo by Meghan Schiereck on Unsplash

Dual Sim Smartphones Explored

Hopefully by now you feel confident enough to go out and get the best dual SIM phone for your budget and requirements! But the key takeaways here are to assess your own needs. Do you need extra storage? Will you be able to compromise on this with a hybrid SIM card slot? And what will you be using your phone for? An avid gamer is more apt to go for the Asus ROG or the LG option, whereas a budding film maker might want to consider the Asus or the Galaxy S20. If you are wanting quality at an epic price, the Realme 6 Pro will not steer you wrong. As these are all fairly new models, with some coming out this year, whatever you choose, you will find smooth quality and snappy action in each.

If you have found this review helpful, share it with your friends. And let us know if you are using one of the options, we love to know how they stand up to the time test!