Phones that can maintain two carrier network connections at once have been around for a while, but haven't seen mass adoption anywhere but emerging markets, where those are very, very popular. So popular that there are local brands you've never heard of that make boatloads of them.
The reason they haven't been very popular in developed markets are the usual lengthy contracts carriers here shackle you with, and the fact that they've mainly been feature phones so far. As everything else in the mobile world, the recent onslaught of dual SIM phones with Android is about to change the perception about those humble work horses that let you balance two network connections simultaneously
If you want to take advantage of two good carrier plans at once, use one number for family and friends and another for work, or simply can't resist that great new data plan, but your contract still has mileage left in it, a decent dual SIM phone might come to the rescue, and, with Android, you don't have to sacrifice on apps and features anymore, too.
That's why we've rounded up a few freshly announced brand-name dual SIM Android handsets in the slideshow below to help with your choice when one Subscriber Identity Module just won't cut it. All of these with maybe the exception of the HTC Desire 600
, should be hovering in the sub-$300 price range without a contract, making them very affordable, too.
Best dual SIM Android phones
Best dual SIM Android phones
We found the dual SIM quad-core Liquid E2 to be fast, with a good 8 MP camera capable of 1080p video and almost stock Android 4.2, in addition to its other virtues like a 4.5" qHD display and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. These make it the best spec'd dual SIM phone out there. Chassis design could be slimmer, but for less than $300 without a contract we'll let it slide.
Looking as just another Galaxy phone from Samsung, the Win can house two SIM cards in dual active mode. Samsung Galaxy Win has a 4.7″ 480 x 800 Super AMOLED display, which sets it apart, a 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 5 MP rear camera, VGA up front, 8 GB of internal memory plus a microSD slot, and a decent 2000 mAh battery. Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean rounds up the pretty offering.
The LG Optimus L7 II is a mid-ranger meant for developing markets where the dual SIM feature is hugely appreciated. It arrives for a relatively affordable price of $280 off contract (280 euro in Europe), right at the start of the mid-range segment. It is easy to like for its just-right-size 4.3-inch screen, great dual-SIM implementation and huge battery, as well as for its nice and functional Optimus skin.
The Desire 600 offers that little something to stand out in the otherwise mundane world of dual SIM Android phones. It features dual front stereo speakers with BoomSound
, like the flagship HTC One
, a 4.5-inch Super LCD2 display with 960 x 540 resolution, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor, and 8 MP rear camera recording 720p video. HTC's BlinkFeed news and social aggregator will also be present.
The Samsung Galaxy Core is a lower mid-range model with a 4.3" WVGA display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5MP camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It will come in a Dual SIM variant, where the two SIM card slots will be able to remain active simultaneously. The Galaxy Core will come with the TouchWiz Nature UX and all of its useful features like Smart Stay, S Voice and Smart Alert, with the last one alerting you to missed calls and messages once you pick the phone up.