Dual SIM Phones in Australia

Dual SIM HTC

Here’s just a brief rant from me on the lack of certain phone’s availability in our land of Aus.

I’m in the market for a good Dual SIM phone, and my research on the subject has led me to a lot of surprises.

TLDR: There are no reasonably priced good Dual SIM smartphones in Australia.

With Dual SIM phones there are a variety of considerations to be made, first up is the mode of operation of Dual SIMs, the types I will list here:

Dual SIM, single standby: You will likely not see one of these in the wild, it has 2 slots but you have to manually swap SIMs, they can’t both be ready (on standby) to receive calls and text.

Dual SIM Dual Standby: Both SIM are ready to be used at all times, as soon as one takes a call, then the other becomes inactive and can’t recieve calls, text or data.

Dual SIM Dual Active: Both SIMs are always active, you can take a call on one SIM while already on the phone on the other. This mode requires 2 radio paths, one for each SIM which increases cost and reduces battery life.

Most phones we’re interested in are Dual SIM Dual Standby, and this is where things get really frustrating.

Almost every phone I’ve looked at is 4G/3G/2G on the primary SIM, and 2G only on the secondary, and Telstra has shut down their 2G network with Optus and Vodafone to follow shortly, making this setup completely useless in Australia.

The exceptions I’ve found to this are the Motorola Moto G4 Plus XT1642 which is sold out at Kogan, and is not quite what I’d categorise as good – and the OnePlus 3, which is not available in Australia also the¬†XIAOMI MI5

In addition to the very few phones that can do 4G/3G on one SIM and 3G on the other at the same time it is almost impossible to get that information out of the manufacturer websites and in the event that the frequencies are listed for the two SIMs, often times the phone will force the secondary SIM (designated in the Android Settings) to 2G only, even though you can manually switch it back to 4G/3G, which makes the other SIM 2G only.

The only way to be sure a Dual SIM phone will work in Australia is to trawl through countless forums looking for people that have the device and two SIMs to confirm they work on 3G simultaneously, then import it on the grey market, because heaven forbid anyone carry the OnePlus range or the Cat S60 (Which doesn’t seem to be a proper Dual SIM anyway)

About Sean 3 Articles
PC Gaming enthusiast, spends more time building and tweaking hardware than playing games. Fan of arcade car racing games, multiplayer co-operative FPS and space RPGs in particular.

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  1. End of Telstra’s 2G network has knocked out my dual SIM phone’s utility >> effect of shutdown of 2G on dual SIM phones >> which dual SIM phones now work in Australia? – My technical blog

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