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Best Dual-SIM Phone 2023: Smartphone Reviews & Buying Advice
Separate business and pleasure with a dual-SIM phone
By Dominic Preston
Deputy Editor, Tech Advisor JUN 30, 2023 11:48 am BST
Dual-SIM smartphones let you use two SIM cards in a single phone. Most people who use them find the functionality useful for mixing work and pleasure, saving them from carrying separate phones for their work and personal lives.
Dual-SIM phones are also useful for maintaining two personal contracts, whereby one might offer a good rate on calls and texts and the other offers unlimited data. Or perhaps you frequently travel abroad and would like to carry your usual SIM for when you’re at home and another that’s local to the country you’re visiting.
These days you don’t even need two physical SIMs to achieve this dual-SIM functionality. Some phones support physical dual-SIM along with eSIM, which means you can have one standard SIM installed in the phone and use another via eSIM.
To keep things simple, in this list we’re only including phones that allow you to use two physical SIM cards. That means you won’t find any iPhones, Pixels, or other phones that require you to use eSIM for the second number, as while the tech is improving, it’s not widely adopted enough yet, and we wanted to avoid confusion. You’ll find an explainer on iPhone and Pixel dual-SIM options further down at the bottom of the page.
Bear in mind that sometimes smartphones sold in the West are single-SIM variants, whereas alternative models of that very same phone sold elsewhere in the world are dual-SIM. We’re focussed on phones released in the US and/or UK for this list, and have only included models that officially support two physical SIMs in those markets.
Best dual-SIM phones
1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Best overall
- Outstandingly fast
- Very good cameras
- Excellent battery life
- Lovely premium object
- Slower charging than key rivals
- Poor selfie camera
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is our second-favourite phone right now – but since the Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t support two physical SIMs, Samsung’s flagship manages to top this particular ranking. It arguably deserves it too: it’s more powerful, probably has better cameras, and includes stylus support.
The camera is one of the best in any phone, with a 200Mp main shooter backed up by an ultrawide and two telephoto lenses at different zoom levels. It’s a shame that the 12Mp selfie camera lets the phone down, but otherwise photos here are excellent.
The expansive 6.8in LTPO AMOLED display delivers both high WQHD+ resolution and adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, and with S-pen stylus support it comfortably fills the productivity niche of the former Note phones.
If you like big phones, and can afford Samsung’s asking price, this is probably the best around – but it won’t suit everyone.
Read our full
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review
2. OnePlus 11 – Best for performance
- Fast performance
- Competitive price
- Strong cameras
- Five years of software support
- No wireless charging
- Not fully waterproof
If you want an Android smartphone with top specs in 2023 that’s designed to stay fast and will have software support till 2028, the OnePlus 11 is a great choice. It’s also one of the cheapest high-end phones to offer this.
The absence of wireless charging shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for most people. After all, this phone has an excellent screen, top cameras, good battery life and truly fast charging, and phenomenal performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The lack of full waterproofing is more annoying to us.
OnePlus can’t just stand still, it also must evolve – luckily for us, the OnePlus 11 is a fine evolution and one of the best phones you can buy for a price that undercuts many competing products.
Read our full
OnePlus 11 review
3. Motorola Moto G62 – Best budget dual-SIM
- Tidy hardware & software
- 120Hz display
- 5G connectivity
- Strong battery life
- Performance isn’t 120Hz-worthy
- Slow 15W charging
- Camera struggles in less than optimal lighting
Not every budget phone includes dual-SIM support, and even fewer include support for two physical SIM cards and 5G networking. Enter the Moto G62.
While it fails to stand out in any one particular area, the combination of a 120Hz display, a fairly current Snapdragon 480+ processor, 5G connectivity, and an affordable price tag is surprisingly difficult to come by. Its stamina is excellent, and Motorola’s light-touch UI continues to be the best on the affordable phone scene.
The major drawback here is a familiar one. With margins so tight at this end of the market, 5G connectivity feels like a luxury. It’s one that takes an inevitable toll on performance, storage, and charging speeds. If you want more power for the price, look to the 4G-only alternatives. But if you insist on 5G connectivity, the Moto G62 is one of your best bets at the price.
Read our full
Motorola Moto G62 review
4. OnePlus Nord 2T – Best mid-range dual-SIM
- Affordable price
- Strong main camera
- Super-fast charging
- Only 90Hz display
- Only 2 Android updates
An outstanding follow-up to 2021’s best mid-range phone, with 80W fast charging, 5G, OnePlus’s signature Oxygen OS user experience, and a near-flagship main camera. What’s not to love?
What the OnePlus Nord 2T really demonstrates is the company’s ability to prioritise the features that users are looking for right now and wrapping them up in an attractive package with a compelling price point.
The Nord 2T misses out on flagship niceties like wireless charging and waterproofing, but those are really the only compromises made here.
Read our full
OnePlus Nord 2T review
5. Asus Zenfone 10 – Best compact dual-SIM
- Distinctive, compact design
- Fantastic battery life
- Strong specs
- Only two Android updates promised
- Camera is not top tier
- Slow 30W charging
The Zenfone 10 is a full-force flagship in a small size, and with remarkably few compromises for it.
The 5.9in display is one of the smallest on the market, especially on the Android side, though the phone is about the same size as an iPhone 14 or Galaxy S23 overall.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and up to 16GB of RAM mark this as a serious performance phone, and it also packs excellent battery life, which puts other compact smartphones to shame.
The gimbal-stabilised main camera impresses, especially at night, though you can definitely find better cameras elsewhere for the same price, including some with a telephoto lens. It’s also a shame that Asus is only promising two major Android updates, though it will at least receive security support until 2027.
Read our full
Asus Zenfone 10 review
6. Samsung Galaxy S23+
- Bright, sharp, flat screen
- Great battery life
- Five years of software support
- Solid, versatile cameras
- 45W charging a little slow
- Software takes some tweaking
The Galaxy S23+ isn’t the best phone on the market at any one thing. But it’s a great phone at almost everything, with few flaws so long as you can manage the fairly steep price.
A slick, simple design is paired with top Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 performance, long battery life, and a versatile triple rear camera array. Throw in Samsung’s promise of five years of software support and this begins to look like an incredibly practical choice.
Besides the price the main downside is the 45W wired charging, which is fine, but slower than other options at the price. The smaller Galaxy S23 is a little cheaper, but slightly harder to recommend thanks to even slower charging and shorter battery life, though you may find those trade-offs worth it for the smaller size.
Read our full
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review
7. Xiaomi 13 Pro
- Class-leading performance
- Excellent main camera
- Impressive 120W charging
- Solid battery life
- Unintuitive software
- Huge rear camera module
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is a top-tier flagship, but what stands out most is its main rear camera, featuring an enormous 1in sensor that captures more light for stunning results.
That main shooter may be the standout, but all of the Leica lenses impress, though the trade-off is putting up with an enormous rear camera bump. The regular Xiaomi 13 is a little more compact, but doesn’t pack as powerful a camera.
The software experience can be frustrating too – we don’t love Xiaomi’s MIUI – but performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is absolutely fantastic, with its improved power efficiency and a larger battery delivering significant battery life improvements.
Read our full
Xiaomi 13 Pro review
8. Oppo Find N2 Flip
- Sturdy, gapless hinge design
- Excellent main camera
- Big cover display
- Good battery
- No water-resistance
- No wireless charging
- Unreliable Bluetooth
We usually recommend the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 as the best flip phone around, but it has one disadvantage: it only supports a single physical SIM card, requiring eSIM if you want to use two numbers. Enter the Oppo Find N2 Flip.
The Find N2 Flip is a match for the Samsung on almost every spec, and has it beat on camera performance and charging speeds. Throw in a sturdier, gapless hinge and its expansive cover display and you might wonder if it isn’t the best flip phone out there after all.
Really, the only downsides are the lack of water-resistance or wireless charging, plus some spotty Bluetooth performance. Small faults, and enough to make the Find N2 Flip easy to recommend, and an excellent two-SIM option.
Read our full
Oppo Find N2 Flip review
9. Motorola Edge 30 Ultra
- 144Hz OLED display
- Best-in-class performance
- Excellent value
- Phenomenal battery & charging
- Camera is good, but not great
- Poor IP rating
Some phones are great for what they do, others are great for how little they cost doing it.
The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra stands out because it offers the best of an Android flagship while costing a lot less than most of the competition. The 144Hz OLED display is pretty much unheard of outside gaming phones, the 125W charging is among the fastest around, and the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip is blisteringly fast. Oh, and the battery lasts for two full days, easy.
All that, and it costs just £749/€899, making it an absolute bargain. You’ll have to live with IP54 rather than IP68 water-resistance, and a camera that’s good but not quite great, but those feel like small concessions to make for a phone as good as this.
Read our full
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra review
10. Xiaomi 13
- Small and stunning design
- Powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
- Excellent main camera
- Middling battery life
- Cluttered OS
- Competitors offer more for the money
On the hardware front, the Xiaomi 13 is extremely well built, and more durable than the previous generation. The main camera produces clear, crisp shots, even in darker conditions, and we can’t ignore its impressive performance.
It’s a little low on this list because its price puts it head-to-head with some of the leading smartphones of this past year, and sadly it doesn’t quite measure up to some of the competition, especially with the bloated and confusing MIUI software.
Read our full
Xiaomi 13 review
Buying guide for dual-SIM phones
How do dual-SIM phones work?
Something we’ve noticed when shopping for dual-SIM phones is that the manufacturer very rarely provides any information about the functionality other than it exists. It doesn’t tell you how the dual-SIM functionality works in practice, nor whether both SIMs support 4G/5G, or even what size SIM cards they accept.
You can never assume; you’ll need to contact the manufacturer or check spec tables, reviews, or forums to find out this information.
In all the dual-SIM phones we’ve tested, both SIMs are on standby at all times (known as dual-standby phones), but you can actively use only one SIM at a time. This means that either SIM can accept a phone call or text at any time, without you having to actively swap between them or reboot the phone.
However, if you get a call on one number while a call is active on the other, it won’t start ringing in your ear or give you the option to put the first caller on hold – the call will simply not be successful.
What is the difference between Dual-Standby and Dual-Active?
Dual-active SIM phones use two modems and allow you to receive calls on both numbers at once.
If it’s you who wants to make a call or send a text, Android has a standard SIM Management menu that lets you specify which SIM should be used for voice calls, video calls, messages and mobile data. You can either specify a particular SIM for each of these tasks, or leave the setting as ‘Always Ask’.
The data connection is where there seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to dual-SIM phones. Whereas both SIM slots on some dual-SIM phones are capable of supporting 4G or 5G connections, you can use data connectivity on only one SIM at a time.
Unlike with calls and texts, typically speaking the data connection can’t be on standby for both SIMs; you must specify which SIM you want to use rather than select one when prompted – though some phones will let you set them to switch to the other SIM when the first can’t make a connection.
By default, when you are using the data connection on one SIM and a phone call comes in to the other, it will pause the data connection on the first.
Can you use dual-SIM with a microSD card?
If you want to take advantage of both SIM card slots and expandable storage, your options will be a little limited.
While most phones with expandable microSD storage also offer dual-SIM, typically the SD card has to use that second SIM slot, forcing you to choose between storage and the SIM.
If this is a priority for you, make sure to check reviews and specs carefully for phones that support two SIMs and a microSD card simultaneously – there are some out there – or look out for a combo of microSD and eSIM support.
Are there any dual-SIM iPhones?
Yes and no. iPhones only ship with two physical SIM trays in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau – so if you don’t live there, then you can’t use two physical SIM cards in an iPhone. That’s why we haven’t included any iPhones in our list above.
However, every iPhone that supports eSIM – those from the XS and XR onwards – allows you to use a single physical SIM card along with an eSIM, and those from the iPhone 13 onwards even allow you to set up dual-SIM with two eSIMs.
Are there any dual-SIM Google Pixel phones?
It’s a similar story for Google as for Apple. Phones from the 3a onwards allow you to use a single physical SIM along with a second eSIM, while the latest models – from the 7 onwards – include support for dual eSIM.
However, none of the Pixel phones all you to install two physical SIM cards simultaneously.
- Best phone deals
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Author: Dominic Preston, Deputy Editor
Tech Advisor’s Deputy Editor, Dom covers everything that runs on electricity, from phones and laptops to wearables, audio, gaming, smart home, and streaming – plus he’s a regular fixture on the Tech Advisor YouTube channel.
Chipset Definition of Cheap Cell Phones / Sudo Null IT News
What do I mean by “cheap cell phones”: produced in the last 3 years (i.e. not refurbished), sold in Russia, cheaper than the cheapest smartphones (less than 2500r).
Probably the most effective method is to disassemble the phone and look at the chips on the board, but I don’t consider this – it’s difficult, the warranty is lost and you can break it. So I suggest other ways.
You can find out the chip manufacturer by the device code from the USB connection. Connect your phone in a mode other than charging. In Linux, you can see the connected USB devices with the command lsusb . In Windows, somewhere in the device manager (I haven’t worked with Windows for a long time, so I can’t give exact instructions for this OS).
The first part of the device number is the manufacturer’s code:
1782:xxxx – Spreadtrum
0e8d:xxxx – MediaTek
1e04:xxxx – RDA
A device with an RDA code may have the Spreadtrum name because the RDA has merged with this company. RDA chips are even inscribed in Spreadtrum numbers under the number SC6533, with different chips under the same number.
Phones also have special codes that are dialed in the form of a number, when they work, and information from them, you can determine the manufacturer and (if you’re lucky) the name of the chipset. You do not need to press the call button, if the firmware supports the code, it will open the corresponding menu as soon as you entered the last character.
This is quite confusing as the chip is made up of different components and each has its own version. The names SC6531DA / SC6531E that you can find on sites with firmware and phone specifications – as I understand it, this is not a version of a chip, but an API version of this chip, the code compiled for a certain API is compatible with all chips using it.
#*8378#0# – test launch menu
#*8378#1# – engineering menu
#*8378#2# – firmware and/or hardware version, sometimes only firmware version code 0 or 1 is not recognized, but so far I have not seen that both did not work on Spreadtrum. In the test launch menu, there is often an item called “Version Info”, the name of the item can be translated into Russian.
In the engineering menu there should be an item “Phone info”, where “CHIP TYPE” can be specified, one of these:
This is SC6531DA – if SC6531 or SC6531BA is specified
This is SC6531E – if SC6531EFM or SC6531EFM_AB is specified
Also in the “Phone info” of some firmware, the screen model is indicated, or as “LCD ID”, or “LCM ID”.
“Version Info” from test menu or code #*8378#2# , contains “MMI version”, or “HW version” ending in “_BAR”:
This is SC6531DA – if SC6500_BAR or SC6531_BAR is specified
This is SC6531E – if specified SC6531EFM_BAR
It looks like a typo in the firmware, but it came across in a new phone model, the chipset of which is definitely SC6531DA. Therefore, it may occur in others. Since SC6500 chips are either no longer found, or are found only in rare phones with a monochrome screen, I propose to consider “MMI version: SC6500_BAR” on a phone with a color screen as a sign of SC6531DA.
More about Spreadtrum
There is an indirect indication of the difference between DA and E. Phones on the SC6531E can be connected to USB without a battery, and the screen will indicate that charging is in progress. You can even select the connection type when connecting to a computer. If you want to run the OS (firmware) without a battery, then a short time after the OS starts, the phone will turn off. Phones on the SC6531DA do not turn on without a battery.
Phones that are sold with a chipset listed as SC6531H – by all indications, this is SC6531E, only with increased RAM (8 MB) and support for larger screens.
The easiest way to identify an RDA is code *#8376# shows the versions of all hardware, including the LCD screen model.
Unfortunately, I did not find any stable codes for MediaTek. Although when connected in firmware update mode (USB download), it is very easy to find out the version from MediaTek (it is enough to request reading 16 bits at 0x80000008, this is the chipset number, but it is better to write a separate article about this).
The only code that works more or less stably is *#8375# , it shows either the firmware version or opens the test launch menu. But this code is the same as the code for the RDA, which also shows the firmware version. On some firmware, this code does not work either.
Used on more advanced feature phones with Spreadtrum chipsets, the same chips can be used in the cheapest smartphones, these are SC7715 or SC7731. This operating system is a modified Android 4.4, look for the “about phone” item in the settings, there will be the name of the chipset.
That’s it. If you have secret knowledge not listed in this article, then write about it in the comments. Just not about smartphones, please.
If you have a push-button phone on SC6531E or SC6531DA, and Phone Info from the engineering menu indicates the screen model – then write the name and version in the comments (or personally to me). It will help me understand which common screen models to support. The firmware of one phone model usually supports 3-4 LCD screen models.
Which phones will get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 first
We finally got a new Qualcomm processor. This is the most anticipated mobile chip of recent times – Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. After the event, almost all major smartphone manufacturers announced their intentions to release phones with this chip on board. While many of them should have made similar claims, at least one brand surprised us. Let’s see which brands and in which models will use the new chip. After all, this time its spread, despite the crisis in the semiconductor industry, is expected to be very fast and rapid.
This processor turned out better than we expected.
- 1 When will Xiaomi 13 come out and what will it look like
- 2 OnePlus 11 with new processor
- 3 OPPO FIND X8 release date
- 4 New VIVO phone
- 5 i QOO 11 is another phone with the new Snapdragon
- 6 MOTO X40 is another phone with a new processor0111
Xiaomi 13 has long been the most talked about phone when it comes to the new processor. It was rumored to be the first phone in the world to offer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to users. Now that the chip is out, there is every reason to believe that those rumors were true.
Weibo’s channel stated that Xiaomi’s flagship will pioneer the market. Moreover, the upcoming phone should appear in stores at the end of the month. According to the official introduction, Xiaomi will deepen the cooperation between software and hardware. That is, we should get not only a phone with the most powerful processor, but also with good optimization, which will take it to a new level.
Qualcomm has released Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the processor for the best phones of 2023.
OnePlus 11 with new
processor OnePlus has also released an announcement confirming that the upcoming OnePlus 11 series of flagship phones will feature Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Prior to this, we heard that this device will come with a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with aperture and QHD resolution. The screen refresh rate is predictably 120Hz.
We only have renderings for now, OnePlus 11 itself will come later.
In addition, OnePlus 11 will have 16 GB of storage and a 5000 mAh battery with support for 100W fast charging. The rear camera will include a 50MP main camera lens, a 48MP ultra wide-angle lens, and a 32MP telephoto lens. In this case, the front camera will have a resolution of 16 megapixels. And all this in collaboration with Hasselblad, also to achieve a more natural and high-quality image. This phone will be available for purchase on in the first quarter of 2023 .
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OPPO FIND X8 release date
OPPO has released a technical demo video showing the imaging effect and application area of hardware ray tracing on mobile devices from different angles.
First, in complex outdoor scenes, hardware ray tracing can improve the effect of multiple and surface reflections. This is to display local and external reflections from water or metal using light tracking technology. In addition, before that, we knew that the first OPPO phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip will be the new Find X, namely the Find X6.
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New VIVO phone
Although we expected VIVO to be one of the first phones with the new processor, it is not. The company said that the VIVO smartphone will come with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, but did not mention the exact launch time and the specific model.
VIVO X90 will be something like this.
However, VIVO X9 flagship phone series0 is due November 22nd. At least one of the models in the family is equipped with the Dimensity 9200 chip. But there is every reason to believe that VIVO will use a dual-chip strategy and release the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 version.
iQOO 11 is another phone with the new Snapdragon
Sub-brand VIVO has confirmed that the iQOO 11 will feature the new chip. A VIVO phone with model number V2243A has appeared on GeekBench. Most likely, this is the future model.
The test platform shows that the machine has a score of 1451 in single-core mode and 4681 in multi-core mode. As well as 3.19GHz ultra-high core frequency and Android 13 operating system. In addition, this VIVO phone passed 3C certification at the beginning of the month. Then we learned that the device will come with a 120W charger.
The new standard version of iQOO 11 also will use the Samsung E6 screen with 2K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The top version of the novelty will have a storage configuration of 16 GB + 512 GB.
iQOO 11 always offers a very interesting design.
MOTO X40 is another phone with the new
processor Lenovo will also join the fuss with its flagship Moto X40. This device has managed to get various certifications in China. So there is no doubt that he will be among the first.
From these certifications, we learned that Moto X40 will use 6.67-inch 1080P OLED screen and have a selfie camera hole located in the top center. In addition, there will be a square triple camera module that includes a 50MP main camera, a 50MP ultra-wide angle lens, and a 12MP portrait lens.
This phone is not a frequent guest in Russia, but it will also receive Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. So, it must be mentioned.
The device will be equipped with a built-in 4950/4450 mAh battery with 68W/125W fast charging support. The thickness of the case is 8.5 mm, and the weight of the phone is 196 g.