DUALSIM Mini Helps You Manage Multiple SIMs

DUALSIM Mini Helps You Manage Multiple SIMs

Global travellers often use more than one SIM card at once to save on phone costs. By letting you run two SIMs in a single phone, the DUALSIM Mini saves you constant SIM card swapping. Is that a useful option for road warriors?

After several years of making work-related trips to the UK and other countries, I think I’ve got my phone costs under reasonably tight control. I use a separate SIM card when in Britain, which saves me paying exorbitant roaming charges for my existing number. It also means my Australian phone number doesn’t start ringing at 3am in the morning.

The negative part of that approach is that I have to swap the Australian and UK SIMs in and out of my phone several times a journey, which is annoying and potentially risky to the cards themselves given my longstanding klutz status.

The DUALSIM Mini — the second double-SIM phone from Australian phone developer DUALSIM — aims to solve that problem by allowing you to insert two SIM cards in a single phone. You can switch each SIM on and off individually — an option which DUALSIM suggests can be used to distinguish work and personal phones, but can also be used if you travel and want to pop in a cheaper pay-as-you SIM for local calls in that country and keep your home number silent during the wee small hours.

I’ve been testing the Mini on a trip to Europe, and on the whole I’ve been pretty impressed. In the past, I’ve tended to simply leave a blunt message saying “I’m not checking this phone” on my Australian voicemail, and largely relied on my Europe-only SIM. While I’ve still got the blunt message, having my Australian SIM active as well does make it less likely I’ll miss important messages.

What are the downsides? The DUALSIM Mini is GSM-only, which means it won’t offer great coverage Australia-wide. If you’re used to working with a full-keypad smart phone, as I am, it’s also restrictive to go back to entering text via a phone keypad.

Battery life only seems to run a couple of days even with fairly minimal usage, though perhaps that’s to be expected given the need to track multiple signals. Needing to confirm which SIM you want to use every time you make a call is also a little tiring, but perhaps inevitable with this kind of approach.

With an RRP of $299 for what is, double SIMs aside, a rather basic candybar phone, the DUALSIM Mini is a little on the costly side. But if you do need to regularly use more than one SIM on the road, it’s worth considering.

Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman occasionally wonders if he couldn’t solve these problems better with Skype. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.


  • This option is great if you want to keep a prepaid sim card on your phone to call your mistresses. You don’t want those numbers to show up in your normal phone bill. 😉

  • You can buy a second unlocked GSM phone for less than $100 these days, so it doesn’t worth paying $299 for dual SIM phone.

    Another option is to redirect calls from your mobile to another number. For example getting an australian fixed phone number from Skype and redirecting calls to that number. After that you can receive calls using Skype while online or redirect to any overseas phone number by paying Skype international call rates, which are significantly cheaper compared to roaming fees.

    • divert is a bad and complex substitute for for carrying a dualsim mini mobile phone, diverting only works for voice calls and you are paing for the divertions each time, even if you dont answer the calls.
      With the mini i noticed you also get all your SMS messages from both SIM while you are overseas, this is a feature people sometimes do not realise the dualsim has over other phones.
      The bluetooth also works on both phones at the same time, i found you can connect both lines to the same bluetooth, whilst if you carried two mobiles your stuck with only 1 phone connected to your bluetooth handset.

  • Another Option is to use: http://www.pennytel.com/

    You can have a Local Australian Land Line number that people can call you on and have that ring one or all your numbers while you are travelling. This gives the flexability of having more then just Two SIM cards while travelling as long as you update the website with your new numbers.

    The call rates are cheap also.

    This solution (unlike the skype one) will not require you to be Online or have a fast internet connection. It costs a little more but not as bad as global roaming.

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