Dual SIM phone where SIM2 does not use 2G ... any decent options?

OK, so I am in need of a dul SIM phone, sick of carrying around 2 phones all the time.

I know that with most of the duallies available, SIM2 must connect to 2G when SIM1 is on 3G or above. This will, of ourse be useless shortly with th majority of 2G being shut down shortly.
My requirements are;
Dual sim Active (so I can receive or make calls on either SIM)
Work on Telstra and Optus networks
Separate sd slot or at least 64gb on board if it is one where the microsd goes into SIM2 slot.
A decently fast processor,….not after slow n cheap
Android is a must.
5 inch screen minimum.

So far my choices appear to be:
Oneplus 2 (no nfc, not the full spectrum of LTE bands) … oneplus 1 has the NFC but slower overall.
Huwaei P8 dont know much about it yet
Moto-x play No 700mhz band
Xperia Z3 dual ?

Any advice appreciated.


  • +1

    I know that with most of the duallies available, SIM2 must connect to 2G when SIM1 is on 3G or above.

    Not most, all. :(

  • pretty sure my so's moto G 3rd gen connects to TPG on 3G on (sim 1) while the prepaid telstra sim says 4G (in slot 2)

    • +1

      Both slots may have 3/4G capability but probably not simultaneously. Whilst they're both on standby they'll both show 3/4G but as soon as one is used the other sim will either become inactive or drop to 2G. To my knowledge none of the major chipsets support simultaneous 3/4G yet.

      • +1

        Both slots may have 3/4G capability but probably not simultaneously.

        Not probably not, definitely not.

        Whilst they're both on standby they'll both show 3/4G but as soon as one is used the other sim will either become inactive or drop to 2G.

        No, even when on standby, it'll only show 2G for the SIM that isn't 3/4G.

    • pretty sure my so's moto G 3rd gen connects to TPG on 3G on (sim 1) while the prepaid telstra sim says 4G (in slot 2)

      Unfortunately, you're wrong. (I know for sure; I have one.)

      • I feared as much, probably due to the crap TPG/optus reception I get at home, I definitely saw the 4G symbol on the phone (which isn't part of our TPG plan) so I guess the TPG sim had dropped out or dropped back to 2G

    • The Moto X Play is Dual Sim Dual Standby, not DSDA. Not looking forward to the end of 2G but we'll manage.

  • Why do you need 2G? Doesn't 3G + do everything 2G does and more?

    • +1

      Dual sim phones will nearly always have one sim on 2G and the other on 3 or 4G. It's a radio hardware restriction. The phones chipsets can't function multiple sims on 3/4G at the same time.

      With the 2G networks being phased out a lot of dual sim phones will lose functionality in their second sim.

  • +2

    There aren't any dual sim active 3/4G phones yet. There are rumors that the latest dual sim Lumias could do dual active 3G but no official documents confirming it.

    The ones you listed aren't 3/4G dual active.

    • Dual-active, maybe 3/4G variants of OP-mentioned Sony Xperia Z3 + HTC One M8 and Samsung S5 Mini, available for some markets, purportedly. OP can look for specifics, if he remains keen and has hopes particularly high.

  • Dual-active = two radios, connecting simultaneously to the network.

    A struggle for manufacturers to achieve SAR limit - given differing network demands around the world and despite easier to achieve SAR ratings in some countries.

    No, Google, I didn't mean dual active sim card

    Read that first link, for a sense of why you might not want a dual-active SIM phone.

    Read this comment to understand why you might want a photographically inclined Baby Meerkat, instead.

    Priorities, OP.

    • What

      • Hello, theguyrules and you mean 'wat' or 'wut', pretty kitty.

        All my comments are entirely straightforward. Please don't suggest otherwise. It's Monday.

        • Actually yeah, 'wut' sums it up better.
          Happy Monday mate.

  • +1

    Maybe just wait, because I spoke to Telstra and they said they will be disconnecting 2G by the end of year so then dual sim on 2G would be pointless so surely they will bring out something suitable then

    • +1

      Aussie telcos are not fond of dual sim phones - they don't want you using another companies low call rates when it suits you rather than theirs. Most dual sims are imported from South East Asia and India where most people run multiple sims to make use of free call features between telcos.

      • Yes telcos don't like it, but the marketplace (china) will probably still supply the demand as they currently do for 2G.

  • +1

    I just got a Redmi Note 2. It has 2 micro sim slots, both with 4g support apparently (haven't tried dual sim yet), and also a separate micro SD slot.

    Amazing phone for under $200 shipped:


    The octa-core processor seems to perform better than my Nexus 5 so far. Good battery life. Very customisable.

    Only Android 5 at the moment, but the word is it will be getting Marshmallow eventually.

    • +1

      both sim slots support 4G, but only 1 at a time, the other defaults to 2G.

  • †We can't survive without friends or the Internet.
    Redmi Note 2 helps you stay connected round the clock with two SIM slots, both with 4G support.

    Ahwell, this is too bad, tel-cos^… Now with CN Feb.Spring festival over, Xrn2 looks like something I may get into. Emitted radiation limited to min levels +otherwise maximal battery life + all my phone service of old virtualised to a ($5)GoogleVoice & ($3)Skype VoIP 4G accounts. (or maybe freedom+.. subject to data glitch accessblty)
    Very preferable to have an alternating ntwk anyway~ swappable in a flick;)

    • If same, model not quite in keeping with the OP's Dual-SIM-Dreams. Like all models - an option, of a sort.
      From http://en.miui.com/thread-189930-1-1.html and sounds as if owner au fait -

      Redmi Note 2 using dual sim dual standby not dual sim dual active
      example : if slot sim 1 is used for data, then sim 2 only can use 2G mode and vice versa. And yes both sim card slot support 4G, i;ve been using slot 1 for data connection for several weeks & swap the sim card to slot 2 also can get 4G.
      In my opinion, the advantage using dual sim is I can set which sim card slot for data & the other for call & sms.

      I'm going to have an early night - so now actively avoiding any searches of phone specs…


      • Yes, their turn to discern difference between both modes; specs. *optional call forward may also fit there> adjoined by an XL cap.

        • Ok. Call forward, and then fashion forward, with XL cap?

          Could be to the OP's taste, I suppose, but I think that my suggestion of MK - be it on shoulder OR head, would have considerably greater appeal for the OP.

          I'm not going to argue the point beyond saying that.

          Colour me Monday Morning Surly, but frankly, daver, you have really gone off-topic with this crazy 'XL cap' angle.

          Watch step, in future. Have good day, though.

        • Badly worded, apologies, oops.

          I hoped, in case it had not been considered, that a reasonable setup diverting calls from SIM2_number, to SIM1_≥3G, would support the Q: "receive or make calls on either SIM?". I know calls are well received on telstra mobile voice&data numbers.

          I agreed OP should be right to follow up models and variants of elusive real two radios solution. Would read with a temperate interest review article I hope in time confirm these too.

        • I know calls are well received on telstra mobile voice&data numbers.

          I read a comment a while ago regarding the receipt of voice/text on Telstra data SIM's. Confirmed and not an anomaly?
          Given the number of OzBargainers doing a Telstra mobile-data juggle of one sort or another, that would be useful for some to know, if true.

        • +1

          Tested today and confirmed. Call + SMS successful between Amaysim number & "Data Pass"- no issue with receiving on Telstra mobile broadband SIM. Outbound voice blocked on MBB, SIM o.k to send SMS.

          Seasoned VoIp users sometimes appreciate this feature where you can present your Datapass number in CLID. Return any missed GSM call via SIM #2 if prefered.

    • Now that Optus has turned off their 2g network, I had a hard time finding out that the Redmi Note 2 only supports one 4G network at a time regardless of which slot you put the SIMs in, while the other defaults to 2G. In previous Xiaomi models, only the 2nd sim slot was 2G.

  • -1

    Don't exist. Why do you need 2 sims anyway. Always a mystery. Carry a $15 3G candybar that weighs 70g if you want another sim.

    • +3

      You won't understand why until you need a dual-sim phone.

      For example I have work phone, and it's much more convenient to use a dual sim phone instead of carrying two phones.

  • I have the Z3 dual.. I can tell you it only does 3G/4G on one sim and 2G on the other sim. I am holding out any purchase of dual sim phone until there is one which support BOTH active 3G/4G.

  • There are mainly two types of dual sim phones.

    1) 1 dedicated 3g/4g slot + 1 dedicated 2g slot. For example, slot 2 will always be on 2g.

    2) 2 slots which you can assign 3g/4g to. If sim 1 is set on 3g/4g sim 2 will be on 2g, and vice versa.

  • ouch I've been looking at dual sim and am glad I read this about 2g being turned off.

    Was planing to switch back and forward from normal sim and cheap sims I pick up for data and google credit.

    Type in Kogan, Dual and Duos to find the dual sims, I believe all were 2g for 2nd sim

  • Are you sure the Moto X Play is missing the 700mhz band?

    Based on gsmarena, it has band 28 for LTE.


    • The phone may well and probably does have Band 28 (given other Moto models), but…

      Anybody who has looked into the sometimes-many, overseas, single-SIM model variants of a given 'model', let alone the different dual ones, knows that accuracy of specs can be elusive.

      Dual-sim - 2,3,4G, active/standby, and band support on whichever, especially.
      Problems on Phone Arena, and everywhere else.

  • +1

    OP, having a good phone with dual sim both on 3G and above, is a good decision but,
    1- Do not sacrifice full spectrum support at any cost. I always have poor/no reception unless I am standing outside and only in CBD.
    2- Also NFC is a most, wallets, Bank cards, Opal cards, Library cards, student cards, drivers licence cards and many more soon will be a thing of the past. (Heard NSW police accepts digital copy of Driver licence)
    3- I will be looking at only USB 3 type C also.
    4- Detachable battery.
    5- MicroSD card slot.
    6- 3-4GB RAM
    7- Infra-Red is also a most, I can't carry that many remote controls that I stored in my phone.
    8- Sensors, temperature, pressure, humidity, GPS,…
    9- Wireless charging
    10- Radio
    11- Good camera
    12- Wifi AC
    13- Anything else?
    Any suggestion?

  • Lenovo K4 note

  • +2

    Oppo rep on whirlpool suggested a true dual sim (active 3G/4G on both slots at the same time) would be available this year thanks to a new chipset? Not sure when and have found zero details besides the reps comments.

  • sorry for my ignorance, but what does the 2G standby sim prevent? Is it that you don't get your emails on that sim at the same time?

    • Well, for one, by the end of this year Telstra and Optus will most likely have turned off their 2G, rendering the second sim slot 100% useless and turning it into a single SIM phone.

      • yes i said that above, is that the only problem?

        • Only problem? Within 7 and 11 months two of the three networks are shutting it down, leaving you with Vodafone being the only choice for the second simcard or the phone will lose one of its main features (being a dual sim phone).

        • @notoriousft: yes only problem. you don't need to repeat that we which we have already established.

        • @kima:
          This is a dual SIM phone thread.I found your comment a bit weird.that's all.

          end thread for me.

  • Lenovo A850 has this (2slots/1 is phone only), but is only 3G. You can check their upgraded models for 4G.
    I bought at $150 3 years ago'ish. To sum up, it's the only phone I use and I've treated it rough.
    The A850 is not top notch, it has weak points, but it works well for price.
    Plenty of Roms/Mods available.

  • Xiaomi Mi5 was said to be the first phone that has dual sim and can have them both stay at 3g(+) network simultaneously. Surely only one sim supports data and the other stays at 3g(+) network to receive call/text.

    Mi5 will not hold this unique tech from its competitors so I suppose most of Chinese phones release after the Mi5 will have the same feature.

    I guess this info is important for many of us.

    Further discussion from Xda. Check the screenshot at OP.

  • +1

    I was after the same as the OP.
    Last August I purchased the Lumia 640 LTE Dual SIM as it proudly boasts the ability to support 4G/3G/2G on both SIMs.
    Sadly, the reality is that like many of the DSDS phones touting that both SIM1 and SIM2 support 4G/3G/2G the truth is either SIM can be designated as the 'data' SIM and operate on 4G/3G/2G while the 'not currently designated as data' SIM is relegated to 2G. Telstra has sent me reminders this month and last that the 2G network shuts down in December and I need to reset my phone settings for continued service.

    Australia isn't alone with the re purposing of 2G spectrum to 4G (Telstra December 2016, Optus April 2017), China Telecom doesn't support 2G nor do Canadian operators Bell Wireless, Chatr, Chatr, Virgin Mobile and Wind with Rogers to join them in 2018.

    So what you're looking for is 'NETCOM 3.0 DSDS'.

    With NETCOM 3.0 the data SIM may use 4G/3G/2G/CDMA for data, SMS and voice (e.g. VoLTE) and the non data SIM may use 3G/2G/CDMA for voice/SMS.

    The two that I found were Xiaomi Mi 5 and Xiaomi Mi Max, neither of which you'll find at in-country retailers.

    I ordered the Xiaomi Mi 5 and now have simultaneous iiNet(Optus) 4G & Telstra 3G DSDS.

    Its not for everyone though, Xiaomi's MIUI interface is far from stock Android, you'll need to settle for an alternate default locale as Aus/NZ/UK/US aren't included in the numerous options and global LTE band coverage is less than comprehensive.
    From my notes the Mi5 bands are below; in brackets are the bands in use, under trial or announced within Australia.
    2G: Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 (900 Telstra & Optus)
    3G: 850, 900, 1900, 2100. (850 Telstra NextG, 900 Optus & V'fone, 2100 Telstra & Optus & V'fone)
    4G: B1, B3, B7, B38, B39, B40, B41. (B1 Optus & V'fone, B3 Optus & Telstra, B7 Optus & Telstra, B40 Optus 4G+, B41 future Optus 4G+ & Telstra 4GX Absent: B8 Optus & Telstra & V'fone, Band 28 Optus & Telstra, Band 5 V'fone).

    • hmmm, Just an idea.
      What about portable 4g wifi modem with portable charger?
      assuming you are carrying bag or else.

      • Might as well carry a 2nd phone if your going to do that

        • Not really, you can keep the modem in your bag while only one mobile in your pocket.

    • https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2528659

      Just add a link for extra information

  • I haven't had much luck either in finding anything so I just went with the old traditional 2G models.

    I think we will see a massive exodus from Optus/Telstra to Vodafone and its resellers come Dec 2016.

    Vodafone has committed to 2G until 2025. I think they will corner the market.

  • +1

    Just got a Xiaomi Mi 5 from Gearbest, under AUD400.

    I'm very happy to confirm it's running 4G/3G. Simultaneously.

    And it says so in the notification bar too.

    • Hi Joel, i am looking at this phone as i need dual sim for work. I currently use one sim on telstra network (for both calls and internet) and the other on amaysim (for work calls). I'm not very tech minded and i wondered if you could give me any tips or advise on this phone? i would appreciate it. Someone commented a few before you that: global LTE band coverage is less than comprehensive. I'm not sure what this means or how it would affect me. I do want the phone to work in regional and outback areas, which is why i have a sim with Telstra. Does this mean it may not work as well as some other phones with global LTE band coverage? I am hoping you have more understanding of this than me. Also, how have you found the phone? Many thanks in advance.

    • Hello Joel,

      I, like, jjj4ks, am interested to know.

      I am also reading about other phones: e.g. Sony Xperia XA Dual F3116 http://www.expansys.com.au/ft.aspx?k=327267

      Otherwise, does anyone have any experience?

      Edit- this seems to be a good link for any other readers: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/dual_sim_4g3g_phones

  • Moto G4 Plus. Local stocks are reasonably priced. Otherwise Xiaomi Mi5 is a really good phone.

  • So, the second sim (Telstra) in my OnePus 3 dual sim phone no longer operates after Telstra shut down their 2G network overnight.

    I'm looking for a replacement phone and would love recommendations.

    Key requirements are dual sim (obviously the second sim is 3G and not 2G when on standby), Snapdragon 820 or higher CPU, 5.5" screen, NFC capable (for Android Pay) and QC2/3 charging. Band 28 support would be great but not essential.

    Currently, the Xiaomi Mi 5 plus seem to top the list (based on my investigations thus far).

    • +1

      Have a look at the Moto z play which is on sale at the good guys at the moment. Doesn't have the 820 cpu but supposedly runs very well anyway, and otherwise ticks all the boxes

  • Now I'm stuck with an LG G5 dual sim but only sim1 works because Telstra shut off 2g and sim2 on the LG G5 only supports 2G. Just bought itb3 months ago and reasonably happy with the phone.

  • Lots of Asian phones are dual sim with 4G/3G, but most are missing important bands.
    e.g. Xiaomi Mi 5 has no band 28. RedMi note 3 seems to have ok compatibility, otherwise the Mi Note 2 Global is good but very $$$.
    Wondering if anyone can confirm the Galaxy S7 dual sim model is 4G/3G. Conflicting information on the web. Given the snapdragon processor it should be.

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