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Buying a dual SIM phone? Know the difference between Dual Active and Dual Standby


When buying a dual SIM mobile phone there is one feature that creates a lot of confusion among the customers. It is important to know what Dual Active and Dual Standby really means. Because once you open the handset box pack, there is no turning back.

So you want to buy a dual SIM and the specifications say it supports dual Standby, do you really know what it is or are you just happy that you can use 2 SIM on a single phone. In most cases customers get disappointed because they never understood the feature.

Dual Standby phone


The market is filled with a lot of low cost or high end phones that supports dual Standby mode. Read the word carefully and you will understand what it really means. Dual + Standby, this means the phone supports dual SIM but in Standby mode. In simple words when none of the SIM are used then both the SIM’s are active but when you are using a particular SIM the other SIM becomes inactive.

Another issue with dual standby phones that support 3G is that, when the 3G / 2G network is used the other SIM becomes inactive. Usually you will not notice this issue with normal usage, but try downloading a big file or watch a streaming YouTube video, the other SIM will be unreachable.

In dual standby if a person is using SIM 1 and another person is calling on SIM 2 they will hear the message “not reachable, try again later”.

Many of the dual SIM users usually talk more on one particular SIM and the other SIM is basically for their personal use – not so important, they don’t really have any issues with this mode. If you want both the SIM’s active at all times then this is not the feature you should are looking for.

Dual Active phone


Again as the same suggest its Dual phone with active mode which means both the SIM’s are active all the time. Dual active is relatively easier to understand. Use SIM 1 or SIM 2 for voice calls or net surfing the other SIM is always active you can still receive calls on the other SIM and even switch calls for example, you can keep the caller on SIM 1 on hold and talk to the other user on SIM 2.

There are very few dual Active phones available in India, so if you need this functionality make sure you choose the right option.

The Dual Standby phones use a single transceiver which at a given time can server only one SIM, whereas most dual Active phones comes dual transceiver, one for each SIM.

Do check before you buy the dual active phone because even when the manufacture says that it is dual active it still works like a dual standby.

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