People who want to field two different phone numbers in a single device may want to consider investing in a dual SIM smartphone. This way, it is possible to have two different cell phone numbers without having to carry two separate mobile phones.
What Is a SIM Card?
When you look at a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) cell phone like those offered by Rogers Wireless and AT&T, they come with a slot where a SIM card can be inserted. Standing for Subscriber Identity Module, this fingernail-sized card is used to identify the mobile phone and connect it to the appropriate mobile phone number. Without this card, your mobile phone will not know that it should be linked to your cell phone account.
This is different from how CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) cell phone providers, like Verizon Wireless, operate. With those carriers, the phone itself uses its identification number to connect to the appropriate account and service. However, most international phone providers make use of the GSM standard and, as such, use SIM cards.
By having a dual SIM smartphone, you can effectively have a single mobile phone that has two "identities" and two different phone numbers. It is acting as if it is two separate cell phones altogether.
Dual SIM Smartphone Handsets
Since it is a very specialized niche and there isn't much of a market for these kinds of devices, not too many smartphones feature more than one SIM card slot. Among wireless carriers in Canada and the United States, no dual SIM smartphone is officially offered. In order to get this kind of phone in North America, you need to look to overseas sellers and other venues to find an unlocked phone with two SIM card slots.
Listed here are a few examples of smartphones that have dual SIM card capabilities.
Acer Tempo DX900
When asking about who makes the best smartphones, the conversation very rarely turns to Acer of Taiwan. This company is much better known for its computer products, including desktop computers, laptop computers, LCD monitors, and other similar items. Even so, it does delve into other areas as well, among which are its smartphone offerings.
The one relevant to this article is the Acer Tempo DX900, which is also known more simply as the Acer DX900. This smartphone features a 2.8-inch touchscreen display and is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It is also the world's first smartphone with dual SIM slots to support both 3G and 2G SIM cards.
Other highlights include integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, a 3.15-megapixel digital camera, a secondary VGA videocall camera, and a SiRFStar III chipset for GPS.
Gigabyte GSmart S1205
Much like Acer, Gigabyte is a company better known for its computer products. It has some netbooks and notebooks, but its core business is with computer motherboards. Even so, it has a dual SIM smartphone among its product portfolio known as the Gigabyte GSmart S1205.
This is a little newer than the Acer phone, coming pre-loaded with Windows Mobile 6.5. It also has an in-house developed Smart Pack user interface that works on top of the Windows Mobile framework. While it has a 3.2-inch display and a three-megapixel fixed-focus camera, the GSmart S1205 lacks 3G connectivity, which is a must for today's discerning mobile Internet user.
Not exactly a household name in North America, Haier is a Chinese company best known for its household appliances. Expanding beyond this realm, the company has produced the Haier HG-N99. There are two slots for SIM cards on this phone, but you cannot make simultaneous phone calls with both accounts. However, it is possible to receive two calls and field them both.
The smartphone also includes a WAP browser, two-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, a messaging suite, mini-USB connectivity, and a microSD card slot for extra memory.
Nokia C2 Smartphone
Despite its otherwise humble appearance, the Nokia C2 (also known as the C2-00) is one of the few devices from major cell phone manufacturers to feature two SIM card slots. The relatively basic phone has a standard numeric keypad, 1.8-inch color display, a hot-swapppable external SIM slot, 3.5mm audio jack, Java support, and a simple VGA resolution digital camera.