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General question about Dual SIM phones

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by TheRealAlpha2, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. TheRealAlpha2

    TheRealAlpha2 Lurker
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    Jan 8, 2012
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    Uh hey,

    so I've been on the hunt for a new and inexpensive phone (trying to stay under 200 bucks) and my choice is android for the second time, my previous(well current) android is a BLU Tango 2.8, inch screen (resistive) with Android 2.2, which was decent for a starter android, but after a bad encounter with water (which it actually survived to my surprise) I'm thinking it's time to trade up to something a bit more advanced and retire this one.

    Lately I've been hearing a lot about phones with the MTK6573 processors out of China and not being a stranger to unlocked phones from alternate places (not a fan of T-mobile's "plan" phones) I figured I'd look into them. The thing that gets me is they're mostly Dual SIM phones. I've been content with quadband phones and only just recently got saddled with a new data plan and the promise of T-mobile 3g. Doing some research I found that I can probably use the 2100 band for 3g and level the quadbands behind... but I wonder if my coverage goes out because say for some reason there's not 3G coverage in places where there might still be 2g/Edge will I start roaming since the stuff I've been reading about these phones seem to suggest only one SIM slot works for the 2g quadbands while the other is for the 3g bands? I'd have gone with a single sim phone, but can't seem to find any with the MTK6573 that I care for design/feature-wise, plus they all seem more expensive than the dual sims.

    Right now I'm looking at the S820 which I'm sure is probably a physical clone of something but not sure what. It's more along the lines of what I want but I'm still a little questionable on this whole Dual SIM thing.

    Also adding to my reticence is; before signing up here, a few days ago I got a hold of a Chinese i9100 (aka the A9100+ as it was once referred to, and was apparently the previous version of the HDC a9100 G2 which is a physical clone of the Samsung Galaxy G2). It was a Dual SIM phone with some customized Android 2.3.4 os (trying to pass itself off as a Honeycomb variant from the look of the start up graphic).

    Aside from a few things like built in analog tv (useless in the US thanks to the switch to Digital TV) it wasn't a horrible phone, decent screen, fair battery life, maybe not as powerful as I expected but respectably snappy in most regards. However it refused to recognize my SIM card which I've been using since my first cell phone nearly 10 years ago. Without the card it stated clearly there was no card inserted with a picture of a sim and a exclamation mark next to it on the lock screen, with a card in it said "SIM card close" but with the same graphic, which I thought was an odd error to list, but it was a definite difference between the two states. I even tried a Dummy SIM card that I've used to get function in other phones that refuse to work without a SIM to see if it would respond and it kicked back the same results; "Sim card close" with a card in it regardless of it being a real or dummy card. I could use it like a mini tablet and go online via Wifi but it was useless to me as a phone and and I already have a tablet (a Chinese EM73). The sim card menu option was also greyed out and unselectable. I've since sent the phone back, asking for a refund, but I was wondering if anyone here had seen an error like that before and knew what it might have meant.

    Part of me wants to say the phone was somehow locked but China almost specializes in unlocked phones so that seems kinda silly and unlikely.

    The other thought I had was the age of the SIM card itself, maybe it's so old (it's a Voicestream card which predates T-mobile entirely) that it's technology that couldn't be updated by software alone? Or have SIM cards remained the same all this time? Of course if that were the case why would be working so well all this time even with the less advanced Tango I have which is only about a year and a half old?

    Anyway, if you've read this far I appreciate the patience and would love to hear any incite you guys might have.
     

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