I had never understood why you would want two SIMs in the same phone before, but now that I’ve got a Nokia Asha 308 I think it’s a genius concept.
I guess if you don’t have a dual-SIM phone, then you wouldn’t need to think about all the opportunities that it offers. After all, most of us do perfectly fine with just the one SIM in our phones.
Well, they say that ignorance is bliss, right?
However, after just a few short weeks of owning my Asha 308, it’s now my favourite feature on this classy and beautiful looking Asha Touch smartphone.
Two is better than one
The key, I think, is that it’s so easy to use, right from inserting the SIMs to switching between the two for different purposes such as calls, SMS, MMS and data.
First though, let’s start right at the beginning and consider why you would need to use two SIMs in the first place.
In my previous post, A Week with the Asha 308, I considered several scenarios why having two SIMs might come in extremely useful.
- On holiday, to take advantage of local data rates so you don’t get stung by roaming charges
- Again, when you’re on holiday having a new local SIM for cheaper call rates but still keeping your old SIM and number for emergencies
- Being able to keep your work number and personal number in one device
- Even if you’re not actively using the second SIM – it’s really handy for storing an extra SIM card. These little things are very easy to lose!
- Storing phone numbers on your second SIM
To those five, I have since thought of a 6th scenario – the ability to take advantage of different operator network deals.
For example, one operator may have a great deal for you on calls and SMS but another has cheaper data. If you’re on Pay As You Go anyway, then it really makes sense to make your money go further in this way.
Managing the SIMs
If you think managing two SIMs in one device – and using different SIMs for different functions no less – sounds like a lot of hassle then you’d be wrong.
The first SIM is inserted underneath the battery as normal. The second SIM is inserted into the side of the Asha 308, much like you would for a micro-SD card, which incidentally is just below the SIM slot.
You can insert, remove and switch between the SIM cards all without the need for turning the phone on and off.
With the SIMs now in place let’s look at how you can start using them on your Asha 308.
The SIM Manager app comes pre-installed on your Asha 308 and is the key to getting the most out of your two SIM cards.
The first thing I did was use the manager to give each SIM a name – this sounds all sweet and fluffy but it’s actually really useful. Once you’ve inserted the SIMs it’s very easy to forget which one is which!
The SIM manager gives you the following options for you to select from:
- Use SIM1 for outgoing calls, SMS, MMS and data
- Use SIM2 for outgoing calls, SMS, MMS and data
- Always Ask: Pick a SIM every time you make a call, send an SMS or MMS, or use data
- My Choices: This lets you personalise your SIM options
Clearly, the most adaptable and flexible option is My Choices. It is here where you could select, for example, SIM1 for calls and SMS and SIM2 purely for data.
What’s wonderful is that the SIM manager is so quick, simple and easy to use.
You can set up your choices and just get on with using your phone, or you can change your mind whenever you want.
The drop down SIM menu
There’s one further way you can change the SIM options, aside from within the SIM manager.
When you swipe down from the top of an Asha Touch device you’ll see the familiar shortcuts and notifications menu. This is where you can turn Bluetooth on and there are shortcuts for you to make calls or compose SMS messages.
On the Asha 308, there are also icons showing you both your SIMs. The green one is the one that’s in use. Tapping on either of the SIM icons brings up a simple graphical menu that lets you explore the options in the SIM manager.
From here, you can also quickly select either SIM1 or SIM2 to handle all calls, SMS, MMS and data. I like to think of it as the quick override option.
By being clever about using two SIMs you can ensure that you get the most value for money, stay within your data limits and make the most of having two different numbers – without the need for carrying around two phones.
I am completely sold on the idea of having a Dual-SIM phone. I might have been a sceptic before but the brilliance of the Asha 308 has changed everything. One SIM will never seem enough again!
Updated October 1, 2015 6:12 am