June 1, 2011 2:48 pm

Getting hands-on with Dual SIM

GLOBAL – With Nokia last week announcing the Nokia X1-01 and the launch of the Nokia C2-00, both of which are Dual SIM devices, we thought it might be a good idea to cover exactly how a Dual Sim phone works, as we weren’t too sure either. Such things as how to make a phone call, or how do you know who’s ringing you, on what SIM? We’ve got hold of a Nokia X1-01, to find out.

Last week, I received the Nokia X1-01 in the post and this is the first time I’ve ever used such a device. I was curious as to how making phone calls would work. Do you need to flick a switch, or press a special button in order to make or receive calls on a certain SIM card? In short – no. It’s much easier than I had anticipated.

First of all, we covered why owning two SIM cards might be useful last week. A Dual SIM phone is only useful if you’ve got two SIM cards – which I do. My own personal one and the one I’ve removed from my work USB dongle specially for the occasion. Both on different networks, I might add.

On first boot-up, the phone welcomes you with the SIM card selection screen, where you’ll decide to use either SIM1, SIM2 or Dual SIM (both). I opted for Dual SIM as that’s what I require. The next screen is the usual homescreen you’ll see if you’ve ever used a device running Series 30 as its OS. Amongst this basic set-up – and sitting at the top – is not one operator logo, but two. Both with signal strength indicators that work independently of each other.

Before diving straight in and making a telephone call, I thought I’d go to the SIM settings to see how these differ from any other non-Dual SIM phone I’ve been used to up until now. Dual SIM settings is the place where you get to control how the phone performs under certain situations. Such as Default SIM for calls, Default SIM or msgs, Standby mode where you can choose to have a one or two SIM cards active when your phone is on standby and SIM name, which is where you can name each SIM. I’ve called mine Home and Work, so it makes it easier for me to tell the two apart. Once you’ve named them, you can pick an icon for them too. Again, to make make it obvious which one is which, I’ve used the telephone symbol for my home SIM and the briefcase for my work one. Making it easier to tell the two apart, at a glance.

Selecting a different ring tone for each SIM is the where I headed next. In the Tone settings you’re asked to select the SIM you want to personalise first. Choose each SIM in turn, finding the perfect melody for a work/personal life balance. That way, you’ll know if that call is worth answering or not, when it’s beyond working hours.

Back out of the menu to return to the main screen where it’s time to make a phone call. I forgot to mention before, but it looks like the Nokia X1-01’s icon sets are built using the same design as Symbian Anna. There are new rounded icons, following the same colour coding as we can expect to see on the new devices, of the likes of the Nokia X7 or Nokia E6.

Using the phonebook or just dialling a number from the keypad is just as you’d imagine it to be. It’s not until you press the call button that you’re asked what SIM card you wish to use, unless you already specified in the SIM settings. The same can be said about sending text messages. Any incoming SMS’s are displayed with the icon you picked out in the SIM menu, too.

As I mentioned before, a Dual SIM phone is only useful if you need to use more than one SIM, but if you do I could see this phone – or the technology at least – being really useful. I particularly like the option to have the different cards use a different ring tone so I know immediately know if the call is important or not before running to make the call.

Do you have two SIM cards in two different phones? Would this technology make your life easier? Let us know.