4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best dual-SIM qwerty phone currently available, 20 May 2013
It has been a real struggle to find a modern dual SIM phone, let alone one that's not 100% touchscreen with a real qwerty keyboard for faster and more accurate typing.
I hope that both Samsung and other manufacturers do expand their dual SIM offerings in the future but I realise that the network operators have a massive negative influence in this because it's often not in their interests to sell a phone with a second SIM slot which can house a competitors SIM card. That said, there is a great benefit to business phone users to be able to have one single phone which can contain both their business phone number and private number, makes life a lot easier for expenses accounting, business and personal confidentiality as well as avoiding carrying two phone and related accessories around! I am surprised that the Corporations are not demanding more of such phones. Now back reviewing this phone -
Generally all dual SIM phones are not the highest specs available beyond the dual SIM feature, typically having lower resolution screens and cameras, but this phone is the nearest to getting a dual SIM Blackberry, although it's an Android OS not Blackberry, and the keyboard whilst good enough does not have keys as large as most BBs.
- Good quality build and finish
- Decent battery life
- Both SIMs are simultaneously active to be able receive incoming calls. Pressing a dedicated key on the keyboard determines which SIM is active for outgoing calls, can be switched as many times as needed between business and private calls for example.
- Android OS with loads of apps
- touchscreen works for all functions except typing, that's what the keyboard is for. The keyboard can be used for most functions if your prefer not to touch screen, best of both worlds really.
- chargeable via an adapter or USB, unlike Nokia dual SIMs that I reviewed which are adapter only.
- good call quality
- micro SIM expandable
- front-facing camera for video and video calling.
- accurate GPS system, with standard Google app included. Other and better apps available, even free.
- 3mp camera is adequate for snaps, but would benefit from an LED flash. However buyers should realise this phone is a medium spec and priced accordingly, so if you want a BB or iPhone look elsewhere.
- like most phones is made of slick plastic but would be more secure from slipping from the hand with a textured rear panel as many Galaxy Y phones already have.
- some apps cannot understand that the screen width is longer than the height so they flip around 90 degrees onto their side. Although this phone can flip the screen content sideways on other apps, for those apps which already flip their layout 90 degrees the phone cannot undo the flip. This is not a fault of the phone but the fault of the app developers who need to recognise that some screens out there are of a different format. Most apps work normally but if your favourite app is affected in this way then it can be a pain to hold your phone sideways to use the app as well as it being more crammed into the reduced screen-width pixels.
- screen brightness can be manually adjusted but does not auto-adjust from indoors to outdoors and vice-versa.
- although this phone meets the minimum spec for Skype video calling it is not available as an option on the Skype app. I am not sure if this is a microsoft restriction on android or some other issue, but since I rarely use skype with video due to extra bandwidth needed, this is not a big issue for me.
- spare batteries hard to find, but this is partly due to some confusion out there with dealers regarding the correct part number for the battery, so best to buy a spare battery at the same time as your phone purchase if you can.
Despite a few weaknesses, none of which are really showstoppers, overall I am very relieved and pleased that I found a good dual SIM qwerty phone after a very long search. The 5 stars awarded are in relation to comparing this phone with other dual-SIMs which are all lower spec than single SIM phones, for some strange reason, probably network carriers influence as mentioned earlier. If I was rating compared to other single-SIM phones it would get 4 stars because of the areas for improvement I mentioned.