Sanjeev Sabhlok's notes on technology, hardware, gardening

End of Telstra’s 2G network has knocked out my dual SIM phone’s utility >> effect of shutdown of 2G on dual SIM phones >> which dual SIM phones now work in Australia?

Telstra shut down its 2G network on 1 December 2016.  [See news here] Half a million phones were affected. http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/tech/2016/03/16/2g-decommission/

Almost all dual SIM phones can only use one 3G slot, and default the other slot to 2G (I’ve not yet found any dual SIM yet that doesn’t do this). Since both my SIMs use the Telstra network, only one slot can now be used. All dual SIM phones have now become single SIM phones now.

I had set my phone (Moto-g) to use data on Lycamobile SIM which used up the 3G port on Moto-G. That meant that the Telstra SIM defaulted to 2G and I couldn’t fix it without factory reset (which is what I finally did). So now it recognises the Telstra 3G SIM but won’t recognise the Lycamobile SIM (since it also uses the Telstra network; plus in any event it can only recognise a 2G network).

This shutting down of 2G was entirely misplaced. But there’s no choice now but to do some serious research on this issue.

MY TEMPORARY SOLUTION

I’m going to carry two phones for a while, as I find a longer term solution. I’m now using Korea made Nokia 6120c which accepts 3G SIM cards plus my Moto-g.

I’m going to ultimately switch to a single SIM solution. Lycamobile provides cheap local and international calls, plus data. So the need for two SIMs is coming to an end, as well.

I will not buy any new phone for a few months and watch to see how the technology evolves.

FURTHER RESEARCH NOTES

If you have an Optus or Vodafone SIM it will still work.

Vodafone 2G network will shut down in September 2017. Optus will shut down in April 2017.

The other limiting factor to recognise for dual SIM phones is that often the two SIM slots are not equal in network terms. Typically one SIM will be designated as a full 4G LTE slot while the secondary slot will operate only as a 3G, or in some cases 2G GSM slot. The latter case is especially problematic for Australian consumers, with 2G services starting shutdown by December 2016, with no service outside of Christmas Island on 2G frequencies by September 2017. At that point, any dual SIM phone that can only drop the second SIM to 2G may as well be a single-SIM model for all the good it will do you. [Source]

2G in OTHER COUNTRIES

With the looming switch off of 2G bands in Australia (Telstra December 2016, Optus April 2017, Vodafone September 2017), Singapore (Singtel, M1, StarHub April 2017) and the United States (AT&T December 2016), most of the current dual SIM phones can only operate in simultaneous or stand-by 4G/2G or 2G/4G will effectively have their second SIM capability crippled in a number of countries. [Source]

Dual SIM phones will thereafter perhaps work only in India (Note: China doesn’t support 2G)

Dual-standby vs dual-active

In most dual-SIM phones both SIMs are on standby at all times (known as dual-standby phones), but you can actively use only one SIM at a time.

This means that either SIM can accept a phone call or text at any time, without you having to actively swap between them or reboot the phone. However, if you get a call on one number while a call is active on the other, it won’t start ringing in your ear or give you the option to put the first caller on hold – the call will simply not be successful.

Dual-active SIM phones also exist, however, which use two modems and allow you to receive calls on both numbers at once.

We’ve not tested any dual-active phones, but some more recent examples include the dual-SIM variants

HTC One M8,

Sony Xperia Z3 and

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini.

nearly all dual 3G/4G phones run in “Dual stand-by” where you cannot use both simcards at the same time like downloading files on one while on a call on the second – see GSM Terms

Asus Dual Stand-by Definition: (Both SIM card slots support 3G WCDMA / 4G LTE network band. But only one SIM card can connect to 3G WCDMA / 4G LTE service at a time.) [Source]

FURTHER

Dual SIM, single standby: You will likely not see one of these in the wild, it has 2 slots but you have to manually swap SIMs, they can’t both be ready (on standby) to receive calls and text.

Dual SIM Dual Standby: Both SIM are ready to be used at all times, as soon as one takes a call, then the other becomes inactive and can’t recieve calls, text or data.

Dual SIM Dual Active: Both SIMs are always active, you can take a call on one SIM while already on the phone on the other. This mode requires 2 radio paths, one for each SIM which increases cost and reduces battery life. [Source]

Dual SIM phones 4g+3g that will work in Australia

This is a big list – possibly useful:

Model: Moto G4 Plus  [NOT TOO EXPENSIVE]
Status: Confirmed at press conf
WP Thread: /archive/2523025
Functionality: 4G/3G Separate SD
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 617
Android Ver: 6.0
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,8,19,20,28,40 (AU/UK XT1642), 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,25,26,41 (US XT1644 model)
Other Features: 5.5″ 1080 display, 2/4GB RAM, 16/5MP Laser cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: AU models – $399 for 2/16, 449 for 3/32

[UPDATE Dick Smith website states : “Motorola Moto G4 Plus 4th Gen XT1642 Dual SIM (32GB, Black) –  Dual SIM – 4G+2G (SIM2 is 2G only)”

But this image shows that it does allow 3G on the second SIM: (Source)

Update 26 December: I called Motorola customer service and was told that the phone can’t use two 3G SIMs. If one is 3G the other defaults to 4G.

Model: Moto Z
Status: Confirmed
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2538432
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0.1
4G Bands: B1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,17,19,20,25,28,38,40,41
Other Features: 5.5″ 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, QHD, NFC, 2600mAh
Street Price: A$999

Model: Moto Z Play
Status: Confirmed
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2538432
Functionality: 4G/3G Seperate MicroSD
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 625
Android Ver: 6.0.1
4G Bands: B1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,17,19,20,25,28,38,40,41
Other Features: 5.5″ 3GB RAM, 1080P, NFC, 3.5mm Jack, 3510mAh
Street Price: A$699

Model: ZTE Axon 7
Status: Confirmed – Link
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2534736
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0.1 MiFavor4
Other Features: 5.5″ 1440 display, 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB, HybridSD, 20/8MP cameras, 3140mAh
Street Price: A$699

Model: LG V20
Status: Confirmed – Link
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2553638
Functionality: 4G/3G
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 7.0
4G Bands: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,17,20,26,28,38-41 – H990N (Note many global models)
Other Features: 5.7″ IPS 1440 display +0.2″ menu screen, 4GB RAM, 64GB, HybridSD, dual 16/8MP rear 5MP wide front, NFC, 3.5mm, 3200mAh remivables
Street Price: A$1099

Confirmed 4g+3g handsets

Xiaomi Mi 5 and Xiaomi Mi Max (Source)

Model: Xiaomi Mi5
Status: Confirmed working – Link
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2467909
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI7
4G Bands: 1,3,7,38,39,40,41
Other Features: 5.2″ 1080 display, NFC, 3GB RAM, 16/4MP cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: A$450-500
AU official availability: No

NOTE: “the ONLY phone on the market that can do 4G/3G on sim1 and 3G on sim2 (for voice and messages, not data) is the Xiaomi Mi5. NOTE that this phone is missing Telstra’s 700Mhz B28 band which is their main 4GX (LTE) band. So if your on Telstra it might not be the best option.” [Source]

Model: Xiaomi Mi Max
Status: Confirmed working – Screenshot
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2529006
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 650/652
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI7
4G Bands: 1,3,7,38,39,40,41
Other Features: 6.44″ 1080 display, 2GB/3GB/4GB RAM, 16/4MP cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: A$300-$400
AU official availability: No

Model: Xiaomi Mi5S TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed (Chinese)
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 821 Lite
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI8
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,8,38,39,40,41
Other Features: 5.15″ 1080 display, 3GB/4GB RAM, 12/4MP cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: A$500-$600
AU official availability: No

Model: Xiaomi Mi5S Plus TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed (Chinese)
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 821
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI8
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,38,39,40,41
Other Features: 5.7″ 1080 display, 4GB/6GB RAM, dual-13/4MP cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: A$600-$700
AU official availability: No

Model: Xiaomi Mi Note 2 TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed (Chinese)
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 821
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI8
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,38,39,40,41
4G Bands (Global Version): 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,17,18,19,20,25,26,28,29,30,38,39,40,41
Other Features: 5.7″ 1080 OLED curved display, 4GB/6GB RAM, 22.5/8MP cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: A$700-$900
AU official availability: No

Model: Xiaomi Mi Mix TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed (Chinese)
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 821
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI8
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,38,39,40,41
Other Features: 6.4″ 1080 17:9 display, 4GB/6GB RAM, 16/5MP cameras, Fingerprint
Street Price: A$1000+
AU official availability: No

Model: Moto G4
Status: Confirmed at press conf
WP Thread: /archive/2523025
Functionality: 4G/3G Separate SD
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 617
Android Ver: 6.0.1
4G Bands: B1,3,5,7,8,19,20,28,40 (UK XT1622)
Other Features: 5.5″ 1080 display, 2/4GB RAM, 13/5MP cameras
Street Price: A$300-350
AU official availability: No, only G4Plus

Model: Sony Xperia X Performance Dual (F8132)  TOO EXPENSIVE 
Status: Confirmed – Image and China Blog
WP Thread:
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0
4G Bands: FDD – 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,17,19,20,26,28,29, TDD – 38,39,40,41
Other Features: 5″ 1080 display, 3G RAM, 23/13 cameras, hybrid 2nd sim/MicroSD, IP65/68 (non-US version)
Street Price: $900
AU official availability: No (only single SIM version)

Model: OnePlus 3 TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed here
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2515686
Functionality: 4G/3G
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,8,20,38-41 (A3003 HK/EU), 1,2,3,4,5,7,12,17,28*,30,38-41 (A3000 US), 1,3,7,38-41 (A3001 CN)
Other Features: 5.5″ 1080 display, 6GB RAM, 64GB, 16/5 cameras
Street Price: $600-700
AU official availability: No
*data not supported by official website

Model: Asus Zenfone 3
Status: Confirmed – Asus ZF3 launch
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2531556
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 625
Android Ver: 6.0
4G Bands: ½/3/5/7/8/18/19/26/28/38-41(TW/JP/HK version)
Other Features: 5.2/5.5″ 1080 display, ¾GB RAM, 32/64GB, 16/8 laser cameras, 2560/3000Mah, fingerprint
Street Price: Exp $330-410
AU official availability: No

Model: Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe – TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed – Asus ZF3 launch
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2531556
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820 (most models), Snapdragon 821 (for the 6/256 model)
Android Ver: 6.0
4G Bands: ½/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/30/38-41(WW version)
Other Features: 5.7″ 1080 display, 4/6GB RAM, 32/64/256GB, 23/8 laser cameras, 3000Mah, NFC, fingerprint
Street Price: Exp $650-750, $1025 for the 821/6/256
AU official availability: No

Model: Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed – Asus ZF3 launch
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2531556
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 652
Android Ver: 6.0
4G Bands: ½/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/30/38-41(WW version)
Other Features: 6.8″ 1080 display, 4GB RAM, 64GB, 23/8 laser cameras, 4600Mah, fingerprint
Street Price: Exp $735
AU official availability: No

Model: LG G5 H860N TOO EXPENSIVE
Status: Confirmed – screenshot
WP Thread: /archive/2486011
Functionality: 4G/3G, Volte/4G
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0.1
4G Bands: ½/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/28/38-41 (H860N)
Other Features: 5.3″ 1440 display, 4GB RAM, 32GB, 16/8 rear camera, 8 front, NFC, 2800Mah, fingerprint
Street Price: $600 ebay
AU official availability: No (only single SIM in Australia)

Model: Lenovo ZUK Z2
Status: Confirmed by PHL. Stated by Zuk Mobile here
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2549107
Functionality: 4g/3g Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0.1 ZUI2
4G Bands: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,38-41 Cat6
Other Features: 5.0″ 1080 display, ¾GB RAM, 64GB, 13/8 laser cameras, Fingerprint, 3500Mah
Street Price: A$300-400
AU official availability: No

Model: Lenovo ZUK Z2Pro
Status: Confirmed by PHL. Stated by Zuk Mobile here
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2549107
Functionality: 4g/3g Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0.1 ZUI2
4G Bands: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,38-41 Cat6
Other Features: 5.2″ 1080 display, 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB, 13/8 laser cameras, Fingerprint, 3100Mah
Street Price: A$750-800
AU official availability: No

Model: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Chinese) (GSMArena)  [CHEAP]
Status: Confirmed working – Link
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2560551
Functionality: 4G/3G Hybrid
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: MediaTek Helio X20
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI8
4G Bands: 1,3,7,38,39,40,41,(5,8 ?? dependent on website)
Other Features: 5.5″ 1080 display, 2/3GB RAM, 16/64GB, 13/5MP cameras, Fingerprint, 4100Mah
Street Price: A$200-230
AU official availability: No

Model: LeEco LeMax2
Status: Confirmed (Chinese)
WP Thread: /archive/2542246
Functionality: 4G/3G
Mode:
Chipset: Snapdragon 820
Android Ver: 6.0
Other Features: 5.7″ 1440 display, 4/6GB RAM, 21/8MP cameras, fingerprint
Street Price: A$500
AU official availability: No

Confirmed 4g+3g handsets with certain ROM only

Model: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro, Kenzo model (non-band 28)
Status: supported in Kenzo from 6.9.9 global developer ROM. See threads 1 2 3 and the 1 2 screenshots from them.
WP Thread: Part 1, Part 2
Functionality: 4G/3G
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 650
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI7 has 4G/2G, with MIUI8 6.9.9 or higher Global Developer ROM enabling 4G/3G.
4G Bands: 1,3,5,7,8,38-41 (Kenzo model)
Street Price: A$200-$250 – see 1, 2.
AU official availability: No

Model: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro Special Edition, Kate model (with band 28)
Status: Supported in Kate from 6.11.24 global developer ROM. See threads whrl.pl/ReLKHp
WP Thread: /forum-replies.cfm?t=2566258
Functionality: 4G/3G
Mode: Dual stand-by
Chipset: Snapdragon 650
Android Ver: 6.0 MIUI7 has 4G/2G, with MIUI8 6.11.24 or higher Global Developer ROM enabling 4G/3G.
4G Bands: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,20,28,40 (Kate model)
Street Price: A$225-$275- see 1, 2.
AU official availability: No

Potential 4g+3g handsets

Other upcoming models not yet released
Lenovo P2 – 625
Huawei Nova – 625
LG V20 – 820
ZTE Axon Mini 7 – 617
Umi Plus Extreme – P20
Coolpad A9S – P20
Galaxy s7 dual sim (New software be released soon)
Galaxy s8 dual sim

 

RESEARCH

Read this:

====

“There are mainly two types of dual sim phones.

1) 1 dedicated 3g/4g slot + 1 dedicated 2g slot. For example, slot 2 will always be on 2g.

2) 2 slots which you can assign 3g/4g to. If sim 1 is set on 3g/4g sim 2 will be on 2g, and vice versa.”

=====

“by the end of this year Telstra and Optus will most likely have turned off their 2G, rendering the second sim slot 100% useless and turning it into a single SIM phone.”

The following is from here.

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