There’s very little you can’t do with a good quality smartphone nowadays, including making phone calls. Yeah really. But joking aside, the one thing we think is missing from big brand smartphones is the ability to run two SIMs in your phone, which you could use for both business and pleasure, or for foreign and home SIMs when on vacation.
Well some rather clever engineers have come to the rescue with a product called MagicSIM. This product integrates two SIM cards onto one adapter, which you then insert as normal into your phone. The version we tested was specifically for Samsung Galaxy S4 phones, but we also tested the Galaxy S3 version, and the product can also be used with iPhones and most other smartphones such as the Sony Xperia Z.
As you can see from the video above, the installation process is extremely easy, although you do have to be very careful that you align the SIM cards with the adapter properly, otherwise the phone won’t register them properly when you switch on. We found that the most effective way to make sure it worked was to line up the cut-offs on the SIM exactly with the matching cut on the adapter, which ensured that the contacts were perfectly matched up.
Once it’s all inserted and running, you’ll be able to set up the two SIMs using the free app, which appears in the app drawer under the name Dual SIM. This app offers a very basic but functional way to do your SIM swapping, just by tapping on the right number you desire. You can also set up different options in here, which include renaming the SIMs if you want to have them display the phone number, change the language and a mode called 007 which lets you change SIMs simply by typing 001 or 002 on the keypad and then the dial button.
Unfortunately we couldn’t get this mode to work on our tests, and even when we downloaded a great free app called MultiSIM which gives you automatic widget control over the switchover, we were unable to get it to work properly. We assume this is because the phone is too new, and there’s some software glitch which is stopping the process, so hopefully that will be fixed soon. We suggest that until the 007 mode glitch is fixed you avoid using it, but if you do and get stuck in that mode, you will need to switch the handset to GSM Only mode in order to revert back to the standard default mode.
In general though, this is a pretty cool piece of kit, and works as advertised. The software switch over does take a while, we found that it takes around 20 to 30 seconds to switch from one SIM to another, although there is another mode in the software which lets you set up automatic timed switchovers so you can move from SIM to SIM without having to press any buttons. It’s obviously not as elegant as Dual SIM, Dual Standby, which gives you access to both SIMs all the time without having to switch, but it’s a decent compromise, and definitely useful.
The product will cope with all 3G modes and most smartphones including the iPhone 5 (although with unibody phones you need to add on an external case of some sort to secure the adapter to the phone body) and costs between $29.49 and $39.99 (£24.99) depending on model and type.