Earlier this year, we reviewed the DualSim Slider — the first mobile phone available in Australia to support the use of two SIM cards simultaneously. Its second iteration is the DualSim Mini, a smaller, lighter and cheaper mobile phone than its predecessor.
The DualSim Mini mobile phone is designed to make life easier by allowing the use of two SIM cards simultaneously. USing this phone you can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages from both SIM cards. For calls, there are two call centres, one for each SIM card, while for messages there are two inboxes — labelled SIM 1 and SIM 2. The home screen displays both networks and has two signal strength indicators in the status bar. Conveniently, the DualSim Mini integrates the phone number listings of both SIM cards into a single phone book — making accessing your contact details a simple task.
The DualSim Mini is one of the most compact phones we've reviewed, weighing just 70 grams. Unfortunately, we are not too fond of the build quality — in particular the rear cover feels flimsy and is hard to remove, the keypad is small and the buttons make an audible, annoying click when pressed and the five-way navigational pad is spongy. Nonetheless, the regular navigational pad seen here is far better than its predecessors Magic Touch pad. Aside from the rear cover, the rest of the DualSim Mini's plastic casing feels relatively sturdy. The DualSim Mini's screen is bright, but has poor viewing angles and it's difficult to read in direct sunlight.
The DualSim Mini mobile phone is a basic handset and its menu system has a dated look. The main menu consists of a 3x3 grid of icons, with a simple list format for sub-menus. The operation of this phone is similar to many low and mid-range Nokia handsets such as the 1661, though the DualSim Mini's menu system lacks the polish and class of the Nokia menu — the icons and text aren't as visually appealing as the bigger brands.
The good news is the DualSim Mini's main menu and most submenus don't suffer from too much lag, the bad news is that the messaging is a frustrating affair due to excessive keystroke lag. The Mini struggles to keep up with fast typing, often lagging a good two or three seconds behind key presses. Not great for power texting!
The DualSim Mini is a low end handset targeted at the entry level user, and this is reflected in its lack of 3G connectivity. There's also no e-mail client, no 3.5mm headphone jack and no A2DP Bluetooth, so the feature set is pretty basic. A VGA camera is included but it predictably doesn't record video, while an FM radio, Bluetooth, audio player, sound recorder and a video player are entry-level multimedia functions.
The DualSim Mini does include a built-in WAP browser and a microSD card slot for extra storage, and there is a 2GB microSD card in the sales package. Unfortunately the phone employs a proprietary USB charging and headphone jack, so you can't use regular 3.5mm headphones, nor can you charge the phone and listen to music simultaneously. A range of personal information manager (PIM) features include a calculator, stopwatch, unit and currency converter, calendar, to-do list, alarm and world clock.
In our tests the call quality wasn't the best. Outgoing audio is loud and clear but incoming audio lacks volume and does tend to distort at various times. The built-in hands-free speakerphone also suffers from the same problems as its hard to make out, even at full volume.
Even treating the DualSim Mini as an entry-level handset its basic features, lack of 3G connectivity, plus the battery life of 200 minutes talk time and five days standby time has marked down in score in our review round-up.
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