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Story first published on 2017.04.27

Most flagship smartphones today brag about having dual-sim functionality, while also offering storage expandability (except on some smartphones). Considering this as a trend, smartphone manufacturers are adding this feature in their latest offerings, however, on the end users’ side, I cannot see any advantages of this after all.

Before anything else, what is a hybrid sim card slot?

The word hybrid means a combination of features from two or more different entities. A Hybrid SIM card slot allows you to use your phone as a dual-SIM phone or as a single-SIM phone with a microSD card in the second slot to expand the phone’s memory.

As the end user you can decide what you want:

  • a dual SIM phone
  • a single SIM phone with expanded memory.

Forget about Dual SIM + expandable storage

Now we know what is a hybrid SIM card slot, why do I want to end having it? Like what I have said before, this feature doesn’t offer any advantages to end users after all, and it will only bring hassle if a user wants to expand their storage, but still wanted to use the smartphone’s dual SIM capability because you’ll occupy the second SIM slot with a microSD card. Don’t mention the hot-swapping feature as an advantage, because we all know that this feature was introduced before these hybrid SIM card slot trend had started. Some smartphone manufacturers can even do both dual nano SIM + microSD card slot on a single ejectable SIM tray after all (i.e. Oppo F1s), so why bother ditching it for a little millimeter (mm) of space?

Speaking of space, I think that the move was made by manufacturers in order to obtain more space inside the smartphone to fit other components such as having more room for battery and motherboard, and else. However, if a design is way efficient, smartphone manufacturers can find a way to fit dual SIMs and a microSD slot at the same time, enabling users to use all of them, without the pain of hacking it to do so.

They are also doing it to make smartphones sleeker and, slimmer?

But, being a power user of a smartphone that prefers to have a SIM for voice calls/SMS and a separate SIM for data usage, or need to use both carrier services, dual SIM functionality is a must. And, for people like us, the expandability of storage is also important, since we rely on smartphones most of the time to do work like productivity, photography and videography. Adding to that is the mere consumption of media (which I do a lot) that requires a hefty amount of storage.

Following is the list of some of the smartphones that offer the hybrid SIM slot feature (list not updated, refer to your smartphone’s official specifications list for details).

  • Asus ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 3 Ultra
  • Gionee S6, S6 Pro, S6s
  • Huawei Honor 5c, 7, 8
  • Huawei Honor Note 8
  • Huawei Honor V8
  • Lenovo Vibe X3
  • Micromax Canvas 6
  • Oppo F1 and F1 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy A3, A5, A7, A8
  • Samsung Galaxy C7, E5, J1 Nxt, S8, Z3
  • Vivo V3 Max and X7 Plus
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3, 3s Prime, 3s Pro, 3x, 4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and 4
  • ZTE Axon 7 and 7 mini
  • ZTE Nubia Z11

Many people who are fond of flexibility and productivity will not like the hybrid SIM card feature. There are hybrid SIM card hacks available that may suit your needs, however, those hacks are not easy or even safe solutions.

  • Don’t just get into the hype, and buy a smartphone because it’s popular. Buy according to your requirements.

In simple words, just find a way to give up using hybrid sim card slots without compromising smartphone designs.

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