Frequent flyer? These are the best dual-SIM phones you can buy in 2018

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Dual-SIM phones aren’t particularly popular in the United States or the United Kingdom. If you find yourself traveling overseas frequently, though, they can be very helpful.

Using a device with two SIM cards allows you to remain connected to two mobile networks at once and receive calls on both numbers, or maintain service if you move from one coverage zone to another. For that reason, dual-SIM capabilities are a selling point in mainland Europe and Asia — though, as you might expect, few devices sold outside of those regions support the feature.

Still, there are a handful of devices out there that do, and that are available in many parts of the world. In this list, we’ll run through the best dual-SIM phones for customers who prioritize dual-SIM functionality.

OnePlus 5T

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Despite strong competition, OnePlus is the unrivaled king of the midrange, and the OnePlus 5T is one of the key reasons why. The 5T embraces the new bezel-less trend and combines it with a huge 6-inch AMOLED display for breathtakingly good looks. The fingerprint sensor has moved to the back, and the dual-lens camera system is just as good as the OnePlus 5‘s, even if the 5T did drop the telephoto lens we loved.

On the inside you’re treated to the speedy performance of the Snapdragon 835 — the top Qualcomm chip at the time of release — as well as 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, with the option of upgrading for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s fast, powerful, and capable of punching with the big boys, all for under $500 — or half the price of the iPhone X.

OnePlus sells its phones exclusively through its website, so you have your choice of network (or two).

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Samsung Galaxy S9 (International Version)

galaxy s9 Plus hands-on review front full
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Would this be a list of the best phones in 2018 without the Galaxy S9? The S9 is a straight upgrade to the Galaxy S8 that it replaces on this list, and while it may not look to have changed much at first glance, there are some serious upgrades that deserve your attention. The Snapdragon 845 processor inside the phone is an improvement on the Snapdragon 835 in the S8, and blew away most of the competition in our review benchmarks. The controversial fingerprint sensor has also been moved to a more sensible location below the camera lens, and though the S9 doesn’t get a dual-lens system like the Note 8 or S9 Plus, it still has the revolutionary and impressive mechanical aperture on its single lens.

Like the S8, you won’t find a dual-SIM version of this phone from many shops or networks. Instead, you’ll be looking to buy internationally (in which case you’ll get the still impressive Exynos 9810 chip) or on Amazon — expect dual-SIM versions of the S9 to pop up shortly after the phone launches on March 16.

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Honor 7X

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Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

If you’re after a budget option for your dual-SIM phone, you can’t get much better than the Honor 7X. The 7X is a straight upgrade to the Honor 6X we’d previously included on this list, and it improves an already winning formula. Inside there’s an upgraded Kirin 659 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage, with the option of upgrading to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. That’s a lot of power for a phone in the $200 range. It’s not a bad looker either, with an 18:9 aspect ratio, 1080p, 5.93-inch display with minimal bezels around the edges, all set into a full-metal body. It’s an impressive showing for a budget device, and it doesn’t disappoint in other areas either — with the camera being good enough to justify the purchase by itself.

On the negative side, it’s GSM-only, which means you won’t be able to use this on Verizon or Sprint. But if you’re looking for a great dual-SIM phone on the cheap, then you’ll struggle to get better value for money than the Honor 7X.

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Honor

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

huawremate 10 pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It’s the best phone that you almost missed in 2017. Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro has a massive 6-inch AMOLED screen that takes up over 80 percent of the front of the phone, wrapped in a gorgeous glass-and-metal frame. It’s not missing out on power either, with the Kirin 970 processor and AI-fueled smarts to make your experience that much easier. There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on the upgraded model) keeping up with the other flagships, but the real standout here is an incredible 4,000mAh battery that regularly saw us through two days. That’s astounding for a phone this powerful. The camera is similarly impressive, beating all comers in DxOMark’s review, and it continues to be impressive in 2018, with incredible still-image quality.

Huawei doesn’t support CDMA networks in its phones, so the Mate 10 Pro won’t be any good to anyone on Verizon or Sprint. You can grab the dual-SIM version from Amazon for just over $700, so it’s a tad pricey — but it’s an absolutely stunning phone for your money.

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Best Buy Amazon

Xiaomi Mi 6

xiaomi mi 6 news colors

Xiaomi’s phones aren’t officially sold in the U.S., but you can import them from third-party vendors. If you’re experienced with Android, and are prepared to solve technical issues on your own without corporate support, you’ll find this to be an aggressively priced, full-featured handset with the power to rival the best from Samsung, LG, and Apple.

The Mi 6 features a Snapdragon 835, just like the OnePlus 5, and starts with 6GB of memory and 64GB of internal storage. Actually, from a specs standpoint, the two devices are pretty similar. The main difference concerns the software. The Mi 6 features Xiaomi’s MIUI skin, which is about as heavy a departure from stock Android as you’ll find. You can expect to pay about $490 for the base model.

Look past that, and it sounds pretty good, right? There’s one more thing you should be aware of though, and it’s something you’ll want to check with your local carrier before pulling the trigger. The Mi 6 is intended for use in China, and as such may not play nice with all the bands every network operates on. Still, it’s powerful, inexpensive, and can handle two SIM cards — and that earns it a spot on this list.

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