In an increasingly mobile world, many users are known to own multiple mobile lines along with a matching number of phones for each, or end up juggling SIM cards on one primary device. Given this trend, we've actually seen some movement from mobile manufacturers to address this vertical with handsets that can work off two SIM cards. The recently reviewed Philips 9@9w is one such example of a dual SIM device and now, we've got Samsung trying to tap into the same market with their own SGH-D880 handset.
With the SGH-D880, users are able to receive calls and text messages from either SIM network at anyone time. However, data connections can only be initiated through the designated primary SIM card. While you don't have to physically switch the SIM cards, switching primary SIM card configurations require turning the mobile off and on again, which takes about a minute to complete. A piece of advice though, when engaged in a data session, the other SIM card will not be able to receive calls. So, you won't be able to utilize the SGH-D880 as a GPRS/EDGE modem cum mobile. This device was really designed primarily for voice and text traffic.
Beside its dual SIM capabilities; there is nothing much on the SGH-D880 that makes it stand out among the other mobiles. User interface and aesthetics are pretty similar to the latest generation of Samsung handsets, which is a good thing, but the SGH-D880 is much thicker. This is due to the dual radios needed and also the larger 1200mAh battery required to power the added energy drain from it. Multimedia functionality is minimal, with a music player and FM radio embedded. The 2.3-inch display is very bright and lives up to the quality typical of Samsung mobiles today. Its overall plastic construction makes it light weight, but thankfully, the build quality feels solid.
The onboard 3-megapixel camera does deserve some mention as it comes with autofocus capabilities. With it, the SGH-D880 is able to take pretty good snapshots. It is still heavily dependent on good lighting conditions however, since the phone lacks any form of illumination. Properly done, we managed to snap images with good color reproduction and clarity, while the autofocus helped keep everything sharp.
At the end of the day, the Samsung SGH-D880 not only does what it is intended to do, it does it well. The dual SIM card slots give consumers added flexibility and is definitely handy, despite the minor hassle of needing to reboot the mobile every time a primary SIM card switch is needed. Making phone calls from either SIM is easy to master while getting calls and messages from either SIM at any time is a true time saver. The deal breaker for some might be its limited data capabilities, with just EDGE support. We do hope to see Samsung adding in WiFi or HSDPA to similar devices in future as it is definitely a market to expand on. For now, Samsung still enjoys the privilege of being the first major handset maker to announce a dual SIM phone (Philips may be a consumer electronics giant, but they're not exactly a major force in the mobile market).