Dual-sim phones for your travels

If you travel a lot, one of the most troublesome things is swapping your Bruneian DST or B-Mobile SIM card with swapping in a foreign SIM card in place of your Bruneian DST or B-Mobile SIM. You need the foreign SIM purely for its data plan, but yet you could be expecting calls or messages on your own mobile number. The result: you carry two phones around all day.

Managing two phones, two batteries, and having to bring two chargers around, is just too much of a hassle. So, if you've already invested in a phone with dual SIM card slots, you'll then realise how primitive carrying two phones around is. If you haven't, here are a few that are of them cheap enough to buy as a back-up phone, but still good enough to be an everyday overseas phone.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8

The problem with Samsung is that every single phone looks the same; the only different is the size. They just vary in size. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is no different; it has an entry-level price with a 5.8-inch screen and an older generation dual-core 1.4 GHz processor. The screen resolution is a quarter HD (qHD) 540x960 pixels, giving it a pixels-per-inch (ppi) count of just 190. Don't let that figure fool you, though, as the Galaxy Mega's 5.8 variant is still quite sharp and is only priced at around $450. The dual-SIM card feature is nice, allowing good control over which SIM card does what.

One of the nicer features of the Galaxy Mega is its ability to forward calls from one SIM card to another, which is nice to save on costs from answering calls to your roaming line. The rest of the phone is mediocre at best as it has an 8-megapixel camera, a 2,600 mAh battery and with Samsung's ever-so bloaty user-interface TouchWiz, you can feel the weight of the software on the phone, especially when running multiple applications at the same time. Storage is at just 8GB, but fortunately, there is an expandable microSD card slot up to 64GB. The phone also has 1.5 GB of RAM.

Applications running alone isn't much of an issue though, and if you love playing games while whilst travelling, a good time-killer, the Mega 5.8 may just be the one for you. Alternatively, less heavy users can go with the much cheaper Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos, which is at 5 inches, has an ever poorer screen and user experience, but costs just $330.

Acer Liquid S1

Launched this year at Computex 2013, the Liquid S1 has a 5.7-inch screen at 1,280x720 (720p) resolution. With that you get 258ppipixels per inch, and the screen performs far better than the Galaxy Mega 5.8. Its processor is also much better with a quad-core 1.5 GHz system but has just 1GB of RAM.

Battery is at 2,400 mAh, with an 8GB internal storage, and an expandable slot of up to 32GB. The camera is also an 8-megapixel with and has an LED flash just like the Samsung, and performs equally as well as its Korea counter-part. However, price is the issue with the Acer as it is one of the more expensive dual-SIM phones that are available to you at around $500. You'll have to really love Acer's floating screens (a multi-tasking feature) to buy this phone at that price.

Alcatel One Touch Idol X

At just $420, Alcatel's resurgence in the mobile phone market would probably be led by the One Touch Idol X. With such a low price tag, and a 5-inch full HD screen and 441ppi pixels per inch, Alcatel probably has a winner with this model. Not only does the phone look good in its three different colours, it weighs a mere 120 grammes.

It has a nice solid feel to it, even though it weighs so little, and best of all, it has a 13.1-megapixel camera that is quite snappy to operate. However, with the dual-SIM card version, you lose out the option to expand the 16GB memory through a microSD card slot.

One of the OneTouch Idol X's downsides.

The other two potential dealbreakers are its 2,000 mAh battery, which would mean you have to carry a power bank around like every other iPhone user, and its built-in "OneTouch" software. However, the good news is that you can easily remove the software via a third-party launcher you can download from the Google Play Store. But again, being the cheapest of the lot, there isn't much to complain about when you have a full-HD screen and two SIM card slots.