Pixel 4 could finally have true dual SIM support

Yolanda Curtis
February 13, 2019

We're nearly certainly going to get Android Q arriving with the Pixel 4, ready to take advantage of that dual-SIM functionality. Never mind the fact that eSIM support is very limited in the USA and the rest of the world, the Pixel's Dual SIM mode is one that goes back to the early 2000s.


XDA Developers recently noticed a new commit to AOSP's source code, revealing some interesting details about the Pixel 4. Crucially, the commit says it can do this "even if [the device has] two or more SIM cards". There is also DSDA or Dual SIM, Dual Active, which requires two different radios and allows the SIMs to be used simultaneously - but the smartphone industry mostly uses DSDS for dual SIM support on handsets. The Pixel 2 and 3 support DSSS, meaning that while two SIMs can be provisioned to two networks inside the phone, only the active SIM can receive calls and texts.


Google's Pixel devices have always been the talk of the town, and before there is any official information on the upcoming Pixel 4, we know that it is going to be released in the last quarter of this year along with its siblings. So, the minute that you switch over to the eSIM, you're no longer able to make or receive phone calls from the number assigned to the physical SIM in your smartphone. Most Android phones that support multiple SIM cards, as well as the iPhone XS and XS Max, use DSDS. You get to save $450 when you buy two Pixel 3 XL phones, $400 when you buy a Pixel 3 XL and a Pixel 3, and $350 when you buy two Pixel 3 phones. Specifically, the comment cites the implementation as necessary to differentiate the 2018 and 2019 Pixel - in other words, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4. What is likely, however, is that when the improved dual SIM feature is made available, it will be present on the next Android Q OS update, along with the new Google Pixel. When used alongside a hardware SIM, the Pixel 3 will work in dual-SIM mode, but not well.


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