How Not To Design a Dual-SIM Device

R7 Dual SIM Tray

Oppo has announced two new mid-range smartphones—or affordable flagships, depending on your point of view. The R7 and R7 Plus each feature a full metal chassis, 5 or 6 inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 615 Processor, 3 GB of RAM, a 13 MP camera and the not-terrible-for-an-OEM-ROM Color OS.

They also support dual SIMs, but do so in a way that’s pretty much useless for the end-user.

Take another look at the photo above. At first glance you might think: “Oh, that second slot in the SIM tray can accommodate either a Nano SIM or micro SD card. How clever!” But there are two BIG problems with this design.

The first has to do with the available onboard storage for the phones; the phablet-sized R7 Plus has 32 GB, but the smaller R7 only has 16 GB—meaning that the user will almost certainly have to use that second slot for more storage, especially if they’re going on holiday and capturing lots of photos and videos. But wait, isn’t going on holiday a big use-case for a second SIM? Yes, yes it is.

Even if you wanted to make do without the extra memory and add an extra SIM instead, in my limited experience travel SIMs in the Nano size are often sold at a premium. Call it an Apple tax, I guess…

This unfortunate design choice is especially frustrating for me because these new Oppos are otherwise very compelling—even more so given Oppo’s history of supporting the Android modding community. If you can make do with the available storage or don’t really have a need for dual SIM support, the R7 and R7 Plus might still be worth looking into.

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