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how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

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taxico
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how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby taxico » Mon, 23 Jan 2017 6:14 pm

i thought i'd post this here... for those that need plenty of phone numbers/apps and don't want to carry multiple devices.

i've been using a Xiaomi phone the past few months, bought from the singapore xiaomi store. it's an mi 5 model - but i think any phone released by them in the 2nd half of last year will have similar features.

this is not a plug. i paid for my own phone. i have/own no financial interest in xiaomi.

i have 2 sim cards in my phone: a singapore sim + overseas/(local-to-me, wherever i'm at) sim.

my SG sim gives me access to my singapore bank accounts as i now only visit singapore no more than a total of 3 weeks every year (this is my first number).

my overseas/local-to-me sim gives me access to voice and data that i may need (eg, a google Fi sim in the US), and cheap local calls (Vietnam/Laos).

i also run Hangouts - this is connected to my US number that i had ported from t-mo to g-voice. i receive calls for free here, and make calls back to the US for free (this is my second number).

hangouts is used with a persistent Strongswan connection to my US office's VPN.

the xiaomi phone has a "Dual App" feature - it duplicates any app installed on the phone and makes it completely separate to its twin.

i have whatsapp duplicated for my SG number and my US number to keep in touch with staff, friends and family.

countries i visit regularly, i maintain a local number (my third number) but i try to communicate using messaging apps as i can't plug more than 2 sim cards into one phone at a time, and i can continue using the app after i leave the the country's cell coverage.

as i'm working throughout asia most of the time: i use Wechat for my HK/china sim, Line for my japan sim, Kakaotalk in korea, and (duplicated) Viber for my viet and laos sims.

for making paid out-going international voice calls, i use Skype. i have a monthly Skype world calling plan. i maintain a paypal-linked balance for countries not covered by the plan on a separate duplicated Skype app tied to my skype number (my 4th number - primarily for grandparents-in-law to call me/my wife).

i have multiple numbers registered with each of my Skype account so that the right one shows up on the other party's caller-id (eg, an SG number shows when making a call to a +65 number).

the bulk of the above are dependent on an internet connection via data sim or wifi. it would not work in areas with only sat phone coverage.

nonetheless, i hope this might be useful for any other expat in a similar situation as i'm in...

this may not be the recommended way for everyone. for those who find it useful, good for you. others can read and ignore - but i thank you for having the patience for going through this.

p/s: xiaomi phones also comes with a "Second Space" function that effectively doubles everything shown above - it is like having 2 separate phones in 1, complete with notifications that go from one virtual phone to the other. if you need more 3 or 4 instances of whatsapp (or any other app), this can come in handy.

i tried it out on the xiaomi mi4i running 615 + 2gb ram and it was a little sluggish. on my current phone, snapdragon 820 with 3gb of ram, it's not a problem but i would have preferred 4gm of ram...
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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 9:33 am

Thanks for that, Taxico.

I don't follow the complete set-up, so can I confirm with you, I take it these SIM cards are pre-paid?

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Hidy Ho » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 2:50 pm

I have Xiaomi Mi Max with snapdragon 652 chipset and 4GB ram. This is my favorite Android phone of all time and I even gave away my fairly new OnePlus 3 after getting this phone. I run simple dual sims (one SG and one TH) - without "dual app" or "second space". The battery will last at least one full day (even with heavy usage) - no more carrying powerbank when heading out.

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 2:58 pm

Cheers Hidy.

Your set-up is pre-paid or post-paid?

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Hidy Ho » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 5:32 pm

SG company pay :)
TH personal pay :(

Both post-paid

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 5:51 pm

Ok, thanks.

The reason I ask is because I have a dual sim too, Sing/Indo. But it appears that I'm getting charged twice, because the telcos aren't synchronising their data.

You have any issues with that?

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Hidy Ho » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 8:07 pm

Both OnePlus (1, 2 and 3) and Xiaomi Mi Max are only dual sim phones I've owned. All have option to choose which carrier/sim I will use for 1) voice call and 2) internet/data. So only one carrier/sim will/should be charged. And, I always set "Data Roaming" to be off so I don't make mistake of "roaming" and getting a huge bill.

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 24 Jan 2017 8:39 pm

I'd asked them to hard-switch switch roaming to off, but they'd switched it back on without informing me on when my plan was renewed.

Yeah, I nominate SIM when in the respective country: voice, data and SMS. And I manually switch off roaming on my phone too. Yet despite all that, they still managed to double charge me. They waived some of it, no questions asked, but not all of it.

I'm now digging in to get the rest back. But it blows my mind that they can not have their shit together and then still make customers go through this crap to get refunded fully.

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby taxico » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 8:35 am

Max Headroom wrote:Thanks for that, Taxico.

I don't follow the complete set-up, so can I confirm with you, I take it these SIM cards are pre-paid?


I use a mixture of post and prepaid.

I'm using two SG cards, one prepaid (voice roaming) and one post paid (20 gb data only sim with roaming data package).

my Japan and Laos sims are prepaid. my US and Vietnam sims are post paid.

the thing with the Xiaomi phone is that you can toggle the services/settings for each card pretty much independently with regards to data and voice roaming.

(the only thing that doesn't seem to stick is auto time settings... a new card will mess up time and have made me late more than once...)

what phone are you using?
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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 8:46 am

Yes, my set-up is pre-paid (Indo) and post-paid (Sing). And I can specify calls, data and texts individually too.

I'm using the Samsung A7 2016 model. Great phone, powerful processor and solid battery life. But, evidently, it's hampered by poor data exchange between telcos there and here.

Incidentally, I've used the dual SIM again since the last time they double-charged me and it appears that they've got their act together now, as the local bill doesn't show any items from my overseas trip this time.

So they've got to to refund me for the outstanding amounts now, which I'll chase up next.

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby taxico » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 9:22 am

Hidy Ho wrote:I have Xiaomi Mi Max with snapdragon 652 chipset and 4GB ram. This is my favorite Android phone of all time and I even gave away my fairly new OnePlus 3 after getting this phone. I run simple dual sims (one SG and one TH) - without "dual app" or "second space". The battery will last at least one full day (even with heavy usage) - no more carrying powerbank when heading out.


I've heard nothing but good things about the battery life of the mi Max but it was simply to big for my pocket.

the mi 5 is adequate for a full day's use and I have no complaints there... but I still bring along a battery pack when I'm on the road.

I had considered getting the latest 3t in HK but I didn't think the price jump was worth it for the processor upgrade as mine is still performing well. I think I paid $400 for the mi5 in Singapore.
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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 9:36 am

Try manually "stopping" or uninstalling the bloatware they put on the phone. It'll double your battery life.

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby taxico » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 9:41 am

Max Headroom wrote:Yes, my set-up is pre-paid (Indo) and post-paid (Sing). And I can specify calls, data and texts individually too.

I'm using the Samsung A7 2016 model. Great phone, powerful processor and solid battery life. But, evidently, it's hampered by poor data exchange between telcos there and here.

Incidentally, I've used the dual SIM again since the last time they double-charged me and it appears that they've got their act together now, as the local bill doesn't show any items from my overseas trip this time.

So they've got to to refund me for the outstanding amounts now, which I'll chase up next.


like hidy mentioned, the Xiaomi phone only allows one slot to be assigned for data.

within settings, data options/configurations are for that assigned sim only.

if your Samsung had only that one configurable data option, it's probably the same as Xiaomi.

but if my memory serves me right... many years ago I tried using a Samsung "duo" dual SIM phone...

it didn't work like I thought it should, and gave me problems with trying to figure out which sim the data was coming from...

I couldn't give the phone away quickly enough.
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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Max Headroom » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 10:31 am

Nowhere did I read or hear anything of that nature, not online when checking the phone's specs proactively, not in any of the print the phone came with and not whilst setting up the phone after having got it. If this really is an issue in this phone too, the telco that sells it will have an even bigger problem on their hands, because if that isn't deceitful, then I don't know what is, particularly since I've already addressed the double-charge problem and they never mentioned this configuration issue even then.

I doubt it's that.

I'll contact them again after CNY.

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Re: how i maintain 4 int'l phone numbers in 1 cell

Postby Hidy Ho » Thu, 26 Jan 2017 12:46 pm

taxico wrote:
I've heard nothing but good things about the battery life of the mi Max but it was simply to big for my pocket.

...


I was specifically looking for a large phone with dual sim capability as I find it harder and harder to read my work emails on smaller phones (getting old) and came across Mi Max. I have company provided Apple 6s that I don't use cause I can't seem to ready anything on that small screen.

Have you seen Xiaomi Mi Mix? Big full screen on small body. Wish that was readily available outside China but isn't :( This type of phone or fold-able tablet phone, I think is next evolution in phones ... and we longer have to pay Apple or Samsung/LG price for a quality phones (so many good cheaper android phones out there now).


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