Cubot X12 — Dual SIM Use

I have written before about this great value phone:

A Cheap Android Phone
Practical Stuff on the Cubot X12

Its selling points are 4G/LTE operation, and Dual SIM capability. I’ve already found that 4G works and works well on GiffGaff. I am currently in Bulgaria and I have had a chance to put Dual SIM operation to the test.

Cubot X12 with Nova Desktop

Cubot X12 with Nova Desktop

When I arrived in Bulgaria, my hosts had bought me a pay as you go SIM from one of their providers, Telenor. Firstly, I switched off and moved my GiffGaff SIM to the 2G SIM socket. I would not be using its data abroad, and for basic calls and texting, 2G or 4G makes no real difference. I put the Telenor SIM into the 4G socket. Closed up and switched on, and it all appeared to work, though the Telenor SIM only provided 3G. However, there was no data connection. Sending a free text to a particular number should have set it up for me, however all I got back was a link to a Telenor advert offering to sell me a phone that would work. Clearly it could not auto-set up the Cubot X12.

Solutions are never too far away, and it was on Telenor Bulgaria’s English-language page, though not in an obvious place. You need to add an Access Point, and that’s not as hard as it sounds. You start by entering “Settings”. In the Wireless & Network section, select “More”  > “Mobile Networks” > “Access Point Names”. You will see a Plus sign in a circle, you need to tap that so set up a new Access Point. Once you’ve done that, you only need make three entries, leave all the others alone. They are:

Name: TELENOR
APN: telenor
Username: telenor

Then hit Exit at the bottom right, and select TELENOR as your chosen APN. If you restart the phone, you should get Mobile Data available.

In use, even though I was only getting 3G, it was solid and far more consistent than when I was getting 3G (H+) on my Samsung S3 in Britain. No complaints at all. And the Dual SIM aspect came in handy when I got a phone call from my bank, as a result of a transaction I’d made at the airport before I left the UK, going through multiple times. They had frozen my account until they were able to speak to me to check what happened, and I was able to verify that it should have been a single transaction. Had I temporarily put my “home” SIM to one side and put in the Telenor SIM on its own, I would have got a shock the first time I went to the cash point. So the feature was genuinely useful.

There are other settings you need to check. Under Settings > SIM Cards you set which SIM is used for Mobile Data. With “Calls” and “SMS” messages you have an extra choice, to “Ask Every Time”.

I will be going to Malta next month for a couple of weeks. I’ll see what I can find in the way of SIMs, maybe I’ll go for a Data-Only SIM for the 4G slot, and set up tethering to my laptop. But for now, I’ll say that the Dual SIM capability of the Cubot X12 is not a gimmick, even though the second slot is only 2G. That’s all you need to keep your regular home phone number connected for calls and texts, whilst enjoying a really solid data connection (and also calls and texts) through a local SIM. It’s a genuinely useful feature, making this a great phone to take on holiday, or for someone whose life is split between two countries.

Using a dual-SIM phone in Malta

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