Pixel 4 could finally have true dual SIM support

Doris Richards
February 11, 2019

The dual SIM support is interesting for a couple of reasons.

According to information found in an Android Open Source Project web page by XDA Developers, it appears that the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will feature an improved dual SIM functionality. A Googler commenting on a source code change for Android Q let it slip that the 2019 Pixel will have "dual SIM functionality", which hopefully means the true dual SIM capabilities users expect these days. So technically speaking, Google may be able to introduce real Dual SIM, Dual Active support for the Pixel 3 with a software update if the company wanted to. Like Apple's newest iPhone, those Pixel phones have a tray for one SIM card while the second is provided by an eSIM.

However, the 2017 and 2018 Pixel models are Dual SIM, Single Standby. ESIM is only used by a few carriers around the world, including Sprint in the USA, but it can act as a second SIM alongside the hardware SIM when activated.


Put simply, you can't use your standard SIM and your eSIM at the same time in current Pixel phones, and that might be changing in the Pixel 4. While you can have the settings on the eSIM and an installed SIM card from two different carriers, the one that is inactive cannot receive calls or texts. Because it requires two radios, it isn't very common.

As a daily user of a Dual SIM phone, I know that going forward I would struggle without the functionality. Hopefully, Google will decide to flip the switch for the Pixel 3 when it gets Android Q. The same commit mentions that the Pixel 3 also supports dual-SIM use, but it's restricted to dogfooding. The most common is Dual SIM Dual Standby, wherein both SIMs are registered on the network at once, and both can receive calls / SMS, but generally only if the other SIM isn't already being used for that goal.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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