Samsung C5212 Duos preview: First look

GSMArena team, 17 February 2009.
Pages: 123

Standard UI, refined Dual SIM section

Samsung C5212 Duos interface has the typical Samsung styling, which does not come as a surprise given the down-market positioning of the device. There are no innovations or upgrades in terms of extra features in the C5212 Duos, except for the dual SIM interface. That is why, in this brief preview we'll concentrate on it, leaving the rest for a possible future review.

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The well known UI holds no surprises except for the dual SIM functionality

No fooling around about its key asset, Samsung C5212 Duos makes sure the dual SIM handling is up to scratch. Some of the limitations that were noted in phones like D880 and D780 are now dealt with.

The master and slave SIM card hierarchy still holds of course. There is still a default (primary) card that will take all the action unless the user says otherwise, but this time both SIM cards are fully operative in terms of GPRS/EDGE coverage. That wasn't the case before, as data connections were only handled by the default SIM.

For example, when you start a web browser or another service that requires a data connection, you are prompted to choose which SIM is to be used. Of course, if you know you will always use only one of the cards for data connections, you can set it as default and you'll stop seeing the "Select activating SIM" menu.

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In C5212 Duos the data connections are no longer limited to the default (master) SIM card

If you think the frequency band limitation we encountered in D880 and D780 is sorted you're right. But it's sorted quite radically. Both D880 and D780 have tri-band support for SIM1 and dual-band support only for SIM2. Now, that alone rendered them useless as a dual SIM solution in areas that have the 1900 MHz band such as North America.

So, the C5212 Duos chooses to obey simple logic and skips the tri-band support altogether. It's a fair trade by all means. Dual band support makes sense in a low-end handset, plus you get both SIM cards enabled for data connections.

When you insert one or two SIM cards in Samsung C5212 Duos for the first time, you need to assign them names and prioritize them to get started.

A new feature allows you to assign a graphical icon to each SIM card too. This is a very handy extra identification of your SIM cards.

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Registering your SIM card: setting name and priority SIM card management with the handy icons

Once you are done, you can start reaping the dual SIM benefits. If you need to make changes to that setup later, you can open the simple SIM management interface by pressing the dedicated key on the handset's right side. The interface is accessible from the Settings menu too.

Call management, phonebook and messaging specifics

Upon an incoming/outgoing call the caller number/name is accompanied by the name of the SIM card which is receiving the call.

When you want to call somebody, all you need to do is select the phone number and then choose which card to use for the outgoing call. The primary SIM is default and pressing the call key directly dials the number using it.

However, if you wish to call using the secondary SIM card, pressing the dedicated SIM management key switches the SIM card for the outgoing call. There are no delays or glitches whatsoever using this feature. We are particularly pleased with the Samsung implementation of this interface.

The major update here is that when toggling the two SIM cards, their labels are no longer displayed at the bottom of the screen taking too much space. Tiny icons appear instead in the top status bar to indicate which SIM card is being used.

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Incoming/outgoing call dialog menu The missed call notification shows SIM card icon too

The Call log is also very well geared to accommodate the dual SIM functionality. It displays the type of call (incoming, outgoing, etc.), the SIM card, the caller number/name and the number of calls. When you select a log entry, you can see the entire call history, including the time and date, the SIM card again and the call duration. You can opt to return the call using the default SIM card or the secondary one.

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Calls log displays the SIM card used

A new number can easily be saved in either the phone memory or on one of the two SIM cards. The new feature here is that the contact list has four view modes: phone memory, SIM 1, SIM 2 and phone and SIM simultaneously. With the D800 both SIM card numbers were listed in one tab.

The phonebook itself displays the name, the default number (when a name is highlighted) and the memory used for contact storage - an icon to the right for SIM 1 and SIM 2 designates where the contact is stored.

Composing a new message doesn't differ from any other Samsung phone and is much like making a call. If a message is sent straight away it goes through the primary SIM card. However with a single press of the dual SIM key, you can channel it through the secondary SIM.

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Typing a message the received message displays a SIM card icon opened message

Of course, there are other dedicated dual SIM card menus concerning the data calls settings, networks and profile customization. However, none of them has undergone any changes compared to previous dual SIM phones so you can consult our detailed reviews of Samsung D880 and Samsung D780.

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Other dual SIM menus we are familiar with since Samsung D880

Final words

Samsung C5212 Duos is a neat dual SIM mobile phone with classic bar design, comfortable controls and a basic but practical set of features. It is probably going to be the cheapest dual SIM solution by a respectable brand on the market. It's also the most compact and looks attractive enough for the estimated price bracket. We won't hesitate to recommend it, as we think it will deliver for its target users.

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