With Android 10 rolling out, users are finding some unexpected surprises included in the update. For example, an upgrade to the Pixel 3a and 3a XL’s Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) feature that (finally) enables true dual-SIM card support on these devices.
DSDS lets you have two SIM cards (one physical and one eSIM card) connected to separate networks—a convenient way to switch between carriers for any reason. Before the Android 10 update, Pixel 3a users were forced to swap their SIMs to access different networks; in Android 10, Pixel 3a owners can use each network simultaneously and specify which activities (texting, data, or calls) should default to a particular network.
However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind:
- DSDS is only available for Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones; no other Pixel devices support true DSDS right now.
- Since the Pixel 3a only has one physical SIM card slot, the other SIM has to be a digital eSIM. Furthermore, the Pixel 3a only supports eSIM cards from Google Fi, Sprint, and Telekom.de. Pixel 3a phones purchased from Verizon or Charter do not support eSIM.
- Some networks don’t work together, so do some extra research before buying a new SIM card to ensure compatibility.
- Pixel 3as purchased in Japan cannot use DSDS, even with the Android 10 update.
Adding a second SIM or eSIM to your Pixel 3a
Regardless of what kind of SIM card you’re adding to your device, you first need to upgrade to Android 10 if you haven’t already. After you’ve updated, follow the steps below the type of SIM card you’d like to add:
Adding a physical SIM as your second SIM card
- Begin by ejecting your Pixel 3a’s SIM tray from the SIM port. The SIM port is a small slot with an even tinier hole on the side of your Pixel 3a. You’ll need a SIM ejection tool for this (or something small enough to fit into the hole and securely release the tiny port). Consult Google’s support page for inserting SIM cards if you run into issues.
- Place your physical SIM card in the SIM port tray, then slide it back into your phone until it clicks into place.
- A prompt asking if you would like to “Use 2 numbers?” should appear on screen. Tap “Continue.”
- Tap “Restart” and wait for the reboot to complete.
- Next, open your Settings menu from the app screen, and go to Network & Internet > Mobile network to set your network preferences.
Adding an eSIM as your second SIM card
- Head to your Pixel 3a’s Settings menu, and tap “Network & Internet.”
- Tap the “Add” icon next to “Mobile network.”
- Tap “Next” when asked if you “Don’t have a SIM card?”
- Tap “Continue” when prompted to “Use 2 numbers,” then tap “Restart.”
- After your device has rebooted, open the Settings menu, then go to Network & internet > Mobile network to set your network preferences.