top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

What dual-SIM phones work best in France?

With technologies advancing, it may no longer be necessary to have a dual-SIM phone

The eSIM replaces the physical card with a computer chip in the phone Pic: justyle / Shutterstock

Reader question: Dual-SIM phones seem to be the solution to many mobile phone problems faced by Britons and other foreigners with second homes in France. Can you say which is best to use?

Dual SIM phones were first covered by The Connexion in 2010 and in 2016. They were quickly adopted by many foreigners with second homes in France – by switching the card, you could move from one country’s operator to another.

Since then, the introduction of eSIMs has made their use more relevant, especially now the UK is out of EU roaming agreements. The eSIM replaces the physical card with a computer chip in the phone.

Most of the latest Apple phones and many Android ones can operate on eSIMs as well as physical cards, and the major operators in France all now offer them.


Loading operators to an eSIM card is usually as simple as photographing a QR code, and then following the instructions on screen to set up how they work – eSIM only, SIM only or both together. Having them both work together does mean the battery will need recharging more often.

For most people living in the UK and visiting France,  having their UK number as the main one on the eSIM and a French number with the SIM is probably the best solution – it allows more freedom to choose an operator.

There has also been increased competition in the French market. Free now offers two hours of calls a month in France and Europe, limited data, and unlimited SMS messages for €2 a month. Other operators have slightly more expensive packages.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now