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Royal SCR1 SIM card reader/writer review: Royal SCR1 SIM card reader/writer

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The Good The Royal SCR1 SIM card reader/writer has a simple, easy-to-use design and offers some surprise features.

The Bad The Royal SCR1 SIM card reader/writer accommodates only one SIM card at a time. Also, it does not let you clear contacts directly from its memory.

The Bottom Line The Royal SCR1 SIM card reader/writer is an ideal way to back up your SIM card contacts, though we wish it was a bit easier to use.

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7.0 Overall

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Royal SCR1 SIM card reader/writer

A SIM card is one of the best things about GSM cell phones. Because they store your phone number and your contacts, SIM cards make it easy to transfer both your identity and your phone book to a new handset. But there is a slight catch to this convenience: if you ever lose your SIM card, all saved names and numbers are lost for good. That's why it's best to treat your contacts like the most important files on your computer and back them up for safekeeping. The new SCR1 SIM card reader/writer from Royal Consumer Information Products can help you do just that.

Though it's small enough to attach to a keychain, the SCR1 can be indispensable if you're a little too lost-prone. Once you transfer your contacts from your SIM card to the SCR1, it will hold them for safekeeping should ever need to retrieve them. True, you can use your computer to save your contacts, but the SCR1 is an equally good option. It works exactly as advertised, with a simple, user-friendly design plus a couple of extra features. And at just $19.99, it should be standard equipment for any GSM phone owner.

The black-and-silver SCR1 looks very much like a 1980s travel clock you'd get after renewing your subscription to Newsweek. At 2.6 inches by 0.9 inch by 0.4 inch, it's small enough to fit into a pocket; and at 1.28 ounces, it won't weigh you down. A monochrome LCD covers almost the entire front face of the device. Besides showing the time when you're in standby mode, it also serves as your interface for scrolling through the menus and activating the different functions. Three buttons line either side of the display. On the left is a menu control and a pair of scrolling buttons; an enter key and another pair of scrolling buttons sit on the right side. Though the menus are exceedingly simple, it can take a few tries to get to get the hang of the buttons because the same control can do a several things. We suggest reading the instructions first.

On the right side of the device is a short keychain and ring. The SCR1 isn't something we'd carry around all the time, but the option is there if you want it. The left side holds the SIM card slot, and the battery cover and a tiny reset hole are on the SCR1's back. It's important to note that the SCR1 doesn't have an off switch in the traditional sense; you can only make it sleep between certain times. Though that option saves juice and the battery is user-replaceable, we'd prefer a switch.

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