Micro SIM cut into a nano SIM while keeping leftovers as adapter.

It’s been nearly a whole year since I talked about the problem with SIM cards. That article alone was real hot and garnered a lot of talks! I think now it’s time to do an update. This is the problem with SIM cards – revisited.

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

Now if you really wanna know what we’ll be talking here in today’s revisiting, please do check out the Problem with SIM cards from a year ago here to get the foundation of what we’ll be revisiting today.

Done that? Great, let’s get re-started!

What has changed

Literally nothing. Seriously, nothing. SIM cards are still as problematic as they are from a year ago – there are a total of 3 sizes, from mini to micro to nano SIM card sizes, which are still in use today.

LEAGOO Elite 4 (15)

Believe it or not, mini SIM (those that we refer to as “big” these days) actually made quite a comeback, as it is found in phones like the LEAGOO Elite 4. Certain Xiaomi phones have different SIM card trays for you to change from micro to a mini SIM  which is nice since they do give an option to use both SIM card sizes for the same slot.

More dual SIM phones

One SIM per phone? That’s so yesteryear – check out phones of today, dual SIM capability is found literally everywhere! From the very budget-friendly ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone 2, LEAGOO Elite 4, Alcatel Flash 2, and many more devices out there.

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Dual SIM on the ZenFone 2 series

It’s definitely a good thing too, as more and more users start to adapt the convenience that a dual-SIM capable device can provide to the user. Seriously, why do you need to bring two separate devices out? Yet you’ll have to charge each of them separately.
Annoying!

Users have to be really careful

SIM adapter

Recently, I’ve encountered one of the worst problem with SIM cards. It’s another one of those crappy Chinese SIM card adapters that converts to all sizes for only RM10. Like I mentioned here in the previous rant about SIM cards before, nano SIM has a significantly different thickness compared to other sizes – and that thickness is going to screw things up badly!

zenfone selfie (2)

Again I will stress that even some manufacturers have easily accessible SIM cards, it doesn’t mean that they have don’t have this issue. ASUS ZenFone 2 series of phones/phablets, Alcatel Flash 2, Honor 6/6 Plus/7, LEAGOO, etc. all have the same mechanism – they slide in to the slot.

I’ve had my fair share of problem with the [REDACTED] here. I’d like to clarify again that this is an error from my side and not from [REDACTED]’s side, so don’t blame them!!

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Here’s the state of the [REDACTED] when I got it – there’s a nano-to-micro-SIM adapter stuck inside, and the pin latched onto the adapter itself.

¡Dios mío! That’s a big headache! It’s either I rip the SIM card out and render the slot useless, or destroy the metal chassis holding the SIM card, then get the adapter out. Even though the [REDACTED] is a dual-SIM phone, I didn’t want to sacrifice any of the slots.

How I fixed SIM card slot

Going with the option of destroying the metal holder, I took my little pair of tweezers and precision screwdrivers, then got to work. Open up the back cover, unscrewing the screws and got to maneuver around the warranty sticker and pried off the plastic covering the SIM card slots and the surrounding electronics.

Look at those gold pins being all happy and stuck.
Look at those gold pins being all happy and stuck.

Using brute force I forced the tweezers’s sharp end into the the metal and slowly pry it open. Lo and behind, I managed to mangle out the adapter without causing much problems, but the gold pins did indeed get bent. 🙁

sim card (4)

That means I will have to diagnose the damage and potentially fix it all back, and I’m not happy with that. I had to pry open the metal chassis holding the SIM card in place to fully diagnose the problem. I had to pry it open, and that means the tweezers are back.

sim card (5)

Some of the pins were bent beyond recognition, but nothing solves the problem without some precision flat head screwdriver and a little bit of thinking. Somehow I bent to back to replicate the look of the other set of contacts on SIM card slot 1.

So with the adapter removed, how does the SIM card work again? Does it even work though? The answer is yes – yes it does work, but it’s tricky.

First, take the SIM card and put it on the slot, then close the metal chassis – but those anchor points that press the SIM card against the gold pins on the slot to make contact are broken, so I made a workaround.

sim card (6)

Remember that big plastic piece that I had to unscrew? I sandwiched in a piece of paper with an appropriate thickness and then screw the plastic piece in – that means the piece of paper will be press the entire SIM card down!

Believe it or not, it does work, but that means swapping cards will be annoying as heck 🙁

Wrap up

I’m still rather sad seeing these unnecessary problems lingering around SIM cards. We’ve been hearing many SIM card problems and dang, none of them are feasible yet? At least for now that is.

SIM cards have shrunken to its nano specifications – and that’s already with nearly the maximum surface area of contact with the pins. Any smaller is possible – but will be a problem caused by the user’s big and clunky yet clumsy fingers.

One point to stress about – those little SIM card adapters are not recommended. They just tend to screw your device apart. Why not go get the correct size and use that instead?

At this point of time, it seems like we’ve reached a point where SIM card sizes are stagnant, while micro and nano sizes are getting the household names. This is quite bad – it can lead to a very difficult to make users adopt a new SIM card standard (if it ever exist) as it will easily take 2 years just for the momentum to pick up.

Is it impossible? Nope, but it’s an uphill battle.


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