We’re witnessing technology as it progresses, and it’s fast. Sometimes it feels like the changes happen too quickly to even catch up, and you heard terms that aren’t familiar to you, and you considered yourself tech-savvy. There’s no shame in it, manufacturers try to beat the competition every year with their newest model, and tend to add features that were almost a myth. Just like speakers that use vibration so that you could have a full-sized display on the front, hybrid SIM slots are a thing of the future. Even though they were introduced about two years ago with Samsung Galaxy S7 and other devices, you might still be wondering – what is hybrid SIM slot exactly?
Hybrid SIM slot explanation
Hybrid means a combination of two or even more elements, species, and in this case, cards. But which cards, exactly? First off, we have a SIM card that you should be familiar with, as it’s been with us for a long time. It’s the little card you receive from your mobile provider to insert into your phone. It allows you to have your own number that you can use to call or message friends and family via SMS, MMS, etc. Honestly, today phone numbers are even required to use services like Viber and WhatsApp.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the other type of card that’s important, and that is an SD card. That stands for a Secure Digital card and allows you to store photos, videos, text, and just any type of file you’d have on your computer, for example. They, too, have been around for a long time, and are still created in standard sizes, but they’ve changed a lot. The first and the most obvious change is the storage size.
While 1GB was considered common, or maybe even big for a mobile phone in the past, SD cards today are usually in the range of 32GB up to 512GB. The other important thing is the transfer speed of the data, which can be quite fast. And finally, we’ve come to the topic of Hybrid SIM slot existence. You see, up until recently, SIM cards and an SD card were plugged in separately, usually once you remove your battery. With the inclination to make phones smaller in size, but don’t lose out on features, manufacturers created an empty pocket, usually on the side of your phone, that you can plug both your cards into.
Hybrid SIM slot location and use
The slot is usually located on the right side of your phone, under volume buttons. Of course, the exact place varies from phone to phone. Additionally, you might notice a small empty hole, just like a dot, and wonder why is it there in the first place? Well, if you check the box your phone came in, you might notice a wire molded into a shape that resembles a paper clip. If you take it out and insert it into the hole, a small, drawer-like plastic slot will come out.
That’s exactly what Hybrid SIM slot is, and as you can see, there are spaces for both your cards. But wait, that’s not the full range of capabilities! What if you bought a phone with 128GB or even 256GB of internal memory? An SD card probably won’t be useful to you, since you have enough space already. Well, the creators thought of that too, and allow you to plug a second SIM card in place of an SD one. That’s right, you can now use two numbers on one phone at the same time!
Granted, you might have to get a mini or nano-SIM card to plug as your second, but your mobile provider will get you one, usually free of charge. And what’s best – nothing is lost if you go smaller – you’ll have a full range of features on your second SIM card. You might or might not wonder if it’s possible to plug both SIM cards AND an SD card. We’ll give you an answer to satisfy your curiosity right away. While it’s technically not possible by default, and you’ll have to choose, people all around the world already use special hybrid sim adapters to get this perk.
Hybrid SIM slot pros and cons
1. It’s easier to plug your cards in
In the past, you had to take your back cover off, and usually remove the battery to access both slots, then insert your cards. Taking those cards required you to have either long nails or a paper clip, as they were in a weird place. Today, since it’s practically impossible to take off your back panel because you’ll ruin your phone’s waterproofing measures, the slot had to be located on the side. It’s easy to access – the “drawer” pops out right away, and you can switch in a matter of seconds.
2. Waterproof and Water-resistant features
Hybrid SIM slot was revolutionary and allowed these features to be possible since you no longer had the need to look under the hood.
3. Saving space and allowing for better specifications
Since two slots were combined into one, this provided empty space to fit additional hardware like wireless charging, a bigger or better camera, additional sensors or simply better processor, GPU, etc.
1. You have to use a specific type of SIM card
That’s dictated by the manufacturer of your phone, and for example, you can only put micro and nano SIM cards, etcetera. If you have a mini SIM card, you’ll probably have to replace it. Luckily, your mobile provider can provide all types, but it’s a little bit of a hassle.
2. You have to pick between two SIM cards, or a SIM card and an SD card by default
Once again, people developed a solution to this problem – you’ll have to buy an additional adapter that allows all three at once.
Phones that have a Hybrid SIM Slot
|Phone Model||Hybrid SIM Slot Support|
|Samsung Galaxy S7||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy S8||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||Yes|
|Apple iPhone X||No|
|Apple iPhone 11||No|
|Apple iPhone 12||No|
If you want to know more devices and their compatibility, check out our article on smartphones with hybrid SIM slot.
Features Enabled by a Hybrid SIM Slot
By implementing the hybrid SIM slot, smartphone manufacturers where able to enhance the capabilities of the devices. Here is a table showing the features that were improved with the help of an hybrid SIM slot.
|Wireless Charging||Ability to charge the phone wirelessly through induction, made possible by the space saved by the hybrid slot.|
|Improved Camera||Higher resolution or better quality camera due to the additional space for camera hardware.|
|Enhanced Processor or GPU||More powerful processor or graphics processing unit (GPU) for improved performance.|
|Extra Sensors||Additional sensors such as ambient light sensor, gyroscope, or magnetometer for enhanced functionality.|
Hybrid SIM Slot FAQs
You cannot use two SIM cards and a microSD card simultaneously on a hybrid SIM slot. They are designed to use two SIM cards or a SIM card and an ab SD card at the same time. If you still want to use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time, you can use a hybrid SIM adapter, which extends its functionality.
You do not have to fill all the spaces in a hybrid SIM slot to make it work. You can simply use one SIM card and leave the other empty.
The main disadvantage of using a device with a hybrid sim slot is the inability to use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time, like in older smartphones. It can be very difficult to frequently switch between the SD card and the SIM card. If you do not have a problem with this, then there aren’t any significant disadvantages with a hybrid SIM slot.
According to us, hybrid SIM slots are much more beneficial than regular SIM card slots. The regular sim card slots were beneficial on older smartphone models with less storage space. Because most modern smartphones are coming with a significant amount of internal storage. The need for using an additional SD card is becoming very less. So a hybrid SIM slot can be used to insert two SIM cards, which is more than enough for regular usage. In addition, hybrid SIM slots also help to significantly reduce the space taken for its implementation, making the devices lighter.
In the end, now that you know what a hybrid SIM slot is, and how much it helped smartphone technology develop, you can’t be angry at the changes. Important to realize, not all phones come with this option by default, for example, Apple’s phones don’t have this option. But Samsung Galaxy S9, S8, S7 all support this feature, and it’s obvious there are many happy customers. In the end, nothing has changed -except you have to throw your mini-SIM card out of the window and get a micro or a nano one, or both.