It is almost unfathomable to imagine our lives without a smartphone in our possession, following us wherever we go. It offers security, convenience, entertainment, and for some, a way to earn their living. From the very beginning, a SIM card was a core of every smartphone, giving you a unique identity, allowing others to get in touch, and you to get in touch with them. The name stems from that functionality – Subscriber Identification Module, SIM for short. But what is it, exactly? And what makes Nano-SIM card different from others that are available? If you’ve bought a new phone or are in the process of getting one – here’s what you need to know.
Is there a difference between Nano-SIM Cards and other types of SIM Cards?
In essence, all types of SIM cards use the same circuitry that can be immediately recognized as the golden rectangle or ellipse. Furthermore, that shape is split into multiple sections by a very thin, intricate pattern of lines. It’s exactly what provides all of the functionality you seek from the SIM itself – storing your contacts, giving you a unique number that other people can call or text. In today’s world, your phone number allows you to access a plethora of applications from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, making it even more invaluable.
So, if it’s all the same, why do I have to choose an appropriate type, you might wonder. Well, the reason is simple and very obvious – the manufacturer’s desire to make things as small as possible while still making steady upgrades. You’ll notice that the technology a decade ago was bulkier, more harmful, warmer, and less powerful. In that effort to make things smaller, the SIM card had to be cut down in size to fit a thinner, lighter smartphone, hence the creation of a Nano-SIM card, also called 4FF.
Nano-SIM Card size
We’ve concluded that it functions the same, while still being the smallest SIM card that is manually inserted into the phone. Many people that aren’t tech-savvy refer to it as the “fingernail-sized SIM card” which is not far from the truth. To be precise, the Nano-SIM card measures 0.484 in × 0.346 in × 0.026 in or 12.3 mm × 8.8 mm × 0.67 mm. The circuitry is only covered by a very slim “rim “of isolating material, usually plastic, which prevents it from getting into contact with other parts of the phone and causing a short circuit. The thickness of a Nano-SIM card is 0.26 in or 0.67 mm thick. It is a slight design improvement compared to its predecessor, Micro-SIM card, which measures 0.030 in or 0.76 mm in thickness.
How do I pick the best SIM Card type?
You’re lucky – you’ve got the work cut out for you already. The only choice you have at choosing the type of SIM card is when you’re buying the smartphone itself. The older it is, the bigger the SIM card would likely be. However, you’ll quickly realize that the newest smartphones exclusively use a Nano-SIM card. The card has been in use since October 2012 and has completely overtaken the market from that point on. To make things easier to understand, the first iOS device to use this type of SIM was the Apple iPhone 5, and it remained in use with the models released in 2019, Apple’s iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. All of Google’s smartphones also use the Nano-SIM card exclusively, while Huawei introduced it with its 2015 model, Huawei G8. Other companies made the transition typically between 2014 and 2015. So, if your smartphone is newer than that, fret no more.
Nano-SIM Card compatibility
Having this type of a SIM card at hand, and requiring some of its predecessors for an older phone is a blessing. Since it is the smallest, it can easily fit into a custom third-party SIM adapter. That is the primary reason the manufacturers made it thinner than older types – to accommodate for the thickness of an adapter. But here’s a better and cheaper solution – simply look through the box you received from your mobile service provider.
You’ll immediately spot a plastic card the size of a standard credit card you use every day. It is the oldest model, and the biggest, but the insulating material has been pre-cut into exact sizes of the newer standards. Simply fitting a rim of plastic over your Nano-SIM card allows you to “convert” it into a Micro-SIM card or a Mini-SIM Card since a full-size SIM card is not in use anymore.
How do I insert my Nano-SIM Card?
Many people feel confident about inserting their SIM card – after all, how hard can it be? Just open the back, pull out the battery, insert it, and put it all back together. Well, that’s where the problem lies. In recent years, the need for waterproof, or water-resistant phones has risen. People want to take underwater pictures or videos of their holiday, and a drop of water can wreak havoc inside your phone in an instant. To combat that issue, the designers had to create a special tray, that when closed, does not let water get inside.
Opening it is very easy – you’ll notice something resembling a paper clip or a bobby pin was shipped inside your smartphone’s box. It is most often called a SIM ejector tool. Now, notice a tiny hole, typically on the side of your smartphone. Put the tip of the tool inside a hole, and you’ll feel it give in, and a tray will come loose. The holes will be pre-cut to fit your SIM card, so you cannot go wrong about placing it in. When done, simply put it in, and press hard until the tray “locks” back in.
Benefits of a Nano-SIM Card/Dual SIM
The benefit of having two SIM cards inside one smartphone is great, there’s no doubt about that. In fact, the possibility was present for quite a while. However, it typically meant the smartphone had to lose another functionality to compensate for the space lost. Or, in other cases, it had to be bulkier to fit everything in. For that reason, if you needed to use 2 SIM cards, you had to give up on the idea of using an SD card to expand your internal memory.
The introduction of this type of SIM card, with its small size, allowed the smartphone designers to create a special tray. It’s designed in such a way that it can either read and recognize two Nano-SIM Cards, or one Nano-SIM card, and one Micro-SD card, which is its most common use. With that, dreading the thought of running out of memory in the future is gone, and you can switch back and forth at will.