Move a Sim Card Between Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 or Note 2 and iPhone 3, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5
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This article is part of our VisiHow series of guides on how to get the most out of the latest Tech.
- 1 Android or iPhone, Different Phones Have Different SIM Sizes
- 2 Mini or Standard SIM Phone Models - August 2014
- 3 Micro SIM Phone Models - August 2014
- 4 Popular Nano SIM Phone Models - August 2014
- 5 Understanding the Different SIM Card Adapters
- 6 How to Use Each of the Different SIM Card Adapters
7 Questions and Answers
- 7.1 I really want to use my bigger SIM card to a phone supporting a smaller SIM card but I do not want to cut my SIM card smaller. What should I do?
- 7.2 I can fit the SIM card to my phone but it only recognizes SIM cards from one specific network. What is the problem with this?
- 7.3 Is the SIM card for the Galaxy S3 the same size as the Galaxy S4?
- 7.4 I want to use a BlackBerry 9780 Bold and Samsung S4 Mini with the same SIM. Is this possible?
- 7.5 I have purchased Samsung Galaxy S5. I need to copy my contacts from my old Samsung Duos. How can I do this?
- 7.6 I Factory Reset my phone and lost some of my contact details on my Galaxy Note3. Help!
- 7.7 Switching a SD card for 3G service?
- 7.8 I broke my screen on my S4 and don't want to buy a brand new one. I'm looking to find a cheaper alternative?
- 8 Comments
Android or iPhone, Different Phones Have Different SIM Sizes
Phone manufacturers use a number of SIM card sizes, which can be confusing.
Those of us who have more than one phone, or tried to upgrade an older phone to the newer generation of phones, including the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Alpha and S5 models, or the Samsung Note4, already know that there are differences in SIM cards and sizes. However, many people don't find out that their existing SIM cards won't work until they buy a new phone. To complicate matters, some SIM card sizes won't work certain model phones, but they will work with others.
So, if you've got an extra SIM, or just upgraded your phone, how can you know which SIM card will work in your Apple, Google, HTC, Kindle, LG, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, or Sony phone or Tablet? This VisiHow guide is how you'll be able to tell the difference. Here, we'll describe each SIM card size, the phones they are compatible with, and how you can use them in phones they aren't normally compatible with.
The phones described in the picture below use different sizes of SIM cards. Normally, you can move a SIM card from an iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy S3, but not to an iPhone 3GS. This can get confusing, so we've made a guide to help explain the differences:
You can see that all of these devices use one of the following three SIM card sizes:
- 1It is most often found in older model phones, and nearly every phone that isn't a smartphone. In the guide above, you can see that the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS also use a mini SIM card, but this is because they are older phones.Mini SIM Card was once the most common SIM card, and is still the largest SIM card.Advertisement
- 2This is just a smaller version of the Mini SIM, and the contacts for both the Mini and Micro SIM card are exactly the same. The only difference is the length of the plastic that holds the contacts. A micro SIM is smaller than a mini SIM, but larger than a Nano SIM. The Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and iPhone 4 and 4S all use the micro SIM card. For smartphones, this is by far the most common SIM type.Micro SIM Card is designed to fit thinner phones designs.Advertisement
- 3The Nano SIM completely removes any excess plastic bedding around the SIM card's contacts, and leaves only enough to keep the contacts in place once in the phone. Currently only a select few elite flagship phones use the Nano SIM. These include the iPhone 6, iPhone 5 and 5S, HTC One and Desire, Motorola MotoX, Nokia Lumia, and Samsung Galaxy Alpha.Nano SIM Card is for the thinnest and smallest devices currently manufactured.
Mini or Standard SIM Phone Models - August 2014
These are some popular Mini SIM phone models you might see.
All of these phones use a standard, or 'mini' sized SIM card. These SIM cards can be cut down, and will fit in the 'micro' category of SIM card phones. Most stores where you purchase your phone should be able to cut the card for you, but if you want to cut it yourself, look in our Q&A section below this article for links and tips on how to do that. Otherwise, we provide instructions in the area following these phone lists for how to change sizes, and where to get the tools to cut your own SIM cards if that's what you want to do.
- 1Apple iPhone, iPhone 3, 3GSAdvertisement
- 2BlackBerry Bold 9790
- 3BlackBerry Touch 9900
- 4HTC Desire 210, 310, 516, 616
- 5Huawei Ascend Y300
- 6Huawei Honor 3X G750
- 7Lenovo A 316i, A 369i, A 516
- 8Lenovo Golden Warrior A8, S8, S650, S930, S939,
- 9LG Optimus L7 P700, L9 P760,
- 10LG L60, L70, L90
- 11Nokia Asha 205, 210, 305, 306, 308
- 12Nokia 500, N8, N900
- 13Nokia X6, X7-00
- 14Samsung Galaxy Ace, Fame, Grand, Nexus, Pocket, S Advance, S, S2, Trend, Young
- 15Sony Xperia E, E1, Go, J, L, You
Micro SIM Phone Models - August 2014
Micro SIM phones are increasingly common, and these are some of the top models.
As of 2014, these are the most common SIM cards for smartphones. This size SIM card can be put into the standard (mini) size SIM phones with an adapter, or they can be cut down to fit into a nano SIM (though this doesn't always work 100% of the time when cutting the cards down).
- 1Apple iPhone 4, 4S
Popular Nano SIM Phone Models - August 2014
The Nano SIM is usually only found in the very best phones. Here are some examples.
Using an adapter, these SIM cards can be put in older model phones that accept micro and mini (standard) SIM card sizes.
- 1Apple iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, iPhone 6
- 2ASUS PadFone Infinity
- 3HTC One (M8)
- 4Motorola Droid Maxx, Mini, Ultra
- 5Motorola Moto X XT1052
- 6Nokia Lumia 930
- 7Samsung Galaxy Alpha
- Keep in mind that this is not a complete list, but we do our best to keep it current and up to date. If your phone is missing and you know it fits one of these categories, why not click 'Edit' and add your phone model to the list? Or, if you're uncomfortable editing, just leave a comment below.
Understanding the Different SIM Card Adapters
SIM card adapters allow you to use a smaller SIM in a phone that requires a bigger SIM card.
These adapters essentially replicate the plastic that surrounds the metal contacts on a bigger SIM card. This means that you can use a micro SIM as a mini SIM, or even use a nano SIM as a micro SIM, if you have the correct SIM Card Adapter.
How to Use Each of the Different SIM Card Adapters
Knowing which SIM card you have will let you know which SIM Card Adapter to use.
The pictures below will help you understand the differences between each type of SIM card adapter, and which of them you can use the phones we've listed in this article.
- 3It also supports the other listed micro SIM phone models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S2.Micro SIM to Mini SIM Adapter allows you to use a micro SIM card from a Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note2, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S in an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS.
Questions and Answers
I really want to use my bigger SIM card to a phone supporting a smaller SIM card but I do not want to cut my SIM card smaller. What should I do?
You can use external devices where you can insert your SIM card and connect it to your phone via Bluetooth. Apple Peel is for iPhones while Gmate works for Android phones and iPhones.
Well there is still some hope for you. If you don't want to cut your SIM, then you can simply go to your network provider and ask them to give you a nano SIM. There would be a fee though. You can also try to look for some adapters for nano SIM cards and buy one, then cut your SIM into a nano size and when you don't feel like using it anymore, you can use the adapter to make it big again.
Yes, this is an alternate route you can take but this will not allow the SIM card to be inserted into your device. You are going to need to either purchase a new SIM card or you can in fact visit your carriers customer service to have your SIM information transferred from one SIM to another.
See more questions like this: How to modify big SIM to a smaller SIM slot
I can fit the SIM card to my phone but it only recognizes SIM cards from one specific network. What is the problem with this?
Some phones are locked to a particular service provider. You may need to have your device unlocked to other networks. Take note that this procedure may invalidate the phone's warranty. To be sure, review your phone's TOS and the contract (if you have one) that you have signed with your network provider.
Your phone might be carrier network locked. This means that it will only accept SIM cards from the carrier network where it is locked to. In order to use SIM cards from other carrier networks on your phone, you will need to unlock your device first, but be reminded that unlocking your device might void your phone's warranty, so if it is possible, please call the carrier network where your phone is locked to and ask them to unlock your phone. Many carrier networks offer free unlocking upon request.
See more questions like this: I've put my new SIM into my old phone, and it won't work, why not
Is the SIM card for the Galaxy S3 the same size as the Galaxy S4?
I had the S4 and changed to the S4 and don't know if the SIM card the same size?
Yes, they are the same. The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 both use the micro SIM size of SIM cards.
I want to use a BlackBerry 9780 Bold and Samsung S4 Mini with the same SIM. Is this possible?
I want to buy a BlackBerry which takes a standard SIM and the S4 takes a micro I believe. I want to use the phones in different circumstances; can I do this?
If you are using both phones on the same carrier, then it is possible to do this by purchasing an adapter. Get the micro SIM for the Galaxy S4 first and then purchase the micro SIM to mini SIM adapter as seen here for your BlackBerry:
I have purchased Samsung Galaxy S5. I need to copy my contacts from my old Samsung Duos. How can I do this?
If your Samsung Duos phone is synced with your Google account, all you'll need to do to sync your contacts is log in to your Google account on your new Galaxy S5 and your contacts will automatically sync.
I Factory Reset my phone and lost some of my contact details on my Galaxy Note3. Help!
I went into a Samsung shop because my almost new Note3 was constantly freezing or the screen was going blank. He said I needed to reset it back to factory settings. I had no idea how to keep my contacts photos etc and he said that was easy. He copied my contacts to my SIM card and the music and photos to my SD card. He told me how to reset it and I went home and did it. My problem is that I have lost a lot of detail from my contacts. It looks like it gave me the first number of each contact; for instance, I might have their mobile but not the work number. Help
Provided that you logged into your Google account before you Factory Reset your device, your phone should automatically sync your contact information. If you did not log into your Google account before the reset, you'll unfortunately need to manually enter the contact information you lost.
See more questions like this: Is it possible to use a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet as a phone
Switching a SD card for 3G service?
I have a Samsung Tab on Verizon network I purchased a Samsung Tab 3 but it does not have a choice in setup to put on the network is there software I can down load to have set up look for the SD card
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I broke my screen on my S4 and don't want to buy a brand new one. I'm looking to find a cheaper alternative?
I broke my screen on my S4 and don't want to buy a brand new one. I'm looking to find a cheaper alternative
VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.