What are the differences between mini, micro and nano?

What do you know about Mini, Micro, and Nano sim cards? What is the difference between them?

Sim cards

What is the difference between Mini, Micro, and Nano Sim cards? What is the history of creating this kind of cards and why people use them in mobile phones? It started a little bit more than 20 years ago when the cell phones only began to come into our lives.

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Mini sim cards

Technically, the SIM-card is one of the variants of the smart card - microcomputers with its processor and memory, communicating with the outside world through the interface consists of some electrical contacts. Smart cards can be found today in the banking sector. They are used for access and control of different payment systems. Usually, there are a few kilobytes read-only memory on the card, a couple of kilobytes of RAM and some flash. In the case of the mobile phones, flash memory was previously used for storage of a list of contacts, but there was a limit on the number of contacts (250), and it supported only two fields (name and phone). That`s the reason why the cards are not used for that today.

Micro sim cards

Normally, the card has eight pins for connection to the reader (if you try to count them, you may find that there is more). However, the reality is only six. And to give respect to a modern advance in microelectronics, the filling occupies just a few square millimeters.

Sim cards

But if you try to deep down to the history of the card external dimensions, it all started with a credit card format - 85,6 × 53,98 × 0,76 mm. This smart card format is used today, but it has been a long time since it managed to satisfy the needs of mobile phones manufacturers and users. A much more functional version is the Mini-SIM, which has dimensions of 25 × 15 mm with a beveled corner (to determine the required orientation of the card in the slot). The thickness is not changed. This format is now the most popular and is found in most cell phones.

Sim cards

It is clear that there are no losses regarding the functionality of such a reduction in size. It should be understood that it is more comfortable to place the Mini-SIM in the telephone housing, but using the card of this size, for example, for pay phones is obviously uncomfortable.

After the mass transition to the Mini-SIM format it for a long time remained the only option for use in the field of mobile communications virtually. Even the success in reducing the external dimensions of cell phones did not require further reduction of subscriber cards. Still, the progress did not stop, and the Mini-Sim reign could not last forever.

Phone cards

Several years ago, one of the most active players on the smartphone market presented to the public a new model of the phone with the format of Micro-SIM, cards which measure 15 × 12 mm (thickness of the back has been not changed). For cards of this format, almost the entire front surface is occupied by the contact pads. The cards also had no technical difficulties to accommodate the chip, in particular with the development of manufacturing techniques of microcircuits. Note that, regarding design of consumer devices; the market did not require this step. Nevertheless, the company played in the field of marketing, once again repeating the motto "We are not like others."

Interestingly, in 2012 the same manufacturer again played this card. The latest model of the smartphone for that year worked exclusively with Nano-SIM, which had already undergone reduction and thickness - 12,3 × 8,8 × 0,67 mm. This format has not fit for eight standard pins so that there are only six working. No special card functions are not affected, but the new sizes of the phone have not been so diminished as you might think (and some even increased).

Mini SIm

There is a reasonable question: how this story with miniaturization affects the consumers? If we talk about those who buy a new phone with a contract and a new card, they usually do not care what a version of the SIM-card is installed in it. And if a person uses only one phone and has no plans to rearrange the cards, it is not even the "usually" but "completely" unnecessary.

Nevertheless, for those users who are accustomed to using multiple devices and/or SIM-cards, the situation is less pleasant. In the case of a pair of Mini / Micro you can try to work with the so-called adapters (of course, after the change of Mini card format on the Micro card format). Plus, in this story there are no only cons – you would need to carry additional details, moreover, the adapter may damage the connector pins during replacement (or the local construction may even get stuck in the slot).

Sim cards

About the change of cards, the official way is to visit your operator's compartment and write to the manager about your wish to have a new Micro or Nano card. Also, if you have a list of contacts on the card, you would need to take care of its preservation. A more affordable option regarding time-consuming is to apply to the numerous workshops where your card would shorten with the special tools in a few seconds (Moreover, mobile operators and large mobile retail chains also can do that). If you do not desire to go anywhere, then a sharp knife and a steady hand are always able to solve the problem successfully. You can find out on the Internet the complete instruction how to reduce your card in sizes from Mini to Micro.

The situation with Nano-SIM is more complicated due to fewer and linear dimensions and the thickness of the card. The methods are all the same. Nevertheless, if you could afford the mobile phone of the manufacturer, why you could not afford to pay for reducing the size of your SIM card?

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