The Different Types of SIM Card Explained - SellUp - Blogs

The Different Types of SIM Card Slot Explained


As smartphone is evolving in hardware and speed, the demand to accommodate different types of SIM card is just as important. Understanding the terms and its usage will helps you to decide the correct handset to purchase and its pro and cons.   

Types of SIM Card

Before going into the different types of SIM Card Slot use in a mobile device, let’s recap the type of SIM card available in the market. (Click on this blog for further reading).

Types of SIM Card
Standard SIM
Use mostly in the early days of smartphone.  Not frequently use now.
Mini-SIM and Micro-SIM
The only difference between the two SIM is the size of the plastic around the microchip. Micro-SIM is smaller than Mini-SIM.
Thinner and smaller than its predecessor.
Embedded SIM into the device. Non-removal hence no card slot required.
Once we understood the types of SIM card available, let’s move on to discuss the type of card slot in a smartphone.
SIM Card Tray

Single SIM Card Slot

A device with a single card slot can only use one SIM Card for their device. Apple is notoriously known for allowing only a single SIM card for their iPhones, until the recent introduction of eSIM for the newer model such as iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Single SIM Card Slot for Apple
There are a variety of reasons why Apple stick with a single SIM card slot:
•    Having two SIM card in a device will increase battery consumption.
•    It increased exposure to Radio Frequency (RF) electromagnetic field which is bad for health
•    Apple wants to limit the amount of third-party hardware that can link to the iPhone. They see a third party memory card as a threat to security.
•    A conspiracy theory is that it allows Apple to make more money from its handset sales since those really need another SIM card will have to purchase another phone.

Dual SIM Card Slot

As the demand to use a smartphone for work increases, having 2 smartphones while traveling is becoming a norm. Being able to use two SIM card (two difference mobile number) in a single device solve the problem of lugging multiple phones while on the move.

Dual SIM Card Slot for Xiaomi
There are numerous advantages:
•    Carry one phone instead of two.
•    Separate business and private call, which allow separate billing and tracking purpose
•    For the frequent traveler, they are able to get a local SIM card for data and calls, which reduce the bill. Yet stay available for incoming calls and text messages with the old home number.
•    Make the most two different deals. You can get one plan for calls and another awesome deal for data usage.
•    Never miss a call. A dual SIM phone lets you talk on one line and still receive calls from the other. This means you can put the first call on hold to answer the other instead of having it go straight to voicemail.

Hybrid SIM Card Slot

Hybrid dual SIM slots perform this same task as Dual-SIM but there’s a twist to its mechanism. You have the two options on how you want to use the slot :

Hybrid SIM Slot holding 2 Nano SIM
Having TWO SIM card in the slot. Picture : Nano + Nano
Hybrid SIM Slot holding 1 Nano SIM and 1 Micro SD
Have ONE SIM + ONE Memory Card. Picture : Nano + Micro SD
What are the advantages of implement hybrid SIM Card slot?
•    Create internal storage variants for users
•    Reduce costs as a manufacturer don’t have to make extra space for a MicroSD slot
•    Reduce the weight of the phone (not a lot, but every single gram helps)

Nano Memory Card Slot

Huawei debut their ‘Dual Nano Slot’ in 2018 and scoff at MicroSD card as old technologies that been around for too long. The dual SIM tray can have two nano SIMs or one of the sides can sport an Nano Memory (NM) card instead. Huawei presented the NM card slot can takes up to 256GB storage card. The slot are smaller as compare to Hybrid dual as the former slot holds the card back to back, saving precious space on the handset.

Nano Memory Slot with 2 Nano SIM
Used by Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, P30 and P30 Pro


To sum it up, SIM Card slot are still evolving and we are seeing more options being offered for the benefit of improving user experience. Understanding these slot capability will allow you to make a better decision on the handset that suits you. However, Nano Memory slot isn’t that often found in most smartphones, as it’s a relatively new technology, but I’m sure that we’ll see more it in future on other brands of smartphones.

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