Micro, nano and dual SIM: these are the differences

Without a SIM card, you can’t make calls, send texts or use mobile internet. The magical plastic card containing a tiny chip comes in all shapes and sizes, but what exactly is the difference between a micro SIM, e-SIM, duo SIM and dual SIM? Here we list the differences for you.

Subscriber Identity Module

The “sim” in SIM card stands for Subscriber Identity Module. This is a chip with a unique number that is linked to your subscription and phone number. It is also possible to store phone numbers and messages on your SIM. SIM cards come in three sizes: the most common mini SIM card is the largest of the three and has the most plastic. Micro is the intermediate size, and nano is by far the smallest at 12.3 x 8.8 mm. It is so small it can easily fit on your fingertip.

In terms of functionality, SIM cards all work the same, only the size is different. In fact, SIM cards have become smaller and smaller in recent years as mobile phones become flatter, requiring more space for other components, such as the battery and camera.

E-SIM: a digital SIM card

The successor to the normal SIM card is the e-SIM. This is a digital SIM card already built into your mobile phone or tablet. So you no longer have to insert a plastic SIM card into your device, but download your electronic SIM to the built-in chip in your device. E-SIM is not yet widely used currently.

Duo SIM: two SIM cards

Duo SIM is not a type of SIM card, but instead it means that you use two SIM cards with the same phone number on one subscription. In other words, you can be reached on two different phones with the same number. This is handy if you have several phones or use a car kit on which you make hands-free calls. It saves a lot of hassle with switching. But beware: with duo SIM, you can only call on one phone at a time.

Dual SIM: two SIM cards in one phone

Dual SIM means that two different SIM cards can fit in your mobile phone. Your phone must support this. Dual sim is super convenient because you can be reached on two numbers on the same phone. For example, if you also have a business number. With dual SIM you don’t have to constantly change your phone (and all those (wireless) peripherals such as chargers and headphones).

Dual sim is also handy if you want to use Sim Only and Prepaid simultaneously on the same phone, or if you are abroad often. In the latter case, you can use a local SIM card to, for example, use cheap local prepaid internet without having to remove your own SIM card from your mobile phone. So you can always be reached at the lowest possible rate.

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