SIM Card Sizes - Mini, Micro and Nano

In this article brought to you by we tell you a little about the different sizes of SIM card that are available.

The earliest SIM cards, sometimes referred to as "Full Size", were about the same size as a Credit Card - 85.6mm (3.370 Inches) long, 53.98mm (2.125 Inches) wide, by 0.76mm (0.029 Inch) thick.

The next size down is the Mini SIM card - the thickness of these are the same as the earliest 0.76mm, however the length is 25mm (1.000 Inch) and width is 15mm (0.590 Inch).

Even smaller still is the Micro Sim Card - again, the thickness is the same 0.76mm, with a length of 15mm (0.590 Inches) and a width of 12mm (0.470 Inch).

The contact arrangement on all three sizes remains the same.

Forever smaller mobile phones mean forever smaller physical contents.

Smaller than the MicroSIM is the NanoSIM.

The NanoSIM measures 12.30mm long, by 8.80mm wide, by a mere 0.67mm thick.

Even smaller still, is the embedded SIM measuring 6.00mm long, by 5.00mm wide and less than 1.00mm thick.

The feature table below summarizes the different SIM card sizes.

SIM Card Length Width Thickness
Full Size 85.60mm 53.98mm 0.76mm
Mini 25.00mm 15.00mm 0.76mm
Micro 15.00mm 12.00mm 0.76mm
Nano 12.30mm 8.80mm 0.67mm
Embedded 6.00mm 5.00mm < 1.00mm

Sim card sizes can also be shown graphically.

The images shown below are based on those produced by Justin Ormont.

full size sim cardFull Size    mini sim cardMini    micro-sim-card-235Micro    nano sim cardNano

Why are SIM cards getting smaller ?

As with many technological developments everything is getting smaller - remember the first ever mobile phone handsets?

Mobile phone batteries have become smaller and lighter and so it follows that handsets can also become smaller and lighter.

To help achieve the goal of making handsets even smaller still is to reduce the size of components - one important component is the SIM card.

Many newer phones accept only a micro SIM card.

For some users this can create an issue when upgrading from a handset, or device, which uses a mini SIM card - the upgraded device may accept only a Micro SIM card.

What is the solution if you wish to retain your existing phone number, yet upgrade from a Mini SIM card device to a device which only accepts a micro SIM card?

There are a number of solutions - perhaps the predominant solution found by the author of this article, sounds a little drastic and conjures worrying thoughts of destruction.

However, the popularity perhaps gives the solution a mention.

Physically cutting the SIM card to the correct size.

There are a number of SIM card cutting service providers available both online and in Mobile Phone related street shops.

If you do not feel confident in doing the cutting yourself perhaps a visit to a Service Provider would be prudent.

Alternatively, if you feel confident in trying the procedure yourself, there are a number of SIM card cutting tools available.

Cautions !

Cutting a SIM card can cause irreversible damage to your SIM card if the cutting is carried out incorrectly.

Like other processes that involve cutting - you can cut more off but you cannot put it back on - cut your SIM card too short or too narrow your SIM card may become unusable.

Also, once a SIM card has been cut to accommodate a newer Micro SIM device, the MicroSIM card may or may not then be effective in an alternative device which is designed for a Mini SIM.

Perhaps a safer alternative to cutting your SIM card would be to try a SIM card adaptor.


A SIM card adaptor is a very handy piece of equipment which will allow you to fit a different size SIM card into your handset.

Available is a handy kit which comprises three adapters, plus a SIM removal tool

  • Nano SIM to Micro SIM Adaptor;
  • Nano SIM to Standard SIM Adaptor;
  • Micro SIM to Standard SIM adaptor;


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