Mini to Nano: Cutting a Sim Card

The other day, a friend asked me about what phone I recommend that they get. They had some unique needs, and I recommended a phone for them. One thing that I didn’t consider was that the new phone used a nano sim card slot, and their old phone used a micro sim card slot.

Fortunately, this wasn’t really a problem for me, as I have cut down sim cards before. It always causes the person I’m helping to raise an eyebrow, though, and sometimes it can be difficult to get them to accept that it is okay for them to hand over the sim card to me and my scissors. I think that they were particularly doubtful, since their new phone came with specific instructions and warnings against cutting down a card to fit.

However, with a little calm reassurance, I convinced them to let me cut down their sim card. I used this template:


WARNING: cutting your sim card could cause it to never work again, and at the least, it will not be the bigger size that it was before, and certainly can’t go back into the phone it came out of. Do this at your own risk!

One thing that card cutters often forget is the thickness of the card. On the above pdf file, they mention this as a foot note:

The difference in thickness between NanoSIMs and previous SIM cards (90µm) corresponds to the thickness of a human hair and should therefore not make any difference in practice. Nevertheless you may slightly grind the plastic side of your SIM card. Never grind the chip side!

I typically just sand the back plastic side for a few seconds with a 200 grit sand paper, and I have always had a good fit. So, if you are willing to accept the risks, and run into a similar problem, then this might be a good option for you, too.

Linux – keep it simple.

Finding apps for a ZTE Z432 dumb phone!

My wife and I recently picked up a dumb phone for things like hunting/camping/fishing. You can get them pretty cheap, and the battery life is fantastic compared to most smart phones. Besides, if you loose it, you’re only out a few bucks.

While a dumb phone is, well, dumb, we were hoping to spruce it up with a few apps for some entertainment value. Especially if you use it while traveling, like taking a plane or boat to some remote spot.

After some web searching, all I could come up with was that AT&T, who sells the ZTE Z432 phone, said that this phone did not support any apps. I recalled the yester-years spent using apps on dumb phones, and I knew this just couldn’t be true. So, if this is your plight, and you also failed to find the answer through a web search, then here you go:

I want to be clear that I am in no way endorsing “Dertz”, and I can’t say that all of their apps are safe. In fact, this may be a sure fire way to nuke your dumb phone. However, I did download and install this one:

and it worked great! How can you go wrong with Scrabble Remix?

The easiest way to install them, is to open the link in the phone browser. Once there, scroll down to the download button, and click it. A pop up will ask you if you really want to download that jar file, and if you say yes, a progress bar will appear. Once downloaded, it will be in your folders.

Find the app you downloaded in your folders, and click on it. It will pop up an install question, and if you say yes, it will ask where to install the app, in either Applications, or Games. In my case, I chose Games. After a minute or so, the app was installed and a pop up asked me if I wanted to open it. Scrabble Remix – game on!

I also experimented with the Bluetooth, which works well. Just download the app you want on a smartphone, or in my case, a Bluetooth capable computer, pair with your Z432, and send the file over that way, if you want to save yourself from painful dumb phone browser experience, or save bandwidth.

For the record, we can just insert our normal sim card from our smart phone into the dumb phone, and it works, however, we did need a sim card holder, because our smart phones use micro sims, and the dumb phone used standard sim cards, but they make a little micro to standard holder that your sim card can pop in and out of. If you need one, stop by just about any cell phone dealer, they should have one.

Linux – keep it simple.