Identify and solve SIM card issues



You need at least one Nano-SIM (4FF) to make and receive phone calls and SMS text messages and use mobile data with your Fairphone 3. The nano-SIM measures 12.3 mm × 8.8 mm.

It is also possible to use two Nano-SIM cards in your Fairphone 3, as it has a Dual SIM feature

We always recommend to treat yourself to a new SIM card for a new phone. That way you have the latest security patches, software updates and the least chance to physical damages that can lead to erratic behavior. 

To insert a nano-SIM card in your Fairphone 3, have a look at our tutorial or follow the instructions below.

To insert a nano-SIM card in your Fairphone 3:

  1. Open the back of your phone
  2. Take the battery out 
  3. At the left side, on top is the SD card slot, and below two Nano SIM card icons to indicate the Nano SIM card slots
    Do not to force a SIM card into the Micro SD card on top!
  4. Insert your Nano SIM card in the Nano SIM card slot of your choice (Sim 1 or Sim 2)
  5. Press gently all the way in until the SIM card clicks in place 
  6. Insert the battery again
  7. Put the back cover back on
  8. Press the Power button to restart your phone

To take out a nano-SIM card in your Fairphone 3:

  1. Open the back of your phone
  2. Take the battery out 
  3. Push the SIM card deeper into its slot
  4. This activates a spring that pushes your SIM card out so you can take it out with two fingertops.


Identify SIM card issues

Often, erratic behavior of the phone is caused by the SIM card. If you encounter any of the issues listed below then you might have a SIM card that is not working properly anymore.

  • Calls being interrupted, or messages delayed
  • Pin code requested without rebooting the phone
  • Sound quality decreasing
  • Battery life reduced
  • Phone getting warm
  • SIM card contacts show only a phone number, no names
  • Sudden airplane mode.

 Find out if the SIM card is the cause of your issues:

  1. See if there are no other network issues.
  2. Check if the SIM card has any issues:
    1. Open the Phone App
    2. Enter *#*#66#*#* in dial field (the same way you entering a phone number to make a phone call). Once the last character is introduced, the Service Menu appears showing you three sub-menus
    3. Select Service testsTest Single → SIM Card Test 
      1. If the inserted SIM card is detected it displays Available. Proceed with step 3.
      2. If not detected, it displays Unavailable. (A Failed test = MECH-SIM1 or MECH-SIM2). Please contact Customer support when the SIM card is less than a year old and not visually damaged. Otherwise, get a new SIM card with your provider.  
  3. Use Safe mode, without the SIM card inserted.
  4. Do a Factory reset. This will delete your data, so please make a backup. If the phone works fine before you place the SIM card back, but the issues show again after inserting the SIM card, you'll need to contact your provider!


Please note

  • When you have a SIM card older than a year, we recommend treating yourself to a new SIM card from your provider.
  • If you use a SIM card adapter, please request a new SIM card with your provider of the proper size. Do not put an empty adapter back in the SIM port since it can get stuck*.


SIM contacts do not show

If your SIM card contacts show only a phone number without no names:

  1. Remove your SIM card. While the SIM card is still inserted in its slot, push it forward, very gently, to disengage the lock mechanisms. A spring will push it a couple of millimeters back. Now you can remove it.
  2. Place the SIM card back in the device, push it forward, very gently, until the lock mechanism engages again.

If this did not solve your issue, you might need to get a new SIM card. Your current SIM card might be broken.

We do not recommend to save your contacts on your SIM card. To export your contacts somewhere else please follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Contacts app
  2. Tap on the three-bar menu on top left to open Settings
  3. Select Import
  4. Select Import from SIM card
  5. Select your contacts and tap "OK".


SIM card is not recognized

To see the status of your SIM cards, go to SettingsNetwork & internetSIM cards

When the phone recognizes a SIM card, you should see:

  • A small solid-colored SIM card icon with a number written on the inside (either 1 or 2)
  • If you use two SIM cards, you can switch the toggle to disable one of them
  • If you use one SIM card, you will not be able to disable it.
    • Activate Airplane mode through the quick settings dropdown; swipe down from the top of the screen using two fingers to access it.

If the system does not detect your SIM card, the entry will be greyed out, preventing any interaction. The SIM card icon will not be there and you should read SIM empty right below the SIM card identifier.

In this case, please try the following:

  1. Test your SIM card in both SIM slots
  2. Test the phone with at least one other (new) SIM card. Make sure to test the device with a different sim card from a different provider. The more, the merrier :)
    1. If your SIM card does not work, but other SIM cards do, treat yourself to a new SIM card, as it is likely to be faulty. Please contact your provider for a new SIM card to solve the issue.
    2. If your SIM card, or any other SIM card, appears to be working only when used with one specific SIM slot, that means one of the SIM slots might be faulty. Please contact Customer support.
    3. If the FP3 does not detect any SIM card at all, both SIM slots might be faulty or your motherboard might be failing. Please contact Customer support.


SIM card is stuck

*If your SIM card is stuck in the SIM port, please contact Customer support as this requires a repair.