Will my Three SIM work in a 2G mobile phone?



As explained in my previous post, I’m preparing for Glastonbury festival in a months time and have a few difficulties in using a my old 2G phone rather than my power hungry smartphone. The first was getting around the SIM size, however a Visionaer Micro Sim Adapter did a good job at rectifying that.

I had also heard rumours that my Three SIM wouldn’t work in a 2G phone – Three are a 3G-only operator and don’t hold a license to operate a 2G network unlike T-Mobile, Orange, O2 or Vodafone. Some of forums say that your phone will roam onto an alternative network (Orange in the past but now EE), and after a short period the SIM would stop working on the phone entirely.

No such luck in my case. The SIM adaptor worked fine for my Giff Gaff SIM, but when it came to the Three SIM it just wasn’t recognised. Other forums suggested the use of a 3G phone was part of Three’s T&Cs, after all, it costs Three money to roam onto EE’s network, so perhaps they only allow roaming where they know they don’t have coverage.

My 2G phone doesn’t recognise the Three SIM…
…but does recognise a Giff Gaff SIM.

Visionaer Micro Sim Adapter Review


Glastonbury is less than a month away and I’m figuring out how best to stay in contact during the festival. Lack of power whilst camping over the 6 days means those of us with smartphones have to seriously consider how to manage out power hungry devices. That is unless you’d rather spend most of your time at the festival queuing for the Chill and Charge tent instead.

The options are:

  • Take power with you; and/or
  • Take a less power hungry device i.e. an old 2G phone

There is a range of battery packs you can buy that should last the length of the festival. I picked up a New Trent 7000mAh pack, and probably got 3-4 charges out of it for my iPhone, but that still wasn’t enough. Anker have a 10,000mAh battery, and I’m waiting to get my Dad’s judgement on that. But both models, despite having battery light indicators, would go from 75-100% to nothing without indicating any level inbetween.

So, to the second option. This throws up a couple of extra problems. Many smartphones on the market now take smaller versions of the standard SIM that an old 2G phone would take. The iPhone 4 uses a micro SIM, and other models take the even smaller nano SIM. To get these SIMs to work in your old (or new, starting from £15 on Amazon) 2G phone you’ll need an adaptor. This post is a review of the more expensive option on the market, the Visionaer Micro Sim Adapter.

If you’re on a 3G-only network like Three in the UK, you may also be wondering whether you can in fact use an old 2G phone. I’ll be answering that in the next post.


I’ll let the pictures do the talking here, with a brief caption to point out what works well with the Visionaer Micro Sim Adapter .

Despite the large packaging from Amazon, the adapter comes in just a small plastic bag.


You can see that the adapter has lips on each corner to hold the SIM in place and to stop it popping out the other side.


The SIM fits in facing up into the adaptor, unlike the iPhone 4’s SIM tray. It fits flush, the adaptor is just the right depth.


The SIM fits snugly, and clips into the adaptor. It’s tight enough to hold it so that the SIM doesn’t fall out of the adaptor when held upside down.


Sliding the adaptor and SIM into place is a little tricky. This holder relies a little on the bend of the SIM to hold it firmly against the phone pins. This means the micro SIM has a tendency to pop out of the adaptor as the adaptor is slid in. However, after a couple of attempts it worked.

Note also that the adapter isn’t too large for this type of holder. Other phones with alternative fixings may not work as well, there at some scare stories about pins being bent on new phones, but in fairness if you have a new phone which you want to use permanently just ask your operator to send you a new SIM!


It works! (But with Three I still had problems…)


Overall I’d say this adaptor works well. It was significantly more expensive than the others – £3.40 versus ~£1, but I can’t comment on their effectiveness. If you know friends that’s also need an adaptor, multiple packs are also sold on Amazon at a discounted rate.