SIM2 problem on FP3

I cannot get my Fairphone 3 to recognise that there is a SIM in the second SIM slot. I’ve taken it out and tried in another phone - no problem with the SIM itself, I also cleaned it gently and re-inserted, restarted phone several times but it still only thinks I have one SIM in slot 1.

What happens if you swap your SIMs? That way you can check whether the slot is broken or whether there is another problem.

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Have you tried the troubleshooting steps described in

Good luck!

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Thanks, I’ve tried the SIM card test and card 2 simply says unavailable despite being brand new and working fine in a different phone. Also I find the instructions on changing SIMS less than helpful as “insert sim and replace battery” doesn’t even begin to cover the difficulty of getting the battery back in whilst still keeping the sims out of the way so I am reluctant to keep swapping things around. I have reported the problem to Fairphone support but yet had a response.

Not keen to swap sims as the one in slot one works fine and is the number my bank has for internet banking so I really really don’t want to upset this one! And I find getting the battery back past the sims very tricky so reluctant to keep taking things out ans swapping about - having done this several times yesterday to check the the second SIM works in another phone.

You can always swap them back if the internet stops working. Swapping them would be an easy way to find where the problem comes from, as right now I don’t know what causes it.

  • if the slot is defective: you can have it repaired under warranty. You need to contact Fairphone in this case.
  • in any other case: you likely need to contact your operator.

Also the phone is designed to open so it should not break doing this.

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Ok I’ve tried swapping the sims - and the problem swaps with the sim i.e. it is now sim slot 1 that appears to be empty. Even if the problem sim is the only one in the fairphone it still doesn’t see it - the diagnostics simply don’t recognise it being present. I’ve stuck it back in my old phone and it works fine - the only difference being that the old phone has standard (not nano) sim slots so I have to package it back up in its two surrounds. Should the diagnostic tools still recognise it if there is no signal? The reason I have bought a second sim is that the coverage where I live is very patchy. I get vodafone in my house and nearby so that is the network my “old” sim (that works fine) is on whereas at the other end of the village EE is much more reliable so that is the network of the new SIM. I have tried putting the new sim in then walking to the place where EE is good before switching on the phone but it still didn’t see it - however I only did that the one time. My old phone quite often says “no sim inserted” when it really means “no carrier found” however it is pretty old and the OS is obsolete and the “no sim inserted” message seems to be some kind of default for any error. Surely the Fairphone diagnostics should recognise that a sim is in the slot even if there is no carrier signal?

Yes - it should definitely recognise that. In remote locations with no signal, it definitely shows no signal (at least the FP2 does).

Sometimes there are compatibility issues between new phones and (very) old SIMs. If your SIM is old, I would suggest that you contact your operator to get the SIM replaced.

No the sim is brand new and I am in discussion with them also - of course they say that if it is working as a standard sim but not as a nano sim then it must be the phone not the sim. Meantime I am getting very frustrated carrying 2 phones around all the time.

Yes I’ve done all that, my problem being that it is the NEW sim card that isn’t recognised, the old one works just fine - in either slot and the new one works in neither yet when rebuilt as a standard sim works fine in my old phone. The sim provider is saying that if it works as a standard sim it is working and doesn’t need replacing, whilst all the info here suggests I do need to replace it - so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I think my husband may have spotted the problem as the contacts on the new (Asda, EE) SIM are subtly different from those on e.g. the Tesco SIM (O2) and also my Truphone (Vodafone) SIM that work fine in the Fairphone. I have contacted Asda to ask if all their SIMs look like this, because if they do it may mean that I cannot utilise their cheap monthly data packages. Has no-one else had this problem?

These contacts do differ by SIM, I don’t think that that is a problem. You can see that the top-left pad is connected to the middle one in both SIMs - whether the line separating them is half-drawn or just absent does not change functionality.

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Well I ordered another new sim from asda which came today and has exactly the same result when inserted the FP3 says no sim inserted so I can only assume that the FP3 contact manages to come down on the separating line. Meantime I have still had no response from Fairphone support - their “1 working day” response has now dragged out to one working week and still nothing! Any tips of getting through to them?

Have your ticket number at hand and call them. More info:

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This could be a stupid question, but are you sure the SIM card is fully inserted? I don’t have an FP3 myself, but I don’t remember the SIM cards getting in the way of the battery.


Yes the FP3 that I have seems to have spring loaded sim slots (presumably because previous issues about removing sims?) they always spring half way out again when inserted and the design seems to be that the battery holds them in - however getting the battery in to do this is a pain. However I have sims for 2 different networks as the signals here are very patchy and on close inspection their design varies (photo uploaded earlier) the one that works on vodaphone network works in either slot but the EE one (from Asda) works in neither and a second one from the same source doesn’t work either.

The call number seems to be a european number so is going to cost an arm and a leg to call from UK - on top of the cost of the phone! I may well do this on Monday but if I get into one of these call queues I might as well write them a blank cheque!

If your carrier is extremely expensive and you do decide on calling Fairphone customer service, consider getting a temporary SIM for another carrier (e.g. Giffgaff charges 2p /min, though I think the minimum credit purchase to activate a SIM is £10 these days - which I would hope means you’d have a lot of credit left over), or purchase credit for a VoIP service like Skype (also 2p/min, other fees may apply (taxes, connection fee 4.2p, minimum credit purchase £5).

This should not be the case, if you press your SIMs further into the slot they should stay in place. Otherwise you should contact support for a warranty repair of your SIM slots.


Yup, I agree: it definitely shouldn’t be the battery keeping the SIMs in place. You have to push the SIM to the max and feel a kind of click. It should then stay in place and the battery can then be inserted easily.
To remove the SIM you have to press it in again, feel the click, then it will come out half way.
I suspect that’s why one of your SIMs isn’t working…