One of the problems of miniaturization is that things today are just so, well, just so small. As in easy-to-lose small; as in, even, too small.
Few people remember the first SIM cards that were the size of a credit card. Today, the latest nano SIMs are about 0.3″ by 0.5″. It is the same with memory cards for cameras, too. Back in the ‘good old days’ a Compact Flash card was 1.7″ x 1.4″ and a nice meaty 0.2″ thick. Today, a micro-SD card is a mere 0.6″ x 0.4″ and less than a twentieth of an inch thick. These things are clumsy to hold, easy to drop, and hard to find after they disappear ‘all by themselves’.
When we travel, we often find ourselves with a need to take extra SIM cards with us, and of course, maybe some spare memory cards too, perhaps for our camera or our phone or our tablet or whatever. The question becomes of how to conveniently carry them all and not lose any of them – especially when traveling when we are going from place to place and don’t have the ‘safe stationary standard places’ to put things that we do in our homes and offices.
Okay, so a low-tech low-cost approach such as a zip-lock bag certainly has its merits, as long as you’re sure the bag’s seal is secure. But that’s not your only option. There are various other nice small leatherette (terrible word that, but you know what I mean) or nylon style zippered pouches, and/or perhaps you have other tiny containers that you can press into service as well (I used to use the semi-clear plastic containers that 35mm film came in, but when did you last buy a roll of 35mm film….).
Here’s another product that has a clever approach to the problem of not dropping/losing these tiny things. Called the ‘Mobile Safe Case‘, it is a credit card sized little case with a slide out drawer. The drawer is lined with a tacky sort of substance, and the idea is you simply place whatever micro-electronics you might have in the drawer and they will stay there, stuck onto the lining, until such time as you easily pull them off.
That’s kinda neat. The drawer has some sort of internal spring thing that keeps it positively closed until you pull it open, then the spring snaps in the other direction and holds it positively open until you close it again. Also kinda neat.
It comes with something that has sadly become invaluable. Although the first transition in SIM card sizes – from credit card to ‘normal’ sized SIM cards was sensible and simple, the last few years have seen Apple rather naughtily and mainly gratuitously come up with two new and smaller sized SIM units for their phones and tablets.
So now we have three different SIM card sizes – mini (the common ‘normal’ size), micro and nano. The good news is that you can get adapters to fit the smaller sized SIMs into larger sized slots (but of course there’s no way you can fit a larger SIM into a smaller slot) and the Mobile Safe Case comes with three adapters, to enable nano SIMs to fit into micro or mini slots, and for micro SIMs to fit into mini slots. These can be a very handy thing to have, and in view of that, if you are buying new SIMs it is best to ‘future proof’ your options by choosing the nano size.
But wait, there’s more. The case also has a pin tool for popping open the SIM slot on iPhones (and increasingly on other types of phones too). Yes, a paperclip will generally suffice in an emergency, but if you find yourself needing to swap SIMs and not having either a proper pin type tool or a paperclip, well – from personal experience I can assure you that is massively frustrating! These pin tools also lose themselves very readily. So the provision of one of these is much appreciated.
There’s not a lot of space inside the case (1.55″ x 2.4″) but that’s enough space for a couple of SIMs, a couple of micro or nano SIMs too, some micro-SD cards, and the tool and an adapter or two. The case weighs a mere 0.8 ounces, so even with the increased airline focus on the weight of your checked and carry on bags, you’re not likely to get into any trouble with this lightweight addition to your road warrior kit.
It sells for about $14.95 on Amazon. It is nicely packaged, and makes a great gift for others, or, ahem, for yourself. If you’re the sort of person who can benefit from this, then you’ll be delighted to have one.