Rating: We could get voice to work on three out of the four we tried
We’ve got a beautiful bit of kit on loan in the shape of the latest RAZR Android smartphone from Motorola. Unfortunately, this US-based company (now owned by Google) may be attempting to push the boundaries too far with this handset’s technology. We cannot establish the real reason why this is but … this particular GSM handset appears to be reluctant to work properly with British SIM cards. The culprit probably lies in the fact that Motorola – in an attempt to keep this handset as slim as possible, is using a micro SIM card. These SIMs are normally only seen in certain iPhones and iPads in the UK. The good news is that we eventually got the RAZR working perfectly well on the 3 UK network.Keen readers may recall this story ‘The razors will be out for iPhone SIMs’ we wrote previously here.
We reckoned in this article that you simply take a razor to an existing SIM card to convert it to the micro format.
Rather than hacking a SIM about with a Stanley knife, what GoMo News did first was to ask a High Street retailer to shrink our existing Orange USIM (the technical name for a 3G SIM ). He did so with a special cutting tool for a mere £2.
The resulting micro SIM does fit back into its previous housing but you can buy a compatible plastic micro SIM card on eBay for only 99 pence.
When our converted micro SIM was installed in the RAZR most things worked by when you tried to make a voice call, it simply wouldn’t connect properly.
So, the next stage in our investigation was to try the same conversion trick with an O2 3G SIM. No joy. Then we purchased a prepaid micro SIM for the Orange network from eBay – again it cost a mere few pence.
This time, we were able to make calls to Orange’s own operators services, but if you wanted to call a standard landline or mobile phone number, it wouldn’t work.
GoMo News then decided that the networks weren’t recognising the handset properly. However, long experience has taught us that 3 UK is quite used to handsets appearing on its network which it doesn’t ‘range’.
That is to say, it deals well with 3G handset which are bought through retailers and not from its own stores on online shop.
Gues what? This worked. Using a prepaid micro SIM card supplied by 3 UK itself, the RAZR now makes calls perfectly.
The only snag? Well, to test handsets properly we always use our own personal Orange SIM. So, we suppose we’d better ask Orange (now Everything Everywhere, of course) if it knows the reason for this stange fault.
Anyone else encountered this problem?