SIM card killed

After over a year of having the L5, I felt adventurous enough to put my SIM card into it. Not a good idea. Librem said there’s no SIM card. I’ve put it back to my original phone. The original phone also now says the SIM card is not inserted. I’m rather sure it’s inserted correctly, made several attempts, a restart etc. trying to make it work.

I’ll get a new one from the operator but… what the hell? Is it possible to do something wrong here?

Its possible to put the sim card in the SD card slot on accident. Not sure if that would fry it though.

Did you power off the librem 5 before inserting the SIM? Believe having read power on while inserting the SIM could fry it


You should be able to get a new sim for free, or a small fee. Make sure they enable VoLTE on your account while you’re at it.

Did you insert/remove the card while the phone was turned on?

I have not turned off the phone before inserting the card, that must have been it then. That’s odd, no other phone had a problem with that. Thanks for the answers.

@raenrfm what about volte, does it work better in L5 than regular calling? I’m not sure I’ll risk inserting my main sim card into this phone again but am curious anyway.

It should give you better quality call audio plus it’s using the LTE data not HSPA. It may or may not work for you. It’s hard to tell for me at least where the issue is, the network I’m on has VoLTE enabled but actually it never seems to use it. At this point I’m not sure. My Samsung S22 has VoLTE enabled but it also isn’t using it so it may be a quirk in our network that it defaults to HSPA and won’t use VoLTE if HSPA is available.

I’m pretty sure that the iPhone documentation tells you to shut down the phone before inserting or removing the SIM. (That doesn’t technically mean that you will have a problem if you choose to ignore Apple’s direction but I guess Apple wouldn’t make such a direction unless there is some reason for it.)

Anecdotal example:


Just happened to me now lol, I will buy a new sim card. Just to confirm, one should always turn the L5 off before inserting and removing a SIM card?

Yes, as mentioned in the quick start guide.


sigh same thing happened to my sim card; totally fried now - and doesn’t work with the original phone either, says No SIM on both phones. so sad
I don’t remember if my L5 was powered down. Guess I need to get a new sim card as well.

sigh my SIM is gone as well. I can get a new one easily from my carrier, just a slight inconvenience. Never hard this happen before.

On my Nokia this could never happen, because you first need to remove the battery to get access to the sim.
I see this as a design flaw on the L5

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Well Purism made the design decision to place the PGP smartcard where the SIM card would typically be in a clamshell phone, and their sizes cannot be interchangeably swapped. Not many phones have a smartcard in the first place for Purism to work from prior experience.

I have my OpenPGP card inside the phone behind the battery.

I do not see what your point is in making that statement. My post is highlighting that the Librem 5 has the smartcard behind the battery instead of the SIM card, in comparison to clamshell phones.

I am now religiously removing the battery for any card changes. I know I haven’t done this on my Android phones as it has never been a problem but because this is still really an early model of the phone I suspect it may not have all the same level of protections in place to protect from nuke’ing your SIM card or damaging the phone.

Because you said that Purism placed the PGP smartcard by design where the SIM card typically is, and this is just not true.

I mentioned that in reference to clamshell phones, where removing the battery is required in order to access the SIM card behind it. To give a specific example, the Alcatel Go Flip 3, which was the clamshell phone I used as a stopgap before the Librem 5 USA.

It’s not a clamshell phone and every brick phone I’ve ever seen for years now has an externally accessible sim card slot. I’ve never killed a sim swapping them out on an Android phone but I’m sure it’s recommended to power off the phone. Mind you with today’s Android phones are they ever truly off? I don’t think so.

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