Adding a SIM card to the Photon Q 4G LTE

[Charles] is a big fan of phones that have physical keyboards. He thinks they are better suited for writing lengthy emails, but unfortunately his HTC Desire Z was getting old so he had to replace it. [Charles] therefore decided to import the Motorola Photon Q from the USA which exposed one major problem. The Verizon phone uses CDMA so there is nowhere to put a GSM SIM. But a bit of hacking allowed him to add a SIM card slot to it. Even though he’s not the one who originally found this hack (XDA thread here), his write-up is definitely an interesting read. To perform this modification, he needed a hot air reflow station, a soldering iron, a Dremel with the appropriate cutting wheel and several SIM card slot assemblies from the Galaxy S3 (as the first ones usually get burned during the disassembly process).

Obviously the first steps involved opening the phone, which may have taken a while. Using hot air, [Charles] removed the EMI shield covering the SIM card IC . He then extracted the latter using the same technique. Finally, he removed another EMI shield covering the contacts to which the SIM card slot should be connected. A few minutes/hours of delicate soldering and case modding later, [Charles] could use his SIM card on his brand new phone.

6 thoughts on “Adding a SIM card to the Photon Q 4G LTE

  1. I wonder what it would take to get Sprint, Verizon and the other north american CDMA companies to go to the RUIM, the CDMA version of the SIM?

    With unlocked GSM phones you can have several phones and swap one SIM card amongst them. Those #$%%@^ at the CDMA companies won’t allow that here, but in Europe and Asia there are phones with two or more slots for SIM and RUIM.

    A few years ago Sprint and Verizon announced they would allow compatible phones they didn’t sell on their networks, but so far nothing has come of it – though there is a PDF file that can be found on the Sprint website mentioning using non-Sprint phones with the caveat that not all features and functions may work.

    Their official line is that there’s no way it can work, which is a load of bull. The CDMA companies just want to lock people in to using only phones they’ve sold on the two year subsidy contracts.

    1. I did this with an unlocked Galaxy S3 (i9100) on the AT&T network about this time last year, just before I left the states. Seemed to work ok, but the SIM price was a bit steep (especially compared to the prices here in the EU)

    1. My phone is cdma and works great 50 mile from main city..i even get 2 bars 4g. So doeant make a dif between cdma and gsm as far as which gets a better signal outside city..depends on towers your phone company put up..verizon i have no prob…get a better carrier and you wont have that problem

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