To many, Hong Kong is just a transit or stopover destination.
That is, just staying in the transit hall of Hong Kong International Airport for a few hours or overnight or seeing the country for a few days.
But I believe you cannot fully enjoy and experience Hong Kong in just a few days.
I stayed with my boyfriend, a Hong Kong local, during my latest visit to Hong Kong for two weeks.
It allowed me to see the country from a different perspective than a regular traveler… and I loved it 😍.
But even then… two weeks may be a bit too short.
But the issue is that Hong Kong is not as cheap as many other Southeast Asian countries – or even China up north.
And the same can be said about SIM card prices and mobile data rates – they could be cheaper, but they are not too bad.
Anyway, as I had two full weeks to explore Hong Kong, I had plenty of time to test various SIM cards and travel eSIMs.
In fact, I tested four local SIM cards and eSIMs, including 3 Hong Kong, eight travel eSIMs & one travel SIM card by Holisdaysimcard (which I also used in Australia and Singapore).
And I did more than 55 speed tests with each SIM card and (travel) (e)SIM (card) – going to tourist attractions and visiting residential districts (in the New Territories) so that you can have a solid idea of how each SIM card or eSIM performs depending on your style of travel.
So I spent about 2560 HKD (≈ 326.15 USD) for my Hong Kong SIM card and travel eSIM review series – yeah… I went all out for you 😎.
So when I say that 3 Hong Kong is unsurprisingly bad in the title, you can believe it truly is – especially when I compare it to three other Hong Kong SIM cards (China Mobile Hong Kong, CSL Mobile & SmarTone Hong Kong).
But of course, I will explain why 3 Hong Kong is so bad throughout this review (and why one of its budget sub-brands will be a better value for your money.
Let's get started, shall we?
Original publication: 28th of January 2023. Last updated: 15th of April 2023.
Table of Contents
Who is 3 Hong Kong?
3 (Three) Hong Kong (3香港), just 3, is the third-largest mobile operator in Hong Kong.
3 Hong Kong is a popular white label for travel SIM cards and eSIMs (re)sellers.
While you may not know it, it is highly probable that your travel eSIM is using 3 Hong Kong.
Three, as a company, is active in Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Indonesia (as Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison), Italy (as Wind Tre), Macau, Sweden & the United Kingdom.
In the case of Hong Kong, 3 also has a popular sub-brand called (3) SoSIM.
It is fairly cheap – and it gives you very generous data allowances.
But your speeds will be throttled @ 42 Mbps, which is not bad… especially for the low prices you pay.
Anyway, in Hong Kong, you have four mobile network operators (and various sub-brands) offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:
- China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK – 中國移動香港有限公司)
- CSL Mobile by Hong Kong Telekom (HKT (香港電訊有限公司) – 香港移動通訊有限公司) – includes 7-Connect & Club SIM
- 3 (Three) Hong Kong (3香港) – includes SoSIM
- SmarTone Hong Kong (數碼通)
As you know, I tested the other three mobile operators during my stay in Hong Kong. You can read them here: China Mobile Hong Kong Mobile, CSL Mobile & SmarTone Hong Kong.
Let's talk about 3 Hong Kong's coverage first, after these quick frequency details:
- 2G: N/A – shut down in September 2021
- 3G: 900 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1), 2300 MHz (Band 40) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
- 5G NR: 700 MHz (n28), 3500 MHz (n78) & 4700 MHz (n79) – not for prepaid customers (yet)
- VoLTE: Yes (but not for prepaid customers)
- VoWiFi: Yes (but not for prepaid customers)
Here you have 3 Hong Kong's APN settings:
- Name: 3
- APN: mobile.lte.three.com.hk
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
3 Hong Kong Coverage + My Experience
You can have a mobile operator providing you 1 Gbps download speeds.
But it will be useless if it covers only one street in Hong Kong.
So, how is 3 Hong Kong's coverage?
Honestly, the four mobile operators cover practically all of Hong Kong (mostly because it is a small city-state), with an availability of more than 98.6%.
4G/LTE reception is so good in Hong Kong that I thought 3G did not exist anymore (until 3 Hong Kong was stuck at 3G a handful of times 😩).
When looking at 5G NR availability, 3 Hong Kong has the second-best availability (21.4%). Ahead of SmarTone Hong Kong (17.7%) but behind both China Mobile Hong Kong and CSL Mobile (22.9%).
So far, I have been talking about coverage from other reports, but what was my coverage experience with 3 Hong Kong?
It was great, but not excellent as with its competitors.
For example, I was on 3G a few times during my stay.
It took two days before my 3 Hong Kong eSIM was active (because of SIM card registration laws).
Until the eSIM was active, I believed 3G was shut down in Hong Kong because I was never on the 3G network of China Mobile Hong Kong, CSL Mobile & SmarTone Hong Kong (with the first and last always on 5G NR).
When my 3 Hong Kong was finally fully activated, I was on 3G a handful of times with 3 Hong Kong – often for just a short time.
However, unlike its competitors, I could not get any reception at one test location with 3 Hong Kong.
So because of this, I cannot say I had excellent coverage with 3 Hong Kong.
Surprisingly, 3 Hong Kong did well on the MTR – yes, even when the train was cruising between stations.
In fact, I believe that Hong Kong is the only country (in my experience) where your connection does not cut off while undergroud – even when the train is on the move.
So that is cool 😎.
Below is 3 Hong Kong ‘s coverage map produced by Speedtest:
How to Get a 3 Hong Kong SIM Card (or eSIM) & Prices
Now that you have a basic understanding of 3 Hong Kong and the telecom market in Hong Kong, it is now time to talk about how to actually get a 3 Hong Kong SIM card.
Like many countries in Asia, I recommend visiting a 3 store (search 3Shop on Google Maps) to get your SIM card.
And that is not because it is mandatory, as resellers like 7-Eleven and Circle K also sell SIM cards, but none of them sell 3 Hong Kong (DIY) SIM cards for some reason.
3 Hong Kong refers to its new prepaid line as DIY). The old line with no specific name still exists, but it is hard to find.
The only exceptions are PARKnSHOP and Watsons, but they sell 3 Hong Kong's budget brand called SoSIM.
SoSIM SIM cards cost 33 HKD and feature 50 GB of data @ 42 Mbps.
Disclaimer: the SIM card prices mentioned in the review were current when I was in Hong Kong – the offering and prices may have changed since then. To see 3 Hong Kong's current starter packs, check out my Hong Kong SIM card buying guide
And no other Hong Kong mobile operator sells SIM cards for this low with such a generous data allowance.
I will talk about SoSIM a bit later… but you can get a 3 Hong Kong SIM card easily at a 3Shop… right?
No… not really. Somehow, every 3Shop I visited did not have prepaid SIM cards in stock – not even travel SIM cards to be used abroad.
It was so bad that after a few days of hunting for a 3 Hong Kong SIM card, I eventually opted for a DIY eSIM because getting a SIM card shipped could take up to seven business days.
Yes… seven business days in the city-state of Hong Kong. Ridiculous.
By the way, there is no extra charge for getting a DIY eSIM – I paid 200 HKD for mine (with 36 GB of data and 5000 local minutes for 30 days) because the plan costs 200 HKD. However, there is a minimum purchase of 50 HKD for new 3 Hong Kong SIM cards and eSIMs.
And I could not be bothered to travel up north to the New Territories to be disappointed a few more times.
And what about at Hong Kong International Airport? Also not. But I have a guide about SIM cards sold at the airport.
In my second week in Hong Kong, I learned that 3 Hong Kong has a partnership with Fortress, where 3 Hong Kong has small booths with its products.
But, as expected, they still mostly focus on postpaid customers.
TIP: go to Sham Shui Po (the nearest MTR station has the same name) and get your SIM card there from one of the many resellers.
Yes, these are legitimate SIM cards. The resellers can sell the local SIM cards at low(er) prices because (1) they bought them in bulk or (2) they got a special deal. Be sure to get the 3 SIM cards for local use, as there are many sold for international use (some from 3 United Kingdom – and I tried one out in Australia, Hong Kong & Singapore). Travel SIM cards for worldwide use are sold here for competitive prices but note that many have speed restrictions.
Some resellers even allow you to pick your phone number for an additional fee (phone numbers containing multiple 8s are more expensive because they are considered a lucky number in Chinese culture).
So what about SoSIM? Practically all PARKnSHOP and Watsons have SoSIM SIM cards in stock.
And even though you will have to deal with speed restrictions (42 Mbps) with SoSIM, I recommend it over 3 (DIY) Hong Kong because you get slow speeds on the network anyway.
But that is for the speed section later.
Once you have finally obtained your 3 Hong Kong or SoSIM SIM card or DIY eSIM, you need to register it.
As of March 2022, SIM card registration rules came into effect in Hong Kong after avoiding it for many years, making the country the final East Asian country to do so.
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
Registration can be done online (although I recommend doing it on your phone with the SIM card already inserted).
In the meantime, dial ##107# to ensure you can receive text messages, as you often have to perform an action before the SIM cards get properly connected to the network.
Note that because of the SIM card registration law, your phone number is no longer listed on the starter pack.
Instead, your 3 Hong Kong phone number once you connect to the network for the first time (which is why I recommended dialing the USSD code).
I will not go over the steps on how self-registration works with 3 Hong Kong or SoSIM because they are easy to follow.
But you should know that you have to take a photo of your passport, specifically the part with the machine-readable section, and upload it to the 3 Hong Kong website (even if you have a SoSIM SIM card).
But preferably not as in the photo above because the holder covers the upper right corner (the site will not accept a picture like this).
Follow the steps, and your SIM card should be registered within seven business days.
Wait… seven business days? Yes, that is unfortunately right 😩.
All of 3 Hong Kong's competitors activate your SIM cards within seconds or minutes, so I do not know why it took 3 Hong Kong two days to finalize my registration.
You may be lucky and only wait for a few minutes or hours, or unlucky and wait for those full seven business days.
So if you are staying in Hong Kong for a (long) weekend, I do not recommend getting a 3 Hong Kong or SoSIM SIM card because it may not be active before you leave the country.
And no, visiting a 3Shop to speed up the process will not work… I tried, lol. 🥲
Now you are finally ready to use 3 Hong Kong or SoSIM SIM card or eSIM (for the former only).
Surprisingly, 3 Hong Kong was the only mobile operator allowing prepaid customers to use eSIM.
And you can only order them online – not in a 3Shop.
If you do not care about calling or texting, getting a travel eSIM from Airalo, Holafly, Nomad, Simify, or Ubigi will give you a much better browsing experience than 3 Hong Kong (even the Simify eSIM that uses the 3 Hong Kong network, surprisingly).
The links above will get you to my in-depth reviews of those eSIMs.
But if you want a quick comparison of the travel eSIMs I recommend for Hong Kong, you should read my Hong Kong eSIM comparison guide – I also drop a few discount codes for you 😏.
3 Hong Kong Plans, Bundles & Offers
3 Hong Kong has three data-featured prepaid plans:
- Local Data Packages for SoSIM SIM card (combo)
- DIY Plans for DIY SIM card (combo)
- Local Data Packages (combo – yes, really)
Disclaimer: these were the available plans at the time I was in Hong Kong – the offering may have changed since then (including whether 5G NR is available to prepaid customers or not). To see 3 Hong Kong's current plans, check out my Hong Kong SIM card buying guide (which gets updated regularly – at least two times a year).
I will list all the prices in HKD (Hong Kong Dollar).
To convert HKD to your currency (let's say NTD – New Taiwan Dollar) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
Local Data Packages for SoSIM
The Local Data Packages are combo bundles (yes, really) with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes exclusively for the SoSIM SIM card.
Local Data Packages for SoSIM can be activated on the SoSIM app:
|Price||Data||Social Data 1||Local Minutes||Validity|
|10 HKD||500 MB||N/A||N/A||1 day|
|18 HKD||2 GB||N/A||N/A||2 days|
|25 HKD||5 GB||N/A||N/A||7 days|
|33 HKD||50 GB||N/A||5000 minutes||30 days|
|50 HKD||50 GB||Unlimited||5000 minutes||30 days|
|98 HKD||60 GB||N/A||5000 minutes||30 days|
|88 HKD||120 GB||N/A||10 000 minutes||90 days|
|139 HKD||120 GB||Unlimited||10 000 minutes||90 days|
1 for Apple TV+, HMVOD, myTV & Netflix
DIY Plans for 3 Hong Kong
The DIY Plans are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes exclusively for the DIY SIM card.
DIY Plans can be activated on the SIM World app:
|Price||Data||Social Data||Local Minutes||Validity|
|10 HKD||1 GB 1||N/A||500 minutes||24 hours|
|50 HKD||2 GB 1||N/A||1000 minutes||30 days|
|100 HKD||12 GB 2||N/A||2000 minutes||30 days|
|120 HKD||12 GB 3||12 GB||10 000 minutes||365 days|
|150 HKD||20 GB 2, 3||N/A||3000 minutes||30 days|
|200 HKD||36 GB 3, 4||N/A||5000 minutes||30 days|
|270 HKD||100 GB 3||20 GB||10 000 minutes||365 days|
1 +unlimited data @ 128 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance (super slow!)
2 +unlimited data @ 384 Kbps after exhausting your data allowance (super slow!)
3 +unlimited data between 23:00 – 7:00 at full speeds (even if you have exhausted your high-speed data allowance – where applicable)
4 +unlimited data @ 2 Mbps after exhausting your data allowance (slow!)
Local Data Packages
The Local Data Packages are combo bundles (yes, really) with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.
Local Data Packages can be activated on the SIM World or SoSIM apps:
|18 HKD||50 MB||N/A||30 days|
|18 HKD||3 GB||N/A||2 days|
|38 HKD||2.5 GB||38 minutes||2 days|
|38 HKD||3 GB||N/A||3 days|
|38 HKD||5 GB||N/A||30 days|
|48 HKD||10 GB||N/A||30 days|
|88 HKD||5 GB||N/A||14 days|
|88 HKD||5 GB||88 minutes||8 days|
|98 HKD||30 GB||N/A||30 days|
|198 HKD||46 GB||500 minutes||365 days|
|168 HKD||5 GB||168 minutes||14 days|
|248 HKD||70 GB||N/A||90 days|
|365 HKD||120 GB||N/A||365 days|
3 Hong Kong Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check
3 Hong Kong top-up vouchers are sold in 3 stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Hong Kong.
To top up your 3 Hong Kong SIM card, dial ##105*VoucherCode#.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial ##105*123456#.
You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.
Dial ##107# to check your 3 Hong Kong balance.
You can also top up and check your balance on the SIM World app (Android/iOS).
For SoSIM, use the SoSIM app (Android/iOS).
3 Hong Kong Speed Test Results in Hong Kong
Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect with 3 Hong Kong after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.
But before I share my 47 speed test results throughout Hong Kong (mostly on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon), I want to set the stage first and make a small comparison with 3 Hong Kong's competition.
3 Hong Kong is regarded by Speedtest as the slowest mobile operator in Hong Kong in Q1 2022.
With a median download speed of 32.52 Mbps, 3 Hong Kong is behind CSL Mobile (45.96 Mbps), SmarTone Hong Kong (48.14 Mbps) & China Mobile Hong Kong (66.11 Mbps).
The results are a bit different, in a good way, when looking at 5G NR speeds: 3 Hong Kong is the second-fastest with a median download speed of 155.81 Mbps, ahead of SmarTone Hong Kong (145.20 Mbps) and CSL Mobile (116.80 Mbps), but behind China Mobile Hong Kong (172.19 Mbps).
As mentioned earlier, 3 Hong Kong did not allow prepaid customers to use 5G NR when I was in Hong Kong (but that may have been changed by now).
Anyway, I did speed tests with the Speedtest app throughout Hong Kong.
For reference, I consider an average download speed of 25 Mbps and an average of 10 Mbps upload speed fast enough.
Preferably, download speeds should be 100 Mbps+ on 4G/LTE… but we are not there yet 🗿.
But why these averages?
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
So, that is why – but that does not mean that a download speed of less than 100 Mbps excited me 😏.
But Australia spoiled… everything slower than 300 Mbps is slow now 🤣.
Anyway, you will also see that some of the results are in red, green, or in italics.
Results in italics are on 3G.
The results in green represent that that result was the fastest download or upload speed of all the Hong Kong mobile operators (China Mobile Hong Kong, CSL Mobile, 3 Hong Kong & SmarTone Hong Kong).
The results in red are the opposite; they are the slowest of them all.
Unlike most of my reviews, I will not split Hong Kong reviews into cities because Hong Kong is a city-state.
Yes, it officially has cities (like the City of Victoria, Kowloon & New Kowloon; the Government of Hong Kong does not use them for administrative purposes – only as geographical limits.
I could have split it up in Hong Kong's 18 districts between Hong Kong Island, Kowloon & New Territories, but that would have wasted our time (you reading this review and me writing it).
Some of these districts, especially those in the New Territories, are mainly/entirely residential, so there is little incentive for tourists like you and me to visit them.
With all of that out of the way, let's see how 3 Hong Kong performed in Hong Kong.
3 Hong Kong Speed Test Results in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon & New Territories
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated countries, or Special Administrative Region (SAR) if we want to be correct, worldwide behind Macau (also a SAR), Monaco & Singapore.
There are not many countries where you struggle to walk on the pavement because there are so many people around as Hong Kong without getting constantly pushed.
And I was there during the winter and when the China-Hong Kong border just opened – imagine how crazy it is during summer 😳.
But the country has a lot to offer: fantastic food, Ocean Park (attraction park) & even Disneyland for those who want it.
And of course smaller attractions, such as the Central–Mid-Levels escalator – the longest outdoor covered escalator in the world, The Peak (with the peak tram) & the Big Buddha (Ngong Ping) cable car.
The latter is 5.7 kilometers long and takes 25 minutes – and you even have a clear (called crystal) car option if you dare.
I am not fond of heights… but I actually enjoyed being in the crystal car… so I bet you will too!
Anyway, let's finally talk about my 3 Hong Kong speed test results, right?
Okay… those are lot of results and locations! Let me break it down a little.
According to my (Hong Kong-Indonesian) boyfriend, most travelers will stay and visit Hong Kong Island and Kowloon because there is where all the fun stuff is (districts 10-18 on the map) – and that is what we did too.
All districts in the New Territories, 2-9, are residential, and there is not much to do unless you actually reside there, excluding the occasional shopping mall or something.
The major exception is District 1: Islands, where Hong Kong's outlying islands are, including Chek Lap Kok (Hong Kong International Airport), Cheung Wan (accessible by ferry for a reasonable fee) & Lantau Island (Big Buddha and Disneyland).
Almost all tests were done in Kowloon City (10), Kwun Tong (11), Sham Shui Po (12), Wong Tai Sin (13) & Yau Tsim Mong (14) in Kowloon + Central and Western District (15), Eastern District (16), Southern District (17) & Wan Chai (18) on Hong Kong Island.
Okay, so what about the results in Jordan for example? Are they the results of the country of Jordan?
No – that is just the Hong Kong neighborhood called Jordan (in Yau Tsim Mong District to be exact).
Where the neighborhood was available, I wrote it down as that (like Jordan) – else the district (like Sham Sui Po).
Okay, that was your introduction to Hong Kong districts and neighborhoods 🤓 – let's talk about the results.
Poor speeds with 3 Hong Kong in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon & New Territories.
Because I could not use 3 Hong Kong's 5G NR network, its results are less impressive than those of China Mobile Hong Kong and SmarTone Hong Kong.
But compared to CSL Mobile, which also did not allow prepaid customers to use its 5G NR network yet, 3 Hong Kong performed significantly worse (more than twice as slow) – more about that later.
I had an average download speed of 53.01 Mbps and a median download speed of 20.78 Mbps with 3 Hong Kong; it did not pass the 4K video streaming test in Hong Kong (minimum of 25 Mbps).
It was a bit different for the HD live streaming test in Hong Kong – 3 Hong Kong had an average upload speed of 14.54 Mbps and a median upload speed of 15.33 Mbps, making it pass the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
I do have to remind you that it took 3 Hong Kong two days to fully activate my eSIM because of SIM card registration regulations (even though registration was practically instant with its competitors).
As a result, I did not do tests at nine of the 56 test locations with 3 Hong Kong.
But seeing as 3 Hong Kong had a download speed of more than 40 Mbps four times, I doubt it would have performed any better if I had those numbers (its averages would probably be worse, lol).
3 Hong Kong's slowest download speed was at the market on Chueng Chau Island (0.71 Mbps on 4G/LTE).
This was way too slow to pass the 4K video streaming test (minimum of 25 Mbps). This also made 3 Hong Kong the worst performer at this location (with China Mobile Hong Kong being the second-slowest (6.08 Mbps on 5G NR)).
The 3 (UK) SIM card by Holidaysimcard had no reception here at all.
Whereas the Ubigi eSIM, using the 3 Hong Kong and SmarTone networks, had a download speed of 0.55 Mbps (and I suspect the eSIM was on the 3 Hong Kong network because SmarTone had a download speed of 133.09 Mbps on 5G NR here).
Surprisingly, the Simify Hong Kong eSIM on the China Unicom Hong Kong network, which is a 3 Hong Kong MVNO, had a download speed of 25.97 Mbps.
Yes – a travel eSIM as an MVNO on the 3 Hong Kong network performed significantly better than the mobile operator itself.
I can tell you that the Simify Hong Kong eSIM was faster than 3 Hong Kong at 28 of the 47 test locations (excluding the nine locations where my 3 Hong Kong eSIM was inactive).
Embarrasing… just like this intentional typo for embarrassing 😜.
Moving on, 3 Hong Kong's worst upload speed performance was at a McDonald's in Jordan (0.39 Mbps on 4G/LTE), making it fail the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
But I cannot blame 3 Hong Kong too much because the best performer was China Mobile Hong Kong, with an upload speed of 1.10 Mbps (on 5G NR), so it was a difficult location to do well, it seems.
And yes, the Simify eSIM was slower than 3 Hong Kong (0.18 Mbps).
As CSL Mobile was the other mobile operator not allowing 5G NR access to prepaid customers, here are the results between 3 Hong Kong and it.
In the results above, you will see that 3 Hong Kong was the slowest (download speed) at 35 test locations of the 47 and had no reception at all at one.
In fact, 3 Hong Kong was never the fastest in terms of downloading.
Still, it did have the fastest upload speed at two locations (8 Mbps at Ocean Park Thrill Mountain and 15.33 Mbps at Masterbeef Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui).
So knowing about all of this, it does not seem worth getting a 3 Hong Kong (DIY) SIM card with access to its unrestricted 4.5G network and paying a premium for it when the average download speed is around 20 Mbps.
Especially while knowing SoSIM is significantly cheaper than 3 Hong Kong itself and throttled speeds @ 42 Mbps.
As I mentioned earlier, only four of the 47 speed results were faster than 42 Mbps… so save your money and get a SoSIM SIM card if you really need to be on the 3 Hong Kong network.
And if your phone supports eSIM, get the Simify Hong Kong eSIM with an even better speed performance than 3 Hong Kong itself (average download speed of 44.55 Mbps – more than twice as fast as 3 Hong Kong).
My Overall Experience with 3 Hong Kong – Is It Any Good?
I would recommend 3 Hong Kong (only if you get its SoSIM SIM card), but it would not be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy a Hong Kong SIM card.
Getting a 3 (DIY) Hong Kong SIM card took quite some effort because there are not that many 3Shops out there, and 7-Eleven and Circle K mainly sell China Mobile Hong Kong (MySIM) and CSL Mobile SIM cards.
And if you manage to find a 3Shop, it often does not have prepaid SIM cards in stock.
In my second week in Hong Kong, I learned that 3 Hong Kong has a partnership with Fortress, where 3 Hong Kong has small booths with its products… but they still mostly focus on postpaid customers.
After two days of trying to get a 3 Hong Kong SIM card, I eventually purchase an eSIM instead (because shipping a SIM card would take up to seven business days and I did not feel like traveling to other districts only to be disappointed even more).
Even worse is that 3 Hong Kong SIM cards, or eSIMs for that matter, can take up to seven business days before they are activated because of the SIM card registration laws.
Its competitors all activate and approve the process basically instantly or within minutes, so I do not understand why 3 Hong Kong took two days to finish their process 🙄.
But if you need a 3 Hong Kong branded SIM card quickly and cannot use eSIMs, I recommend 3 Hong Kong's SoSIM SIM cards.
Basically, all PARKnSHOP and Watsons sell them (for 33 HKD, giving you up to 50 GB of data @ 42 Mbps).
And as mentioned in the speed section, I barely got speeds faster than 42 Mbps (so 3 Hong Kong's revolutionary 4.5G network is simply trash… wasted 200 HKD on unrestricted speeds – do not be a clown like me 🤡).
I will continue with speeds again in a bit, but 3 Hong Kong's data-featured plans are… surprisingly cheap.
Especially for SoSIM SIM cards. You can get 120 GB of data for 90 days for as little as 88 HKD.
In Canada, you have to spend at least 175 HKD to get 500 MB of data (for real – it is criminal over there 😩).
3 Hong Kong's competitors are not this generous, making this one of the few selling points of 3 Hong Kong.
Anyway, taking all the 47 of the 56 speed test locations into account, I had an average overall download speed of 20.78 Mbps and a median download speed of 18.51 Mbps with 3 Hong Kong.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 14.54 Mbps and a median upload speed of 15.33 Mbps with 3 Hong Kong.
As I mentioned in the speed section, my CSL Mobile SIM card did not allow me to use 5G NR yet and was stuck on 4G/LTE.
Even then, 3 Hong Kong was significantly slower than CSL Mobile – by a lot.
I managed to get a speed faster than 42 Mbps at only four locations, so I recommend SoSIM so that (1) you can save money by not overpaying and (2) because you will not get fast speeds with 3 Hong Kong anyway.
Surprisingly, the Simify Hong Kong eSIM I tested was using the China Unicom Hong Kong network, a 3 Hong Kong Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which was twice as fast as 3 Hong Kong itself.
I managed to get an average download speed of 44.55 Mbps with the Simify eSIM (with 27 results being faster than 40 Mbps)… and that was on 4G/LTE too!
So if you somehow need to use the 3 Hong Kong network and only care about data, you can consider the Simify Hong Kong eSIM instead.
With excellent coverage, cheap (SoSIM) to reasonably priced data-featured prepaid plans, but slow speeds, I do not recommend 3 Hong Kong but do recommend SoSIM (or the Simify Hong Kong eSIM) instead.
Hong Kong SIM Card Reviews
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out China Mobile Hong Kong, CSL Mobile & SmarTone Hong Kong when I was in Hong Kong.
You should read those reviews too.
>>> China Mobile Hong Kong Review | CSL Mobile Review | SmarTone Hong Kong Review <<<
Later, I will make a comparison post of the four Hong Kong SIM cards I tried… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).
But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the Hong Kong SIM card reviews.
I also tried out various travel eSIMs + a travel SIM card that work in Hong Kong: Airalo (Hkmobile, Asialink & Discover Global), Holafly, Nomad (Hong Kong & APAC), Simify & Ubigi + 3 (UK) travel SIM card by Holidaysimcard.
You should also read those reviews.
>>> Airalo Hkmobile Hong Kong eSIM Review | Airalo Asialink eSIM in Hong Kong Review | Airalo Discover Global in Hong Kong eSIM Review | Holafly Hong Kong eSIM Review | Nomad Hong Kong eSIM Review | Nomad APAC eSIM in Hong Kong Review | Simify Hong Kong eSIM Review | Ubigi Hong Kong eSIM Review | 3 (UK) Travel SIM Card by Holidaysimcard in Hong Kong Review (also used in Australia and Singapore) <<<
- Check out my eSIM reviews page if you want to read all the other eSIM reviews I have written, including other eSIM providers in Asia.
Hong Kong SIM Card Buying Guide
There are various other SIM cards to choose from in Hong Kong besides 3 Hong Kong.
I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Hong Kong SIM card buying guide.
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Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience?
Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!
Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.
Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling
Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?
In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.
If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!
Learn About Your Phone Travel Options
You can buy local prepaid SIM cards, international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, or roam internationally.
Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.
Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks
I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!
Sign Up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter
Get updates related to the newest guides, videos & recommended products and services.
Moreover, I send you many tips and tricks on saving money while traveling every now and then.
Let's Be Social
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel covering everything you need to know about traveling with your phone?
A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!
Learn More About Who Adu Actually Is
Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!