The esims.AI Blog: Giving you the lowdown on all things Travel eSIM

What is an eSIM? The complete eSIM guide

Published on by Martin in Guides. Last updated on .

Table of Contents

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a digital SIM card that lets you activate mobile service without an actual physical card.

Lots of mobile devices support the use of eSIMs, including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy series, and a range of Android phones - and the list grows daily. One of the primary benefits of using an eSIM is the ease of switching between networks and consolidating phone lines. For example, if you have separate work and personal phone lines, an eSIM can eliminate the need for carrying two separate phones. Instead, you can use one device with multiple eSIM profiles linked to different phone numbers.

eSIMs can also be advantageous for travellers since they can access local networks without purchasing a new physical SIM. With an eSIM, you can easily switch between local networks to get the best coverage and avoid costly roaming charges. Additionally, since eSIMs can be downloaded remotely and do not require a physical card, they can save valuable time and money.

eSIMs have many benefits over physical SIMs, such as the ability to switch networks easily, consolidate phone lines, and save money when travelling. As eSIM technology continues to evolve, it is only a matter of time before more devices and cellular service providers adopt this new standard.

What's the difference between an eSIM vs a physical SIM card?

If you're looking for a new mobile device or smartphone, it's important to know the difference between an eSIM and a physical SIM card. A physical SIM card is a tiny removable chip that stores information on your mobile device. An eSIM is a digital version of this.

One major difference between the two is the way they are installed. To use a physical SIM card, you need to purchase a card from your wireless carrier, fit it into your device's SIM card slot, and swap it out if you ever need to change carriers. On the other hand, eSIMs are provided electronically, allowing for a more flexible and easy-to-use experience. You can select your carrier and plan directly on your device, eliminating the need to switch SIMs.

Another key difference between eSIMs and physical SIMs is the number of SIM cards they support. Physical SIM cards have a limit to how many SIM cards can be inserted into a device, usually just one. eSIM-capable phones offer more flexibility than traditional phones by allowing users to use multiple eSIMs simultaneously, which is especially useful for frequent travellers or those who have multiple service plans.

eSIMs are now used in many devices, including smartphones like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy range. More and more cellular carriers are offering eSIM services, and we have a huge list of third-party eSIM providers to cover your travel needs. The flexibility and ease-of-use provided by eSIMs make them an attractive option for customers who are looking for a hassle-free, connected experience.

What can an eSIM do?

An eSIM, short for embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is installed on a mobile device and contains the same information as a physical SIM card. Are you tired of swapping out your SIM card every time you need to change carriers? An eSIM-capable phone can make your life easier by allowing you to store multiple networks and carrier profiles. This means you can easily switch carriers on your smartphone or tablet without having to physically swap out a card. Plus, you won't have to worry about losing or damaging a tiny SIM card ever again!

One of the key advantages of eSIM technology is the ability to connect to multiple networks, including domestic and international carriers, on a single device. This feature is particularly valuable for frequent travellers who want to avoid hefty roaming charges when travelling abroad. eSIM-enabled devices let users connect to a local carrier's network in the country they're visiting, helping them save money on phone bills.

Switching carriers on a smartphone with eSIMs is a breeze. Users simply purchase an eSIM plan and download the eSIM, which contains a carrier profile. Once downloaded, they can activate the new service right away, without having to physically swap out a physical card.

With an eSIM, compatible devices also have the ability to connect to multiple networks and switch between them with ease. For example, an iPhone 14 user can have a main carrier plan for domestic calls and data and add another plan for international roaming - and both can be enabled at once, if desired.

In addition to domestic and international carrier switching, eSIMs also offer international roaming capabilities. Rather than paying costly roaming fees with their regular carrier, users can turn on an eSIM card from a local carrier or eSIM specialist that offers coverage for the country they're visiting, while disabling data roaming on their domestic carrier line. The process of using an eSIM is easy and can save travellers a lot of money on phone bills. eSIM comparison websites, such as esims.AI, were created for a reason. They help people choose the best eSIM option by providing them with all the necessary information and offering helpful comparisons of different plans.

eSIM technology has several advantages for users, allowing them to connect to numerous networks, change carriers seamlessly, and reduce phone costs while travelling internationally. As more and more smartphones and tablets become eSIM-enabled, eSIMs will quickly become the standard for cellular connectivity.

How can an eSIM benefit me?

eSIMs are changing the way mobile phone users access connectivity. Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, eSIMs are embedded in mobile devices and can be programmed remotely without the need to physically change the SIM card. Now let's explore the benefits of eSIMs and how they can benefit you as a mobile phone user.

Using an eSIM for International Roaming

When travelling abroad, people often need a SIM card for their phone to avoid expensive fees. This involves either renting one or buying one locally, which requires searching for a physical card. eSIM technology can eliminate this need, making it easier for international travellers to gain access to local networks without needing to search for a physical card in a sometimes unfamiliar country.

To use an eSIM for international roaming, users can easily download an eSIM profile from an enrolled service provider or network operator in their home country before leaving, such as one of the many providers listed on esims.AI. The profile is then installed on the device, and the user can select a local network to connect to. This process allows mobile users to quickly and conveniently switch network operators without the need for swapping out physical SIM cards.

The benefits of using an eSIM when travelling abroad are numerous. For instance, users can have a more seamless experience when moving between countries, with no need to purchase or install a new physical SIM card.

As more consumers begin to understand the benefits of eSIMs, there will likely be a mass adoption of the technology. Network operators have already started moving in the direction of eSIMs to offer consumers more flexibility and convenience. The potential for eliminating roaming charges, as well as quick operator switching, is a significant advantage for users who travel frequently.

Bye bye, data roaming: no more hefty phone bills

If you've ever returned from a trip abroad only to be greeted by an exorbitant phone bill, you know the pain of data roaming charges. These fees can add up quickly as you use your mobile device to access the internet while away from home. Fortunately, a eSIM provides a cost-effective solution to this problem.

To take advantage of eSIM technology and say goodbye to data roaming charges, start by checking if your mobile device is eSIM-compatible. Phones like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy range support eSIMs. Once you've confirmed compatibility, simply find your destination country on esims.AI and select an eSIM based on your requirements.

By using an eSIM on your trip, you can enjoy the benefits of cellular connectivity without the hefty bill that often comes with traditional data roaming. Say goodbye to surprise charges and hello to the freedom to switch carriers with just a few finger taps.

Which Phones Support eSIM?

In recent years, eSIM technology has become increasingly popular among consumers and smartphone manufacturers alike, offering a more flexible and streamlined way to connect your mobile device to the network. While not every phone currently supports eSIM technology, a growing number of devices now offer this feature. Here is a roundup of the most popular eSIM-compatible smartphones currently on the market:

  1. iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and newer: Apple has been at the forefront of eSIM technology, and all of their current flagship devices support both a physical SIM card and an eSIM. This means that users can switch carriers or add a new line without the need to swap out SIM cards.
  2. Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, 4 XL, and newer: Google's latest devices also support eSIM technology, allowing users to activate a new service plan without the need for a physical SIM card. Google's own cellular service, Google Fi, utilizes eSIM technology to provide flexible and affordable connectivity options.
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and Ultra: While not every Galaxy model supports eSIM technology, Samsung has begun to include this feature in their latest high-end devices. In the US, the Galaxy S20, S20+, and Ultra models support eSIM, in addition to their physical SIM card slot.
  4. Motorola Razr (2019): The new foldable Razr phone from Motorola features a built-in eSIM, in addition to a physical SIM card slot. This allows users to easily add a second line or switch carriers without having to open up the phone.
  5. Microsoft Surface Duo: Microsoft's dual-screen Android device supports both a physical SIM card and eSIM technology, offering flexibility and choice for users who need to switch service plans frequently.

It is important to mention that eSIM technology is not yet supported in the US by some devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra, due to issues with Android fragmentation. However, it's likely that more and more high-profile devices will add this feature in the coming years, as eSIM becomes a more widely accepted standard.

Which Tablets and Laptops Support eSIM?

eSIM technology has been available in smartphones for a while now, but it is slowly beginning to emerge in portable computing devices like tablets and laptops. Manufacturers such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Microsoft, and Apple have started to include eSIM support in their devices.

Apple, for instance, supports eSIM technology in their iPads but currently does not have this feature in their laptops. However, other manufacturers have stepped up and integrated eSIM technology into their laptops.

Slow adoption is one reason why eSIM technology is not yet widespread in smartphones, but high-profile devices in developed markets tend to have eSIM support. Additionally, tablets and laptops are increasingly coming with eSIM support as manufacturers explore the potential of this technology.

One example of a tablet that supports eSIM technology is Samsung's Galaxy Book Go, which is equipped with an eSIM slot. The Galaxy Book Go uses the same eSIM technology that Samsung has integrated into its smartphones, allowing users to enjoy cellular connectivity without inserting a physical SIM card.

Another portable computing device that supports eSIM technology is Microsoft's Surface Pro X, which is one of the company's flagship products. The Surface Pro X has an eSIM that allows users to connect to cellular networks without the need to physically insert a SIM card. By including an eSIM, the device can be easily configured to work with different wireless carriers, making it ideal for those who frequently travel to different regions with varying carrier coverage.

In summary, while smartphones have been the primary focus of eSIM technology, tablets and laptops have not been left out. Many manufacturers have started to include eSIM support in their portable computing devices, offering users better and more flexible cellular connectivity options.

How do I find an eSIM?

If you're on the hunt for the latest eSIM technology for your mobile phone or other compatible device, there are a few different ways to find what you need.

A great option for finding an eSIM is to use an eSIM comparison website like esims.AI. These sites allow you to compare different eSIM plans and carriers to find the right fit for your needs, simply by browsing to the country or region you are travelling to.

You can also check with retailers or online stores that specialize in selling smartphones and mobile devices. Many of these stores now offer eSIM-compatible devices, and some may even offer eSIM cards to pair with your existing device.

Overall, with so many different options for finding eSIMs, it's just a matter of doing a bit of research to find the right fit for you. Whether you're looking to stick with your current carrier or explore new options, there's likely an eSIM solution out there that will work well for your mobile connectivity needs.