Everything you need to know about eSIM smartphones

As embedded SIM (eSIM) cards continue to grow in popularity, the number of phones and other smart devices that support the feature has accordingly increased.

But before we look into what devices support eSIM, let’s briefly go through how it works. The eSIM provides you with a number of benefits, including:

  • You can add one personal and one business mobile number to the same phone
  • You can add a local data plan when traveling abroad
  • You can easily update to another network provider once your plan ends, without needing to head into a store or place a request to port your number
  • If your device supports 5G, you can easily make the switch from 4G to 5G without needing a new card
  • You can also share the same phone number between a smartphone and a wearable device.

The eSIM is usually embedded into the device during manufacturing and saves valuable space for designers, allowing them to create even slimmer phones. What’s more, eSIM phones have a faster processor, meaning that you’ll be able to perform tasks more quickly while using less mobile data. They’re also known to have long-lasting battery life (as switching between networks could easily drain your battery).

What eSIM phones are available to buy

Unsurprisingly, Apple was the first company to launch eSIM compatible devices. The company first introduced the feature to its Apple Watch Series 3, followed by the iPhone XS and XS Max. Currently all of Apple’s latest smartphones come with an eSIM, as well as a standard SIM card.

Many of the latest Android phones also support the eSIM feature. Examples include the latest devices by Huawei – P40 and P40 Pro, Google Pixel – 4 or 4XL, and Motorola razr, as well as Samsung Fold, Samsung Flip and the Samsung Galaxy range.

Of course, on-the-move connectivity isn’t just for smartphones. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a great spike in usage of wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers – the latest versions of many of which have eSIM functionality. For example, the Apple Watch Series 3-6, the Galaxy Watch Series as well as OPPO’s new smartwatch all have built-in connectivity and the ability for users to active a mobile subscription from their device thanks to eSIM.

Currently most smartphones that support eSIM also have a slot for a standard SIM card as some networks do not support eSIMs yet. The only exception is Motorola’s razr handset, which is the first mass-market eSIM-only smartphone launched. In fact, the Motorola razr is the first foldable smartphone to rely exclusively on this feature.

Mobile operators like EE and Vodafone in the UK for example allow eSIM instead of a physical SIM card if you own a compatible device like the iPhone 12.

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