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eSIM vs Physical SIM

When a new technology comes out, it is always important to compare it with the ones that it is trying to replace, just to be sure that they are worth it. When you can compare the pros and cons, you can easily decide which works best for you and your pocket.

This time we want to compare physical SIM cards and eSIMs (embedded SIMs). They both have advantages, disadvantages and some similarities. Our idea is to detail these topics to give you an overview. After that, you will have a better understanding to make your judgment about which one brings more benefits.

Let’s start this reading about SIMs and eSIMs!

The Similarities Between eSIMs & Physical SIM Cards

Although eSIMs have entered the technological world as something new and innovative, they are not so different from SIM cards. They indeed have many advantages that we are going to discuss later in this article; however, we believe that is necessary to highlight their similarities. Let’s detail then how similar eSIMs and SIM cards are:

Both, SIM cards and eSIMs have the function of connecting your cell phone to a mobile network. The most popular and recognized mobile networks around the world now provide both services, SIM cards, and eSIMs plans. When you activate them, you are then able to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and use the internet on your phone.

You can use SIM cards and eSIMs on different devices. Some of the devices that can connect to a mobile network are cell phones, satellite phones, smartwatches, computers, and cameras.
They both store the necessary information to identify your phone, your phone number, and the plan you are currently using.

SIM cards and eSIMs can be used simultaneously in all dual-SIM phones. It means that you can have two phone numbers on one device. It is very useful when you want to separate your phone number from the one you use to work, and you do not want to use two different devices. All the calls and messages will be received on the device, however, you can use the data from one network at once.

The Advantages of Physical SIM

Although eSIMs are a trend, it does not mean that SIM cards are useless. Many mobile companies around the world continue providing this service, even if they already started in the eSIMs market. Let’s detail all the good things that a physical SIM card can offer:

SIM cards have existed for a longer time. It means that it is more likely that your local carrier works with SIM cards than with eSIMs. Besides, you will find more options on data plans on SIM cards than eSIMs.

SIM cards are removable. This can be useful if you have low battery levels and you need to make calls or receive an important message. You can simply switch your SIM card into another phone and have access to your contacts and data plan.

SIM cards are upgradable. As we said before, SIM cards have existed for a very long time. So, maybe you acquired a SIM many years ago. If you want to change your smartphone and get a new model, probably you will need to get a new SIM. Especially if the size of the one that you have is Standard, for sure you will need to get a new SIM. The new phones now have slots for Nano SIMs.
Prepaid SIM cards are very easy to find. Especially for travelers that prefer to get their SIM cards when arriving in the country. You can get a prepaid SIM card valid for three or seven days in any airport around the world.

The Advantages of eSIMs

Now let’s list all the positive aspects of eSIMs, which stands for embedded Subscriber Identity Module.

It is impossible to damage or lose an eSIM. Remember that the “e” stands for embedded. It means that the SIM is built into your phone. You cannot remove it. It is helpful because there is no chance of losing it while switching to another phone, or damaging, not only the SIM but also the slot.

It is smaller than a physical SIM card. This feature has the greatest advantages. First, as the eSIMs take up much less space, it is excellent for wearable technology such as smartwatches. These devices can be smaller if they use eSIMs, which comes perfect for those who prefer to wear something simple and minimalist on their wrist. In devices such as cell phones, that available space can be used to increase the battery size or improve other features of the phone.

They are not easy to hack. The security features of eSIMs are much better and they will protect your information from possible hackers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of SIM cards?

Although mobile providers work hard to make them more secure, they are still hackable. Using malicious links, hackers can get access to bank account information and social media accounts. Secondly, SIM cards wear out, which means that after a while the chip could be damaged and will not work properly into your phone.

What are the disadvantages of eSIMs?

eSIMs are relatively new, which means that they are not compatible with older phones. If you want to use eSIMs you will have to invest in a new phone that comes with this technology. Another disadvantage is that you cannot use your eSIM on multiple phones, because you cannot remove the card. If you run out of battery in your phone, there is no way of using your eSIM.

Can I get a phone with SIM and eSIMs?

Yes, most phones have both options available, however, the newest ones only have eSIMs.

At the end of the day, you can choose what suits you best. However, eSIMs are indeed much easier and safer to use. You only need to get your data plan and activate it on your phone. Then you will be ready to surf, with the best coverage and using flexible data plans!