Is ESIM card better than physical SIM card? Comparison of advantages and disadvantages

Tired of carrying multiple physical SIM cards for your different phone numbers or changing SIM cards every time you travel abroad?

eSIM may be the solution you are looking for. An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card built into your device that can be programmed to work with multiple carriers. But is it better than a physical SIM card?

Is eSIM card better than physical SIM card? One of the main concerns is signal strength. Some users have reported that signal strength is weaker with eSIM cards than with physical SIM cards, especially in areas with poor coverage.

Can you use an eSIM card and a physical SIM card simultaneously? The answer depends on your device. Some recent phones, such as the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S21, allow dual SIM functionality, meaning you can use both an eSIM and a physical SIM. However, not all devices support this feature.

Also read: Can eSIM be hacked?

Main lessons

  • eSIMs are digital SIM cards built into your device that can be programmed to work with multiple carriers.
  • eSIMs offer certain advantages over physical SIM cards, such as the ability to change operators without having to physically replace the SIM card. However, some users have reported weaker signal strength.
  • Some recent phones allow you to use a dual SIM card, that is, an eSIM and a physical SIM card at the same time, but this function is not available on all devices.

Is eSIM card better than physical SIM card?

When it comes to choosing between eSIM card and physical SIM card, the answer is not a simple “yes” or “no”. It depends on your personal needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

Yes, eSIM card is better than physical SIM card

  • Convenience: With an eSIM, you don't need to change SIM cards when you physically change carriers. You can easily change carriers by deleting the profile of one carrier and signing up for another.
  • Security: Another reason why an eSim is better is that it is built into your device and cannot be removed. It is therefore more secure than a physical SIM card, which can be lost or stolen. If your device is stolen, the SIM card remains in the phone and you can deactivate it remotely.
  • Flexibility: With an eSIM, you can have multiple phone numbers from different carriers on one device. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers who need to change operators depending on where they are.

No, physical SIM card is better than eSIM card

  • Compatibility: Not all devices support eSIM card. If you have an older device, you may not be able to use eSIM.
  • Accessibility: With a physical SIM card, you can easily swap it from one device to another. This is useful if you have multiple devices that you use interchangeably.
  • Reliability: Physical SIM cards tend to be quite durable, but sometimes they deteriorate and need to be replaced. With an eSIM, if the built-in SIM card is damaged, you may need to replace the entire device.

Ultimately, choosing between an eSIM card and a physical SIM card depends on your needs and preferences. Consider the above factors and choose the option that suits you best.

Signal strength of ESIM compared to physical SIM

When it comes to signal strength, there is no significant difference between eSIM cards and physical SIM cards. Both types of SIM cards use the same cellular network technology and antennas to connect to the network. Therefore, the signal strength you get with an eSIM card is generally the same as with a physical SIM card.

However, certain factors can affect signal strength, regardless of the type of SIM card you use. These factors include your location, the strength of the cellular network in your area, the type of building you are in, and the device you are using.

One of the benefits of eSIMs is that they can move between carriers seamlessly, meaning you can always connect to the carrier with the strongest network in your area. This can result in better signal strength and faster data rates.

On the other hand, physical SIM cards require you to physically change cards to switch between carriers, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming. This may result in missed calls or slow data speeds if you're in an area with poor network coverage from your current carrier.

Overall, although eSIMs and physical SIM cards have similar signal capabilities, the ability of eSIMs to switch carriers seamlessly can result in better signal strength and faster data rates in areas with poor network coverage.

Can I use an ESIM card and a physical SIM card at the same time?

Yes, you can use an eSIM and a physical SIM at the same time on many modern smartphones. This feature is especially useful for people who frequently travel abroad, need two separate phone numbers for personal and business needs, or temporarily need to use a different network provider.

Using an eSIM and a physical SIM simultaneously is possible on many phones, including the latest iPhone models, Samsung Galaxy phones, and Google Pixel devices. With a dual SIM phone, you can use two separate phone numbers and two different cell plans.

One of the main benefits of using an eSIM and a physical SIM together is the convenience it provides. You can switch between phone numbers and cellular plans without having to change your physical SIM card. For example, if you travel abroad often, you can use a local eSIM to avoid costly roaming charges while still keeping your home country's physical SIM card in your phone.

Another benefit of using an eSIM and a physical SIM card is the ability to have two separate phone numbers on one device. This feature is especially useful for people who want to separate their home phone number from their work phone number, but don't want to carry two separate devices.

However, not all phones allow the simultaneous use of an eSIM and a physical SIM. Additionally, using both types of SIM cards can drain your phone's battery faster than using just one card. It is therefore essential to check your phone's specifications and battery life before using both types of SIM cards simultaneously.

Advantages and disadvantages of eSIM compared to physical SIM card

When it comes to choosing between an eSIM card and a physical SIM card, there are several pros and cons to consider. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of each option:

Physical SIM card Advantages:

  • Widely available and easy to obtain from mobile carriers and retailers.
  • Can be easily swapped between devices
  • Compatible with most smartphones and devices
  • Can be used during international travel with a local SIM card

Physical SIM card Cons:

  • Requires a physical card which can be lost or damaged
  • Can only be used on one device at a time
  • A PIN or PUK code may be required to activate or unlock it.

eSIM Pros:

  • No physical card to lose or damage
  • It can store multiple eSIM profiles, making it easy to switch between operators and plans.
  • It can be activated remotely without requiring a physical card.
  • It can be used on multiple devices simultaneously

eSIM Cons:

  • Currently only available on select devices and carriers
  • It may require additional configuration or activation steps.
  • Not compatible with all devices and may require software update.
  • Not all carriers or cell plans may support it.

Choosing between an eSIM and a physical SIM card depends on your preferences and needs. The eSIM card may be the best option if you prioritize convenience and flexibility. On the other hand, if you prefer a more traditional approach and want to ensure compatibility with a wide range of devices and carriers, a physical SIM card may be the best solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I activate eSIM on my iPhone?

To activate the eSIM card on your iPhone, you must contact your carrier to obtain an eSIM activation code. Once you have the code, go to Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan and follow the instructions to enter the code and activate your eSIM.