eSIM vs Physical SIM: Why Going Virtual is Worth it!

If you’ve been missing out on the eSIM revolution that has taken over the world recently, this post will bring you up to speed on the state of seamless global connectivity and how you can arm yourself to have basically high-speed and reliable mobile Internet literally anywhere in the world!

holidayeSim offers travelers the ultimate convenience when it comes to getting mobile Internet without paying exorbitant roaming fees through its range of prepaid eSIM plans. You no longer need to wonder where or how you’re going to get access to affordable mobile data whenever you’re traveling long distances or crossing international borders.

With that said, let’s explore what eSIMs are in-depth and the clear advantages it offers over the traditional SIM card.

What is an eSIM? How is it different from a physical SIM card?

A SIM card is a small chip that is used to identify and authenticate a device on a mobile network. It stores information about the user's account, such as their phone number, carrier plan, and other details. 

The acronym SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, which is the technology that enables your mobile carrier to connect your device with your account so that you can use their network. With a physical SIM card, the mobile carrier registers its unique identifier on its network. 

Traditionally, when you buy a new phone or switch carriers, you need to go to a store to get a physical SIM card and install it on your phone. Once you insert the SIM into your device, the network identifies your device and you can start using their services.

An eSIM, on the other hand, is a digital SIM that is already built into newer smartphones. It is integrated into the circuitry usually present in a physical SIM card into a mobile device. 

Instead of using a physical SIM card, you can join a carrier's network by setting up your device through a process that usually involves scanning a QR code provided by the carrier. This way, you can connect to a mobile network without the need for a physical SIM card.

It can be programmed remotely, which means that you can activate it with your carrier's network without having to physically insert a new SIM card. This is particularly useful if you travel a lot or switch carriers frequently, as it eliminates the need to carry multiple physical SIM cards or visit a store to get a new one.

The adoption of eSIM technology by Apple's iPhone 14 is a significant step towards mainstream acceptance of this technology. As one of the most popular smartphone brands, Apple's adoption is likely to encourage other smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers to follow suit. Overall, eSIM technology is expected to continue to grow in popularity and become the industry standard for mobile connectivity.

Is an eSIM better than a physical SIM?

With eSIM, consumers no longer need to physically swap SIM cards when switching wireless carriers or upgrading to a new device. Instead, they can simply activate a new carrier plan or transfer their existing plan to their eSIM-enabled device through an app or website.

This technology also allows for more streamlined and efficient manufacturing and distribution of mobile devices, as eSIMs eliminate the need for a physical SIM slot in a device. This can lead to thinner and lighter devices with more space for other components, such as larger batteries or cameras.

A larger battery means that the device can last longer on a single charge, reducing the need for frequent charging and providing users with more freedom to use their device on the go. This can be especially important for people who travel frequently or use their devices extensively for work or entertainment.

Similarly, a better camera can improve the quality of photos and videos taken by the device, providing users with clearer, more detailed, and more vibrant images. This can be especially important for people who rely on their smartphone as their primary camera or use it for content creation, such as social media influencers or vloggers.

The holidayeSim global and Asia eSIMs will give you access to high-speed 24/7 5G Internet wherever it is supported and 4G everywhere else. This, along with the large data limits and unlimited 2G speed after hitting your data cap, will ensure you will never be at a spot where you have to be disconnected anywhere in the world.

Moreover, eSIMs offer clear advantages over physical SIM cards. Let’s look at a few.

  • eSIMs are the greener option: Although small, a SIM card is still made of plastic and therefore, bad for the environment.

  • eSIMs are more secure: Aside from giving you enhanced security by freeing you up from having to connect to risky public Wi-Fi at any of your destinations, eSIMs also use encryption to ensure your communications stay secure.

  • Phones with eSIM are easier to find if they are ever lost: Since an eSIM is built into the device, there is no way it can be removed physically from the phone. Therefore, chances are high that you will be able to recover your phone if it ever gets lost or stolen.

Does eSIM provide better network?

An eSIM does not provide better network coverage than a traditional SIM card as it uses the same networks and infrastructure. However, eSIM technology can enable better network coverage in certain situations, such as when traveling internationally or in remote areas where local physical SIM cards may not be available.

Mobile network coverage refers to the range of cellular signals that are transmitted by mobile phone towers and received by mobile devices. The process of mobile network coverage involves several different components and technologies that work together to provide users with access to wireless communication.

When a mobile device is switched on and within range of a cell tower, it sends a signal to the tower requesting a connection. The tower then assigns a frequency to the device, and the modem in the device begins transmitting and receiving data over the wireless network. As the device moves within the coverage area of the tower, it will connect and disconnect from different towers, allowing for seamless coverage and connectivity.

Mobile network coverage is typically measured in terms of signal strength and quality. Stronger signals result in faster data speeds and more reliable connections, while weaker signals can result in dropped calls and slow data speeds. Mobile network operators continually work to improve coverage by installing additional cell towers, upgrading network infrastructure, and deploying new technologies such as 5G to provide faster and more reliable connectivity to users.

 With a traditional physical SIM card, you would need to purchase a local SIM card from a carrier in the area you are traveling to, which may not be available in remote areas or may require additional effort to obtain. With an eSIM, you can switch between carriers remotely and seamlessly without needing a physical card, which means that you can access multiple carrier networks with ease. 

Additionally, many eSIM-enabled devices can automatically switch to the carrier with the strongest signal, providing better network coverage overall. This can be especially beneficial when traveling to areas with weak or spotty coverage, as an eSIM can help ensure that you are always connected to the strongest network available.

Can I use eSIM and physical SIM at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to use an eSIM and a physical SIM card at the same time on some devices. This feature is known as dual SIM, and it allows you to have two separate phone numbers or accounts active on your device simultaneously.

With dual SIM functionality, you can use the eSIM for one account and the physical SIM for another, or you can use both SIM cards for the same account to take advantage of different plans or coverage options.

However, not all devices support dual-SIM functionality, and even if a device does support it, the specific features and limitations can vary. 

For example, some devices may only support dual-SIM functionality in certain regions or with certain carriers. Additionally, some devices may require you to choose between using the eSIM and the physical SIM card, rather than allowing you to use both at the same time.

If you are going to use a dual SIM setup with your device, it is important to check the device's specifications and capabilities, as well as any carrier or regional restrictions, before purchasing or activating a second SIM card.

What are the disadvantages of eSIM?

While eSIMs offer many benefits such as convenience, flexibility, and security, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider such as limited compatibility and device restrictions.

Although eSIMs are a definite game-changer when it comes to making mobile Internet easy to use for travelers, it is important to note that not all devices support eSIMs. If you have an older device, you may not be able to use an eSIM. 

Although eSIMs have been around since 2013, they only started becoming popular in recent years as more devices and carriers began to support the technology.

One of the early adopters of eSIMs was Apple, which introduced eSIM support in its Apple Watch Series 3 in 2017, followed by the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR in 2018. Since then, other manufacturers such as Google, Samsung, and Huawei have also begun to support eSIMs in their devices.

Additionally, even if your device supports eSIMs, some manufacturers may lock the eSIM to a specific carrier, limiting your ability to switch carriers or use different plans.

What is the best global eSIM?

Sim2fly Global eSIM

  • Global eSIM 6GB Plan Valid for 15 days

  • Get 6GB High-speed 5G Data

  • Strong and reliable network overage in 120 countries

  • Includes Thai number

  • Instant installation

  • Valid for 15 days

  • Truly unlimited plan (reduced speed after data cap)

Sim2fly International eSIM Asia

  • Asia eSIM 6GB Plan Valid for 8 days

  • Get 6GB High-speed 5G Data

  • Strong and reliable network coverage across Asia

  • Includes Thai number

  • Instant installation

  • Valid for 8 days

  • Truly unlimited plan (reduced speed after data cap)

Does my phone work with eSIM?

To find out whether your device or smartphone is compatible with eSIM technology, you can check our guide here. If you have a newer phone chances are that it is eSIM-compatible.