Published on 2023-09-04

eSIM or physical SIM, which is better? Is eSIM better than SIM

As the popularity of eSIM (Virtual SIM) technology continues to rise, the question "Is eSIM better than SIM?" has gained prominence, leaving many to ponder its superiority compared to traditional SIM cards that rely on physical presence. While both serve the purpose of enabling mobile connectivity, eSIMs offer distinct advantages over their physical counterparts.

Choosing between these two SIM technologies might be a dilemma for those planning international travel. To assist in making an informed decision, we've crafted an article exploring the merits and limitations of traditional SIM cards and eSIM technology. By carefully knowing the pros and cons of each option, you'll be better equipped to choose the one that aligns best with your preferences and travel necessities.

What commonalities can be identified between eSIM and SIM? 

Several resemblances between eSIM and SIM are as follows:

  1. Facilitate Mobile Connectivity: Both eSIMs and physical SIM cards empower users of mobile devices to establish connections with cellular networks, granting access to voice calls, text messaging, and data services.
  2. Activation Requirement: Activation and provisioning through a mobile network operator are prerequisites for utilizing eSIMs and physical SIM cards.
  3. Versatility Across Devices: Both eSIMs and traditional SIM cards exhibit compatibility with an array of mobile devices, spanning smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and more.
  4. Network Provider Switching: Whether you opt for eSIMs or physical SIM cards, the flexibility to switch between diverse network providers or devices remains a shared feature.
  5. Incorporation of Security Measures: Comparable security standards and encryption protocols are applied to both eSIMs and physical SIM cards, ensuring the safeguarding of user data and preventing unauthorized network access.

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

In addition to their numerous similarities, eSIM and SIM exhibit several distinctions that might significantly influence the decision-making process when selecting the two options. Some of these variances encompass the following aspects:

  1. Form factor: Physical SIM cards are diminutive, rectangular pieces of plastic that can be inserted into a designated slot in a device. Conversely, eSIMs are directly integrated into the device's hardware, eliminating the requirement for a physical card.
  2. Storage capacity: Typically, physical SIM cards have a storage capacity ranging from 8KB to 256KB, which is used for storing user data like contacts and text messages. In contrast, eSIMs offer a more extensive storage capacity, enabling them to accommodate a larger user data volume.
  3. Activation process: Activating a physical SIM card entails manually inserting the card into the device to initiate activation. Conversely, the activation of an eSIM is entirely software-driven and executed remotely by the mobile network operator.
  4. Cost: Mobile carriers often provide physical SIM cards at no cost or for a nominal fee. In contrast, eSIMs are inherently integrated into the device, negating the necessity for charges related to physical card procurement or delivery.

eSIM vs SIM key points comparison

Pros of eSIMs

Increased Flexibility: eSIM provides heightened flexibility by allowing you to effortlessly activate and change mobile carriers, eliminating the need to replace SIM cards physically.

Enhanced Security: Embedded directly into the device's hardware, eSIMs offer improved security as they are less susceptible to theft and misplacement.

Expanded Storage Capacity: eSIMs offer a significantly larger storage capacity, enabling you to store more user data, such as contact details and text messages.

Swift and Convenient Activation: As previously mentioned, eSIMs can remotely activate by the carrier, eliminating the necessity of visiting a physical service center. You can install and start your eSIM plan by scanning a QR code.

Cons of eSIMs

Limited assistance: Despite their growing popularity, eSIMs have yet to attain the widespread availability of physical SIM cards. Several mobile carriers do not offer support for eSIMs. The encouraging aspect is that most well-known mobile pages in the United States and Europe support eSIMs.

Potential device compatibility issues: Most devices launched approximately five years ago must possess eSIM compatibility. Consequently, to access the advantages of eSIM technology, upgrading to a more recent device is necessary.

Unfamiliarity with installation procedures: Individuals who need to become more adept with technology may adhere to the conventional method of using data abroad. Nevertheless, once individuals become accustomed to the process, installing and utilizing eSIMs can be significantly more straightforward.

Pros of physical SIM cards

Tested and well-established technology: Physical SIM cards have a more extended history, making them a technology that has been thoroughly tested and firmly established.

 Extensively accessible: Physical SIM cards are readily accessible and endorsed by most mobile carriers and are compatible with older mobile devices.

Cons of physical SIM cards

Increased susceptibility to theft: Physical SIM cards can be misplaced or stolen, potentially compromising security. Furthermore, if you lose your device, you'll need to go through the process of replacing your SIM card, which can sometimes be time-consuming.

Limited data storage capacity: Physical SIM cards offer a constrained storage capacity (typically less than 256KB) for storing user data like contacts and text messages.

Manual insertion and activation are necessary: This can prove inconvenient and time-intensive, mainly when switching devices frequently or between different network providers is needed.

Environmental implications: Using physical SIM cards contributes to electronic waste as they require disposal each time you upgrade to a new card.

Is eSIM better than a physical SIM card?

When examining the advantages and disadvantages of eSIM versus traditional SIM cards, it becomes evident that eSIM presents itself as a superior technology. Several benefits contribute to eSIM being a more favorable option, including the following:

Easy switching carriers

Using eSIM technology, you can configure more than eight profiles, simplifying transitioning between them. This means that if you find the services or internet speeds provided by one carrier unsatisfactory, you can effortlessly switch to another profile without the need to take out the SIM card or go through the entire activation procedure again.


If your primary concern is ensuring strong security for your mobile connectivity, choosing eSIM technology is an obvious choice. In contrast to conventional SIM cards, eSIM provides enhanced encryption measures, reducing susceptibility to hacking or replication. eSIM employs an advanced encryption protocol that guarantees the protection of user data from unauthorized entry, thereby shielding you from fraudulent actions like identity theft or data leaks.


An additional significant benefit of eSIM technology pertains to its environmentally conscious nature. By eliminating physical SIM cards, eSIMs reduce waste, establishing a more ecologically viable choice for mobile connectivity. Traditional SIM cards necessitate using materials like plastic and metal, often ending up as waste when users upgrade their devices or change service providers. In contrast, eSIMs enable users to sidestep the manufacturing and disposal of such materials, thereby playing a part in endeavors to diminish carbon emissions and preserve the environment.

Better user experience

Transitioning to eSIM technology provides users with an enhanced mobile device experience through a streamlined activation process that eradicates the necessity for physical SIM cards and documentation. By utilizing eSIMs, users can effortlessly activate their devices and establish a connection to their chosen carrier's network with just a few screen taps. This simplification of the setup procedure reduces the inconvenience of managing physical SIM cards, making the overall experience more user-friendly and efficient.

eSIM is the future

Most newly launched devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, now offer compatibility with eSIM technology. Prominent original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Apple have taken steps to entirely replace the physical SIM card choice with eSIM on certain devices within specific regions. As an illustration, the iPhone 14 models available in the USA no longer include support for physical SIM cards.

Should I switch to eSIM instead of SIM cards?

If you contemplate switching from traditional SIM cards to eSIMs, the unequivocal response is a resounding "yes." Several compelling rationales exist for embracing eSIM technology, encompassing heightened flexibility, enhanced security measures, streamlined activation procedures, and expanded storage capacity.

Furthermore, eSIMs bestow a superior user experience, making them a remarkably appealing substitute for conventional SIM card solutions. Should you be in the market for a new device, we strongly endorse selecting one compatible with eSIM technology. This holds especially true if you are a frequent traveler seeking the convenience of swiftly configuring and transitioning between multiple profiles and carriers.

By adopting an eSIM, you can fully harness this technology's advantages, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free mobile encounter.

Final thoughts

As mobile device manufacturers and carriers increasingly adopt eSIM technology, the question arises: "Is eSIM better than SIM?" It is becoming increasingly evident that this innovation signifies the future of mobile connectivity. eSIMs offer a multitude of advantages when compared to traditional SIM cards. They stand out for their enhanced convenience, flexibility, security, and environmentally friendly nature, positioning them as an excellent option, particularly for frequent travelers who may frequently switch carriers or devices.

If you have plans to travel to the United States, check whether your device supports eSIM functionality. Subsequently, you can explore the range of eSIM USA data plans available. With eSIM USA, you gain access to a diverse selection of data plans, whether unlimited or limited, catering to your budgetary preferences. Moreover, should your current network provider fall short of meeting your data speed and network reliability expectations during your travels in the USA, transitioning to a new provider is a seamless process?

FAQs: Is eSIM better than SIM?

What are the similarities between eSIM and SIM? 

ESIMs and physical SIM cards facilitate mobile connectivity, allowing users to access voice calls, text messaging, and data services. The shared features include activation requirements through mobile network operators, versatility across devices, the ability to switch network providers, and the incorporation of security measures.

What are the key differences between an eSIM and a physical SIM card?

eSIMs and physical SIM cards differ in form factor, with eSIMs being integrated into the device's hardware. eSIMs offer larger storage capacity, remotely activated through software, and eliminate costs associated with physical cards.

What are the pros of eSIMs?

 Pros of eSIMs include increased flexibility in carrier switching, enhanced security due to integration, expanded storage capacity, and swift activation through QR codes.

What are the cons of eSIMs?

 eSIMs may have limited carrier support and compatibility issues with older devices. There might be initial unfamiliarity with installation procedures.

What are the pros of physical SIM cards?

 Physical SIM cards are well-established, extensively accessible, and compatible with older devices.

What are the cons of physical SIM cards?

 Physical SIM cards are more susceptible to theft or misplacement, have limited storage capacity, require manual insertion and activation, and contribute to electronic waste.

Is eSIM better than a physical SIM card?

 Yes, eSIMs offer benefits like easy carrier switching, enhanced security, eco-friendliness, better user experience, and compatibility with the future.

Should I switch to eSIM instead of SIM cards?

 Switching to eSIMs offers flexibility, security, streamlined activation, and storage capacity. eSIMs provide a superior user experience and are highly recommended, especially for frequent travelers.

How does eSIM technology contribute to the environment?

 eSIMs reduce waste by eliminating the need for physical SIM cards and reducing plastic and metal waste associated with traditional SIM cards.

Is eSIM technology becoming the future of mobile connectivity? 

Yes, eSIM technology is being increasingly adopted by mobile device manufacturers and carriers, offering benefits such as convenience, flexibility, security, and environmental friendliness.