Embedded sim cards have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The latest iPhone is even eSim only, and I’m pretty sure that it won’t be long until Android manufacturers start following suit and ditching physical sim card trays entirely.
If you’re still not sure exactly what’s the deal with eSims, why they are better than sim cards, and which phones support them, you’ve come to the right place. This detailed guide will tell you everything you need to know about smartphones that support eSims, including detailed lists of eSim-compatible devices from all the top manufacturers!
All iPhones released in 2018 or later are compatible with eSims, except for a few devices that were manufactured in mainland China. Here’s a list of all Apple iPhone devices that support eSim:
One important thing to note is that Apple’s latest iPhones are eSim-only devices, meaning that they do not support physical sim cards at all.
Many Samsung devices are compatible with eSims:
As you can see, the list includes only Samsung’s top-tier phones. No FE models or devices from the manufacturer’s mid-range and budget lines have eSim support. Also, some devices manufactured in Hong Kong or South Korea might not support eSim technology.
Google was the first manufacturer to introduce embedded sim technology in their phones back in 2017. However, eSim support in the Google Pixel 2 devices was available only to a small group of people. Here’s a list of all the Google devices that support eSim:
Some Pixel 3 and 3a devices might not have eSim support, depending on where they were manufactured/bought.
Huawei started to offer eSim support in their devices only in 2020:
Huawei phones purchased in China do not have eSim support.
OPPO is another popular Android manufacturer that quickly started to introduce eSim capability in their devices:
The eSim capability on OPPO phones also depends on carrier support, but in most cases, these OPPO phones should be compatible with eSims no matter where they were purchased.
Sony started including eSims in their phones released in 2022:
These devices are compatible with eSims regardless of where they are bought.
The dozens of smartphones listed above are just some of the many devices that are eSim compatible. Other Android manufacturers include the technology in their phones, but they’re not extremely popular so I didn’t think it was necessary to include them in the list. These include Motorola, Xiaomi, Nokia, Nubia, and a few other smartphone manufacturers.
In any case, if you have a different Android and you want to check if it’s an eSim phone, you can see if Surfroam has an eSim for it, or you can dial *#06#. The latter lets you see a list of unique identifying codes for your device, and an EID number will be present if your smartphone is eSim compatible.
In addition to all that, it’s worth noting that eSim technology is available on some smartwatches, laptops, and tablets as well.
The main advantage of eSim-compatible smartphones is that there’s no more hassle of purchasing and installing a physical sim card. There’s no need for sim tray eject tools, you don’t have to worry whether the included sim card will be compatible with your phone or you’ll have to get it cut, and you can often sign up for an eSim plan online, without having to walk into a physical store.
This is especially handy for travel because you can purchase eSims from international providers for most countries in the world. One huge advantage of eSims over physical sim cards is that many of them are not locked to any mobile operators, and it’s perfectly possible to purchase an eSim that lets you connect to multiple mobile networks for the best coverage.
The downside is that this technology is still not available worldwide. Many countries have very little to no eSim support still, and in some countries, you’ll have network operators that support eSims and others that don’t. This can be an issue if you have an eSim-only device, which doesn’t support traditional sim cards at all.
No, not all phones allow eSim. The technology was first introduced in 2017 but started to become more widely available in 2018 later. Only mobile devices (usually just flagships) manufactured in the past 4-5 years allow eSims.
The eSim technology is considered better than a physical sim card. It’s a significant upgrade because an eSim (chip) is smaller, so there’s more room for other components like a bigger battery or a better camera lens. Also, the only way to lose an eSim is to lose your entire phone.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.