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SIM card or eSIM: which card is better to choose?

SIM card or eSIM

SIM cards are our present, but times are changing and technology is not standing still. The usual physical SIM cards are being replaced by virtual ones. In this article we will understand what a virtual SIM card is, what advantages and disadvantages they have, and compare physical SIM cards and virtual ones.

A SIM card is a small plastic with a chip on it. Over time, the size of the sim card has decreased, but the pattern of operation has remained the same. There are SIM card slots in all cell phones. People can change SIM cards when they change mobile operators or when they travel abroad.

The eSIM, or virtual SIM card, is a built-in cell phone chip which acts as a SIM card. eSIM stands for embedded-SIM. With eSIM, operators don’t have to sell physical SIM cards, instead they sell tariffs with included services that the subscriber chooses. eSIMs have a longer range and are divided into international local and regional eSIM, depending on the service package provided by the operator.

The advantages of eSIM over physical SIM cards:

  1. Universal SIM card. The eSIM allows you to issue a number of almost any country, or even the mainland. So, if you are planning to travel through several countries, eSIM will be the perfect solution to stay in touch with your family and friends.
  2. Roaming abroad can be expensive and in some countries a physical SIM card can only be purchased with local ID. eSIM allows you to connect your SIM card and activate it without unnecessary bureaucracy and time-wasting.
  3. If the phone is lost, it is possible to quickly lock the device, while quickly activating your lost mobile number with the help of eSIM on another phone.
  4. As eSIM is a soldered-in chip, it cannot be physically removed. Consequently, the risk of theft or duplication of the SIM card is much lower than with a physical SIM card.
  5. eSIM allows engineers to build new functions into smartphones, as it frees up space from the physical SIM card. Thus, new features will be implemented faster in everyday life.
  6. To connect eSIM there is no need to go to a mobile operator’s office, stand in line, look for a SIM card point of sale. eSIM is connected via an operator’s mobile application or via a specialized application, which simplifies the process of connecting the card. To connect you need to download the application of the mobile operator, choose the tariff you are interested in and pay for the use.
  7. eSIM’s eco-friendliness is also a plus over conventional SIM cards. The issue of ecology of our planet has long been on the international agenda and eSIM is one of the tools of care for nature. Annually, billions of physical SIM-cards are produced and recycled worldwide and there is no correct way to recycle them yet. Physical SIM cards require special recycling methods because SIM cards consist of different metals, each of which can be recycled differently, thus complicating the recycling process.

Speaking of the advantages, we must also mention the disadvantages of virtual SIM cards, which, by the way, are few:

  1. eSIM is not available on all phones. This is a relatively new technology, so it is not compatible with older models of smartphones, so if you want to connect a virtual sim card, check whether your phone supports this service.
  2. To transfer your data from eSIM you will need to download it from the cloud, not just move the SIM card as you would do with a physical one.

The eSIM does have a lot of advantages with which you can optimize and speed up ordinary things. But talking about the pros and cons of the virtual SIM card, comparing this technology with physical SIM cards, it is also necessary to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of classic SIM cards.

Advantages of physical SIM cards:

  1. SIM is a reliable and time-tested technology. The SIM card is still the main way of acquiring communication from all operators in the world, so it is a universal way of getting connection.
  2. The SIM card can be taken out and, for example, moved to another phone if your device is switched off due to insufficient battery power.

Disadvantages of SIM cards:

  1. The SIM card can be hacked, leaving you vulnerable. By gaining access to SMS to restore the password on your phone, fraudsters can steal your bank account information, social media accounts, email addresses, and other data.
  2. The memory capacity of the SIM card is limited, it can’t hold all of your data. The SIM card stores important information and algorithms for working with the device.
  3. To work, SIM cards must be connected to towers to exchange data. But there are times when the operator does not cover all areas, so the connection may be poor or absent at all.
  4. The SIM card wears out because it is a physical chip, so if you often take the SIM card out of the slot, it can wear out faster. Also, the physical chip can wear out due to time or corrosion.

Having discussed the pros and cons of both types of SIM cards, you need to consider some nuances of using a virtual SIM card. One of them is the peculiarity of eSIM when connected to Apple devices. The company, focusing on the needs of users depending on the region, produces different modifications of smartphones in the same line. So devices made for the United States region can have two eSIM, for phones for the Chinese market release phones with two physical slots for SIM cards, and for the European market phone has one of the SIM card types. So when buying a device, pay attention to this nuance.

In short, the key difference between SIM and eSIM is in the technology of manufacture, the possibility of use worldwide and the ease of connection. What to choose? Due to the fact that most modern phones have both function, there is no need to choose, because it is possible to use both SIM cards simultaneously, which facilitates the choice.

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