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How to know if your phone is compatible with eSIM

The eSIM feature is spreading like wildfire among progressive phone-making companies. Users also want to ensure their devices are eSIM-compatible more often than a few years ago. No wonder that eSIMs are becoming an essential feature of smartphones.

And there’s a good reason for that—this technology offers a flexible way to connect to cellular networks, especially when traveling. Moreover, a virtual SIM is easier to use than the usual SIM card. But before you jump on the refined tech wave, there's one crucial question: Is your phone compatible with eSIM?

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about eSIM compatibility so you can ensure your phone is ready for the future of mobile connectivity.

What you should know about eSIM compatibility

There are a few aspects you should know about the compatibility of eSIMs to make an informed decision and know what steps to take:

  • Not all phones have an equal setup when it comes to eSIM. Unlike traditional SIM cards, eSIM compatibility can vary depending on where you bought your phone. This means a phone model that supports eSIM in the US might not work with eSIM in another country. So, if you travel internationally frequently, it's important to check compatibility for the specific region.
  • Locked phones won’t let you use eSIM. If your phone is locked to a specific carrier, you most likely won't be able to use eSIM with another provider. Buying an unlocked phone or unlocking the one you have ensures greater flexibility when it comes to choosing a top-tier eSIM carrier.
  • Some carriers don’t play nice with all eSIMs. Even if your phone is unlocked and generally supports eSIM, it might not be compatible with every carrier offering eSIM plans. It's always best to check directly with your desired carrier or visit their website to see if your specific phone model is supported on their eSIM network.

How to check eSIM compatibility?

Checking eSIM compatibility is a straightforward process if you know where to look. Here are our step-by-step directions for checking eSIM compatibility on the most popular phones:

eSIM on iPhone

Option 1: Check the settings

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Then, select About.
  4. Scroll down and look for the section called Digital SIM (on older iPhones) or Available SIM (iOS 15 and later).

If you see a 15-digit IMEI number listed here, great! It means your iPhone is eSIM compatible.

Option 2: Check for IMEI (eSIM) Information

  1. Open the Settings app on your Samsung phone.
  2. In the search bar at the top of the Settings menu, type IMEI.

If you see an option labeled IMEI information (eSIM) or similar, your phone is most likely eSIM compatible.

eSIM on Samsung

Option 1: Look for the "Add eSIM"

  1. Open the Settings app on your Samsung phone.
  2. Tap on Connections (or Connections and mobile hotspot on some models).
  3. Then, select SIM card manager.

If you see an option labeled Add eSIM or Add Mobile Plan (depending on your model), your phone likely supports eSIMs.

Option 2: Check for IMEI (eSIM) Information

  1. Open the Settings app on your Samsung phone.
  2. In the search bar at the top of the Settings menu, type IMEI.

If you see an option labeled IMEI information (eSIM) or similar, your phone is most likely eSIM compatible.

eSIM on Google Pixel

Look for the "Download a SIM" option

  1. Open the Settings app on your Pixel phone.
  2. Tap on Network & internet.
  3. Then, select SIMs.

If you already have a physical SIM card in your Pixel, tap the plus icon (+) in the SIMs section. Also, if you see an option labeled Download a SIM instead of just adding a physical SIM, then your Pixel phone is most likely eSIM compatible.

eSIM on Xiaomi

Unlike with iPhones, Pixels, and some Samsung models, there isn't a universally straightforward way to check eSIM compatibility on Xiaomi phones through the settings menu. However, you can check a detailed list of eSIM-compatible phones.

There are also a couple more options you can explore:

1. Use a third-party tool

Several websites offer tools to check eSIM compatibility for various devices, including Xiaomi. Here's an example:

  • Search for "eSIM compatibility Xiaomi" (without quotes) on your preferred web browser. This should lead you to websites that offer compatibility checkers.
  • Enter your specific Xiaomi phone model on the website's search bar or use their selection tool.
  • The website will indicate whether your phone model supports eSIM technology.

2. Check your carrier and Xiaomi website

  • Carrier confirmation. Since eSIM functionality might depend on carrier activation and specific plans, contacting your carrier directly is a reliable option. They can confirm if your Xiaomi model is compatible with their eSIM network.
  • Xiaomi website. Xiaomi lists eSIM-compatible models on its official website. Search for "Xiaomi eSIM compatible phones" (without quotes) on your browser. Look for a resource page or announcement related to eSIM support.

eSIM on Motorola

Look for the "Add Carrier" Option

  1. Open the Settings app on your Motorola phone.
  2. Tap on Internet & Networks (or Network & internet, depending on your model).
  3. Then, select Mobile network.
  4. Go to Advanced and then tap on Carrier.
  5. If you see an option labeled Add Carrier followed by Next, and the next screen allows you to scan a QR code, then your Motorola phone is likely eSIM compatible.

How to make your phone eSIM compatible

Unfortunately, there's no magic trick to physically alter your phone and make it eSIM compatible if it wasn't designed with eSIM functionality from the start. However, there are a couple of alternatives depending on your situation:

  1. Upgrade your phone. If your current phone isn't eSIM compatible and you prioritize having eSIM, consider upgrading to a newer model with eSIM support. Many flagship smartphones these days come equipped with eSIM technology. Some brands may even offer to exchange your old phone for the newer, eSIM-compatible phone version (terms and conditions may apply).
  2. Use an eSIM carrier adapter (limited solution). An eSIM carrier adapter is a recent development, but it isn’t as comfortable or widely spread yet. It may not also be compatible with all phone models.
  3. Check with your carrier. Some carriers might offer alternative solutions for using multiple lines or data plans without needing a separate eSIM-compatible phone. For instance, they might have multi-SIM options with traditional physical SIM cards.

Can eSIM be used internationally?

Absolutely! eSIM can be a great companion for international travel (but not only), offering several advantages over traditional physical SIM cards:

  • Convenience. No need to fumble with tiny trays or carry multiple SIM cards. You can easily switch between eSIM profiles for different countries.
  • Flexibility. Purchase data plans from local carriers or international providers with eSIM coverage.
  • Security. If your phone gets lost or stolen, an eSIM can't be physically removed like a traditional SIM card.


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