What is an eSIM and how does it work?

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a digital SIM card that is already installed into a device such as a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. The SIM operates digitally, allowing you to activate a mobile plan from your network provider without having to use a physical SIM. iPhone users can install 8 eSIMs and can use two mobile numbers at the same time.

Which devices support eSIM?

Mobile Phones:

  • Almost all iPhones since iPhone X
  • Google Pixel 6, 7, 8 and Fold series
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, S22, S23. Z Fold/Flip 3, 4, 5
  • Newer versions of Motorola, Edge+, Razr, Razr+, OnePlus 11, OnePlus Open
  • Huawei P40, P40 Pro, Mate 40 Pro
  • Fairphone 4
  • HONOR Magic4 Pro 5G, Magic5 Pro
  • OPPO Find X3 Pro, Find X5 Pro, Find X5, Find N2 Flip 5G
  • Sony Xperia 10 IV
  • Xiaomi Mi 12T Pro
  • Nokia G60 5G


  • iPads since 7th generation
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 5G 


  • Some laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Microsoft

(Apple laptops do not yet support eSIM)

How do I activate an eSIM?

There are a few ways to set up and activate an eSIM on your device.

  1. The first option is to pick your network provider from a menu on your device.
  2. There are also several downloadable apps which help you choose a plan best suited to you and take you through the steps of activating the SIM.
  3. Or your network provider can create a QR code for you to scan using your phone’s camera. For iPhone users, a ‘Mobile Data Plan Detected’ notification will appear, you should click ‘continue’ and then tap ‘add mobile data plan’. You may be asked to enter a confirmation code, this will be the number your network provider gave you.
  4. You can also enter the eSIM information manually following these steps:
    • Contacting your network provider for the eSIM details
    • Go to your Settings app, tap ‘Cellular’ or ‘Mobile Data’
    • Click ‘Add Mobile Data Plan’
    • Then at the bottom of the screen, tap ‘Enter Details Manually’

Extra information

It’s important to note that if you usually swap your physical SIM card between various devices, an eSIM may not be as straightforward. You will need to go through the activation process each time you wish to swap the eSIM. This makes the process a little more complicated than just switching the physical SIM.