With the improvement of people's requirements for mobile phones in all aspects, SIM card has also been developed, and eSIM card emerged at a historic moment. In this post, MiniTool Partition Wizard will take a detailed look at SIM cards and eSIM cards, so you can learn what SIM cards are, what eSIM cards are, and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

What Is Physical SIM?

A SIM card is an integrated circuit (IC) intended to securely store the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile devices.

The SIM card storage information is as follows:

  • The original data of the system is stored by the SIM card manufacturer.
  • The network parameters and user data injected by the mobile operator when the card is issued to the user, including authentication and encryption information, algorithms, and parameters.
  • Data stored by the user himself. For example, short messages, address books, call counts, etc.
  • The network connection and user information data automatically stored and updated by the user in the process of using the card, including location information at the last location registration, temporary mobile subscriber number (TMSI), etc.

The first two kinds of data are very important. Only if these data is stored on a SIM card, users can use the phone to dial or connect with the network.

In the mobile phone field, there are two primary phone types available for customers: GSM (Global System for Mobile) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). GSM phones use SIM cards while CDMA phones do not.

From Mini-SIM to Micro-SIM, and to Nano-SIM, the size of SIM cards has been reduced several times. However, the eSIM card is smaller than Nano-SIM.

physical SIM card

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What Is eSIM?

eSIM card

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a form of programmable SIM card that is embedded directly into a device. It can’t be taken out from the phone.

The eSIM is programmable and supports the remote configuration of SIM cards through OTA (over the air) .You can download, install, activate, deactivate, and delete the SIM operators’ configuration files remotely.

That means you can switch to networks of different carriers without going to the service hall.

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eSIM VS Physical SIM: Pros and Cons

Both eSIM cards and physical SIM cards have their advantages and disadvantages. You can learn below.

Mobile phone card development history  eSIM Card’s Advantages:

1. Easier to switch networks.

For a physical SIM card, if you want to change the phone number or use a different carrier’s network, you need to buy a new SIM card. But the information on the eSIM card can be rewritten, so you can change your number and network easily without buying a new card.

2. Smaller shape.

The eSIM cards are soldered inside the devices, and most of them are used in electronic watch products, so its design is more compact.

3. Better water resistance.

The eSIM cards are soldered in the devices, and there is no need to take them out. Therefore, devices using the eSIM cards generally have better waterproof performance and can adapt to more extreme environments.

4. Less bad contact risk.

The SIM card is used by inserting it into a card slot, so it has the risk of bad contact. But the eSIM card is welded on the motherboard of the device. It has less bad contact risk.

SIM Card’s Advantage:

  • Can switch devices easily. If your phone stops working you can easily remove the SIM and put it in another phone, keeping your number and contact information (if your contacts are stored on the SIM). As for the eSIM card, it can’t switch like this.
  • More devices are available. At the moment, only a handful of the most recent smartphones and wearables have an eSIM. The SIM card has a higher market share.
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From the above content on eSIM vs physical SIM, you can know that if you usually go to different countries and are tired of ordering a new SIM card, you can choose to buy an eSIM card phone. After that, you can switch to a different network easier.

But if you don’t want to make any changes, you can just keep using a SIM card.

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