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What is eSIM in a Smartwatch? How Does it Work? Pros & Cons

Smartwatches have come up so far in terms of technology. One such useful technology is the eSIM. Many smartwatches from Samsung and Apple support eSIM, but have you ever wondered about how it works? In this article, we will discuss everything about eSIM in a smartwatch and its benefits.

Also, Read | Sleep Tracking: Is It Safe To Wear Smartwatch While Sleeping?

What is an eSIM?

For starters, an eSIM is a virtual or embedded SIM card that you can’t put in and out of any device like the physical sim card. It is made for the convenience of people who don’t want to use a physical sim card and for devices that do not have a physical slot.

It facilitates devices to make and receive carrier calls. Plus, a person using an eSIM can change its network provider anytime rather than sticking to a specific operator.

How eSIM Works in a Smartwatch?

Smartwatches that support an eSIM come with a pre-embedded tiny chip or module inside it. This module holds all the data, including numbers, contacts, calls, and more.

When a person gets an eSIM, the network operator and connection details sync inside the module. And once done, it can be used similar to the physical SIM card, albeit with no physical presence.

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After you have activated the eSIM on your smartwatch (provided it supports it), you can make and receive calls, messages and use carrier data without any Bluetooth or WiFi connection.

Furthermoire, you can recharge an eSIM just like you do for the physical SIM cards. The recharge plans are also the same for network operators around the globe- but there can be exceptions.

Which Network Providers Offer eSIM in Smartwatches?

Many carriers support eSIM in smartwatches. Here are some of the popular ones.

eSIM Network Providers for Smartwatches in the USA

  • AT&T
  • Bluegrass
  • Carolina West Wireless
  • Cellcom
  • C Spire
  • Spectrum
  • T-Mobile USA
  • US Cellular
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Xfinity Mobile

eSIM Network Providers for Smartwatches in India

  • Airtel
  • Reliance Jio
  • Vi

How to Get an eSim for Your Smartwatch

There are different ways to get an eSIM for your smartwatch based on different carriers. For instance, if we talk about Airtel and Jio, they allow you to convert your existing sim card to an eSIM or get a new one altogether.

In India, you can get a new eSIM from Airtel, Jio, and Vi by visiting their offline stores or through an online process. You will get a new number with the plan of your choice.

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In the case of the Apple Watch, you can duplicate your existing physical SIM card’s phone number on the eSIM. The eSIM will be tied to the phone number you already have on your iPhone.

Many popular network providers in India and USA like Airtel, Verizon NumberShare, AT&T NumberSync, and T-Mobile DIGITS offer number-sharing services. So, for the Apple Watch, you can either get a different number from other carriers or get a duplicate eSim of your existing number the carriers who allow doing so.

Different network providers have different methods to get an eSim for your smartwatch. You can visit the respective operator’s website for all the information about getting an eSIM.

How to Check if Your Smartwatch Supports eSIM?

Before getting an eSIM for your smartwatch, you must check if your smartwatch supports it or not. Generally, you’ll only find it on expensive smartwatches with built-in cellular support.

Anyways, it is straightforward to check the eSIM support on your smartwatch.

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  • Check the smartwatch box to see if it says support for cellular networks and the supported bands.
  • Check the product page on manufacturer’s website to have relevant information on if an eSIM can be used on the smartwatch.
  • Alternatively, you can check the online listings, reviews, and other information on the web.

Pros & Cons of eSIM in Smartwatches

An eSIM provides a seamless experience of using a cellular network without actually having a physical card. But, besides flexibility, it also has its own set of disadvantages. Let’s see the pros and cons of using eSim on your smartwatch:

Advantages of eSim in a Smartwatch

  • Choose Between Separate and Duplicate Numbers
  • Direct Access to Calling and Internet
  • Allows OEMs to Provide Cellular Capability Without Taking Much Hardware Space
  • Flexibility to Change Network Operator

Disadvantages of eSim in a Smartwatch

  • Not Usable on Other Devices
  • Easy Tracking by Network Providers
  • Poor Battery Life vis-a-vis Bluetooth or WiFi-only
  • Generally Expensive
  • Involves Time-Consuming Process

FAQ About Using eSIM in Smartwatches

Here are some common questions that you may have around using eSIM on smartwatches:

Q. How do I get an eSIM watch?

Not many brands provide eSim support in smartwatches, but you can look for LTE models from Apple, Samsung, Garmin, and TicWatch.

Q. Can I convert my existing SIM to an eSIM?

Yes, you can convert your existing physical sim into an eSIM. You can check the process on your carrier’s official website or customer care.

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Q. Can I use eSIM without a physical SIM?

Yes, the eSim is meant to be used without any physical SIM card. So, you can get a new eSIM and use it without any physical card.

Q. Can I use eSIM and physical SIM of the same number simultaneously?

No, not on the same line. But in case of iPhone and Apple Watch, you can use a single eSIM across the two devices provided the carrier supports it.

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Q. Does eSIM come with a phone number?

Yes, if you get a new eSim, you will get a new number. You can make and receive calls, messages, use cellular data with the new number.

Available Smartwatches with eSIM Support

Check the list of popular smartwatches with eSim support below:

  • Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular)
  • Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular)
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 LTE
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE
  • Huawei Watch 3
  • Huawei Watch 3 Pro
  • Fossil Gen 5 LTE
  • TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE
  • Amazfit Nexo
  • Oppo Watch

Should You Buy a Smartwatch With eSIM?

As discussed above and in our Galaxy Watch 4 FAQ, the eSIM allows you to use it as a standalone smartwatch that can make & receive calls, send messages, install apps, and browse the web without a phone.

All of it can also be done on the Bluetooth model but only when in you have the phone nearby or connected separately to a Wifi network. Bluetooth/ Wifi-only models are cheaper and last longer than the LTE model with mobile data, which consumes more power.

Anyways, you can disable LTE on the cellular model and use it as a regular Bluetooth watch. So, go for what suits your usage and requirements.

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Wrapping Up

This was all about eSIM on a smartwatch, how it works, and its pros and cons. It’s an interesting tech but depends on one’s personal needs whether to go for a cellular or a Wifi/Bluetooth-only smartwatch. Tell us what you think about eSIM and if you’re using any currently. Stay tuned for more informative articles.

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