eSIM Tips
2 minutes

Can I use eSIM and physical SIM at the same time?

The eSIM, or 'embedded Subscriber Identity Module', is a chip within devices, eliminating the need for physical SIM cards. Many modern smartphones support both eSIM and traditional SIM concurrently, offering benefits like travel flexibility, profile separation, and network backup. However, compatibility and potential network restrictions should be considered.
Written by
Published on
August 26, 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology, the traditional physical SIM card that we've grown accustomed to is now being supplemented by a new innovation: the eSIM. As more and more devices support eSIM technology, one common question arises: Can I use both eSIM and physical SIM simultaneously? Let's dive in to find out.

What is an eSIM?

Before we discuss dual functionality, it's crucial to understand what an eSIM is. eSIM stands for 'embedded Subscriber Identity Module'. Unlike the physical SIM that can be removed or inserted into a device, the eSIM is a small chip embedded inside the device. It can be programmed to take on the role of a traditional SIM card. This means that you can get cellular service and connect to a network without needing a physical card.

Dual SIM: eSIM + Physical SIM

The answer to whether you can use both eSIM and a physical SIM simultaneously depends primarily on the device you have. Many of the latest smartphones, especially in the premium segment, offer a 'dual SIM' feature, allowing the device to have two active SIM profiles. One of these can be a physical SIM, while the other can be an eSIM.

If a device is 'Dual SIM Dual Standby' (DSDS), it can keep both the eSIM and the physical SIM active at the same time, but only one can be used for data or calls at any given moment. On the other hand, 'Dual SIM Dual Active' (DSDA) devices allow both SIMs to be actively used simultaneously, though this feature is less common.

Benefits of Using Both

  1. Flexibility: If you're a traveler, you can use your primary number on the physical SIM and acquire a local number via eSIM, saving on roaming costs.
  2. Separation of Profiles: Many professionals use this dual system to separate their personal and work numbers, making it easier to manage communications.
  3. Backup: If one network is facing issues, having a secondary network can be a lifesaver, ensuring you always stay connected.


While the idea of using both eSIM and physical SIM sounds appealing, there are some considerations:

  1. Battery Life: Operating two SIMs might have a small impact on battery life, though for most modern devices, the impact is minimal.
  2. Device Support: Not all devices support the dual SIM feature, so it's essential to check the device specifications before planning to use both eSIM and physical SIM.
  3. Network Restrictions: Some carriers might have restrictions or additional charges for using dual SIM features. Always check with your service provider.

The ability to use both eSIM and a physical SIM concurrently is a testament to how adaptable mobile technology has become. For users who require flexibility, backup, or separation in their mobile profiles, this feature is a game-changer. As with any technology, it's vital to understand the capabilities and limitations of your device and network provider. But, if you're looking to get the best of both worlds, a dual SIM setup might just be the answer!

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