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Do I need two separate eSIMs for my smartphone and smartwatch?

Unsure about how many eSIMs you need? Read here to know if you need an independent eSIM for your phone and smartwatch and how to connect!

Manuel M.

July 13, 2023

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As technology advances, our gadgets become more intertwined into our daily lives. You may ask yourself, do I need two separate eSIMs for my smartphone and smartwatch? Smartphones and smartwatches are two devices that have quickly become two peas in a pot.

Given that both your smartphone and smartwatch will need access to cellular data in the near future, are two eSIMs necessary? But first, let’s take a look at a brief overview of what is an eSIM, why they are useful, and if two separate eSIMs are required for different cellular devices.

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What is an eSIM?

User checking smartwatch. Source:

First, let’s define an eSIM and see why it’s important. An embedded Subscriber Identity Module, or eSIM, is a digital SIM card that is physically implanted within a mobile device. These virtual can be used in place of physical SIM cards and do not need to be inserted or removed. Instead, they can be installed and activated digitally.

Perks and features of eSIMs

There are a number of benefits to using eSIMs instead of regular SIM cards. The adaptability and ease-of-use offers are two of its main selling points. An eSIM eliminates the need to physically swap SIM cards when changing mobile service providers. Connecting to local networks while abroad without having to purchase a new SIM card is a huge convenience.

As a bonus, eSIMs include dual SIM capabilities. This way you can keep your regular SIM card in your phone and use your new eSIM! This is useful if you have different network needs for work and play or if you just want to keep your personal and business lives separate.


Given that this is still an emerging technology, virtual SIMs are not yet supported by smartphone models. This means you have to check beforehand which smartphone or smart device supports eSIMs and verify eSIM compatibility with your service provider. Not mobile carriers support the technology as of yet. Additionally, make sure that your phone is unlocked and has open bands. Even if you want to connect directly on your laptop, you can!

Do you already have your eSIM and it’s not working! Don’t panic, check these tips to solve your issue!

Providers and Carriers

There are many companies that offer digital SIM cards among their services. Generally, there are two types of providers. Local carriers and international ones.

Local providers

With local carriers, customers can request and switch from a traditional SIM card to a virtual one pretty quickly. These services are clearly confined to the initial terms and conditions of the subscriber contract. They include the data, SMS and talk time that was initially purchased. The only major difference is that there’s no more plastic chips!

As a traveler, however, getting one of these is not all that easy. You’ll have to provide an ID and other documentation that can make the process a bit tedious. This is specially true when you’re not planning on staying there forever and only a quick vacation.

International carriers

On the other hand, we have international providers that have coverage in places all over the world and generally aim to provide travelers with data services wherever they go. This is the case of Holafly, one of the most popular eSIM providers in the world. With coverage in over +160 destinations and even regional digital SIMs for continent-wide coverage, their service is one of the best.

With the Hola international eSIM you’ll get 24/7 customer service in multiple languages. You’ll be able to monitor your consumption and top up on the Holafly app. In some countries, you can get unlimited data! And the brand-new feature that’s just been launched in some countries in Europe, 120 minutes of talk-time.

Just go to their website, select your destination, and complete that payment, you’ll receive your activation QR code in minutes! Once you’ve completed the installation, you’ll be good to go. Easy-peasy.

(Traveling to NYC, connect to the internet easily!)

Smartphones and eSIMs

Stay connected with your phone and an eSIM.

As mentioned before, you can use a digital SIM and a regular SIM card on your phone and use each line differently. Although, remember that some newer phone models are only compatible with virtual SIM cards, for example the iPhone 14. If you want to switch to an eSIM with your local carrier, you probably have to contact them and request the activation code.

Once you have a functional eSIM on your smartphone, you’ll be able to use your everyday internet services like social media apps and email. Depending on the provider, you can make calls with talk-time minutes or on call apps like WhatsApp or Skype.

Smartwatches and eSIMs

Smartwatches with embedded SIMs (eSIMs) can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and access the internet without the need for an interlinked smartphone. This raises the issue of whether a smartwatch needs its own embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM).

Of course, the first thing you need to make sure is if your digital watch supports cellular services, then if it supports eSIMs. Generally, a smartwatch’s eSIM will be different from the one in your phone. This is because cellular smartwatches are intended to function independently, unlike WiFi smartwatches that have to connect to your phone. If your smartwatch has its own eSIM card, you can use it to make and take calls without needing to be in range of your phone. It also guarantees that your smartwatch will continue to function properly even if your phone isn’t close by.


Overall, it’s your decision on whether your smartphone and smartwatch each need their own independent eSIM. Several important factors include:

  • Do you want your smartwatch to be fully self-sufficient, complete with its own phone number and internet access?
  • Do you like having the option to switch between different phone numbers and/or data packages on your smartphone?

To summarize, whether you need two different eSIMs for your smartphone and smartwatch depends on your particular needs and preferences. Having a separate eSIM is recommended if you want your smartwatch to be completely self-sufficient. However, a dual SIM smartphone or eSIM sharing options can give a more streamlined experience if you prefer the convenience of handling numerous phone numbers or data subscriptions on your smartphone.