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eSIM on Samsung Galaxy: How it works and how to set it up

Learn how to set up an eSIM on Samsung's new and improved phones.

Mark Robins

October 26, 2023

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We all know Samsung as one of the giant phone companies, so it is natural that, like many others, they move their devices from traditional SIM cards to embedded SIM cards. This, in comparison, allows us more accessibility and less configuration to use them; we now have eSIM on Samsung Galaxy models!

The future of mobile technology is the eSIM, a virtual SIM card you can install on some Samsung Galaxy smartphones. This guide teaches you how to configure the eSIM on the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Z, and Samsung Galaxy S20, S21, S22, and S23.

You will need

– An eSIM data plan from stores like Holafly. Travelers can purchase an eSIM for their favorite destinations from our store.

– A device that supports eSIM.

– An Internet connection via mobile data or WiFi for the set-up process.

What is eSIM on Samsung?

This is the virtual evolution of the traditional physical SIM, but this is just the quick answer. To be able to use them, Samsung, as well as other companies, pre-install a chip in the structure of the phone, and this is the origin of its name-embedded SIM card or eSIM. 

As they are already included in our phones, they do not need physical installation. In this way, to activate them, we use a QR code provided by our service provider. Now it is much easier to change data plans when traveling abroad.

Although Samsung’s transition has been slightly slower than other companies, most of their flagship phones now include eSIM. Even in the USA, one of the company’s largest markets, carriers such as T-Mobile and other international carriers support the virtual SIM USA for Samsung.

eSIM samsung Galaxy

How does eSIM work on Samsung?

As in other compatible devices, eSIMs work in Samsung phones thanks to the fact that the company includes embedded chips in some of its models. From this, we only need to download and install our service after purchasing it from our local operator or an international store. 

It is also possible to find this eSIM technology in smartwatches, laptops, tablets, and even cars! So it is only a matter of time before Samsung includes it in its other technologies and product range.

Which Samsung models have eSIM available?

Before knowing how to configure an eSIM in your phone, the first thing we must confirm is if our device can actually use them. To help you, we will leave you a list of the compatible mobile phones of the company as of today.

Samsung mobile phones compatible with eSIM:

  • Samsung Galaxy A54
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5g
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+ Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S22
  • Samsung Galaxy S22+
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G 
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
  • Samsung Galaxy S23
  • Samsung Galaxy S23+
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

How to activate eSIM on Samsung?

Once you have confirmed that your phone is one of the listed models, then you can proceed to purchase your eSIM and then install it on your phone. For this, we will also help you with some recommendations and steps to follow.

What do you need?

  • A Samsung phone compatible with the technology.
  • Purchase an eSIM from an international or local provider to have an activation QR code.
  • Internet connection at the time of virtual eSIM installation.

What do you need to do?

You can now set up an eSIM as your main SIM card to easily access the internet from your Samsung device when traveling. Here are the steps you need to take to set up a virtual SIM card on a Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy Z, and Samsung Galaxy S20, S21, S22, and S23 as your main SIM.

Time needed: 5 minutes

Steps to set up an eSIM on a Samsung device.

  1. Go to Connections

    Go to settings > Connections
    eSIM configuration in Samsung Galaxy: Go to connections

  2. Login to SIM Card Manager

    Now you will see the SIM cards already on your device.

  3. Select Add Mobile Plan

    In this step, your Samsung will look for a plan that is already active with the operator.
    sim card manager 3 samsung

  4. Press Add plan using QR code

    You must have the QR code from the eSIM provider.
    QR code esim

  5. Read the QR code

    Focus it with your camera.
    sacan qr code esim samsung

  6. Add it to your cell phone

    Your phone will find it, agree to add it to the download.
    add new plan eSIM samsung

  7. Activate it on your Samsung phone

    Accept power up to activate.
    mobile plan esim samsung

  8. Verification

    Your new eSIM will be added to the SIM Card Manager.
    esim on samsung

How to remove eSIM from Samsung phones?

Once you have used your eSIM and no longer need it, you can return to the SIM card manager and delete it. But you must be sure that you will not need the eSIM again because, in many cases, the provider will mention that QR codes can only be scanned once. For this reason, if you delete it and still need it, you must repurchase the service or contact customer support.

How to transfer embedded SIM card to a new Samsung phone?

This is an option that may vary depending on your eSIM service provider. You must first confirm with them if you can delete the virtual SIM card and then install it again. If yes, we recommend that you have your old phone and your new phone connected to a secure WiFi network for the process. 

After this, you must delete the eSIM on your old phone. Many providers will send you an email notification that you have done this. Once you have deleted it, you can perform the installation process on your new phone by following the step-by-step instructions we have mentioned in the same way you installed the eSIM for the first time.

Samsung has mentioned the intention to have a smoother method of transferring the eSIM on some phone models. However, this is still under development.

Travel to the USA without worries!

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Adding a digital SIM card to your Samsung Galaxy Watch

Before Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold, S20, and Z Flip smartphones, there were already Samsung watches that were compatible with eSIM. Let’s learn how to activate an eSIM on your Samsung Galaxy Watch.

galaxy watch esim
The Galaxy Watch allows you to connect with eSIM. Source: samsung.com

Configuring a virtual SIM card on the Samsung Galaxy Watch

Follow these steps to set up your Galaxy Watch:

  1. Install Galaxy Wearable on your mobile.
    • You must download it from the Samsung store or Play Store.
  2. Have both your Samsung Watch and your Samsung phone ready
    When it is detected, click on “Connect.”
    • You will be shown a code. It must be the same on both devices.
  3. Confirm the code to pair them by pressing “OK”.
    • The pairing will start after pressing “next” to accept the terms.
  4. Your phone will start searching for a mobile network in your Galaxy Watch.
    • If you can’t find it, go to “Mobile Networks” in the Galaxy Wearable App.
  5. Select “Use code.”
    • Now you can scan your eSIM QR, accept the conditions, and click on “Download”.
  6. Wait until the connection is complete.
    • From now on, your Galaxy Watch will have a separate connection.

(You may also be interested in how to set up an eSIM on Xiaomi.)

Operators that support eSIM on the Samsung Galaxy

After the launch of eSIM, several manufacturers have started to develop devices that include this technology. However, it is the operator that determines how the virtual SIM works.

In the following table, you will find a list of countries and operators that support activating an eSIM on the Samsung Galaxy.

Countries
Galaxy Fold
Galaxy Z Flip
Galaxy S20, S21, S22, S23 series
Spain
Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, YoigoMovistar, Orange, Vodafone, YoigoMovistar, Orange, Vodafone, Yoigo
German

1&1, O2, Telekom, Vodafone1&1, O2, Telekom, Vodafone1&1, O2, Telekom, Vodafone
FranceOrange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues TelecomOrange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues TelecomOrange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues Telecom
USAAT&T, T-Mobile, VerizonAT&T, T-Mobile, VerizonAT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon
UKEE, O2, Three, VodafoneEE, O2, Three, VodafoneEE, O2, Three, Vodafone
AustraliaOptus, Telstra, VodafoneOptus, Telstra, VodafoneOptus, Telstra, Vodafone
MexicoAT&T, Telcel, Movistar Mexico eSIMAT&T, Telcel, MovistarAT&T, Telcel, Movistar
ThailandAIS, dtac, TrueMove HAIS, dtac, TrueMove HAIS, dtac, TrueMove H
BrasilClaro, TIM, Vivo Claro, TIM, Vivo Claro, TIM, Vivo
VietnamMobiFone, Viettel, VinaphoneMobiFone, Viettel, VinaphoneMobiFone, Viettel, Vinaphone
RussiaBeeline, MegaFon, MTS, Tele2Beeline, MegaFon, MTS, Tele2Beeline, MegaFon, MTS, Tele2
Table 1. Operators who support eSIM configuration in Samsung Galaxy. Adapted from: Samsung

Remember!

If you are buying a new phone, ensure your mobile provider supports eSIM technology on the Samsung Galaxy. One of the best eSIM cards for UK and 170 other destinations is the one offered by Holafly

FAQs when configuring an eSIM on your Samsung Galaxy

Does eSIM work on my Samsung Galaxy S20 if my carrier offers it on iPhone?

No. The iPhone is supported by most carriers. This does not mean that your Galaxy S20 will work. You need to check with your carrier to make sure it is supported.

Will my Samsung Galaxy S20 be supported by my carrier’s eSIM in the future?

It is likely that after an upgrade, you will be able to enable eSIM support in your operator, as the Samsung Galaxy S20 hardware has this technology built in.

Does removing a mobile plan mean that I have unlinked my eSIM from my operator?

No. To terminate your eSIM service, you must contact your operator.

How many eSIM can be used in the Samsung S22 Ultra?

In this phone model, you can store several eSIM profiles, but you can only use one when using your service and data. This means you can have your physical SIM card and eSIM active simultaneously while the other eSIM profiles are on standby.
You must also consider carrier restrictions; you may only have one eSIM with each carrier due to their policies.

How to activate eSIM on Samsung S21?

As with other compatible Samsung models, the installation requires a QR code from your provider and an internet connection. In this guide, we have given you a step-by-step guide that includes the Samsung S21. The setup will take just minutes, and after that, you will be able to enjoy your contracted plan.

Can people in Europe use a Samsung Galaxy with an eSIM?

Yes. People can get an eSIM card for Europe to use with their Samsung Galaxy devices.

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