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Sim Local eSIM review – A Detailed Look in 2024

Looking for an eSIM that suits your needs? Check out our Sim Local review to find out if it's the one for you.

Rokas Aniulis Writer Profile

July 1, 2024

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The emergence of eSIM cards has revolutionized the game for travelers, allowing you to stay connected on the go, no matter where you are. Gone are the days of having to buy a physical SIM card every time you travel abroad. Using an eSIM is much quicker, more comfortable, and often cheaper than physical alternatives.

But with so many different eSIM providers to choose from, knowing which one is the best for you isn’t always easy. If you’re here, you’re likely considering Sim Local as one of the options. Let’s take a look at their pricing, plans, coverage, and everything else you might want to know before making your decision.

What is Sim Local?

Sim Local is an Irish company that started out by selling physical SIM cards, something they still do to this day. While it maintains an extensive network of retail stands in the UK, US, and parts of Europe, the company also started an eSIM service in 2020, which is what we’ll be focusing on in this Sim Local review.

The provider offers plans in 149 different countries, regional plans that include 36 or 49 countries, and global packages that cover 101 or 149 countries, depending on the plan you choose. The cheapest plans are limited to 1 GB of data, and there are no unlimited data options.

Sim Local about us section

Sim Local pros and cons

Before we dive deeper into what Sim Local has to offer, let’s take a quick look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages of using its services.

Affordable pricingNo unlimited data packages
Email, live chat, and phone supportNo regional plans outside of Europe
Several bundles to choose fromLimited plan length choices
Sim Local pros and cons table

Sim Local eSIM plans, pricing, and features

From data plans and pricing to customer support and refunds — no stone will be left unturned in this Sim Local eSIM review. 

Sim Local eSIM plans

Sim Local’s eSIM plans are split into three main categories: local, regional, and global. There are at least 149 countries covered by local plans. Most of these start at 1 GB of data for 7 days and go up to 20 GB of data for 30 days. The pricing for local plans depends heavily on the country in which you need coverage.

If you go through loads of data, you may find yourself short of options with Sim Local. The priciest regional eSim plan gives you 50 GB of data for 30 days and includes coverage in 42 countries. But if the country you’re visiting is not on that list, you may be stuck with the 20 GB limit.

All in all, there are three regional plans:

  • Holiday Zen — includes 12 GB of mobile data for 14 days and covers 36 countries for £17.50. This plan also includes 30 minutes of international calls and 200 SMS messages;
  • Holiday EU — includes 30 GB of data for 14 days across 36 countries, as well as 120 minutes of calls and 1000 messages for £35;
  • Holiday EU 50 GB — this plan offers 50 GB of data over 14 days across 42 countries, unlimited local calls, 120 minutes of international calls, and 1000 SMS messages for £47.

You may have noticed that all of the regional eSIM plans are fixed to a 14-day period. That’s not great if you only need coverage for a few days or if you’re traveling for months at a time

You have even fewer options if you need a global Sim Local plan:

  • Global 1 GB 3 Day — all plan details are in the name. For £10, this plan gives you 1 GB of mobile data over 3 days across 101 countries worldwide;
  • Orange World up to 10 GB — for £28, this plan gives you up to 10 GB of data across 149 countries worldwide over 14 days.

It’s also worth noting that all prices on the Sim Local website are in British Pounds (£). While the UK might be their main market, it would still be nice for the rest of us to have a choice to see the prices in $US or € so that we wouldn’t have to check the exchange rates to figure out how much the plans cost in a currency other than GBP.

Sim Local eSIM compatibility

As you’d expect, Sim Local can be set up on most eSIM-compatible phones as well as a handful of other Android and iOS devices. However, it seems like the service isn’t compatible with laptops and smartwatches, even if they have eSIM functionality.

They don’t straight up state that their eSIMs can’t be used with these devices, but no laptops or smartwatches are included in their own list of compatible devices. On top of that, all setup guides are limited to iOS and Android. So if you need to use an eSIM on any device that’s not your phone, you might need to look for a different provider.

Sim Local refund policy

What if your planned trip got canceled? Or you simply didn’t have the need to activate your eSIM while you were away? Well, you’re in luck, because Sim Local does offer a refund if you request for it within 60 days of your purchase.

It’s worth noting that this refund policy only applies to plans that have not been activated. If you already activated your card and have issues using it, Sim Local advises you to contact their customer support team. 

While that’s the response you’d expect, there’s no way to tell if you can get a refund if you activate your eSIM and it doesn’t work properly. The only way to know for sure is to contact the provider and see if they can solve your issue.

Customer service

While we’re on the topic of customer service, it should be noted that Sim Local gives you plenty of ways to contact them. They offer email, live chat, and even phone support for their customers. On top of that, they have a fairly large searchable knowledge base with answers to the most common questions.

You will need to go through an AI chatbot if you want to access live chat, but doing so is fairly easy. Simply ask your question, and the chatbot will suggest reading several knowledge base articles. If you tell the chatbot that you couldn’t find the answer there, it should give you the option to talk to a support agent.

Sim local live chat access

Coverage and network speed

While Sim Local does offer solid coverage as far as countries are concerned, there is a lack of regional packages for countries outside of Europe. There are no dedicated Asia or America plans, so if you want to go with a package, the global plans are your only option.

If you’re not going to be crossing many borders, you can get a local plan for the country you’re visiting. Sim Local works with local providers such as Vodafone, Verizon, T-Mobile, and many others to provide 5G/LTE coverage in most popular travel destinations

This includes the likes of the UK, USA, Canada, as well as most of Europe, Asia, and South America.

Sim Local App

You can track your eSIM plans, data balance, and manage your Sim Local eSIM cards on their website or through their app. The Sim Local app is available on the Google Play Store and the App Store, which makes it easy to manage your eSIMs, especially when you’re constantly on the go.

The app itself is well-reviewed, and there doesn’t seem to be any repetitive complaints by the users. However, it’s worth noting that reviews on both Google Play Store and the App Store are in single digits, so the sample size is very small, especially if you compare it to the thousands of reviews that Holafly has across all platforms.

That said, the Sim Local app seems to do everything you’d expect it to. You can choose and purchase eSIM plans, see how much data you’ve used, or get help from the customer support team while on the app.

How to activate a Sim Local eSIM card

Activating your Sim Local card is fairly easy. When you purchase an eSIM plan, you’ll get a QR code and an activation code. If you wish to use the QR code to activate your eSIM, simply scan the QR code and follow the instructions to install your eSIM.

Alternatively, you can do this whole process manually. The exact steps differ depending on your device and operating system (OS), but it generally looks something like this:

  • Open your device settings;
  • Access your mobile network settings;
  • Locate and tap on the add eSIM or similar option;
  • Enter the activation key to activate your eSIM.

If you do decide to go with Sim Local, they do provide OS-specific guidelines you can follow to make the process even easier.

Advantages and disadvantages of Sim Local eSIM

Now that we’ve walked through the main features of Sim Local, let’s take a brief moment to summarize the main advantages and disadvantages of this eSIM provider:

Affordable pricingNo unlimited data plans
Local, regional, and global bundlesNo regional bundles for regions outside of Europe
International calls and SMS messages with some plansLittle customization of plan lengths
Live chat, email, and phone customer supportFew customer reviews on app stores
Clear refund policyMay not be compatible with laptops and smartwatches
Advantages and disadvantages of using Sim Local

Sim Local eSIM user reviews

As briefly mentioned above, Sim Local doesn’t have many reviews of it’s eSIM service. Both Google Play Store and the App Store apps have under 10 user reviews as of the writing of this post, and their Trustpilot reviews are mostly related to their physical SIM cards.

Sim local user review
Roddy Russel review on the App Store
Sim local user review
TOnyManx81 review on the App Store
Sim local user review
Fiona Corden review on Trustpilot

While people seem mostly satisfied with the service, a couple of people mentioned running out of data unexpectedly soon and that it’s not always easy to track data usage on the app

Once again, a larger sample size of reviews would give users a better view of the situation. But from the few reviews of Sim Local’s eSIM service that are out there it seems like there may be some issues from time to time, but the customer support team is generally quick to respond and help with most issues.

Why Holafly is a good alternative to Sim Local

If you’re not a fan of Sim Local offering little customization when it comes to plan lengths and only having limited data plans, then Holafly might be a good alternative for you.

Most of Holafly’s plans offer unlimited data and let you choose the length of the plan, from as little as 1 day to 90 days. Holafly also offers separate bundles for Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America, as well as 197+ destinations worldwide, so you can rest assured that you’ll have data connectivity wherever you go.

The plans start at US$6 for unlimited data for 1 day and tend to vary depending on the length of the plan and the destination.

Pros and cons of Holafly eSIMs

Let’s quickly run through the main benefits and disadvantages of using Holafly so that you can compare it to Sim Local and decide which one is the better fit for you.

Most plans include unlimited dataMore expensive than most plans with limited data
Fully customizable plan durations
Separate bundles for Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America
Compatible with laptops and smartwatches that support eSIM technology
Advantages and disadvantages of using Holafly

In conclusion: should you choose Sim Local eSIMs?

Sim Local offers legitimate eSIM service backed by a solid customer support team. However, its plans are not for everyone. They offer fairly lengthy plans with not that much data, which is perfect if you simply want to stay connected without being too active online when you travel.

However, if you tend to use a lot of data or want more flexibility when it comes to the length of your eSIM plan, you might want to consider other alternatives.

FAQ about Sim Local

Are Sim Local eSIMs legit?

Yes, Sim Local is a legitimate eSIM service. Although they seem to focus more on their physical retail stores, Sim Local offers affordable eSIM plans for 149 destinations as well as regional and global bundle packages.

Do Sim Local eSIMS give you a phone number?

Sim Local only offers a phone number with international call and SMS messaging functionality with its regional plans. If you go with a local or global eSIM plan, you’ll only receive mobile internet data.

Does iMessage function with eSIMs?

Yes, you can send messages via iMessage even if you have an eSIM plan without a phone number. That’s because iMessage and other features, such as FaceTime, only require an internet connection to work and don’t have to be linked to a phone number.