Recent leaks and rumors have suggested that the Galaxy S20 series could feature an eSIM. For those unaware, eSIM (short for embedded SIM) is a programmable digital chip that removes the need for a smartphone to have a traditional SIM slot by allowing users to switch carriers without having to physically swap SIM cards. An eSIM is how Samsung’s smartwatches connect to mobile networks, and the Galaxy Fold is equipped with an eSIM as well.
This year, Samsung is said to be equipping all three of its new Galaxy S flagship with an eSIM, but it’s the Galaxy S20 Ultra that may end up benefiting the most from the digital SIM. Thanks to the eSIM, users might be able to use dual SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time. Dual SIM slots have been standard across Samsung’s flagship phones for a few years now, but the company has always used a hybrid slot that can either allow two SIM cards or a single SIM card and a microSD card.
An eSIM could fix that limitation on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. We say “could” instead of “will”, as there’s currently no way to know if the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s physical card tray will have separate slots for a microSD card and a SIM card. Samsung could have decided to save space and put a single hybrid slot on the phone instead of keeping its existing two-slot solution. But if it is the latter, then the Galaxy S20 Ultra could be the first Samsung flagship that can have two mobile networks active while allowing users to expand the device’s storage capacity.
What about the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+? Well, it seems neither will feature expandable storage, so an eSIM will not provide as substantial of an advantage to consumers who pick the S20 or S20+ compared to those who go with the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Yes, it’s going to be disappointing if two of the three Galaxy S20 models lack a microSD slot, though it might be dwarfed by the backlash Samsung is sure to face from long-time fans for axing the headphone jack.