eSIM? What’s eSIM?

For the best cell phone coverage, you need either a physical SIM card or an embedded SIM card called eSIM. An eSIM is built into your device and allows you to activate a cell phone plan without having to use a physical SIM card. The biggest advantage of eSIM is it’s easier and faster than ever to switch your service to a new carrier. With eSIM you can activate your service instantly right after you checkout online, instead of having to wait for a physical SIM card to be shipped to you or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

In order to use eSIM your existing phone must be both unlocked and eSIM compatible.

Is my phone unlocked? And what’s the difference between a locked and unlocked phone?

It’s tough, not to mention confusing, to keep up with all the terms that surround technology today. Terms like “locked,” and “unlocked” – what do they even mean and how do they pertain to your smartphone?

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in just a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one.

Why would a wireless company sell locked phones?

Excellent question. Locked phones are usually sold at a significant discount. You, or any consumer, sees an iPhone at a really low price at an AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile store, and think “Wow!  That’s a great deal!” Then you buy it – and pat yourself on the back for saving big time – but you also have to sign a lengthy contract which makes up for the price you paid. These carriers lock your phone so you can’t switch networks, get out of that lengthy contract, or sell your phone until they’ve recouped their loss. And lots of them lock your phone for two to three years. That’s a really long time.

How can I tell if my phone locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. They key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked


Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carrier names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, those pricey wireless providers will have you playing detective all day.


Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and ask to speak to a manager or sales representative. For those who are more tech savvy, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested that they unlock your phone, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678


Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

  1. Shut down your phone.
  2. Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card which will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.
  3. Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.
  4. Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

My phone is locked. Now what do I do?

If you’d like to unlock your phone – and why wouldn’t you? It’s your phone and you deserve the freedom to make provider and plan choices for yourself – you need to contact your provider. Again, you can visit your carrier’s store or see if there’s assistance on its website, and of course you can call. If you do, be sure to have your account password and IMEI number handy. You can obtain your IMEI number by dialing #06# on your device’s keypad.

It sounds like unlocking my phone is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  • If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We think spending a few minutes is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  • If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  • When traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high prices many providers charge. If you make a lots of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.
  • In short, the greatest benefit to unlocking your phone is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your sell signal is spotty… or because you discovered a plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

Now that your phone is unlocked, you need to determine if your phone eSIM compatible

Not all phones are compatible with eSIM since it’s such a new technology. Below is a list of compatible phone models.

Compatible iPhone Models:

  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS, XS Max
  • iPhone SE 3rd Gen


Benefits of eSIM:

  • It’s easy to switch to a new carrier as the data on eSIMs can be reprogrammed (or, in some cases, can be downloaded onto another slot on the eSIM). Whereas physical SIM cards cannot be reprogrammed. This means with eSIMs you can more quickly switch to a new carrier.
  • eSIMs can be activated instantly. In fact, you can activate your eSIM instantly right after you checkout online, instead of having to wait for a physical SIM card to be shipped to you or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
  • One of the biggest benefits of eSIM is that your phone can have two SIM cards (and thus two phone numbers) on one device. This can be beneficial for someone like a business owner that wants both a personal line as well as a business line and doesn’t want to carry around two phones.
  • Traveling internationally? If you’ll be out of the U.S. for a bit, eSIM users can simply buy a physical SIM card when they get to their destination and use it together with their usual eSIM card.
  • eSIMs are improving future devices. Without the need for a SIM tray, it’ll be possible to make thinner, lighter devices (ie: phones, tablets, laptops and wearable tech). Many believe eSIMs are the future, and it’s only a matter of time before physical SIM cards become obsolete.

Discover the freedom of eSIM and unbeatable savings with PureTalk

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you phone plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data, and tablet plans starting at just $10 a month with 2GB of data. Beyond that, PureTalk is on America’s most reliable 5G network – which delivers the best cell coverage of any network before it – just like the overpriced guys, but at half the cost. And our customers reap the savings. In fact, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s phone plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us – our coverage, our service, our flexibility! But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any hassles or penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids

More reasons to love PureTalk

PureTalk requires no contracts, no long-distance fees, no roaming fees, no additional handset fees, and no prepaid cards. All PureTalk phone plans include Unlimited Talk & Text with high-speed data with speeds up to 5G. All plans include voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, conferencing, call waiting, and everything else you would expect from your carrier. There are no gimmicks with PureTalk. It’s just Simply. Smarter. Wireless.

What our customers are saying:

Happy I Switched to PureTalk

“It was very easy to switch from AT&T to PureTalk. Everyone that I spoke to on the phone was polite and very helpful. I gave my old phone to my sister and encouraged her to also switch to PureTalk, which she did. She is also happy that she switched.” Claudean H., AL

Great customer service

“Your people are courteous, knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. They fix my issues, port my numbers, and always sound happy to help. They speak American English and they are clear and easy to understand. Thank you all and don’t change.” Robert Z., FL

Great Experience

“It was very efficient to contact and set up the service with PureTalk. The website is easy to navigate, so one can both stay informed and keep their account information up to date. The price is much better than the larger carriers (I had T-Mobile for almost 20 years) and the voice and data services are at least as good as any others. Looking forward to many great years of excellent service.” Michael S., PA

Don’t wait a moment more. Switch to eSIM and PureTalk now!




Posted 3 weeks ago