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October 5, 2017

Google’s Pixel 2 phones don’t need SIM cards

by John_A

Google added a lot to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but one of its more intriguing upgrades comes from what it’s taking away: the need for a SIM card. Both devices still have a nano-SIM slot (contrary to a few rumors), but they also use eSIMs like that on the Apple Watch Series 3. So long as your carrier supports it, you just have to download a virtual SIM during the setup process to activate service. Needless to say, that’s a welcome change if you’re tired of the usual SIM swapping ritual needed for upgrading handsets.

Of course, it’s that support which may be the sticking point. To no one’s surprise, Google’s own Project Fi is the only carrier currently lined up to support eSIMs. You’ll still need to insert a regular SIM card with other networks for now, and it won’t be surprising if they’re hesitant to sign up. After all, this would let you easily activate or switch carriers without ordering a card or visiting a store. This is more about futureproofing the Pixel line than anything. If and when other carriers get with the eSIM program, your handset will be ready.

Follow all the latest news from Google’s Pixel 2 event here!

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