You’ll be able to use Google’s newest smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, without needing to pop in a SIM card, the company announced today. As long as you’re a Project Fi subscriber, Google will use the devices’ built-in eSIMs to authenticate your cellular account. Prior to today, no smartphone has ever used the eSIM standard. The relatively new technology has typically been reserved for LTE-equipped tablets, smartwatches, and other cellular wearables.
“This means you no longer need to go to a store to get a SIM card for wireless service, wait a few days for your card to arrive in the mail, or fumble around with a bent paper clip to coax your SIM card into a tiny slot,” writes Joy Xi, a product manager for Project Fi, in Google’s official blog post on the subject. “Getting wireless service with eSIM is as quick as connecting your phone to Wi-Fi.”
Xi says users should see the option to use eSIM to connect to the Fi network on all Pixel 2 devices purchased through either the Google Store or through Fi itself. If you’re already a subscriber, Xi says you’ll simply turn on your new Pixel 2 device, tap the SIM-free option during setup, and Google will “take care of the heavy lifting.”
Switching SIM cards can be quite obnoxious, especially if you happen to be moving between devices regularly, either out of habit or for work, and happen to need SIM adapters to make it all work. So it’s nice to see Google embracing eSIM tech on its own network, a process it says it’s piloting with Pixel and Fi for now. Down the line, “We look forward to sharing what we learn and working together with industry partners to encourage more widespread adoption,” Xi writes. A SIM-less future would be nice indeed.