The Pixel 8 may be eSIM-only as Android preps eSIM transfer tool

Google Pixel 8 renders
(Image credit: MySmartPrice/OnLeaks)

What you need to know

  • It's speculated that the Google Pixel 8 could be eSIM-only in some regions.
  • Google teased a new eSIM transfer tool for Android earlier this year.
  • A new leaks reveals how the new transfer tool may work when it goes live.

As the Pixel 8 launch nears, more leaks and rumors continue to crop up. However, the latest tidbit has seemingly gone under the radar since the first renders appeared, which could suggest that Google is making the jump to eSIM-only Pixels, similar to the iPhone 14.

Mishaal Rahman noticed that the renders of the Pixel 8 shared by OnLeaks earlier this year seemed to lack a SIM tray. He notes that previously leaked renders included the tray, but the fact that the Pixel 8 renders don't may indicate that Google may follow in Apple's footsteps by making eSIM-only Pixel phones.

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With the iPhone 14 launch, Apple made the controversial decision to launch eSIM-only models in the U.S. It could be a similar situation with the Pixel 8, as the previously leaked video demonstrating the temperature sensor on the Pixel 8 Pro briefly showed a SIM slot on the side, suggesting Google may still offer SIM a physical slot in some regions.

Of course, as Rahman suggests, you should take it with a grain of salt for now, but an eSIM-only Pixel 8 isn't outside the realm of possibility.

(Image credit: Smartprix, OnLeaks)

Making the jump to eSIM-only is meant to ease the process of switching to new carriers, especially for users who travel, but as Android Central's Andrew Myrick highlights in his recent experience switching from an iPhone to an Android device, the experience is marred by carrier involvement.

Fortunately, Google is working on developing an easy way to transfer eSIMs from one phone to another, at least on Android. The company announced its efforts earlier this year, but a new leak reveals what the process may look like, suggesting that it may soon be ready for prime time.

An X post from AssembleDebug shows a transfer tool that utilizes a QR code. The old device would scan a code on the new device to initiate the process, which would then be completed on the new device.

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Assuming Google has this tool ready soon, it makes it even more likely that an eSIM-only Pixel may be on the horizon. Of course, an eSIM-only Pixel 8 might not actually happen, and we could just be getting worked up over nothing. For now, we may have to wait until the official launch to know more about Google's plans for its upcoming devices.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

  • Stanley Kubrick
    I personally have not had any dealings with an eSIM ... but I have read of many nightmares with the tech. I would like to think that Google is NOT going to make the 8 series eSIM only because there are already several (maybe too many) changes from the 7 series. So many things could go wrong with the known changes...Tensor 3, Ultra-Sonic FP reader, upgraded cameras and software? To add an eSIM only "feature" when there are so many other possible disasters that could crop up is asking for the whole Pixel series to die a painful death! They've already lost sales due to the Tensor SOC. I do NOT think eSIM is ready for prime time - yet! They can encourage people to adopt the tech by providing the software for people to test but they need to keep the pSIM slot active for those who are simply not ready to mess with this immature tech. I know that if they eliminate the pSIM altogether I may have to look elsewhere for my next phone and I'm sure others will also!
  • rvbfan
    Another reason I won't even give the Apple iPhone a look.
  • mustang7757
    I don't mind Esim if they let you do this online through your account and some carriers are worse than others setting this up even with a representative .
    ATT sucks at this , TMO is pretty good don't know other carrier how they are .
  • PNvmkpk
    I am willing switch to esim only phone when I can transfer it to any phone any any other person with zero involvement from carrier like i can do with the physical sim.