Unlocked and T-Mobile device owners can even dual-wield networks with eSIM
Slowly but steadily, eSIM adoption has picked up among Android manufacturers. Samsung has been leading the pack by offering the requisite eSIM hardware on all its flagship devices launched in recent years. For some strange reason though, except for the Galaxy S22 series, the eSIM functionality is disabled on all its flagship phones sold in the US and is only enabled via a software update in the future. The Galaxy Note20 series, for example, launched in 2020 with eSIM support, but the functionality was only turned on in the US eight months later. Now, something similar is happening with Samsung’s 2021 flagship foldables: the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Flip3.
The June 2022 update for the T-Mobile and US-unlocked variants of the Fold3 and Flip3 brings eSIM functionality (via XDA) which will allow owners to download an eSIM to their foldable devices and ditch their physical SIM card. They also have the option to use a physical SIM and eSIM simultaneously with Dual SIM, Dual Standby (DSDS) support, just like their global variants.
An eSIM card is much like any SIM card in that it has a dedicated CPU and memory to help it interface between the device and the network. The advantage here is that an eSIM (the “e” stands for “embedded” as opposed to “electronic”) is just one-third the size of a nano-SIM. This would make it pretty difficult for users to juggle by their fingers, so locking it into the hardware package and digitizing the interface makes sense.
Apart from the latest security patch and eSIM support, Samsung’s 2021 foldables are gaining many of the Galaxy S22 camera features with the update. This includes an improved Night portrait, Pro mode support for the telephoto lens, improved picture quality when taking photos from social media or third-party camera apps, and Auto framing support in video call apps (via Samsung, 2).
The June 2022 firmware for the Z Fold3 and Flip3 weighs a hefty 1.1GB. The update is rolling out in batches, so it may not immediately appear on your foldable. You can always try your luck using Samsung’s Smart Switch app on your PC to sideload it early.