Samsung S20+ HybridDualSIM to TripleSlot conversion, thanks to eSIM.


10 May 2020
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My wife is using Samsung Galaxy S20+ (128GB) for almost one year, with Jio prepaid and Airtel Postpaid (Corporate) connections. Till now, she was using the Hybrid slot as Sim2 only. Google photos has taken care of photos & videos backup till June2021, and hence lack of dedicated SD slot was not an issue. As Google started counting the photos uploaded, I stopped backing it up. Within a month, the 128GB internal storage (upto 80GB) has started filling up fast and I was not happy to take regular backups in computer.

I earlier thought of converting Airtel to eSIM and use the hybrid slot for microSD card. When searching online, there were mixed reports about this idea. Some said, eSIM activation is painful and problems in IR, some said its just a cake walk. One report said that, "If eSIM is used, the SD card will be disabled. To access the SD card, you have to switch off eSIM (just like disable / switch off physical Sim1).

After taking the manual backup of internal storage once, I thought, enough is enough. Let the microSD sleep there, when phone is used as dualSIM one and I will manually disable eSIM and take backup to that card.

Airtel eSIM experience:-
My first choice was moving Airtel to eSIM. Their procedure was great in paper and looks foolproof. But in reality, it is not that easy, especially for Corporate connection. Airtel wants the number to be linked to one e-mail ID, but since its corporate connection all our numbers are linked to company e-mail address and my since my number is the main number in the group, Airtel shows my number as associated with that e-mail and not my wife's number. We have visited the Airtel showroom thrice and got many follow-up calls, but all in vain. So we have to move to Plan B.

PlanB ==>> Jio eSIM experience:-
Actually customer care of Airtel Corporate Postpay Team is miles ahead of Jio prepaid CC. But since Airtel was not able to convert the eSIM, I had little hope in Jio's team. Still we went to DX Mini store and they started the procedure right away. They just got IMEI and some other number from phone about settings and verified aadhar number associated with the prepaid number, took one photo and said, "eSIM will get activated in 2 hours". Within 20 minutes, I got eSIM activated message (my airtel is the alternate number given) and data started working right away. Even incoming calls are coming, but outgoing calls worked after one hour only.

HAPPY. But till now, I thought that eSIM disables the microSD slot as well. Once we reached home and placed my old 128GB microSD card in the hybrid slot and restarted the phone. BOOM. DualSIM and SD card are simultaneously working without any issue, the picture below is the proof. Airtel SIM1, Jio eSIM / SIM2 and 128GB microSD card is also working.

[1] Jio eSIM activation is simple and straight forward.
[2] If you have Airtel corp connection, eSIM transfer is NOT going to be easy (especially if your number is not main number)
[3] eSIM is always SIM2 and physical SIM is the SIM 1 / primary SIM.
[4] In eSIM supported phones with Hybrid Sim slot, we can use both SIMs + microSD card all at once, without any issue.
[5] To avoid misuse, SMS service (both outgoing as well as incoming) is stopped for 24 hours, in eSIM activation (Jio as well as Airtel).

So if Hybrid slot is stopping you from buying phones like Samsung A52 or A72 or S20 FE or any other phones (I have experience with Samsung only) with eSIM support, just go for it. It is as good as a phone with Triple slot. These phones are much better than phones with eSIM support, but NO Hybrid slot like, Vanilla Note20, S21 series.

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