After digging into the specifications of the Google Pixel 2 phones, it was discovered that both devices support eSIM technology. But Google was quick to point out that the new electronic SIM will only be activated and used for Project Fi customers for now.
eSIM, as the name suggests, is an electronic SIM card. It replaces the physical plastic card that you get from your carrier, including Project Fi. It is a reasonably new standard and the first consumer device to leverage it was the Apple Watch series 3. That hasn’t gone as smoothly as Apple has wanted which is likely one of the reasons that Google is limiting it to just their own service for now.
If you order a Google Pixel 2 phone from Project Fi, as a new customer or existing one, you won’t be shipped a physical SIM. There will be an activation process to enable the eSIM built into it and you will be off to the races. If you order your phone through the Google Store or through Verizon, the exclusive carrier here in the US, you will still get a physical SIM. The new phones have a Nano SIM slot just like the previous generation of Pixel devices.
As Google and carriers get more comfortable with eSIM, it is possible that at some point we could see the Pixel 2 phones leverage across more carriers like Verizon.