Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are expected to go on sale in October this year, with several upgrades compared to their predecessors. Detailed hardware specifications for this year’s Pixel 8 series have been leaked. Now, a report has surfaced online suggesting that the upcoming Pixel 8 phone will ditch the physical SIM card slot in favor of an eSIM. With eSIM, Pixel 8 users can connect to their carrier without having to install a physical SIM card in their phone. Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models in the US also don’t come with a physical SIM card slot.
Earlier this year, source Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) teamed up with SmartPrix to leak renders of the regular Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Citing these images, leaker Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) claims that the Pixel 8 series may debut as an eSIM-only smartphone, at least in certain regions. Rahman explained that the SIM card slot is missing on the left side of the released renders, and said it wasn’t an accidental omission.
Take this with a grain of salt, but… the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro may only support eSIM, at least in some regions.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 20, 2023
However, the SmartPrix report states that the Pixel 8 smartphone will have a SIM card tray on the left spine. OnLeaks told Rahman that anything his partner claimed that wasn’t announced in his tweets didn’t come from him. This means speculation about the presence of a SIM slot on the phone’s left spine could be SmartPrix’s own interpretation of the renders.
Last year’s Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel 7a smartphones had the SIM card slot on the left side.
Additionally, Rahman said, the Pixel 8 Pro video leaked by Kamila (@Za_Raczke) shows a SIM card tray on the left edge of the smartphone. So, the upcoming phone will likely come with a physical SIM card slot in most regions as usual. As these details have yet to be confirmed by Google, it is advised to take them with a grain of salt.
An eSIM is the digital version of a physical SIM card. Embedded inside, they allow users to connect to a carrier without requiring a physical SIM card in the phone. If the news is true, the Pixel 8 series could be Google’s first eSIM-only smartphone. Apple launched the eSIM-only iPhone 14 series in the US last year. However, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models also offer physical SIM card slots in several other regions.