Comparing Korean SIM Cards, Pocket WiFi, and eSIM: Which is Best for Your Travel Needs?

When planning a trip to Korea, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is how to stay connected while exploring this vibrant country. Choosing the right option among Korean SIM cards, Pocket WiFi, and eSIM depends on factors like convenience, cost, and your specific travel requirements. Let’s break down the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed choice.

  1. SIM Card – Pros & Cons

  2. Pocket WiFi – Pros & Cons

  3. eSIM – Pros & Cons

 

1. SIM Card



Pros:

  1. No additional device to carry.
  2. Generally cheaper than Pocket WiFi if you are traveling solo or in the long term.
  3. Easily able to switch between carriers and plans to suit your data needs.
  4. Offer a wide range of options, including unlimited data plans, optional voice and SMS, credit for calls and texts, and various duration choices.
  5. Provide a local phone number for calls and texts.

*Keep in mind that features may vary between SIM card providers. Be sure to check the specific details on the booking page before you buy.

Cons:

  1. Requires a physical SIM card slot in your device.
  2. Limited to use in one device (your smartphone).
  3. May need to visit a store in person to purchase and activate your SIM card. (Skip the pick-up booth hassle – get your SIM card delivered locally or internationally before your trip.)
  4. Continuous use of data on your phone can drain its battery fast.
  • Best for: Longer stays or those who need a local phone number.

*Tip
For those who don’t want to go through the hassle, bring another mobile phone that you do not use anymore along with the phone that you are using right now. Register and insert the SIM card in the old device and use the Korean number. This way, you can easily make local calls by just using your old phone.

Recommended SIM Cards for Travelers: 

Recommended SIM Cards for Long-Term Stayers:

Recommended SIM Cards for Those Who Need Korean Phone Number (010): 

Recommended SIM Cards Without Stopping by Pick-up Locations:

 

2. Pocket WiFi (Portable Wifi, WiFi Egg)



Pros:

  1. Allows multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) to connect simultaneously. (Usually able to connect up to 3 devices at a time.)
  2. Doesn’t drain your smartphone’s battery. Usually has a long-lasting battery life.
  3. Provides consistent internet access across various locations, including remote areas.
  4. No need to change your phone’s SIM card.
  5. Easy to share WiFi with travel companions.

Cons:

  1. Requires carrying an extra device (the Pocket WiFi unit) – May need to carry chargers for both your phone and Pocket WiFi while traveling.
  2. Rental fees can be higher than purchasing a SIM card.
  3. Need to charge the Pocket WiFi itself daily.
  4. Don’t provide a Korean local 010 phone number.
  • Best for: Families or groups traveling together who need to connect multiple devices.

Recommended Pocket Wifi  for Travelers: 

Recommended Pocket Wifi  for Long-Term Stayers: 

*You can extend your usage for another 30 days or add extra days on a separate extension page that will be provided in the confirmation email.

 

3. eSIM



Pros:

  1. Instant activation – no need to visit a pick-up location or swap physical SIM cards.
  2. Can be set up before arrival in Korea – You’ll receive the scannable eSIM QR code instantly after booking.
  3. Allows you to keep your original SIM card in your phone – Reduced risk of losing or damaging your original SIM card.
  4. Easily switch carriers or use local data while keeping your home number.
  5. Some eSIM carriers provide simple top-up options, allowing you to renew your data allowance as needed.

*Keep in mind that features may vary between eSIM providers. Be sure to check the specific details on the booking page before you buy.

Cons:

  1. Not all devices support eSIM technology.
  2. May have more limited data plans compared to traditional SIM cards.
  3. Requires internet access and specific steps to activate eSIM on your device.
  4. Some eSIM carriers don’t provide a Korean local 010 phone number or extension service.
  • Best for: Visitors with eSIM-compatible devices who prioritize convenience.

Recommended eSIMs  for Instant Activation: 

Recommended eSIMs for Those Who Need Korean Phone Number (010):

 

Check out more Trazy Blogs for Travel Essentials in Korea



Don’t forget to visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for all the latest, newest, and trendiest things to do in South Korea that will make your travel the best.

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