Airalo vs Holafly: Which is a better eSIM?
This is our comparison of Airalo vs Holafly eSIMs.
I’m an avid traveler who happens to also be a remote worker, so internet connectivity is important to me. This is why I’ve researched both of these eSIM options to also help you determine what eSIM you should use for your next trip.
Both Airalo and Holafly are reputable eSIM providers. But Airalo has greater coverage, while Holafly offers unlimited data plans that not all eSIM providers have.
Let’s look into what makes each eSIM stand out.
When Airalo eSIM Might Be the Best Option For You
When comparing Airalo to Holafly, Airalo stands out as the superior choice for travelers seeking extensive global coverage. While both providers offer convenience through eSIMs, Airalo’s coverage spans 199 countries, whereas Holafly’s coverage is limited to around 120 destinations.
This broader reach ensures that Airalo is the go-to option for travelers with itchy feet, as it guarantees connectivity in more diverse and remote locations.
Additionally, Airalo offers competitive pricing in regions like Asia and North America, making it a cost-effective solution for travelers in those areas. Holafly, on the other hand, might be more suitable for travelers focused on specific regions where they have strong coverage. So, if you’re planning an extensive international adventure and require dependable connectivity wherever you roam, Airalo is your top pick.
When Holafly eSIM Might Be the Best Option For You
Holafly shines as the top choice for travelers seeking simplicity and convenience when staying connected during their journeys. While both Holafly and Airalo offer eSIM solutions, Holafly distinguishes itself by focusing on carefully curated regional plans, ensuring excellent coverage and service quality within those specific areas. This approach makes Holafly an ideal option for travelers who are planning trips predominantly within regions where Holafly has a strong presence, such as Europe, North America, or Asia.
The customer support available through WhatsApp is highly responsive and convenient, providing real-time assistance when you need it most. Holafly’s value is in its simplicity and focus on specific regions, making it an excellent choice for travelers looking for more localized connectivity solutions.
Airalo vs Holafly: How do they work?
eSIMs, or embedded SIM cards, work by providing travelers with a digital SIM card that can be downloaded onto their eSIM-compatible device, such as a smartphone or tablet. You can purchase eSIM plans from providers like Airalo or Holafly, choosing options based on their destination and connectivity needs.
Once purchased, you will receive a QR code or activation instructions, allowing you to remotely install the eSIM onto your device.
This process eliminates the need for physical SIM cards and enables access to mobile data, voice calls, and text messages while traveling abroad, making it a convenient and flexible solution for international connectivity.
Airalo boasts coverage in 199 countries, providing excellent global reach compared to Holafly’s 186 country coverage. Although I didn’t like how Airalo claims 200+ “countries and regions” when they’re short one country.
Nonetheless, Airalo clearly wins this round with more countries under its belt. It covers countries where Holafly cannot like Belize, Fiji, Faroe Islands, and even Afghanistan!
Let’s delve into a more detailed analysis of Airalo’s and Holafly’s pricing, considering the average data consumption of a remote worker, which is around 30GB per month for various online activities.
Airalo offers segmented plans with different data limits and durations. For a digital nomad with a monthly data requirement of approximately 30GB, here’s a breakdown of potential costs with Airalo:
- In the Asia region, a 30-day plan with 10GB of data costs $37. This plan can cover average data needs for a month.
- In the Europe region, a 30-day plan with 10GB of data costs $37, which can still cover average data needs for a month.
- For North America, a 30-day plan with 10GB of data costs $46, again covering average data needs for a month.
However, these plans have relatively low data limits and might not suffice for a digital nomad who relies heavily on data-intensive tasks. To address this, they might need to purchase additional plans throughout the month, increasing the overall cost.
Now, let’s compare this to Holafly’s unlimited data plans:
- In Asia, Holafly offers an unlimited data plan for 30 days at $79. While this plan is pricier than Airalo’s 10GB plan, it provides peace of mind with unlimited data for the entire month, which is ideal for a digital nomad with higher data consumption.
- In Europe, Holafly’s unlimited data plan for 30 days costs $64, offering excellent value for a month of uninterrupted connectivity.
- For North America, Holafly’s 30-day unlimited data plan is priced at $87, still competitive considering it includes unlimited data.
Holafly’s unlimited data plans simplify pricing and eliminate the need to constantly monitor data usage or purchase multiple plans. For a digital nomad, this can be a significant advantage in terms of cost predictability and convenience.
Moreover, Holafly offers various durations, allowing travelers to choose plans that match their specific trip lengths, further enhancing cost-effectiveness.
In summary, while Airalo provides flexibility in plan selection, a digital nomad with higher data requirements may find Holafly’s unlimited data plans more cost-effective, hassle-free, and suitable for their needs. However, the choice ultimately depends on individual travel destinations and data usage patterns.
When it comes to plan variety, Airalo caters to the wanderer who craves choices and flexibility, offering a wide range of global and regional plans with diverse inclusions. Whether you need data, voice, and SMS bundled together or just data for your internet cravings, Airalo’s got you covered.
Holafly, on the other hand, takes a more targeted approach, focusing on key regions frequented by travelers. Their strength lies in offering region-specific eSIM plans tailored to your destination. While they may not boast the same extensive global coverage as Airalo, they shine when it comes to the variety of plans within each region. From quick getaways to extended stays, Holafly’s plans come in different durations, ensuring you have the flexibility to choose what fits your travel agenda.
In this round, Airalo takes the win. Aside from having more country coverage, they also offer regional plans where Holafly does not. They also offer a global plan that most eSIM providers do not offer
Ease of Use
Getting set up with Airalo should be easy, although I experienced some snags during the installation. It took a couple of days to get it resolved with their customer support because of timezone differences. Nonetheless, the experience was okay once resolved. Connection can certainly be spotty in remote areas (I was in the middle of nowhere in Laos when I did this test), but if within city limits, connection was decent.
They also provide a well-designed mobile app that makes it easy to manage your plan and even top-up.
With Holafly, installation was easier. They offer straightforward instructions on their website for eSIM installation, ensuring that users can easily set up their eSIM on compatible devices.
However, you’ll need to purchase their eSIM from the website. This might be seen as a drawback for some users who prefer the convenience of an app-based experience. While Holafly has a dedicated app, it is only used to manage existing plans.
In terms of usage post-installation, experience with Holafly is a bit mixed.
I used Holafly in my recent trip to Canada – in some area in national parks of Québec I had no connection- however with my Italian provider the connection in the same area was Full-
Instead I recently use another e-sim Holafly in Japan and all was good –
However, I plan to use them again on future trips– Danila B., August 11, 2023 Trustpilot review
It seems like their vendor mix in some countries can be improved, especially in places with greater traffic like tourist spots.
Good service but bad product
The service was perfect. Had a problem and contact was easy made. Product itself is a bit misleading. Bought an eSim for Canada and that should work in „touristic locations“. Was only partly the case in Nova Scotia. Except from Halifax and Sydney signal was bad if any at all – in Inverness I had 4 days none.
Rogers (thats the carrier) has bad coverage of NS.
Bell or Telus would have been much better.– Alexander, August 13, 2023 Trustpilot review
In summary, both Airalo and Holafly have their own kinks to work out. Holafly’s installation process is easier to follow although Airalo’s mobile app adds more stickiness to it.
Tie 🤜 🤛
Airalo’s customer support appears to be a mixed bag, with some users expressing dissatisfaction due to slow response times, convoluted troubleshooting processes, and lack of clarity in their support interactions. This inconsistency in customer service could be a point of concern for travelers who rely on timely assistance to resolve eSIM-related issues. I personally had this problem right at the installation stage, so I can relate.
On the other hand, Holafly garners better feedback on its customer support. Most commented on the quick responses and effective solutions provided by Holafly’s support team, particularly through text communication. This responsiveness and willingness to assist users in a helpful manner contribute to a more positive overall customer experience.
While both eSIM providers may have their strengths and weaknesses, Holafly appears to excel in providing timely and efficient customer support, making it a more attractive choice for travelers who value prompt responses when on the road.
Holafly takes this round by a long shot.
Airalo stands out with several value-added features that enhance its appeal for travelers. Firstly, the Loyalty program is a notable perk. It’s a clever way to maximize the value of your mobile experience, offering rewards for your continued use of the service. Additionally, the inclusion of calls and SMS in their Global Plan can be a game-changer for travelers who need to stay connected beyond data.
The user-friendly Airalo app streamlines the entire process, from purchasing plans to managing your eSIM. Plus, the notification feature via email is a handy safeguard to ensure you don’t suddenly run out of data in an unfamiliar place. And if you’re looking for a comprehensive solution, Airalo’s Global Plan covers a wide range of countries, providing a hassle-free experience.
Now, let’s talk about Holafly. They’ve got their own set of traveler treats up their sleeve. Holafly knows that one size doesn’t fit all, so they offer regional plans, letting you pick and choose the perfect plan for your journey. No more overpaying for what you don’t need!
And here’s the golden nugget: customer support through WhatsApp. I really like this feature. Every traveler knows that WhatApp is the unofficial messaging app. No more navigating language barriers or waiting ages for support.
Here’s the downside though, there’s no such thing as data sharing with Holafly. The lack of hotspot capabilities is understandable though considering that they provide unlimited data.
Airalo just provides a better experience overall because of their value-add services, the only thing that needs improvement is their customer support but otherwise, they do most things well.
Overall Winner: Our recommendation
If you’re a frequent globetrotter seeking comprehensive global coverage and don’t mind the absence of unlimited data, Airalo is the better choice. In terms of reliability and coverage—the two most important things—Airalo has a clear edge over Holafly.
Airalo also have better plan variety and generally favourable reviews about their coverage. Although I have to note that their customer support gets a lot of flak, but the same goes for all eSIM providers I’ve reviewed except for Holafly.
Are there any hidden fees or unexpected charges from using eSIMs?
Both Airalo and Holafly are transparent about their pricing, and there are no upfront costs like activation fee or anything like that. Both also offer refunds in the event that their services did not perform as expected after substantial troubleshooting.
As for other unexpected charges, some users reported roaming fees from their home networks but this was due to incorrect eSIM installation. The lesson learned from there is to make sure you check that installation is done properly so you won’t get unexpected charges.
How reliable is the network coverage in different countries?
Airalo’s network coverage is reliable in most countries it covers. However, network quality can vary by location and provider. The same goes for Holafly although there’s more mixed reviews on their networks’ reliability.
Do eSIM plans include text and call?
This depends on the plan. For Airalo, only its global plan have these additional capabilities. Holafly, on the other hand, also have these included for on some of its regional plans like that for Europe.
Can I share cellular data with an eSIM card?
Yes, you can typically share cellular data with an eSIM card, but it depends on the specific eSIM provider and the plan you choose. Many eSIM providers offer data-sharing or tethering features, allowing you to use your eSIM’s cellular data connection as a hotspot to connect other devices, such as laptops or tablets, to the internet.
Important to note though that Holafly specifically do not allow tethering or data sharing because they offer unlimited data for set days.
How can I choose the best eSIM card for my trip?
There’s many factors to consider when selecting an eSIM. The essential things to look out for are coverage, data speed, plan variety, data limits, and price.
From there, you can consider other factors like customer support, ease of use, and value-add options.
Some popular value-add features include data sharing, app availability, non-expiring data, and even a money-back guarantee.
Which Is Cheaper: Airalo Or Holafly?
At first glance, Airalo seems to be cheaper. But if you’re a heavy data user, Holafly actually ends up offering more competitive prices for its eSIM plans compared to Airalo. However, it’s important to note that pricing can vary depending on the specific plan, destination, and data allowances you require. Both Airalo and Holafly offer a range of eSIM plans with different data limits and durations, so it’s advisable to compare the prices for your specific travel needs and destination to determine which one is more cost-effective for your situation.
What devices support eSIMs?
As of September 2023, the brands and models below are eSIM-compatible. Note though that this is not an exhaustive list and device compatibility may vary depending on the region and carrier.
APPLE: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone SE (2020), iPhone SE (2022), iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation), iPad (7th generation), iPad (8th generation), iPad (9th generation), iPad (10th generation), iPad Mini (5th generation), iPad Mini (6th generation)
SAMSUNG: Galaxy A54 5G, Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S22 5G, Galaxy S22+ 5G, Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S21 5G, Galaxy S21+ 5G, Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G, Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Flip 5, Galaxy Z Fold, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 5G, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
GOOGLE PIXEL: Pixel Fold, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7a, Pixel 7, Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Pixel 6, Pixel 5a, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3 & 3 XL, Pixel 3a & 3a XL
HUAWEI: Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro