Be aware that the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM is out of stock (and has been for more than half a year). The eSIM is back for purchase AND is cheaper than before 🥳. The review may still mention that it is gone or something like that – ignore it. I will update it soon (currently on the road in the United States ✈️).
Singapore was the first Asian destination I visited solo (in 2016).
I went to the Philippines a year earlier, but that was a work trip (way before Phone Travel Wiz was a thing… but I was already into researching the best local SIM cards best then!).
And… I was in awe – I truly loved Singapore!
I felt the positive feelings I had when I entered the United States again.
While Singapore is not representative of what Southeast Asia stands/is known for, it ignited my love for East- and Southeast Asia (which is still strong to this day).
Since then, I have been to Singapore four times – I still love it, but it is not special anymore.
Mostly because it is a small city-state, and I have seen and done the must-see/do attractions already 🤣.
In January and March 2023, I revisited Singapore.
I mostly spent time testing 17 (new) SIM cards and eSIMs.
This resulted in me spending about 237 SGD (≈ 175.80 USD) for my Singapore SIM card and travel eSIM review series – yeah… I went all out for you 😎.
In the past, I used to say that Singapore has the best tourist/airport SIM cards in the world.
Mostly because you could get 100 GB of data for as little as 12 SGD (8.90 USD).
Then I went to Taiwan, where the mobile operators offer truly unlimited data… which outdoes 100 GB 🤣.
Unlike most mobile operators, Taiwan's definition of unlimited is genuine. I used 100 GB – 200 GB of data on some SIM cards, and my speeds were never throttled. Amazing!
But when you can get so much data for such little money, is it even worth using a travel eSIM like Airalo?
It can be because you do not have to deal with SIM card registration requirements (which are stringent).
One limitation to be aware of is that you can only have three active prepaid SIM cards in your name in Singapore.
For most… this is not an issue. But for some crazy people who wish to test four SIM cards… it could be 😏.
So, is the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM a good option (when it comes back)? Is it cheap compared to the local options and its travel eSIM competitors? How is its reception? And is it fast?
I will answer all those questions in this review. Let's do this.
Original publication: 10th of June 2023. Last updated: 19th of September 2023.
Table of Contents
Which Phones are Compatible with Airalo eSIMs?
Before discussing the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM to be used in Singapore specifically, you must know whether your phone can even support Airalo's eSIMs.
Sure, your phone may support eSIM, but the local mobile operator and travel eSIM provider, like Airalo, first needs to certify a phone before the users can use their products.
As of August 2023, the phones shown in the infographic below are compatible with Airalo eSIMs:
With that out of the way, let's talk more about the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM!
How Much Does the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM Cost (for Singapore)?
You can get the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM to be used in Singapore for as little as 7.50 USD for 1 GB (7 days) and up to 45 USD for 20 GB (30 days).
Below is an overview of how much each Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM costs:
- Singapore/Connect Lah! 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Singapore/Connect Lah! 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 6.50 USD
- Singapore/Connect Lah! 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 8.50 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Singapore/Connect Lah! 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 11.50 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Singapore/Connect Lah! 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 18 USD
- Singapore/Connect Lah! 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 26 USD
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in September based on data up to the 7th of September (2023 data only).
When this eSIM comes back eventually, I cannot promise the prices will be the same. But I will update the prices, if necessary, when they are live again.
Regardless of the currency used in your country, Airalo will always charge you in USD (US Dollar).
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.
Their fees are MUCH lower than banks and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).
I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.
Moreover, regardless of which Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM you choose, you can always top it up for the same amount of data and prices as listed above.
For example, suppose you buy the 5 GB Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM (30 days, costing 11.50 USD) but realize you need more data.
You can top it up with the 3 GB top-up (30 days, costing 8.50 USD) or the 20 GB top-up (30 days, costing 26 USD).
Many eSIM providers out there do not allow you to top up or extend the validity of your eSIM, so it is cool that Airalo allows you to do so.
My Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM in Singapore Experience
I used my Airalo Connect Lah! Singapore eSIM throughout Singapore.
As Singapore does not really have cities (in the sense of the Government of Singapore not using them for administrative purposes and only as geographical limits), I could not visit multiple ones as I tend to do.
Before we continue, I do want to let you know how travel eSIM providers like Airalo work.
It is impossible for Airalo, or any other mobile operator, to operate in every country (and do not trust any company saying otherwise), so they set up roaming agreements.
What Airalo does, and basically all (actual) mobile operators do, is partner up with a local mobile operator so that their customers can still stay connected when abroad.
In the case of Singapore, the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM uses the Singtel network because the eSIM is powered by Singtel directly (so your phone, some apps, or sites you visit may claim you are using a Singtel eSIM instead of an Airalo one – that is correct).
And note that the Airalo Connect Lah! and Airalo Asialink eSIMs are practically the same, although the Connect Lah! eSIM is geofenced for Singapore only.
The network may change from Singtel to another one when Connect Lah! eSIMs are sold again.
Anyway, just like how I tested the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM on my Singapore trip, I also tried all the local Singaporean SIM cards excluding the MVNOs (Singtel, StarHub, M1 Singapore & SIMBA Singapore (formerly TPG Telecom)) and various other eSIMs (Airalo (Airalo Asialink (in Singapore and various other Asian countries)) and Airalo Discover Global (in Singapore and worldwide)), Alosim, eSIM2FLY sold by SimOptions, Holafly, Mogo, Nomad, Nomad APAC (in Singapore and various other Asian countries), Nomad SEA-Oceania (in Singapore and various other Asian countries), Simify & Ubigi + the 3 (UK) Travel SIM Card by Holidaysimcard in Singapore Review (also used in Australia and Hong Kong)).
Yeah, I went all out 😏.
Because of this, I could also assess how Singtel performed compared to its competitors.
Well, not entirely. Singtel was the only mobile operator allowing prepaid customers to use its 5G NR network (if you get its 30 SGD or 50 SGD SIM cards).
When looking at 4G/LTE availability in Singapore, the four mobile operators cover practically all of the country (mostly because it is a small city-state), with an availability of more than 99.2%.
Surprisingly, Singtel is lacking in terms of 5G NR availability with an availability percentage of 29.1%, behind M1 Singapore (29.4%) and StarHub (32.2%).
In terms of speed, Singtel has the fastest download speed, with a median download speed of 119.66 Mbps, ahead of StarHub (85.88 Mbps), M1 Singapore (51.69 Mbps) & SIMBA Singapore (formerly TPG Telecom – 23.37 Mbps).
The same can be said about upload speeds, where Singtel is leading the pack (20.91 Mbps), followed by StarHub (16.34 Mbps), M1 Singapore (15.41 Mbps) & Simba Singapore (3.57 Mbps).
I did speed tests with the Speedtest app throughout Singapore.
For reference, I consider an average download speed of 25 Mbps and an average of 10 Mbps upload speed fast enough.
Preferably, download speeds should be 100 Mbps+ on 4G/LTE… but we are not there yet 🗿.
But why these averages?
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
So, that is why – but that does not mean that a download speed of less than 100 Mbps excited me 😏.
But Australia spoiled… everything slower than 300 Mbps is slow now 🤣.
Anyway, you will also see that some of the results are in two shades of red, green, underlined, or in italics.
Underlined results are on 5G NR, while results in italics are on 3G.
The green shows that the result was the fastest on the network at said location.
For example, the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM being the fastest among its competition at a mall.
While red shows that the result was the slowest on the network among its peers at the location.
Okay, that is enough background information – let's compare the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM to Singtel and other travel eSIMs in Singapore.
Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM in Singapore Speed Test Results
But I never found Singapore as crowded as Hong Kong for some reason (you struggle to walk on the pavement because there are so many people around – you will be pushed a few times (unintentionally) 😵💫).
Besides having the world's best airport, in my opinion, Singapore has a lot to offer.
Fantastic food, unique attractions (Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay & Supertree Grove) & even Universal Studios for those who are into that.
And there are many other things to do in the country.
But this is not a travel blog… I review SIM cards and eSIMs instead – you will have to find another blog for travel recommendations 😜.
Let's see how the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM performed throughout the country:
Blazing-fast speeds with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM!
Because many travel eSIMs I used in Singapore used the Singtel network too, I shared the results of the relevant eSIMs in the image above.
And you can see that the Airalo eSIMs (Connect Lah! and Asialink) were the best performers.
But… why is that?
Those two eSIMs are directly powered by Singtel itself.
Airalo buys data from Singtel (and other mobile operators in other regions), which can be used in various East- and Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore.
Meaning Airalo's eSIMs are practically rebranded Singtel eSIMs.
So they act and are treated as native eSIMs on the Singtel network (as if you were a Singtel prepaid or postpaid customer).
Back to the Airalo results, I had an average download speed of 99.42 Mbps and a median download speed of 57.50 Mbps with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM: it passed the 4K video streaming test in Singapore (minimum of 25 Mbps).
The same can also be said for the HD live streaming test in Singapore – the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM had an average upload speed of 24.08 and a median upload speed of 22.93 Mbps, making it pass the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
At the time of writing, no country-specific Airalo eSIM performed this well 🤩.
But honestly, I do not expect anything less in Singapore with its excellent telecommunications infrastructure 😏.
The result at Gardens by the Bay Station was extreme, with a download speed of 344.90 Mbps.
Surprisingly, Singtel itself performed worse than the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM over here (71.51 Mbps on 4G/LTE – not 5G NR like at other locations).
Three other locations had results faster than 200 Mbps (Bef Outram Flyover Bus Stop (209.72 Mbps), Blk 1 Bus Stop (205.34 Mbps) & Wisma Atria (208.17 Mbps).
The results at Marina Square and Gate E22 (Terminal 1) at Singapore Changi Airport also deserve an honorable mention because they were very close to hitting 200 Mbps too (199.96 Mbps for both… really!).
In fact, its result at Marina Square made it the fastest among the Singaporean SIM cards and travel eSIMs I tested at this location (yes, even faster than Singtel on 5G NR – 112.39 Mbps).
The result at D'hotel was interesting (5.36 Mbps).
Singtel and every other travel eSIM on the Singtel network were significantly faster (the second-slowest was 71.16 Mbps with Holafly on 5G NR).
While Singtel itself was clocking at 221.03 Mbps on 5G NR.
You cannot always be speedy, I guess 🐆.
When looking at upload speeds, there is not that much to say.
If the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM was slow, like at Marina Bay Sands Lobby (0.16 Mbps), other travel eSIMs on the Singtel network would be slow too.
But with an average of 24.08 Mbps, there is nothing to complain about.
If you wonder why the Nomad eSIMs (Singapore and SEA-Oceania) had such slow upload speeds, Singtel was experiencing issues that were affecting Nomad (JoyTelecom) users.I found this out after reporting it to Nomad, and they (together with JoyTelecom) investigated. As a result, you can also use the StarHub network with JoyTelecom-powered eSIMs in Singapore. You are welcome 😏.
My Overall Experience with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM in Singapore – Is It Any Good?
I would recommend the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM, and it would be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy a Singaporean travel eSIM.
At least… when it comes back again . it is back and I (still) recommend it!
Getting the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM, and any other Airalo eSIM for that matter, is easy and straightforward (even though I did not spend any time on how to install Airalo eSIMs – you will manage… promise!).
Airalo's Connect Lah! eSIM is also one of the more affordable eSIMs I tested on my trip while having various options (1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB & 20 GB)
In Singapore, it uses the Singtel network, which has practically excellent 4G/LTE availability.
The Airalo Asialink eSIM also uses the Singtel network.
Mostly because Airalo buys data from Singtel directly.
So they act treated as native eSIMs on the Singtel network (as if you were a Singtel prepaid or postpaid customer).
This is why I had such a pleasant experience with the Airalo Connect Lah! (and Asialink) eSIM in the country.
In fact, you will have the (second-)fastest network experience with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM (compared to other travel eSIMs I have used in Singapore).
There was only one Singaporean SIM card, Singtel, that was faster (because I bought the 5G NR-enabled SIM card, which the Airalo eSIMs did not have access to (yet)).
Taking all 20 speed tests into account, I had an average overall download speed of 99.42 Mbps and a median download speed of 57.50 Mbps with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 24.08 Mbps and a median upload speed of 22.93 Mbps with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM.
And honestly… I have nothing to add – the results speak for themselves, honestly.
I just hope they return – they are good eSIMs and very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers.
But the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIMs have been out of stock for over eight months (at the time of writing) due to… operational reasons.
And it seems like no proper progress is being made on getting them back.
In the meantime, comparable eSIMs for Singapore are Nomad (significantly cheaper than the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIMs used to be – and super popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers).
And the “unlimited” data plan eSIMs from Holafly (also very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers).
Anyway, by using a near-perfect 4G/LTE network, offering affordable data plans & offering super-fast download speeds, you should have a smooth browsing experience with the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM.
- Interested in using an Airalo eSIM in another country or countries? Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews from across the world!
Other Singaporean eSIM Reviews (Airalo, aloSIM, eSIM2FLY (SimOptions), Nomad, Simify & Ubigi)
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out (other) eSIMs from Airalo (Asialink and Discover Global), Alosim, eSIM2FLY (SimOptions), Holafly, Mogo, Nomad (Singapore, APAC & SEA-Oceania), Simify & Ubigi.
You should read those reviews too.
>>> Airalo Asialink eSIM in Singapore Review | Airalo Discover Global eSIM in Singapore Review | Alosim eSIM in Singapore Review | eSIM2FLY (SimOptions) in Singapore Review | Holafly eSIM in Singapore eSIM Review | Mogo eSIM in Singapore Review | Nomad APAC eSIM in Singapore Review | Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Singapore Review | Simify eSIM in Singapore eSIM Review | Ubigi eSIM in Singapore Review <<<
- Check out my eSIM reviews page if you want to read all the other eSIM reviews I have written, including other eSIM providers in Asia.
I also tried out various local Singaporean cards: Singtel, StarHub, M1 Singapore & Simba Singapore (formerly TPG Telecom) + 3 UK Travel SIM Card (from Holidaysimcard).
If your phone does not support eSIM (but felt like reading this Nomad review in full anyway – awesome) or want to have the best network experience possible, you want to go directly with the local mobile operators instead of roaming on their networks (as you do with travel eSIMs).
So I encourage you to read the Singaporean SIM card reviews too.
Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other Asian SIM cards.
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