Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ‘regional SIM lock’ situation not so bad after all


Yesterday we learned that Samsung would be implementing region specific SIM locks on future devices. Today, UK Mobile Review uncovered a way to avoid SIM locking with the Galaxy Note 3. The most important thing you need to do is activate the device with a SIM from the same region in which you bought the handset. After your Galaxy Note 3 is activated using the proper regional SIM, the ‘regional SIM lock’ will be removed, and it will be free to use on other carriers in other regions. If you activate your Galaxy Note 3 with a SIM not in the same region you bought your device, it will be locked down to that region and will not work elsewhere. For example, if you purchase the Galaxy Note 3 in the United States, you’ll have to activate it using a SIM card from a U.S. carrier in order to ensure your device remains unlocked and useable in other regions.

So what are your options if you have a foreign SIM? Well, you will have two options. The first is purchasing an unlock code for your specific country. After inputting the code for your country, the choice is yours as to which carrier you want to use. If you don’t want to do that, you can go to a Samsung service center and see if they will unlock it. Hit the break for the full statement from Samsung.

UK Mobile Review was able to reach out to Samsung and received the following statement:

“In order to provide customers with the optimal mobile experience in each region including customer care services, Samsung has incorporated the ‘regional SIM lock’ feature into Galaxy Note 3 devices. The product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within the region identified on the sticker of the product package. When the device is activated with a SIM card issued from the other region, the device may be automatically locked until it is released at the dedicated service centre.

Once a device is activated normally, the regional SIM lock is automatically released. Users can enjoy the roaming service as usual and can use other region’s SIM card when travelling. The regional SIM lock has been applied to the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4 devices through a software update in selective markets. The regional SIM lock does NOT affect the device’s features and performance. Users can continue to enjoy all the advanced features of our products.”

Sources: UK Mobile Review (1), (2)
Via: SamMobile

About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.

  • wayne

    This is still a bad decision by Samsung, consumers do not want extra hoops to jump through just to have their device perfom normally. Here in Australia the grey import market is fairly large, the average consumer does not even realise when buying a grey import that the product is coming from overseas nor do they care, the first time they go to use their device with a foreign sim and cannot I can almost guarantee they will vow to not purchase Samsung again.

  • simpleas

    That’s what I’ve been saying…

  • Onweel2

    Hi (sorry for my English)

    I buy the note 3 from studenmobile . nl it is Netherland webshop for phone

    I use the Dutch sim card (Vadafone, Tele2, T-mobile) for calling chatting internet.

    As i read a lot of news about this. I should can now just put Thai sim card in it already. But it not working it still ned a clod for unlock the sim.

    I try all the Thai Sim card i have…. AIS, True Companay, DTAC. None of it working.

    I also call to Samsung support in Netherland. Samsung Service – en Informatielijn
    Tel: 0900-SAMSUNG (0900-7267864) (10 c/m)

    I get 3 different answer.
    First one She only say just follow what the box say if you have problem with it just change the phone within 7 day.

    Second one say.. I just go to the any simlock free shop for ask for helping. But the phone will only working a about 14 Day in Thailand if i make it a simlock free and use Thai Simcard. Or if i want to use longer i have to ask from Thai provider.

    Third one. She not even know what I’m talking about. I mean she not know about this model. When i say Galaxy note 3,she not know., SN-N9005 she not know. I have to told her the serial number and many thing before she know that this model is available.

    From the all answer I get. It seem like they not aware this problem yet in Nederland. Or they not being train yet what they have to do. Or they being trail only say do what the box say if you do not want it just return and buy something else.

    I also go to Samsung Service Center (Maastricht) that in the Vadafone shop . First thing i feel is they not welcome me as I am a customer because I did not but the phone from them. What they only say just try to call to where i buy this phone. So what the point to be a Samsung Service Center if you not help costumer who buy the Samsung phone.

    Now i think i have to wait till this thing be aware in Nederland.

    If someone also from NL whom have this phone. Do you have a same problem ?

    thank you for reading

  • paxmos

    I don’t care how good their product is. Samsung with stupid decisions as such!!!, not worth my money…freak you Stupid Samsung….Xpria ZL instead….

  • Deborah Reagan

    Their official statement is NOT true! I have a Galaxy Note II that was given to me as a replacement phone by my Dutch phone insurance company. I picked it up in The Hague on 31 October and and used my Vodafone NL sim card to activate it. No problems until I returned to Beijing and tried to use my China Unicom card. No joy at all. Three emails to Samsung and two live chat sessions later (all with the Netherlands support center) I still have a phone that is useless in China.

  • Eesha

    After AT&T refused to unlock my phone Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N 900A so that I can use it in Europe with a local SIM card, I tried to get an unlock code from a site that offered it for a lower price. Even though they said that they had it available for my phone’s IMSI, they weren’t able to provide it (they did refund my money). I decided to try safeunlockcode .com. Less than half an hour later, I had an unlock code for the phone and had the phone unlocked soon after that.