Samsung Galaxy Note 3 “region locked”

Galaxy Note 3 pinkAfter the first Samsung Galaxy Note 3 reached the hands of eager fans, one glaringky unwanted feature was spotted — the smartphone has region locked its SIM card.

This brought about a flurry of media reports on why Samsung would do such a thing and how this was a backward move, similar to the region locking of DVDs. Concerned users began lamenting that if this was the case, then they cannot swap in a local SIM card when they are travelling to another region.

But, UK Mobile Review has managed to ease nerves by testing this feature of the Galaxy Note 3. After first using a UK SIM card with the handset, the online media was able to use a UAE SIM card later. Seems that the trick is to use a SIM card from the region from which the smartphone is first purchased to activate the phone and then it can be used with SIM cards issued anywhere else.

Samsung’s official response to UK Mobile Review was:

“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.”