With all the chaos and anger surrounding Samsung’s decision to region-lock the Galaxy Note 3, and with confusing and vague explanations from the company itself, it was only a matter of time before someone actually tested things out to find out just what sort of devilry Samsung had cooked up. Well, the folks over at UK Mobile Review did exactly that, and the results are encouraging.
So, here’s the deal. The Galaxy Note 3 (and other Samsung smartphones that are region-locked) is capable of working with SIM cards from every part of the world. However, what’s important is the SIM card you first use when you set up the phone – if you turn on the handset for the first time with a SIM from the same region it was bought it, it will be automatically unlocked for use with any SIM in the world.
For example, if you bought your Note 3 in Netherlands, you’ll have to activate the phone/turn it on for the first time with a SIM issued by a European operator, after which you can travel anywhere and use a local SIM card without any issues. Similarly, if you buy it in the USA, you’ll have to turn it on for the first time with a SIM from any of the US carriers/network operator.
Now, what happens if you activate the phone for the first time with a foreign SIM inside? In that case, the phone will be SIM locked, and you’ll have to purchase an unlock code to unlock it. Once you unlock it with the unlock code, you’ll be able to use any SIM of your choosing. Another option to use a new Galaxy Note 3 in a foreign country is to get the device unlocked from a Samsung service center for free, though it remains to be seen if Samsung will be officially supporting this.
But if you’ve been going mad for the whole matter, you can now breathe a sigh of relief – the Galaxy Note 3 is still capable of roaming and making use of every mobile network there is on the globe, it just doesn’t want you to activate it for the first time with a SIM that was bought from foreign shores, so that Samsung can crack a whip on grey imports and money-hungry sellers. Not too bad, right?
Hit up the source link for full details on how the SIM locking mechanism works on the Galaxy Note 3.
P.S: If you’re planning to use the Note 3 without any SIM card inside, perhaps for use as a secondary device over a Wi-Fi connection (not sure why you’d do that, but still), there is no rule or requirement. Just buy the handset, turn it on without any SIM inside, and you’re good to go.