Top critical review
54 people found this helpful
Warning - phone is region locked
on 16 February 2014
Amazon says nothing about this in its details, but this phone arrived with a sticker on the box saying 'European Model: This product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe. (..list of countries...)' Amazon says the Note 3 is region locked, but has not yet noticed the S3. Under the comments on the Amazon site for the Note 3, there is some useful comment, and there is a lot more, generally very unhappy, to be found on the net. Basically, it seems that you need to 'activate' a new phone by fitting a European operator's SIM for the first time of using. Then the phone automatically unlocks, somehow, sometime. Samsung said on a German site that you need 5 minutes use to unlock it, but does not say how that is measured; one 5-minute call, five 1-minute calls, five minutes internet browsing,or what. Some users seem to be successful in unlocking the phone, some fail. Samsung needs to much much clearer on this - and so do Amazon. I have not yet tried another region's SIM.
Anyway, I have deducted 2 stars because of the region locking, and another because the phone is overpriced, given the region lock and its age. I see that the price has dropped in the few days since I paid £245 and is now £233, but that is still far too much. It should be under £200.
Another minor point. This phone accepts a micro-SIM, not the normal mini-SIM. I downloaded a conversion template, free, and used scissors to cut mine down. If I had been better prepared, I would have ordered a conversion clipper from Amazon in time to arrive with the phone. No complaint about this - just trying to be helpful to other users.