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Phone seems great BUT ALL THESE Samsung NOTE 3 are region locked
on 28 September 2013
Amazon needs to put a warning on all these sim free unlocked samsung galaxy note 3 phones being sold with a clear warning that THESE PHONES ARE REGION LOCKED EVEN IF YOU PAID AND BOUGHT A SUPPOSEDLY SIM FREE UNLOCKED PHONE. This phone will come with a sticker on the box clearly stating that it is region locked and will not work with other sims. THIS SHOULD CLEARLY BE STATED IN ALL ADVERTISING FOR THIS PHONE AND IN PRODUCT DESCRIPTION ON ALL LISTINGS (ALL COLOURS) FOR THIS PRODUCT.
Many buyers arent aware but I will discourage anyone asking me whether to buy this phone because of this region locking. Hence posted amazon review so that any prospective buyer thinking of buying this is aware of this issue and makes an informed choice. If people buy this even after knowing about this issue then its their choice. But many others might not want to buy because of this issue.
Phone seems great BUT PLEASE NOTE ALL THESE Samsung NOTE 3 are region locked meaning you cannot use your foreign sim in it if you are buying from outside the EU. You will need to go to a samsung centre to get it unlocked and have a local region activated please note they activate another local region and not a global region. It is atrocious for a company to even think of region locking a sim free phone bought at full price. They even region lock the phone bought at the official samsung store in London!! All phones bought in the EU, USA, South America seem to be affected. The exynos octcore version doesnt seem to be affected (asian version with lower specs), only snapdragon version is affected. Many websites like Clove (global sellers of various mobile phones) have stopped global sales of this phone consequently as per the website posts and selling to only EU customers with a warning about sim restrictions for this phone. See same warnings on some other independent sellers websites.
What does this mean?
This means that when you travel abroad and use a local sim you will get a sim lock pop up asking for code even when you bought a sim free phone and local carriers are asking for more money to unlock your already unlocked phone. This is wrongful selling of a locked product when there are locks on its use in various regions. Although some facebook and twitter samsung officials have said that first if you activate your phone in the region it is bought in and then use a foreign sim it will work. But many users have found it to be not true, see various posts on the links given by me where users who have followed that procedure have still been asked for unlock codes of their unsubsidised unlocked phones! If you put another region sim in first you will have to take it to a samsung centre to get it unlocked for use elsewhere or pay roaming charges on your EU sim and use it abroad with permanent restriction on foreign use of another sim card unless unlocked by local samsung centre.
Read this massive thread at XDA developers forum [...] for this phone discussing this problem where many have posted emails / tweets / facebook chats and facebook posts by various samsung officials and also read posts on ukmobilereview blog posts and several comments on two of the posts regarding this regional locking of even sim free (non subsidised phones) http://ukmobilereview.com/2013/09/galaxy-note-3-sim-restrictions-full-story-unlock/
Samsung UK confirming to me on twitter that phone is region locked and will be unable to use foreign sim. link with extract posted on the xda forums thread linked above.
Although some samsung facebook people have commented that once you put local sim (first sim in phone) then phone is unlocked globally, this is untrue as many users on xda and other websites like ukmobilereviews have mentioned in comments that their phones are still region locked and cant use foreign sim during travel and forced to use roaming data. If you put non region sim first time them phone gets locked needing visit to samsung centre to unlock. Carriers are asking for more money to unlock a phone sold as unlocked! Plus note xda forum posts by people in netherland that samsung help lines have told them that even if unlocked it will only work for 14days and then back to square one.
This is a business phone at the very high end of the market and they region lock a phone sold as supposedly unlocked phone. This uncalled for deceptive behavior restricting comsumer rights and forcing people to use roaming charges instead of local sim while travelling abroad. If you travel frequently or even otherwise then this phone will seriously affect due to higher phone bills with roaming charges for cals, messages and data due to the problems with regional locking.
Because Samsung regional locked this supposedly sim free unlocked phone, I am locking my wallet to any future Samsung phone till they stop this atrocious practise. Vote with your wallets!
please see the detailed discussion on the comments for my review for the black version of this phone where i have given many examples of people where people are having problems with phones getting locked see link for review of black version of this phone http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1JZ99ICG57AY3/ref=cm_cr_rev_detup_redir?_encoding=UTF8&asin=B00F0FVKRM&cdForum=Fx200MD0YVJ330I&cdPage=2&cdThread=Tx3E3U29EEI1A45&newContentID=Mx2OAOFLSYPZX7G&store=electronics#Mx2OAOFLSYPZX7G
see samsungUK official twitter channel tweeting a reply to me on the 26th sept 2013 on this link which might be deleted by amazon sometimes for reasons beyond my understanding. https://twitter.com/SamsungMobileUK/...73182561452032 Please see my query the previous day and their reply copied below. You can see the entire conversation on the link
my query to them on twitter
"bubblesmoney @bubblesmoney 25 Sep @SamsungmobileUK will the note 3 bought in the UK contract free work with sims from USA and asia while travelling. Please confirm sim block!"
and see that the reply is from the official samsungUK twitter channel. They clearly say other sims from outside region will not work.
Samsung Mobile UKVerified account
@bubblesmoney Unfortunately no, due to different bands used in connection and frequencies."