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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.

see quote

Samsung Mobile UKVerified account
‏ @SamsungmobileUK
@bubblesmoney Unfortunately no, due to different bands used in connection and frequencies."
1313 Comments| 91 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 September 2013
Firstly i have to say that some of those giving this phone 1 star are wrong on the region locking issue. If you buy the N3 and use it first with a SIM from the same region then the region locking is released and you can use it anywhere in the world with any foreign SIM.

The phone itself is fantastic with a beautiful screen and so fast. I was hesitant to buy such a large phone but it doesn't seem that big compared to my previous S3. Photographs look wonderful on the large screen as do videos and movies. I haven't fully utilised the S Pen function but it looks like a useful addition. The phone has 32gb memory to start with and can easily be upgraded by another 64 gb with a micro SD card. So i've already loaded on all my music, pictures and a number of movies. Impossible to do with a HTC or iphone. Battery life so far seems good with 1-2 days before recharge.

My only disappointment was the omission of an FM radio so minus one star for that. A retrograde step Samsung.
77 Comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 October 2013
I bought a Note 1 2 years ago, and was really keen on getting a Note 3. However, given the high-handed lock policy of Samsung, which I don't agree with, I am holding of on buying one until they do something about it. As others have said, I intend to vote with my money, and withhold my purchase of any Samsung device until they resolve it. An INITIAL region lock for the region where I live, i.e. the UK, is acceptable to me. However, once I have activated my phone using a UK sim, I expect to be able to insert any sim card worldwide. My current understanding is that this is not possible. Given the premium price of this product, that is not acceptable to me.
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on 6 April 2014
I bought an EU phone fulfilled by Amazon (SkynetShopping) that turned out to be a grey import from Hong Kong. This means after Amazon's guarantee runs out, Samsung's two year guarantee does not apply to your phone. Possibly I could send it to Hong Kong (though where?) and hope for the best - though Samsung is not clear about this, so most likely I would be stuffed. Not good for a mobile this expensive.
What really bothers me is that if I hadn't checked the firmware I would be none the wiser. I come to Amazon to escape the Wild West that is eBay. Now I find that in a desperate bid to emulate the eBay model, Amazon are fulfilling products that are dubious, and possibly illegal (I'm sure HMRC would be interested in this practice). Either way, the customer loses out. This is duplicitous behaviour from the seller at the expense of the customer, and it's backed by Amazon. Unfortunately, I for one have now lost trust in the once mighty Amazon.
By the way, the phone itself is a five star phone, but this is a review on Amazon for Amazon and its customer service.
UPDATE: After giving it some thought, I've actually revised my rating from 1 to 3 stars, because although Amazon have slipped up in using suppliers that don't seem to give a damn about their customers, they still provide a great returns policy and warranty on the product for a year.
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on 13 December 2013
I am a more than satisfied Note 2 owner and was looking forward to increased screen size, performance enhancement & battery life as featured in many positive reviews.
Two things have stopped this

1)Region lock, I have to be fair that this is actually a method of combating grey imports, according to KWL here on Amazon.co.uk reviews here, (1st Nov 2103 Lost in translation (4* & 3rd most helpful review here), He outlines running the sim your phone is set,for a couple of day's to register it with Samsung, then you can run a sim of the area your visiting if you so desire (still a bit clunky & there are still rumors of people having to visit local Samsung service center's to unlock when this doesn't work!).

Then compare this with David Donksky review "Best phone down the drain by Samsung's greed" 2/10/2013 Amazon.com
"This phone could've been the best if only Samsung didn't apply their heinous SIM region lock on this phone (and also SGS4 that was manufactured after July 31st).

I recommend you avoid purchasing this phone unless you never plan to fly abroad.

This thread on the XDA Developers forum is filled with information about the situation:[...]
To sum it up:

- All unlocked phones come with a black-list of countries where it cannot be used (Most common black-listed countries are in the Middle East and Asia but some also include Europe, Australia, etc).
- It seems that all unlocked phones are working in the USA.
- At the moment of this review, it is possible to purchase an 'unlock code' from a shady Russian website for $25. How well and how long will this solution work is unknown."

I should not have to scratch around web blog's websites & comments taking on trust advice from people I do not know, no matter how well meaning & honest they are. This is Samsung's responsibility and such gross neglect to detail does not inspire confidence to the product or the customer support.
Samsung you only get one chance at a good first impression & on your expensive flagship, that is almost unforgivable!

2) Increased crapware/firmware that appear to cripple the very features that make my Note 2 a delight (S-Note for starters). The Note 2 was on the edge of acceptability for me. Real disappointment with the Camera's lag.

No I will not risk rooting it or look for workarounds (anything that voids the warranty is an issue for me considering my disappointing experience with other Samsung products from camera's to hard drives to TV's all coincidentally barely lasting more than 3 years life, (have yet to try their ships!)).
My time is valuable, so I can only declare the Note 3 for me, is not fit for purpose.
I think I will wait to see if Note 4 or 5 turns out now & the the life span of the Note 2!
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on 28 September 2013
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
33 Comments| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 November 2013
I feel I should re-iterate what some reviews have stated due to the astonishing number of negative reviews. The Galaxy Note 3 is not region locked; it merely requires that the first SIM used in the phone is from the same region in which the phone was purchased. After a period of around 3 days the Note 3 will accept SIMs from other regions. I fully expect that this practice will become an industry standard in the near future and hopefully we will see better communication to avoid misunderstanding. Given that this phone is incredible and in my opinion the best on the market at present it would be wise not to let the negative reviews here deter you from buying this phone.
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on 29 September 2013
Firstly The Sim Block, this is to stop people buying the phone in country's where the exchange rate makes it cheaper than buying it in the UK & from people in other country's buying the phones just to selling on ebay and other selling sites at a lower price than buying it in stores in the UK, because people are doing this Samsung has had to do this regain lock, a couple of people doing this has spoil it for the rest of us (always buy from from a retails store as Samsung do not fully cover your products if brought outside the EU)

Amazing phone got this a day early at the westfield shopping center, they have really gone to the next step of improving the good parts of the last to note and adding a whole new level on gadgets, this is the smarts bit of tec ive seen in a long time and thats not just in phone but any tec, would recommend this to anyone and i can guaranty you wouldn't be disapionted.. the price is worth paying

Get The Gear Aswell ... AMAZING
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 June 2014
I bought this for the big screen. Although its size attracts plenty of jokes, I thoroughly recommend the large screen and will never go back to a smaller one. It makes a much better experience.

It has a powerful specification and an excellent performance (as you would expect for the price). I don't disagree with the positive comments in other reviews but I will concentrate on a few irritations which others haven't mentioned. Maybe I have been unlucky with mine or maybe I am just fussy but I think they are worth raising.

Several times when I changed the data settings I received a message advising me to change something in the advanced settings menu. My phone does not have an advanced settings menu. This is absurd. I have been all the way through the settings menus several times and I can't believe the phone itself is asking me to go to a menu option which doesn't exist.

My phone randomly wiped my wifi passwords. I see online that a minority of people have suffered this and Samsung doesn't have a solution.

The other problems are small but poor design. They are connected with the password protection and you can avoid them by not using a password - so long as you don't mind the risk of someone getting hold of your personal data.

Samsung doesn't seem to understand that there are two different reasons for switching the screen off - for security and to stop the phone from activating in your pocket or bag. To prevent accidental use you want to lock the screen using swipe lock. But swipe lock provides no security and you can't use it if you use one of the more secure methods. You have to choose one or the other: either you have no security or you have the inconvenience of having to type in your pin or password every time you pick up the phone. It's not a massive inconvenience but it gets slightly annoying the 1,000th time since it would be so easy for Samsung to make it unnecessary (If anyone has a good solution to this I'd be delighted to hear it).

The phone also makes typing in the password more difficult than it has to be because, the moment you start typing the password, a message flashes up announcing the state of your connections. Unfortunately the message blocks part of the keyboard so you have to wait for it to go away. Again, not a big inconvenience but a simple design flaw.

The password lock triggers a set length of time after you don't touch the screen. I am amazed that nobody in Samsung realised that people sometimes use the phone without touching the screen, for example talking on the phone or listening to music. So in the middle of listening you want to change track or pause - you have to type in the password. That really is daft.

I don't know if these problems are Samsung's fault or Android's. I can only go by my experience. If you think I am being unfair or you don't have these problems, please post a comment. I am always happy to hear views even if they are different from mine.
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on 5 February 2014
I want to get this straight, I have not had many phones in my lifetime, my third phone ever was the Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone, and I thought that was damn good and it was compared to the Xperia play I tried out in every way obviously except games. Now I know many people who have got iPhones or Android, and iPhones are awesome because they are smooth there is no lag running multiple things together, with the battery life and again quality apps, plus the weight, and touch screen feel.

Now I looked at a variety of phones on the market and read plenty of reviews, I love the idea of long battery life, productivity and a quality experience filled with features not current on any other device and oh boy does this equate to what many people have said which is, that this may be the best phone overall at this moment, then again obviously it can't have all features, I liked some features of moto x etc.

The way it is, the screen, camera, stylus, accuracy, voice, apps, multi-tasking with multi window. I really want to show my appreciation to the Samsung, Amazon "for my delivery" got it within 2 days from ordering about a week ago or 8 days.

If you like to keep the standard 4.3 Jelly bean and like privacy also, you will be given a special implementation from Knox, it is a easy virtual space, where only apps Samsung have looked at thoroughly can be seen, take pictures? wont be seen in personal space, though can still share to social networking, by email, whatever. You have a master password, bring down the notification, enter master password, or pin and your in, click shortcut to go back or hold menu and switch between virtual space and normal, press lock button to lock secure area.

Flipboard looks absolutely stunning, which is some kind of integrated news app that you get by just swiping from bottom middle, and you get news you want, or defaults, share to social networking, save your own made magazine!

Extremely good for loading pdf, powerpoint documents, docs, this is the real deal, Also since having this phone, I'd say I have been throwing a lot at it and experienced no lag, turn on is super quick, come on people, I'm telling you, best phone around, also very light, much bigger than omnia 7 but much lighter!

Like the title says, it has made me really happy

Good luck, looking for a phone that suits your needs, let it be a smaller phone, or an iPhone to meet your individual needs.

Edit 1: Also you get 50GB of dropbox space for free for two years! and evernote premium for 3-monthss, Europe version
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