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Samsung Answers Back about Region-Locking the Galaxy Note 3

September 27, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Yesterday, quite a few people were upset when they found out that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was region locked. Well it’s not as big of a deal as you thought it was. Basically if you buy a US unlocked Galaxy Note 3, you can’t take it to Europe and activate a SIM card in there. If you buy a US unlocked Galaxy Note 3, you need to activate it initially with a SIM card from the US. Like AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. Afterwards, if you are planning to go to another country, you can still roam with the device. We’ll explain more in a second. So it’s not as bad as we all feared. However, Samsung’s press team could have done a better job with explaining it.

The explanation from Samsung should certainly make some people happy. Especially those that really wanted to buy the Galaxy Note 3, and then found it was region locked. Although, there is a report over on XDA from a customer who bought a Galaxy Note 3 in Sweden and was unable to get it to work with a Thai SIM card, so it may not be all good news and may not be completely over yet.

So how is this system supposed to work? Well according to Samsung’s German reps: let’s say you buy the device in Germany and want to take it with you on a trip to the US. If you active ti for the first time using a German SIM card, you’re all set. But if you want to activate it for the first time with a US SIM card, you will have to find a Samsung service partner to unlock it for you. It seems pretty weird and even odd.

Yes we know that Samsung’s PR could have done a better job at handling this. But the way I see it is “hey we’re all humans, and we all make mistakes.” So as far as we know, those that do leave the country often, will still be able to use the Galaxy Note 3 outside of the US. So go ahead and pick one up, just be sure to activate it here first.