Samsung doesn’t usually release unlocked models of their flagship smartphones in Canada in spite of increasing demand for such devices from users who’d rather pay extra money for the flexibility and bloatware-free experience that only carrier-agnostic devices can deliver. The trend, unfortunately for a lot of Canadians, seems not to have changed with the launch of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in that country. So people buying either of the two latest smartphones from the South Korean manufacturer will still need go to their respective carriers to get their hands on the devices. Meaning, the three largest carriers in the country – Rogers, Telus and Bell – still get to call the shots when it comes to which software users get to use on their respective devices.
The one thing that may not be widely known to mainstream users around the country is that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge units sold across Canada start off as unlocked units, meaning, they’ll accept SIM cards from any carrier irrespective of who you’ve bought it from. However, there’s a catch. The moment a SIM is inserted for the first time, the devices lock onto that carrier’s network and installs the necessary software. Normally, once this happens, there’s no legal and easy way of getting back the phone to its unlocked state whereby users will be able to use any SIM from any carrier at any time – the way an unlocked device is supposed to work. However, unlike earlier when Canadians were almost entirely at the mercy of their carriers when it came to buying their Samsung smartphones, this time around the company is giving its customers an option to unlock their handsets even after activating them on a carrier.
For people buying the Galaxy S7 or the Galaxy S7 Edge from one of Samsung’s four experience stores in Toronto, Burnaby, Richmond or Edmonton, the company is throwing in two unlock codes that will get the phone back to its original state even after the initial activation. Along with that, Samsung is also including the customary Gear VR headsets, which are being given away free of cost to all Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge buyers worldwide. Additionally, Samsung is also including a 128 GB microSD card, now that Samsung’s flagship smartphones once again support expandable storage after an outcry over the lack of a microSD card slot on the company’s 2015 flagships. So if you’re in Canada and want to nab an unlockable Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, you can head over to the Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Metrotown Mall in Burnaby, the Richmond Centre Mall in Richmond or the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton to take advantage of the offer from Samsung.