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Samsung confirms region lock on Galaxy Note 3 [update]

Sterling Keys

Despite having an “unlocked” version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 available for purchase, it seems that unlocked has a new definition according to Samsung. Latest reports indicate that unlocked Galaxy Note 3s will still be region-locked, indicating that North American SIM cards won’t work in the European Galaxy Note 3 and vice-versa.

Planning on bringing your new "unlocked" Galaxy Note 3 with you on your travels? Might want to pay attention. © Samsung

This little tid-bit was first indicated by British online retailer, Clove, who said the following in a statement:

“If you travel internationally (outside Europe) and usually insert a local SIM card when in those countries, the Note 3 will NOT be able to use the local network. It will lose all mobile connectivity with the exception of emergency calls.

“For example, if you travel to the USA and insert a SIM card issued in the USA, you will not be able to use the Note 3 for any voice calls, text messages and mobile data connection. It will work via a WiFi connectivity only.”

David Meyers, over the, has received confirmation via Samsung Germany but any more details on the reason behind region-locking the device is still pure speculation. Despite supporting GSM in the Note 3, it seems that anyone who was looking at bringing the device with them on their travels and just slipping in a compatible local SIM card are out of luck.

A nice warning sticker that comes along with your new Galaxy Note 3 purchase. / ©

As such, the definition of unlocked seems to have lost it’s pizazz with Samsung. The Galaxy Note 3 now joins the rank of other similarly despised region locked products, such as DVDs and video games. If you’re looking at bringing your Galaxy Note 3 abroad, even if it is marked as unlocked, be prepared to go WiFi only or pay extra out of your pocket for roaming charges. 

[Update 26.09.2013]

And as more information comes to light, it seems that there has been a misunderstanding. As such, the notes refer to being able to bring your unlocked device into other regions, but rather that the initial activation must occur in a particular region. This means that unlocked Galaxy Note 3 devices intended for the European market devices can be activated only with a SIM card from that region. After initial activation and commissioning, everything is as usual, you can use a SIM card from any region.

And now, we wait for an official confirmation from Samsung. (Via All about Samsung )

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  • H.T Sep 26, 2013 Link

    Bad boy Samsung... :-\

  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Sep 26, 2013 Link

    well ,not really. on German APit we got an Update where there was a misunderstanding and says that the phone has to be ACTIVATED there.

  • Jack Strauss Sep 27, 2013 Link

    I was planning on getting either the Note 3 or the Nexus 5. You can bet if this nonsense is perpetrated on the US model as well, it's not going to be the Note 3. The whole point of going with GSM is to be able to swap SIMs for lower cost ones instead of paying for roaming. Samsung can kiss my butt if they think I'm going to reward them for trying to start this dangerous trend.

  • David H. Sep 28, 2013 Link

    Hmm, so the whole article was a bunch of alarmist baloney with no factual information. Good job!

  • Amy R. Sep 28, 2013 Link

    That's a load of garbage! I really feel for what Jack said earlier. If this becomes a future trend for Samsung in the US as well, you won't see me getting another one of their devices. Too risky. I was saving my money for a Note 3. I'll spend my money else where.

  • prince vj Oct 21, 2013 Link

    Even you can get a locked galaxy note unlocked at cheap cost from any vendors online like .coz unlocked phones will cost fortunes it will end up in paying a couple of hundreds of dollars

  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Oct 21, 2013 Link

    we are talking about the Note 3 the S4 the Note 2 and many future Sasmung phones...