For those of you who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, you should by now realize that the device is region locked. Unlocking a device allows you to use another SIM* from another MNO while abroad for example.
Samsung’s introduced this feature to help reduce the instances where phones were being sold in the regions where the Note 3 wasn’t intended for. This isn’t actually limited to the Note 3 however, as we’ve noticed this affects other Samsung Galaxy models i.e. S3 and S4 among others – and maybe included for legacy devices when updating to new firmware and KitKat 4.4.x. So be extra aware when Samsung distributes these updates.
*I’m still a big fan of dual SIM phones. Hope to see this in Europe and US very soon. 🙂
Here are some simple methods on how to remove the Region Lock (relevant to all users unless stated otherwise):
- Make/receive a voice call (not Skype or third party app) for 5 minutes using the SIM that came with the phone – this will unlock the device permanently from the Region Lock system feature. You still have to visit a Samsung Service Center if you want the Note 3 unlocked – beware you might have to pay for this service 🙁
- Try Chainfire app RegionLock Away (download from the Play Store) – this removes the lock so you can use your device with SIM cards from unapproved regions **
- Alternatively, you might want to use an online code unlocking website to remove the Region and SIM lock. You will incur additional costs here though
- You might also want to disable firmware updates – in some instances these updates might enable the Region Lock again – therefore you might lose out on 4.3/4.4 updates unless rooted 🙁
**If you use RegionLock Away your Note 3 will have to be rooted. Current testing by us on our carrier network (MNO) with Vodafone and O2 here in the UK, proves the Region Lock Away app works with these networks.
Safe surfing folks!