Yesterday we told you about the Galaxy Note 3 SIM limitations but we didn’t really got an answer – how can we unlock it?
ukmr site, a mobile review site, got two EU Note 3 devices and made two tests. In the first test, he inserted UAE SIM from the Middle East first. The device asked him for a SIM network code unlock. After that, he inserted UK SIM and the device worked. But when he put back the UAE SIM, he still had to unlock with a network PIN first.
In the second test, he inserted UK SIM first, and after the device booted up without any problems/restrictions, he inserted the UAE SIM card. And guess what? He didn’t need any unlock code!!
In order to make sure that this is a full unlock, he made hard reset. The unlock is permanent. The device didn’t require any unlock code.
Okay, but what really happans if I put a foreign SIM first?
In that case, the phone will be SIM locked, and you will have to purchase an unlock code to unlock it. Samsung has an ID for each country (for the Netherlands, it is 204), and it matches this ID with the ID on the SIM – if they match on first boot, the device is yours to use as you see fit; if not, it will be locked. Once you unlock it with the unlock code, you will be able to use any SIM of your choosing. Another option is to go to Samsung’s service center and ask to unlock it – for free!. As previously published, Samsung officially supports that.
If you don’t have time to go and wait there, you can purchase unlock code for $15-$25 and that’s it. According to ukmr, they have successfully unlocked the locked EU Note 3 with a code from puman.ru for $25.
Samsung published a new statement that explains well the situation:
In order to provide customers with the optimal mobile experience in each region including customer care services, Samsung has incorporated the ‘regional SIM lock’ feature into Galaxy Note 3 devices. The product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within the region identified on the sticker of the product package. When the device is activated with a SIM card issued from the other region, the device may be automatically locked until it is released at the dedicated service centre.
Once a device is activated normally, the regional SIM lock is automatically released. Users can enjoy the roaming service as usual and can use other region’s SIM card when travelling. The regional SIM lock has been applied to the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4 devices through a software update in selective markets. The regional SIM lock does NOT affect the device’s features and performance. Users can continue to enjoy all the advanced features of our products.
This statement shows that the unlock is simple, you just need to get a EU/US SIM first(depends on the device restrictions – US/EU) or get an unlock code – from the internet(extra charge) or from Samsung local service center(where you bought the device, for free). The unlock is permanent and there is no need to re-unlock once you unlock it.
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