Last week, everyone who heard about the news that Samsung’s new phones are region-locked made a lot of noise online – and quite understandably so! Do you remember those days of DVDs being region-locked? It’s not like we’re totally free of georetardation, but the mere idea of not being able to use a local SIM when you go abroad, and instead having to pay exorbitant roaming charges, is likely to give anyone a case of high blood pressure.
So as these things go, the news spread rapidly: If you buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, expect it to be region locked. Say hello to phone bills with roaming charges that will set you off.
Then, almost just as quickly, Samsung set the “rumors” straight.
Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is region locked. Additionally, Samsung phones manufactured after July are also affected by this. That includes models such as the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III.
That’s the “bad” news. The good news is that this region lock applies only to the first time the phone is activated.
Basically, the first time you turn your phone on, you have to activate it using a SIM card that is from the region where your phone was bought. After that, you can insert any SIM card from any country, and the phone will work.
This is clearly a case of partial truths getting out too fast, spreading too quickly, initiating some sort of panic. All’s well that ends well, I want to say, but I am not totally sure that it’s the end of the story, as there have been reports of Samsung phones not working with a foreign SIM card even after the initial activation.
I guess I can go Apple fangirl on you all and say just buy an iPhone, but I won’t do that. There are options anyway, such as using another phone for roaming. That, or having a Samsung partner unlock your new phone.
[Image via Android Top News]