huh..? posted by

DO NOT BUY the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 because it is region locked just like a DVD [Updated]


In one of the most incredibly stupid moves of any manufacturer in recent years, it appears that Samsung has integrated region locking on their new line of Galaxy Note 3 mobile phones. Yes that’s right, they have locked the handset so if you travel outside of your region (i.e. USA, Europe, Asia etc) you will NOT be able to use a local SIM card to make cheaper calls and save on roaming. [Update: Gigaom reports on a follow up from Samsung Germany which poses as many questions as it answers. Something still fishy about this.]

To say this is incredibly dumb is an understatement, but we will just say right now, that if this is the case, we absolutely advise you NOT TO BUY this phone – or any other handset from any manufacturer – which comes out with this feature installed.

Thankfully there are plenty of great alternatives out in the market, so no-one should have to bow down to this sort of nasty tactic, which will ensure that your phone and data costs will be hugely more expensive when you travel than they should be. Apparently the phone locks you out of the networks completely except for emergency calls, which is disgusting.

So vote with your wallets folks, and stay away from Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phones (and maybe future Samsung products, who knows) until this issue goes away or the company does. [Via Gigaom]


  • Misleading article. The lock only applies to activation, once you’ve activated the phone you can use it anywhere. In addition, a Samsung service partner will unlock the phone for free if you’ve already brought it to a different region before activating.

    • You know, every time a company introduces an anti-customer feature (like activation for Windows or some copy protection mechanism) and they’re called out on it, some folks come back with the answer along the lines of ‘so what, it’s really easy to get round’. But if that’s the case, why is the feature there in the first place? The point is mobile phones are designed to be globally functional, hence the GSM standard, and if any company goes against that rule they deserve to be boycotted. Our advice remains – do NOT buy this or any other product which has this lockdown.

    • How about saying that about the iPhone
      they lock there phones ;)

    • How about saying that about the iPhone
      they lock there phones ;)

    • Ahh…but with Apple, you already know it’s a locked and proprietary platform. Android is supposed to be the opposite, open and with limited hardward locks. Subtle difference maybe?

  • One of the things I like about redferret is that you don’t blindly pander to the manufacturers/inventors/whatever of the items you tell us about.
    Others often seem to simply regurgitate the press handouts.
    Please keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the kind words, we do try. :)

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