Use a Sam­sung phone in any coun­try

Sam­sung phone won’t work in a dif­fer­ent coun­try? Marie Brewis shows how to re­move its re­gion lock

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

Sam­sung phones run­ning An­droid 4.3 or later, in­clud­ing the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, fea­ture a re­gion lock that the phone maker ap­plies with the in­tent of halt­ing grey mar­ket im­ports. This is sep­a­rate from car­rier- or SIM lock­ing, and means that when you first take it out the box you can use your hand­set only with a SIM card sold in ap­proved mar­kets. So what hap­pens when you need to use your phone abroad, and how do you re­move Sam­sung’s re­gion lock?

We should point out that this is noth­ing new, and has been go­ing on since July 2013. How­ever, read­ers are still hav­ing is­sues with the firm’s re­gion lock, par­tic­u­larly with its dual-SIM phones. To our knowl­edge Sam­sung does not re­gion-lock its dual-SIM phones, but even if it did you could use the ad­vice be­low to re­move the lock.

First off, the re­gion lock isn’t as scary as it sounds. Euro­pean Sam­sung smart­phones are re­gion-locked, but only to the UK and coun­tries within Europe (Aus­tria, Bel­gium, Bul­garia, Cyprus, Czech Repub­lic, Den­mark, Es­to­nia, Fin­land, France, Ger­many, Greece, Hun­gary, Ice­land, Ire­land, Italy, Latvia, Liecht­en­stein, Lithua­nia, Lux­em­bourg, Malta, Nether­lands, Nor­way, Por­tu­gal, Ro­ma­nia, Slo­vakia, Slove­nia, Spain, Swe­den, Switzer­land and Croa­tia), plus a few non-EU coun­tries (Al­ba­nia, An­dorra, Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina, For­mer Yu­goslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Ser­bia and Vat­i­can City).

If you’re go­ing any­where else, say the US, and you need to use your Sam­sung phone with a lo­cal SIM, you can de­ac­ti­vate the re­gion lock by first plac­ing (or re­ceiv­ing) a five-minute call within one of the ap­proved coun­tries.

The US ver­sion, in­ci­den­tally, is re­gion-locked to the North, South and Cen­tral Amer­i­cas and the Caribbean. To use it out­side those ar­eas you can re­move the re­gion lock­ing by first plac­ing (again, or re­ceiv­ing) a five-minute call within one of those ter­ri­to­ries.

Should you have any prob­lems re­mov­ing the re­gion lock Sam­sung can do it for you through one of its sup­port cen­tres. In the UK you can dis­cover your clos­est sup­port cen­tre by vis­it­ing tinyurl.com/h7ud­dkj.

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