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Samsung Regional SIM Lock

(Topic created: 03-31-2023 11:57 PM)
lavender_purple
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Galaxy S23

Good afternoon, dear respective Samsung Community members!

 

I would like to inquire about very important topic of Samsung Region SIM lock problem.

 

As far as I know it’s a special SIM lock mechanism by Samsung  to prevent import of unofficial batches of devices which is not designated for specific market.

 

For example if I would like to purchase the Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro from Germany at Samsung official site and would order it via mail-forwarder service to Kazakhstan. And if I would not ask the mail-forwarder service to open box, insert European Union SIM card and make domestic EU call of 5 minutes, my Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro would not work with Kazakhstan or any other SIM card even despite the fact that device the Samsung Germany department sells are not carrier locked and marked as Unlocked device.

 

I contacted with Samsung Germany Department and they answered me that even if device is not carrier locked and unlocked device it is mandatory on the first boot to insert EU SIM card and make domestic EU call of 5 minutes. Otherwise if I order that device via mail-forwarder office to Kazakhstan without doing this procedure before, the Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro would not work with Kazakhstan SIM card even if it’s marked as unlocked and not carrier locked.

 

Is it indeed true, as I remember that in 2015, 2016 the European Samsung Galaxy S6/S7 series had a giant sticker on the box stating that EU SIM card is required. But nowadays the fresh devices like S21/S22 series does not have such stickers on any market. And I researched that some customers who bought these fresh devices and not made such procedure got their devices with regional SIM lock.

 

Is there are any official Samsung online service which would tell by IMEI would be regional SIM lock procedure invoked?

 

I done further researches over the internet and found out that Indian, Vietnam intended Samsung Galaxy devices are also require to do such procedure.

 

It’s very strange as in January 2018 I was in United Arab Emirates, Dubai and come to official Samsung store at Dubai Mall and purchased there brand new, unlocked, not carrier locked Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. I did not opened the boxes at UAE and opened it at Kazakhstan and inserted Kazakhstan SIM card and devices are working well, even Samsung Pay works fine, devices works fine with no limitations. In January 2019 I also bought Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at official store at UAE, Dubai Mall and again opened the box in Kazakhstan with first insertion of Kazakhstan SIM card, again no any limitations.

 

Why European Samsung Galaxy devices even if they are unlocked and are not carrier locked are requiring to do preliminary procedure of insertion of EU SIM card and making call of 5 minute to unlock usage of any other SIM cards and why UAE devices are not requiring such procedure? As UAE is a Middle East and Kazakhstan are different market which is Central Asia.

 

So question I asking is, as United Kingdom is no more in EU, would I be able to order the Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro from UK official site via mail-forwarder to Kazakhstan and make first boot with Kazakhstan SIM card and in Kazakhstan, or the SIM region lock would be invoked?

 

Another question is, at the official site of Samsung , The United States of America department there is available Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro and again there is exist an option of Unlocked non carrier locked device. It’s written Unlocked by Samsung. If I order it to Kazakhstan via mail-forwarding service and do the first boot in Kazakhstan with Kazakhstan SIM card, would be SIM region lock be invoked? Would other features working as Samsung Pay NFC?

 

I would be highly grateful for clarification of this important topic!

 

Thank you in advance for your reply!

 

Sincerely

 

With my best regards and wishes!

1 Solution


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Galaxy S23
Unfortunately, for US S23 and later devices, Samsung strictly enforces the region locking, making a MAJOR change to the way foreign SIM cards are handled. All foreign SIM cards (as well as eSIMs) are completely blocked from use after having limited support for 10 years. However, most MVNOs and international roaming plans will continue to work.

If you buy an unlocked device in the US, it will still be region locked for use with US/PR/USVI SIM cards only, as shown in the attached image. Making phone calls in the US won't unlock it for use with foreign SIM cards issued, no matter the duration.Screenshot_20230228_140844_YouTube_1000014504_1677622125.png

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Galaxy S23
Unfortunately, for US S23 and later devices, Samsung strictly enforces the region locking, making a MAJOR change to the way foreign SIM cards are handled. All foreign SIM cards (as well as eSIMs) are completely blocked from use after having limited support for 10 years. However, most MVNOs and international roaming plans will continue to work.

If you buy an unlocked device in the US, it will still be region locked for use with US/PR/USVI SIM cards only, as shown in the attached image. Making phone calls in the US won't unlock it for use with foreign SIM cards issued, no matter the duration.Screenshot_20230228_140844_YouTube_1000014504_1677622125.png
lavender_purple
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Galaxy S23

Thank you for sharing your information with me! I appreciate it.

 

So could you please say if I try to buy this Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro from official Samsung USA web store.

 

There it is written that it is "Unlocked by Samsung", and following features are listed:

 

"Unlocked by Samsung gives you the freedom to switch carriers any time, and so much more."
 
"Connect to any compatibleᵞ carrier, anywhere"
"Choose from more phone colors"
"Exclusive Unlocked programs give you more ways to save"
 
Would it be still SIM regional locked for USA celluar carriers, despite that such bold unlocked features are listed and advertised? I am planning to order it via mail forwarding service and make final unpacking on it's arrival at Kazakhstan with first boot with Kazakhstan SIM card.
 
So in that my case I would end up with SIM regional blocked phone?
 
No one really can answer that question with which I am struggling right now.
 
I tried to chat with representatives of USA department of Samsung but they said to me either write to community forum here or to call technical department, I can't call technical department as overseas calling for me quite expensive due to tariffs of my local calling service provider.
 
How can I write directly to Samsung to get 100% information as if I will try to order it at Kazakhstan using mail forwarding service I am risking to get SIM region blocked phone which I would not be able to use or resell and risking to loose funds.
 
 
You have said that Samsung from S23 series have imposed that strict limitations even on USA unlocked phones? But what if for example we are talking about a customer who is the resident of the United States of America he decided to buy Samsung Unlocked phone from Samsung official USA web store in order to have freedom of celluar provider change and ability to use Pay as you go payment scheme. Suppose he used this phone with some time while he in USA with his USA SIM card, but one day he decides to go for a vacation or for study or for business trip overseas, on arrival to overseas country he did not want to use the roaming service of his USA SIM card due to huge tariffs and due to his long term stay at overseas he would decide on arrival to purchase tourist SIM card or local SIM card to use Pay as you go feature, so he would not able to use his Samsung phone and not able to use local SIM card?
 
Is he need to buy temporarily phone which he need to buy on arrival to use local SIM card?
 
Am I understanding this correctly?
 
Thank you in advance for your reply!

 

 
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Galaxy S23
Correction: The strict region locking measures only apply to the U/U1 variants of the Galaxy S23 and later devices. Models like the Galaxy S22, Fold 4, Flip 4, and XCover 6 Pro are NOT affected, as well as other variants.
(When we refer to region locking measures, we're talking about the local SIM card compatibility, as shown in the two screenshots.)photo_2022-03-14_15-22-25_198787_1661832915.jpgBaneB_0-1663855597207_1000015140_1680463694.png
lavender_purple
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Galaxy S23

I much appreciate and grateful to your expert knowledge and expertise in this problem. Thank you!

 

I want to lastly clarify all aspects.

 

So if I purchase directly from Samsung USA, Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro 6GB RAM/128 GB ROM Unlcoked option for Consumers in Black color, No trade-in, No Samsung Care + plan, and would pay with full one-time payment and I would order it on USA mail-forwarder address (mail-forwarder I previously used) and than I order from them final shipping to Kazakhstan. I would not ask them to open the box or do anything with phone and I would do the first unboxing and first boot with Kazakhstan SIM card once it would be delivered in Kazakhstan. I would have no problem with any SIM regional block? I would be even able to travel later to any country and free to use their local SIM cards with out any limitations even if than later I would visit USA? So no any restrictions? Am I understand all this clearly? Also ESIM would be also not locked?

 

I also want to purchase a tablet, same rugged design series, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro (6GB RAM, 128GB ROM, Unlocked, Black color, no trade in, No Samsung Care+ coverage, model code number: SM-T638UZKEN14 / SM-T638UZKEN14). I would use same shipment scheme with mail-forwarder to Kazakhstan and with first boot and launch with Kazakhstan SIM card in Kazakhstan. Case is that this tablet is in Business department of Samsung USA web store, there is no option of Consumer version like for XCover 6 Pro. But it still sells as Unlocked. Would it safe to buy? Or I would end up with regional lock in that case? This tablet I am inquiring about have 5G and therefore have one SIM slot, generally speaking it's a big phone with all abilities of the phone it has IMEI number it is possible to use SMS and MMS, make calls and use Internet. Would ESIM also work?

 

Thank you again for reply!

 

 
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Galaxy S23
If you're talking about the Tab Active 4 Pro, the cellular variant won't support Kazakh as a display language. Only the Wi-Fi variant will (SM-T630NZKEN20), as shown in the screenshots.

LANGUAGES FOR CELLULAR VARIANTS
• German
• English
• Spanish
• French
• Italian
• Portuguese
• Vietnamese
• Korean
• Chinese (Simplified)
• Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)
• Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong)
• JapaneseScreenshot_20230402_232452_Settings_1000015142_1680503092.pngScreenshot_20230402_232502_Settings_1000015143_1680503102.pngScreenshot_20230402_232513_Settings_1000015144_1680503113.pngScreenshot_20230402_232521_Settings_1000015145_1680503121.png
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Galaxy S23
The problem is: For the US market, why would Samsung restrict the number of display languages on cellular variants (XAA, ATT, TMB, VZW, etc.) when there are dozens of them on Wi-Fi variants (XAR)?!Screenshot_20230402_235949_Settings_1000015147_1680505191.pngScreenshot_20230402_234735_Samsung setup wizard_1000015146_1680504457.png
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Galaxy S23
Speaking about region locking, there won't be any problems. eSIMs will continue to work as normal. Just check with your local carrier to see if they support eSIMs.
Only the display language support is an issue (see the below reply).
lavender_purple
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Galaxy S23

Thank you very much for provided support and guidance!

 

I do not need presence of Kazakh language as my mother and native language is English language. I just need to be 100% sure that I am good to go to order both Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro USA Unlocked and Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro USA Unlocked devices through mail-forwarder and make first ever boot with Kazakhstan SIM card and physically in Kazakhstan. As I already received information from Samsung EU Support that all their devices they sold even those which are fully unlocked require first boot with installed EU SIM card and physically in Europe and making 5 minute outgoing domestic EU call as well, failure of doing this would lead to regional SIM lock, for example if I do this firstly in Kazakhstan with Kazakhstan SIM card on any Europe intended unlocked Samsung device I would end up with SIM regional lock.

 

 
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Galaxy S23
Had you gone for the S23 Ultra instead (SM-S918U1) and made 5-minute outgoing US calls, it would still be limited to US carriers only due to a hard region lock. I'm glad you made a smart choice.