I have a Note 8 which I purchased about 6 months ago. It was a certified refurb, and honestly I was pretty content with it. Every other android phone I have ever purchased as "unlocked", has never had carrier apps installed on it. But somehow, my samsung, advertized as, "unlocked" installs an AT&T version of Samsung's OS when I insert my SIM. This confused me very much. So when I tried to insert a Verizon SIM, it accepted it, but a pop-up appeared, notifying me that I needed to restart my phone in order to use the different SIM. I couldn't just ignore the dialog box, because it didn't give me the option to.
So the phone is technically "unlocked", but it force-installs a different version of the OS and installs all of the bloatware for that carrier. What gives...?
I've done extensive research on this, and haven't found any definitive answers and it's really rubbing me the wrong way. The AT&T version of the OS disabled the ability for me to easily turn my mobile data on and off via the top control panel, that really has irritated me, and I can't figure out how to change it, even through developer mode.
On a side note: as of June 25th, 2019, I still am stuck on Android 8.0, yet I keep seeing articles claiming that Android 9.0 has been released for the Note 8, yet here I am, with no update. Checking for updates keeps sayig my phone is up to date. Another annoyance, and another growing reason to give up and purchase an iPhone.
Any insight is appreciated.
I already have (AT&T), and they confirmed it was unlocked and there was nothing I could do about it. I also read about this in few articles and forums, and found that this is a recurring issue with Samsung unlocked phones. Even though they are advertized as 'unlocked' they still install carrier apps when you insert a sim card.
I've tried this before, and I wasn't able to do anything. I think it's because of the Snapdragon chip? I read that qualcomm is much more protective about that sort of stuff.
I have used Odin on my phone countless times. When I was on AT&T I had to flash in order to get Wi-Fi calling to work. It was also the only way I could get updates. When I left AT&T I used Odin again to flash the unlocked firmware. Snapdragon here, no issues.
All (or nearly all) phones sold by a carrier have that carrier's software tweaks and bundled apps loaded into the core of the OS. When that device is unlocked, it allows SIM cards from other carriers to work with the phone, but it does nothing in regards to the software or OS. So your unlocked AT&T phone can use any SIM card, but it's still going to have AT&T's flavor of built in apps. You can remove and disable most of those bloatware apps, but sometimes there are things (like the missing Mobile Data button you mentioned) that simply unlocking your device doesn't help. For that, you would need to do as others suggested and flash the unlocked firmware via Odin. Good luck.