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useri6QuPpXVNm
Asteroid

Carrier Unlocked - still has carrier apps...

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.

9 REPLIES 9
Samsung Moderator
Samsung Moderator

Re: Carrier Unlocked - still has carrier apps...

I recommend reaching out to the carrier of the sim you are using regarding this.

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useri6QuPpXVNm
Asteroid

Re: Carrier Unlocked - still has carrier apps...

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.

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Wrssmithjr04
Constellation

There is one way I know of updating and that is to flash...

There is one way I know of updating and that is to flash the firmware file with oden or to root the phone with twrp and flash the unlocked stock rom.

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JimKar
Asteroid

Head over to XDA and find the unlocked firmware for your...

Head over to XDA and find the unlocked firmware for your specific model. Then flash using Odin.

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useri6QuPpXVNm
Asteroid

Re: Head over to XDA and find the unlocked firmware for your...

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.

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Samsung Moderator
Samsung Moderator

Re: Head over to XDA and find the unlocked firmware for your...

In addition, flashing your phone voids any warranties.

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JimKar
Asteroid

Keep in mind that if you are using any AT&T features like...

Keep in mind that if you are using any AT&T features like wifi calling, they may not work with the unlocked firmware.

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JimKar
Asteroid

I have used Odin on my phone countless times. When I was...

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.

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userxwHmLV8d5t
Constellation

All (or nearly all) phones sold by a carrier have that ca...

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.

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