The European and American Versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Are Region Locked
International travelers who just purchased or plan to purchase the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be in for a rude shock. The European and American versions of the device are region locked. Folks from across the globe are getting their shiny new GNote3 and finding some version of the pictured stickers on their device. The American region locking applies to North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. We have no word yet on Canada.
For those who don't do much international traveling and/or don't understand what region locking means, here's a quick quote with an elegant explanation,
As you can see, this could be problematic for some users. It seems strange that Samsung would go this route with the device. At this time, there is no word on whether the GNote3's region locking is hardware based or software based. If it is software based, we have little doubt that some crafty developer or modder will eventually find a way to "break/fix" this issue.
This restriction means that the Galaxy Note 3 isn’t actually “unlocked”, at least not in the common acceptation of the word. You can’t use an American SIM card on a European Galaxy Note 3, and vice versa. Moreover, if you travel outside Europe or the Americas, you will have to use your home SIM and possibly incur roaming costs, because using a local SIM won’t be an option.
Buying a Galaxy Note 3 from outside your region is also problematic now, as you might not be able to use it on your local networks.