The Note 3 is a wonderful device, but it does come with its share of problems and none is bigger than the so-called region lock “feature”.
There’s a lot of confusion about region locking: Samsung claims that, once you activate the phone with a SIM card from the region you bought it, you should be able to use it on any other network. But dozens of disgruntled Note 3 owners complain on forums that they can’t use their phones, despite following Samsung’s instructions.
If you’re in that situation, you can use Chainfire’s new app called RegionLock Away. As you might have guessed from the name, the app removes the lock from the Note 3 by emptying the blacklist of carriers that the phone can’t be used with.
RegionLock Away requires root access and the developer only tested it with the European version of the Galaxy Note 3, model number SM-N9005 (MI7 firmware).
If you’re unable or unwilling to root your device, other potential solutions are to call Samsung and hope for the best or to buy an unlock code from one of the specialized services online, for $20-$25.
Chainfire made RegionLock Away available as a paid app, available in the Play Store for $2.99, that you can buy to support the development. There’s a free version too, available from this XDA-Developers thread.