Samsung Galaxy S5 is available worldwide from today in as many as 125 countries and the worst thing is the Android powered superphone is region locked.
Samsung started locking their smartphones for a specific county from Galaxy Note 3. This is done to curb grey imports that plague the smartphone market, the region lock became a nuisance for consumers who had imported or bought a Galaxy Note 3 outside of their home country or region, and as a result, there was a considerable outcry against it in the days following the Note 3′s launch worldwide.
Everyone were expecting Samsung would listen to consumers complaints from Note 3 and remove this unnecessary security feature, but that did not happen and to make things ever worse the company has actually made it even more complicated on its latest flagship Galaxy S5.
In Galaxy Note 3 a user had to turn on the phone with a local SIM for the first time and use it normally for five minutes before the lock was removed. On the Galaxy S5, the requirement has been increased – a user must now make phone calls for five minutes before, for example, a European Galaxy S5 will be unlocked for use in the U.S. or another region.
Here is the official warning message you will find on European Galaxy S5 box.
European Model: This product should be activated with a SIM card issued from a mobile operator within Europe. (as defined EU/EEA, Switzerland and the following Non-EEA countries Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M), Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia and Vatican City.) To use SIM cards from other regions, a cumulative call over five minutes must first be made with the SIM card from European operators.
This is done to make it harder for grey importers to get around the region lock, but it also makes things more difficult for consumers who will be paying their hard-earned cash to buy a Galaxy S5. Though Samsung consumer support can fix this issue free for you, still it will require a lot of useless efforts. For now it will be better not to buy a Galaxy S5 from other region.