When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 3 back in 2013, it was discovered that the phone came region-locked, meaning that if you bought the device through a grey market import, you’d have to find some way to get a SIM card from the country that it originated from, use it for a few minutes, and you’d be good to go.
This was a minor inconvenience but it was a way for Samsung to curb the number of grey market imports and to discourage the practice. Unfortunately it looks like with the Galaxy S5, Samsung has made things slightly more difficult. Not only will you require a SIM card from the country the phone originated from, but you would also be required to make a 5 minute phone call in order to bypass the lock.
This is according to a sticker found taped on the Galaxy S5’s box which reads, “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.”
For those who are planning on getting their model through grey market imports, we’re not sure where you might be able to get yourself a SIM card from the country it has been imported in. Then again with all this trouble, perhaps grey market importers might be discouraged from such practices, or at the very least prepare a SIM card for their customers to use in order to activate the device.