Tips & Tricks

Region Lock SIM card only

How can you find out if your device has a Region Lock installed and active?

For the majority of cases, the phone’s box will have a sticker that says:

  • European SIM card only” or “European Model”
  • “American SIM card only” or “American Model”
  • “Middle-Easter SIM card only” or “Middle-Eastern Model” and so on where only the region variates.

Region Lock SIM card

The Region Lock is not similar to the Network Lock

Though some devices can have their Region Lock removed by code, we do not encourage you to choose the unlocking code method before placing or receiving the 5-minute call with the specified region SIM card inserted into the phone.

The Region Lock problem cannot be solved by unlocking service providers, but generally, implies a simple action that has to be taken by you.

A 5-minute call needs to be placed or received while, having inserted a SIM card from the region the phone is locked (America, Middle-East etc.)

Why are the manufacturers doing this? It is most likely an attempt to foil “gray” (unauthorized) phone importers and regulate sales over certain regions.


  • Hello, will I be able to unlock making the 5min phon call from my own country (and to my same country) but with the SIM card from the origin country or do I need to do the call in the country I bought the phone?

  • hi rica will factory resetting the phone undo this region unlock. i want to give it as a gift for my uncle.

  • Hi my mobile is Samsung A8 and I bought it in u.k it’s unlocked but I tried to use it in Africa it keeps asking for network unlock code. If I use a u.k sim and made a call for 5 minuets, I won’t be asked for network unlock code again?

    • Did you purchase your phone from a carrier or from a mobile phone store? If it’s from a carrier, it might still be network/region locked. You can have it verified from your nearest Samsung Service Center if it’s really unlocked. If it’s unlocked, proceed with the 5 minute call. If it’s locked, please visit this page to see if your phone qualifies for unlocking.

    • Is it possible to obtain the region sim card in another country? what number are we to dial with the region sim, and what others steps follow. thanks

  • I just bought a phone in the UK that said it’s region locked on the box. I put in my T-Mobile USA SIM while still in the UK and it seems to be working. Does this mean my phone will continue to work when I get back to the US, or do I need to make a 5 minute call still?

    • Hi Jasmine, I think it’s still best to make that 5 minute call so it disables that regional lock. Some users also suggest to make sure that your phone is connected to wifi, and LTE/4G.

  • I bought samsung galaxy a6 couple of days before in portugal. “European Sim Card Only” was written on its seal. I made 5 minutes call many times with the european sim card ‘MEO’.
    but when I checked another company sim ‘LYCAMOBILE’ which is at proper condition, It says no sim card inserted . Is there any other ways to unlock it ? Please suggest me.

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