Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 first introduced region-locking to the company’s Android smartphones. Presumably, it was meant to deter grey imports from flooding a different market. Interestingly, the region-lock mechanism itself is pretty simple to overcome permanently: users need only activate the device with a local SIM card (the one that’s from the region the Note 3 is shipped from), and you can then use any SIM card on the device.
The new Galaxy S5, however, introduces a more difficult region-lock mechanism – though you can still deactivate it.
The Samsung Galaxy S5, which is available in Malaysia from last Friday, features a slightly modified region-locking mechanism compared to the Note 3’s. A Galaxy S5 shipped for the European market, for example, would only accept SIM cards from that region. Inserting a SIM card from different countries with a fresh (brand new) Galaxy S5 would lock the device, and can only be unlocked at a local Samsung service centre.
As with the Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy S5’s region-lock can be permanently deactivated. But, this time around it is a little more complicated. To completely deactivate region-locking on the Galaxy S5, users would need to not only insert a local SIM card when first using it, but also accumulate five minutes worth of calls on that SIM card before it is unlocked.
Hence, those looking to nab a Galaxy S5 on the cheap via your preferred AP seller beware. Make sure you check if the device has been unlocked before you make the purchase, or you may be in for quite a ride if you insert your local SIM card into your new parallel import Galaxy S5.
(Source: Android Central)