Is the Galaxy S8 with the retail price unlocked for any carrier (also for outside of Canada)?

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Yoav Slama

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Posted 1 year ago

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Goran, Mobile Master

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No. Only Pixel phones come unlocked when bought from a carrier. You can get an unlock code from a third party for relatively cheap though so you can use it anywhere. I personally prefer to browse eBay because of a large selection and feedback.
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Timo Tuokkola, Mobile Master

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Nexus phones are unlocked too, assuming you can still find them.
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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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Also keep in mind that you have to be a koodo customer to purchase a phone from Koodo even if you pay full price.
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Yoav Slama

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Alright great, thanks for your quick replies!
(Edited)
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titaniumtux

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Galaxy S8 will definitely be carrier-locked to Telus/Koodo/Public Mobile.

Best option for unlocking will likely be calling Samsung directly. YMMV, but a colleague of mine got his Galaxy S7E unlock code for $10 directly from Samsung.

Otherwise, ebay Samsung unlock codes generally range $7-14. If you pay more, you're wasting money.

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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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Never heard of getting an Android phone unlock code from the manufacturer, do you have the number to call titanium tux?
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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I have also never heard of a manufacturer releasing an unlock code directly to a consumer. They wouldn't do it for me even when they mistakenly sent me a phone locked to a different provider after repair (which led to a public Twitter exchange that resulted in me getting some free gear as an apology for the number of times I had to ship back the phone - and they still took back the phone to ship me a correctly-locked one).
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titaniumtux

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@Ivan: I hadn't heard of it either, until a colleague of mine at work shared the story with me.

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Ivan, Mobile Master

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Samsung phones of late have a rather unusual locking practice, whereby they lock to the network of the first SIM card that is inserted (and the device is wiped to install carrier apps at the same time - so don't set it up without a SIM). This was certainly the case of the various S7 devices.

So if you want to use it with Koodo, but are tempted to try to see if it's unlocked by putting in a different SIM - don't. You'll end up locking it to that network and giving yourself an instant headache regarding your shiny new phone.
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David, Mobile Master

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Not just Samsung. Apple iPhones sold at Apple stores in the US are SIM locked to the carrier as well, apparently.
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titaniumtux

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I find it a hassle, means I have to insert two sim's in the phone in order for it to prompt me for an unlock code. I unlock my phones right away, that way I can use it with any carrier, any time, locally or internationally.

Speaking of which, Samsung phones are also region-locked, meaning you gotta connect a 5+ minute call using a SIM card here before shipping the device abroad, otherwise it won't work overseas. Region lock can be hacked on rooted devices, but that requires Odin on a windows computer which makes my head spin.

I just sim unlock samsungs and sell them, can't be bothered to keep them in my inventory.

@David: you referring to iPhones locking to the first sim inserted to the handset the way samsung does? I heard of this with iPhones, but not sure whether this is still a thing.

(Edited)
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Yoav Slama

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If I`m planing on buying the S8 with the unlock code and I don`t live in Canada (but i`m buying it in Canada), should I still do the 5+ min call with a Canadian sim card and only then unlock it with the code or it`s not necessary? The unlock code is going to enable it for use with any sim card, even not Canadian ones? Last thing, after I`m inserting the unlock code I can switch as many sim cards as I want and it would still be unlocked? Thanks for you help.
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titaniumtux

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@Yoav: Get the unlock code on ebay. Secondly, the device will likely be region-locked. With a Koodo sim or (once unlocked) any SIM from a Canadian or US carrier, connect a 5+ minute call, then you're free to use it anywhere. Once unlocked with a factory unlock code (that you can buy on ebay), it'll be permanently unlocked, available to use with any carrier on any compatible network (which is almost any network in use today).
(Edited)
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Yoav Slama

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Alright great, thanks.