By Anu Passary | Dec 19, 2012 10:40 AM EST
Users of the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 are in for some good news as the folks at XDA-Developers have found a method to unlock the smartphones permanently free of charge, as long as it runs the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean version or upwards.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 have been notching up sales milestones since their release; however, these best-selling high-end smartphones cost a pretty penny, unless consumers opt for an agreement on a wireless carrier, which offers the smartphone at a subsidized rate but binds users to the contract for a specific term.
Another major drawback of purchasing a device from a carrier is that the device will be locked. What's more, if a user is unhappy with the carrier's service he or she will be stuck.
Alternately, if consumers want to purchase an unlocked phone then they have to pay premium prices, but the benefit is that the user can use a SIM from any network operator on the handset and need not be bound to one carrier. Additionally, for those who travel abroad having an unlocked smartphone is simpler, as the user may not want to pay roaming charges and would prefer using a local SIM, which works out to be cheaper
However, with XDA-Developers member owl74 discovering a way to unlock the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3, users of these smartphones can rejoice.
So how does this method work? owl74 discovered a hidden menu in Samsung's software which lets users unlock a pre-locked device. This method of unlocking works on the GT-N7105 and GT-N7100 Galaxy Note 2 models and some Galaxy S3 variants, but not all.
Before you attempt to unlock your smartphone remember the following:
1. This method will work ONLY for locked devices. To check if your phone is unlocked insert a SIM from another carrier to check if it works. If it doesn't you're good to go.
2. The procedure will only work for Galaxy Note 2 GT-N7105 and GT-N7100 models and some Galaxy S3 variants.
3. Your phone needs to be running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS or higher.
4. Proceed at your own risk. Mobile & Apps takes no responsibility for any damage or issues you may encounter with your smartphone.
The step-by-step guide to unlock your Galaxy Note 2 is as follows:
Step 1: On your Galaxy Note 2, launch the phone app and dial the following keys: *#197328640#
Step 2: Next, from the Main Menu go to  UMTS > Debug Screen >  Phone Control >  Network Lock > Options.
Step 3: Next, in the Options screen select  Perso SHA256 OFF. After making this selection, wait for 30 seconds.
Step 4: Next, go back one step by pressing the Menu key. Then select Back and you should now again be in  Network Lock
Step 5: Next, choose NW Lock NV Data INITIALLIZ. Pause for one minute after making the selection. After a minute has lapsed, reboot your Galaxy Note 2. Your phone should be unlocked now and ready to use with any SIM.
Note: You will not receive any notification/confirmation on the screen for the same and, therefore, just insert a SIM from a different carrier than the one you're on for the device and check.
Were you able to unlock your Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S3 smartphones?