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Firmware country restrictions

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by gilbyh, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. gilbyh

    gilbyh Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I must apologise for the rather long winded story.
    I am in the UK and my old faithful Galaxy S7 died on my. Turned out to be a component overheating on the motherboard which must have occurred when the phone slipped out of my hand and bounced off the table on the way to the floor. I decided to stay with an S7 as it works ok for me and it's not too big in my pocket. I sourced a replacement off Ebay for a reasonable price and it has been working great up until I realised I was missing a function. The Caller ID and Spam Protection option is greyed out and for the life of me I can't figure out how to turn it on. I have noticed that the software and must be motherboard in this phone has the code SM-G930U. I think I am correct in saying this phone is a USA model as I have since replaced my broken motherboard and it was with a G930F for the UK. I still have a window of opportunity for returning the US model phone, but was hoping someone could clarify that the country of the software/board might be what's preventing the Caller ID and Spam Protection being available to me in the UK. This would help my case with a reason for returning the phone.
    Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give.

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  2. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    not sure, but i would return it anyways......just my two cents, if you need them.
    Davdi and gilbyh like this.
  3. Roboy

    Roboy Newbie

    If it is a US version device have you taken it to your carrier, they may be able to flash the device with the firmware for the UK? I've actually seen several instances recently where devices bought outside of the region of use needed the software flashed to the home firmware in order for one function or another to work. Most notably on the Samsung models, Samsung Pay. If they cannot flash the firmware to your region that would probably work for reasonable cause to return as you would not be able to get full use out of a device from another region.
    gilbyh likes this.
  4. gilbyh

    gilbyh Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Many thanks for your replies and thoughts.
    I'm not with a carrier on a contract any more. That ended a few years back and I've just been going for sim only deals to keep my costs down. So I would either need to find an independent store or do it myself. I did wonder if it could be flashed, but also wondered if flashing would require the phone to be rooted or is that only the case if you are using custom roms and not stock Samsung ones? I done this with an S3 many years ago and my banking software refused to work afterwards as it seemed to recognise something wasn't genuine any more.
    So let me see if I understand correctly, the motherboards are the same and it's just a different rom as per region?
    If this is the case then I would be inclined to keep the phone and flash it myself as long as it didn't involve rooting.
    Thanks for any more info you can give me.
  5. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert

    Flashing a stock ROM from Samsung does not need root, you can do it via ODIN, just make completely certain that you download the correct ROM for your phone, using the wrong one could/probably will brick the phone.
    gilbyh and svim like this.
  6. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    The same basic rule for your S3 still applies, with stock ROMs root is not required, with custom ROMs it is required. But no, not all S7 motherboards are going to be exactly the same. Depending on what country there may be different processors and different cellular radio chips.
    ROMs only contain the software, drivers, and firmware to match their respective models, so don't experiment with a ROM that's not specific to your exact model. If you do use the incorrect ROM, if you're lucky your phone will boot up and still work but will be most likely not be fully functional (a typical example might be no 4G/LTE but only 3G, which is in the various stages of being phased out by all the carriers), or you'll just soft-brick your phone. Re-flashing with the correct ROM should restore everything. If you're not lucky, you'll hard-brick your phone. In that case you 'might' be able to get it working again but it's going to be a major hassle.
    But getting back to your original posting, while that sounded like it 'could' be a phone-model issue, it seems more likely to be a carrier-specific matter. Something like Caller I.D. is very phone service specific, not necessarily relevant to the phone itself.
    gilbyh and ocnbrze like this.
  7. gilbyh

    gilbyh Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thank you to everyone who has responded to my questions. I feel I now have a better understanding of what my options really are. I think the whole carrier thing is the issue with this US model phone here in the UK and due to differences of the motherboards, the UK software would possibly end up bricking the phone. I think I need to return the phone as the caller ID and spam protection function that is unavailable has been invaluable to me recently.
    Thanks again everyone, stay safe.
  8. I have a USA S10 flashed it went Canadian firmware when I went to Canada everything works fine. As long as your phone is not network locked/blacklisted you should be able to flash without bricking.
  9. Alexenferman

    Alexenferman Member

    Just a message to everyone from outside the US, NEVER BUY DEVICES FROM THE US to use in other countries, especially for SAMSUNG if you want to flash Stock ROMs from other regions, Custom ROMs or just Root. You will be stuck with the same ROM forever! (With very very few exceptions) This is due to US carriers paying high prices to Samsung and others to lock the bootloader and implement E-Fuses to prevent downgrading. And all of this is made to prevent "unauthorized" tampering, to make sure that users don't bypass "carrier restrictions" such as hotspots, roaming and much more. Even if US devices are cheaper, it's ALWAYS worth it to just buy the international variant or the variant from your region. Also DO NOT BUY carrier locked devices from the US, unlocking the device from carriers is expensive for US carriers such as MPCS or TMO.
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I'm late to this, but in case anyone reads this later DO NOT attempt to flash UK firmware on a US Samsung Galaxy S (or Note). Best case is that the flashing tool will recognise it is incompatible and refuse to flash it. Otherwise it will brick the phone for certain.

    They may both be called "Galaxy S7", but they are completely different devices inside: different SoCs, different radio hardware, probably different cameras (same headline specs but different chips is something Samsung did a lot back then). The firmware is absolutely and utterly incompatible between the two.

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