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Galaxy Note 3 is region-locked for your roaming inconvenience

Samsung's super-powerful, super-expensive Galaxy Note 3 will only work with European SIM cards if you buy it here in the UK.

Samsung's super-powerful, super-expensive Galaxy Note 3 will only work with European SIM cards if you buy it here in the UK, according to British online retailers Clove and Handtec.

The £600 mega-phone has some kind of region locking, the mobile-sellers warn, so if you go outside of Europe you'll have to use your UK network's staggeringly expensive roaming service rather than just picking up a cheap local SIM.

The same is apparently true of Note 3s sold in America (ie, they'll only work with American SIMs), but not in Hong Kong, according to Android Authority.

Phones that work in Europe, including the Note 3, use the GSM standard, which stands for Global System for Mobile Communications -- it was designed to stop this kind of region-incompatible product and enable everyone to communicate better. It would be a huge backwards step if this was to become commonplace.

There's no reason I can think of why Samsung has made its latest phablet this way -- none of its myriad of other phones work like this -- other than as part of some weird reciprocal agreement with a major international phone network. I've asked Samsung's UK representatives for comment and will update if I hear anything.

UK-bought Note 3s will work with SIMs from all European Union countries, as well as close neighbours such as Switzerland and the former Yugoslavia. American Note 3s will work in North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.

Samsung's most powerful phone ever, the Note 3, has an unprecedented 3GB of RAM and a mighty 2.3GHz quad-core processor. Its vast 5.7-inch screen packs 1080p resolution -- and you get a stylus too. It's also the only phone so far compatible with the new Galaxy Gear smart watch, which Samsung itself has repeatedly said isn't very good.

Would this kind of regional restriction put you off buying a Note 3? Phone it in down in the comments, or on our globally accessible Facebook page.

Update: In a statement sent to ease the minds of concerned customers, Samsung says the Note 3 region lock vanishes after the first activation.