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I bought a rare version of Galaxy S10 which was out-of-stock in my country so the distributor got it for me from another country. But by mistake the phone is locked to original network operator in the country of origin. I was offered to send the phone back for unlocking/change but it can take a few weeks. So I decided to try online unlocking service. All looks good except of the requirement to do the unlocking via side-loaded app instead of entering the code directly. Is it normal that the 8-digit unlock code does not work directly in unlock screen but it needs a helper app?

A quote from the e-mail after purchase of unlocking code:

First of all please make sure that your phone is on the stock factory firmware. This is very important. Unlock code will work correctly only on the stock factory firmware.

  1. Connect your phone to wi-fi network
  2. Download and install on your phone official Network Unlock tool: https://www.htconlineunlock.net/Network_Unlock.apk
  3. Power OFF the phone (long press on power button -> Power off)
  4. Pull out the sim card from the phone and Switch ON the phone
  5. Run the Network Unlock tool
  6. Click 'Continue' button and wait until your phone will connect to server
  7. The phone will ask you to enter Sim Network Unlock Pin
  8. Enter the code, click 'Unlock' button and wait for result
  9. After getting "Device is Permanently Unlocked" message press the power button, choose 'Restart' and click 'OK'.*

They claim they bought the code directly from the operator. So why direct unlock does not work (I made one attempt) but I am instructed to run an app?

  • there are lot of unlocking apps in Play Store i don't think it is unusual. It is just a service they provide own app, but all do the same job. if the code is not working ask for a second code, if still not working get your money back forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2388668 – alecxs Nov 12 '19 at 22:04
  • @alecxs – honestly I do not understand this: if there is a direct input of the code, what are all these apps for? – miroxlav Nov 12 '19 at 22:36
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    @miroxlav the code they told you wouldn't be genuine. Might be their app is getting actual unlock code from their servers by sending your IMEI and then feeding that to modem through telephony/RIL APIs. But I don't think that would work without system privileges. I suggest you be careful when installing such apps, particularly if that's asking for some sensitive permissions and internet connectivity. – Irfan Latif Nov 12 '19 at 23:07
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  • not every device may have "direct input" (system app) it depends on ROM – alecxs Nov 13 '19 at 9:21
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Such unlock apps aren't official.

They employ various methods of unlocking based on the information they gather from the app installed and querying from supposedly authentic database of unlock codes.

I have personally used an unlock service for an iPhone which was locked to a carrier. I needed to supply device information and within a few hours they reverted with the code, which worked. All at a pittance of $10. I chatted with them and they revealed their modus operandi. Official unlock codes are obtained (read stolen) from the carrier database and these operators pay to obtain these. Payment is done only after unlocking is successful.

Bottom line is that there is nothing official or expected in such methods. If it works, good, else ask for refund

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