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There are features in the phone such as Samsung, that are only available in certain countries. Are these controlled by

  1. Country of manufacture of phone
  2. Target country for phone when it is manufactured
  3. First Country it is used in
  4. The Country of Telecom company you are connected to
  5. The Country of your Google Account
  6. The Country you are in

As an example, I have been waiting for many many years for Samsung to enable the ECG feature on the Watch (and support feature on the Phone) in New Zealand. We purchased the then latest watches almost 4 years ago, having been told it was imminent. Earlier this year Samsung were advertising ECG in NZ. Since it still did not work on the existing watch, we purchased the latest watch. It did not work.

A support page on Samsung said that this was based on the country you purchased your phone in. This is a ridiculous concept. So, I have a feature in UK, I shift to Australia and it stops working !!! In fact, all 6 of the above would be ridiculous.

So, what decides when the feature is available in a country?

VPN to Australia and with an Australian Google Account does not work. I am hoping that if I travel to Australia, buy the watch there, the feature will become enabled AND will stay enabled when I come back to New Zealand.

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  • It is not ridiculous at all, your phone is bound the whichever countries regulation it used just like you. There may be infrastructure at UK but not in NZ, there may be a law prohibits that non medical devices to perform such precise scans. There is countless reason to not let everybody to use every feature. I am sorry if it's not available at NZ you shouldn't bought the device without proper research.
    – vivus
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 15:08
  • Thats not my question. My question is HOW Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 19:21
  • As you can see I didn't offered you a solution with an ANSWER, I merely COMMENted my though about your question. Comments doesn't have to include solutions.
    – vivus
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 20:07
  • @Vivus you shouldn't bought the device without proper research. The fact that Samsung said it was imminent the first time and the fact that they advertised in NZ the 2nd time - IS NOT research !!!! Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 20:11

1 Answer 1

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Background

Medical related features are regulated by the country it is operating in. It was easier to search for the ECG feature on Apple Watch but the rules/thought process apply to Samsung devices.

From an Apple forum with the subject "ECG abroad"

If you purchased your Apple Watch in a country that has given government approval for ECG, and you have it all setup in that country, then when you travel to another country that has given government approval for ECG, your Apple Watch should work.

If you travel to a country that has not approved ECG, it should stop working until you travel to a country that has given approval.

The rules are:

Country where purchased must give government approval (manufacturing knows where the Apple Watch will be shipped for sale and initializes the software accordingly) Country where used must give government approval (Apple Watch has a GPS and know where it is when you try to take an ECG).

Other related Apple ECG question: How is the Apple Watch ECG disabled in certain countries?

So am I stuck?

You may want to look at the efforts to circumvent such restriction and appears to require root (which has complications if you want to use apps that need Knox/security like banking apps).

See: https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/restrictions-removed-samsung-health-monitor-wearos-1-1-1-209-root-age-country-device-restriction-removed-18th-sept-2022.4322527/

From XDA thread:

[Original Samsung Health Monitor] SHM has device detection, country restriction and spoof location detection, the following countries were listed in the country restriction checking, I believe if you live in those countries, SHM should Work, otherwise, it wouldn't, SHM checks your GeoLocation, Sim Card, and Device CSC (if no sim or location provided)

What Countries are supported?

Apple has a page which lists supported countries for various features: https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability/#branded-ecg

From the Samsung Health app page: https://www.samsung.com/ca/apps/samsung-health-monitor/ and switching to the ECG tab footnote in small print at the bottom (the Blood Pressure footnote has 63 countries).

Quote taken on 2022-10-21 from ECG footnote section:

  • A Galaxy Watch (Galaxy Watch 4 and later released models)* and Samsung Galaxy smartphone (Android N OS version or higher) are required to use Samsung Health Monitor app. Due to country restrictions in obtaining approval/registration as a medical device, Samsung Health Monitor app only works on watches and smartphones purchased in the countries where the service is currently available. However, service may be restricted/unavailable when users travel to non-service countries and do a factory reset of the phone or delete and re-install the Samsung Health Monitor app. * Service is available on Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Watch 3 only in select countries. Check list below.- Samsung Health Monitor ECG app is available in 64 countries/regions** (as of the end of August, 2022)
  1. Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, HongKong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, US, UK and UAE – available with Galaxy Watch Active2, Galaxy Watch3, Galaxy Watch4 and later released models (excl. Galaxy Fit)
  2. Bolivia, Canada, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Costa Rica, Christmas Island, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Nicaragua, Norfolk Island, Panama, Peru, Réunion, South Africa, Taiwan, Türkiye, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam - available with Galaxy Watch4 and later released models (excl. Galaxy Fit)

** Service unavailable in other/overseas territories or regions unless specified next to the respective country.

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  • +1. Also the reason why Pixel Soli face unlock technology is NOT permitted in India (frequency allocation issues)
    – beeshyams
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 5:53
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    Except maybe for the last paragraph (the quote) this answer isn't really an answer. Wording like "if you travel to a country" is exactly what the question is asking to be clarified. Is it based on GPS, SIM country code, cell tower country code or something else? The wording suggests it checks your emails for a flight ticket to find out if you actually traveled but I'm pretty sure that's not it.
    – AndreKR
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 16:43
  • The crazy part is that you can buy Chinese watches with ECG online. My wife needed it desperately. so I purchased one 3 years ago. She puts it on once a day to check. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 19:25
  • I think that using the device CSC would violate " Parallel Importing Laws". But using the Geolocation and SIM should work. But it would still annoy me extremely if such features worked sporadically as I travelled. Do Apple and Samsung have these disclaimers on their warranties? Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 19:56
  • @RohitGupta Updated answer with links to supported countries. Apple was easy to find. Samsung Health app Canadian page was more useful than the US page. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:54

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