The Samsung Galaxy 5 (also known as the Galaxy 550, i5500 or i5503) is an entry-level smartphone by Samsung. Originally released in 2010, as of 2011 it was still the lowest priced smartphone Samsung offered on the Android platform. Depending on the country in which you purchase the phone, the phone may have any of the four numeric designations, and may or may not include the Galaxy brand name as part of the name.
A bit confusing, isn’t it? Something else that’s confusing is that the Galaxy 5 is manufactured able to use any GSM network in the world. So why does your Galaxy 5 only work with the carrier who sold it to you? At the carrier’s request, Samsung put a SIM lock on the phone preventing it from being used with other carriers.
Unlocking a Samsung phone is just as easy as locking it was for the manufacturer. Although all cell phones are different, to unlock Samsungs and especially Galaxy 5 phones, all you need is a fresh SIM card and the unique Samsung unlocking codes that match your specific phone’s IMEI number. This is an 8-digit number that is only good for a single phone. Using an unlock code that worked on someone else’s phone may cause your phone to become permanently locked.
Fortunately, the Samsung unlocking codes are widely available. The easiest option to unlock Samsungs is simply to take the phones in to your carrier’s store, and request that they unlock the Samsung phone for you. Some will do this, and some will not. Various carriers have different policies regarding how long you need to have been their customer for before they will unlock a phone for you. Some carriers will direct you to call a specific customer service phone number to ask for the unlock codes.
If you can’t get the code for your phone from your carrier, not to worry! You can buy a fresh SIM card from any cell phone store, and order the code that is specific to your IMEI number from any of a number of online third party vendors.
With the SIM card and unlock code in hand, follow these steps to unlock your phone.
1. Power off your phone.
2. Remove your existing SIM card, and replace it with the new SIM card from a carrier different from your current carrier.
3. Power on your phone.
4. The phone will either ask you for your password, or warn you that you have an incorrect SIM card and ask you to insert the correct one.
5. If you receive the password prompt, simply enter the unlock code you were given. Otherwise, enter the following code string, where nnnnnnnn is the 8-digit unlock code you were given: #7465625*638*nnnnnnnn#
That’s all there is to unlocking your phone! Now your Galaxy 5 will work with any GSM carrier.