SM-G973F/DS in USA? Waste of time?

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PhonePerfection

New member
Aug 10, 2022
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Long time lurker, first time poster here. First of all, a massive THANK YOU to everyone here. You guys and gals are Awesome! <3

So, I bought a Samsung S10 (SM-G973F/DS) on Ebay recently and flashed it to Lineage OS 19.1. All was fine until I tried to activate it. We did everything...manually changing the ASP settings, and a bunch of other stuff to try and get this thing to connect to the mobile network. Even placed the SIM card in another phone just to confirm the SIM card was fine, which it was.

Long story short, I think the device was perhaps locked even though the seller claimed it was unlocked. Whatever, I'm over it. I flashed stock back on it and re-locked the boot loader, sent it back. Not worth the aggravation. However, I am questioning if there wasn't something else I could have done?

I was trying to activate the S10 on Mint Mobile USA (a T-Mobile reseller, so GSM) it should have been fine. The default language on the device was German. I don't think that should matter, but maybe it does? Do European phones have problems activating in North America?

My question is: If I decide to get another S10 (SM-G973F/DS) from the secondary market (if its even worth it at this point, since the SM-G973F/DS is really hard to find), is there anything I can find out from the seller first so I don't end up having to send it back?

Or, should I just give up my dream of having an S10 installed with Lineage OS and it's glorious headphone jack and expandable storage forever? If so, are there any worthy alternatives to the S10 worth considering, given my affinity for headphone jacks and expandable storage?
 

meric57

Senior Member
Oct 2, 2017
223
39
Oeutrange
Samsung Galaxy Tab E
Hello PhonePerfection, all a novel why you speak S10 G973F / DS in the United States.
Already your model S10 G973F/DS exynos 5G or the first 4G model so if these this Europe chip model, if now installed Samsung phone info look at who is scoring at worst take screenshots.
I don't understand your question United States, locked unlocked the seller.
You buy in the back market refurbished and unlocked telephone all operator therefore for sim card, the concern these the chip to install network either US or ASIA controls your model if these good SM-G973F/DS and not SM-G973U or G973U1.
Don't forget to say hello
 

schwinn8

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2010
872
495
Somewhere in Connecticut
I think what @meric57 is trying to say is that your phone doesn't have the right chips to communicate on the frequencies in the USA. It's made for other markets and other frequencies... so it won't work here.

If you use FrequencyCheck you can see what carriers support what frequencies on your specific model: https://www.frequencycheck.com/comp...m-td-lte-512gb-samsung-beyond-1/united-states

Scroll down to the "United States" area and you'll see it doesn't support the frequencies used in the USA (except for GSM 2.5, which is old and dead here in the USA). The US is primarily on LTE... and you can see that phone model doesn't support ANY of the available frequencies.

Bottom line "GSM" doesn't tell you enough. You have an incomatible phone model for the USA market. No SIM card will fix that.

Note, in SOME cases, you can activate other frequencies by loading different ROMs into the phone. My old LG V30 did this, for example. I have heard that you can run some Exynos phones here in the USA, but I don't know the details to help. FrequencyCheck may help you figure that out. Be sure the look for the complete model number, not just "Galaxy S10" or something... the naming is worthless for figuring this out.
 

PhonePerfection

New member
Aug 10, 2022
4
0
I think what @meric57 is trying to say is that your phone doesn't have the right chips to communicate on the frequencies in the USA. It's made for other markets and other frequencies... so it won't work here.

If you use FrequencyCheck you can see what carriers support what frequencies on your specific model: https://www.frequencycheck.com/compsomethingatibility/RdEkS7k/samsung-sm-g973f-ds-galaxy-s10-global-dual-sim-td-lte-512gb-samsung-beyond-1/united-states

Scroll down to the "United States" area and you'll see it doesn't support the frequencies used in the USA (except for GSM 2.5, which is old and dead here in the USA). The US is primarily on LTE... and you can see that phone model doesn't support ANY of the available frequencies.

Bottom line "GSM" doesn't tell you enough. You have an incomatible phone model for the USA market. No SIM card will fix that.

Note, in SOME cases, you can activate other frequencies by loading different ROMs into the phone. My old LG V30 did this, for example. I have heard that you can run some Exynos phones here in the USA, but I don't know the details to help. FrequencyCheck may help you figure that out. Be sure the look for the complete model number, not just "Galaxy S10" or something... the naming is worthless for figuring this out.

I think what @meric57 is trying to say is that your phone doesn't have the right chips to communicate on the frequencies in the USA. It's made for other markets and other frequencies... so it won't work here.

If you use FrequencyCheck you can see what carriers support what frequencies on your specific model: https://www.frequencycheck.com/comp...m-td-lte-512gb-samsung-beyond-1/united-states

Scroll down to the "United States" area and you'll see it doesn't support the frequencies used in the USA (except for GSM 2.5, which is old and dead here in the USA). The US is primarily on LTE... and you can see that phone model doesn't support ANY of the available frequencies.

Bottom line "GSM" doesn't tell you enough. You have an incomatible phone model for the USA market. No SIM card will fix that.

Note, in SOME cases, you can activate other frequencies by loading different ROMs into the phone. My old LG V30 did this, for example. I have heard that you can run some Exynos phones here in the USA, but I don't know the details to help. FrequencyCheck may help you figure that out. Be sure the look for the complete model number, not just "Galaxy S10" or something... the naming is worthless for figuring this out.
Hey, this is great info. Good to know. It looks like that S10 could only communicate on 1 of 8 bands used by Mint/T-Mobile. That 1 usable band appears to have been deprecated by T-Mobile as it is. I think that explains it perfectly. Thank You!
 

schwinn8

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2010
872
495
Somewhere in Connecticut
You're welcome.

Yeah, frequencies/bands are very important to watch, particularly if you're buying out of market devices. You have to know model numbers and carriers to be sure of anything, and unfortunately this info is relatively hidden.
 

PhonePerfection

New member
Aug 10, 2022
4
0
You're welcome.

Yeah, frequencies/bands are very important to watch, particularly if you're buying out of market devices. You have to know model numbers and carriers to be sure of anything, and unfortunately this info is relatively hidden.
The CSC on that device was DBT (Germany). I had to find that out in order to put the correct stock OS back on there.

Makes me wonder if the ebay seller even knows this. They appear to specialize in mobile phones with tens of thousands of transactions, so I would hope they've encountered this situation before. They were more than happy to accept a return on the device. Sent me a prepaid shipping label immediately.

Back to the CSC... Let's say I look for another S10 (SM-G973F/DS) but I ask what the CSC is for that device. Are there any regions outside the lower 48 states with reasonably good chances of it working? I suppose I would need to study the mobile frequency website for the answer to that.
 

schwinn8

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2010
872
495
Somewhere in Connecticut
I did some quick searching, and supposedly there are websites that say the 973F/DS will work on MM (mint mobile)... but they don't detail how. For example: https://de-googled.com/blogs/news/a-word-on-network-compatibility-of-our-degoogled-phones
and https://www.ebay.com/p/15030406771 (in the description).

So, maybe it is possible? I don't know, so maybe someone else can chime in.

Personally, I stuck with U-version phones and gave up rooting/romming. It's just getting too hard to find phones that offer this, so I figured I'd just adapt back to a stock ROM, since choices are limited. I had done a bunch of that in the past, but I found that stock roms (today) are pretty good... and allow enough customization that made root/rom unnecessary... for me. My current is an SM-G975U1 (unlocked, USA, Snapdragon S10+) on Total Wireless (VZ MVNO)... it works great and I don't miss root/rom at all.

Rumor is that the Galaxy S23 will only be offered as Snapdragon, so maybe that will open up more options... but I doubt it. Samsung loves it's Knox system, and will likely lock down the phone even more with every generation.
 

PhonePerfection

New member
Aug 10, 2022
4
0
I did some quick searching, and supposedly there are websites that say the 973F/DS will work on MM (mint mobile)... but they don't detail how. For example: https://de-googled.com/blogs/news/a-word-on-network-compatibility-of-our-degoogled-phones
and https://www.ebay.com/p/15030406771 (in the description).

So, maybe it is possible? I don't know, so maybe someone else can chime in.

Personally, I stuck with U-version phones and gave up rooting/romming. It's just getting too hard to find phones that offer this, so I figured I'd just adapt back to a stock ROM, since choices are limited. I had done a bunch of that in the past, but I found that stock roms (today) are pretty good... and allow enough customization that made root/rom unnecessary... for me. My current is an SM-G975U1 (unlocked, USA, Snapdragon S10+) on Total Wireless (VZ MVNO)... it works great and I don't miss root/rom at all.

Rumor is that the Galaxy S23 will only be offered as Snapdragon, so maybe that will open up more options... but I doubt it. Samsung loves it's Knox system, and will likely lock down the phone even more with every generation.
Thanks for the link. I think I may try for an S10 again if the seller can tell me what the CSC is. That page on De-googled.com affirms that American devices are more restrictive than their European counterparts.

It just doesn't make any sense to me personally to use a device with an open source OS that has loads of telemetry, spyware, bloat, etc. Which is a contradiction that I am not comfortable with. It's like installing a Linux distro that comes bundled with Facebook.

To me, being proactive about privacy is the equivalent to standing up for yourself in the real world. Sure, you can use a stock ROM and there is nothing wrong with that. It's having the freedom to choose which is most important. So long as that choice is available, I will happily go that route.

I like the added bonus of an Android device that seems faster with a longer lasting battery as well. I mean, I paid for this device. I should have the right to decide what apps are running on it.
 

schwinn8

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2010
872
495
Somewhere in Connecticut
No argument there... I agree with why we should be allowed to root/rom. Unfortunately, the carriers pull the strings in the USA (business over people) so we are losing options. Frankly, it pisses me off that they can still prevent phones from connecting to their network just because the IMEI doesn't match (even if the software is correct). In the end, if the device CAN work on the network, the carrier should have no say in allowing/disallowing it on the network. They like to claim that a "bad" device could "hurt" the network, but if that happens, they can lock out that phone and figure it out. I doubt that's even ever happened, but whatever. (They prevented me from using my already-working V30 US998 phone on the network, even though it ran as VS996 with no issues for years... they only later saw the IMEI wasn't "theirs" (original SIM card failed) so they prevented me from re-registering it. So stupid.)

Good luck, and let us know if you figure it out... I'm always curious to learn!
 
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Hogwarts

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2011
374
116
yes, most japan and europe phones do not have the correct radios channels in them for 4g and 5g. i ran into this same problem with my xperia phones that i bought overseas. this is a common problem that can happen.
 

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    I think what @meric57 is trying to say is that your phone doesn't have the right chips to communicate on the frequencies in the USA. It's made for other markets and other frequencies... so it won't work here.

    If you use FrequencyCheck you can see what carriers support what frequencies on your specific model: https://www.frequencycheck.com/comp...m-td-lte-512gb-samsung-beyond-1/united-states

    Scroll down to the "United States" area and you'll see it doesn't support the frequencies used in the USA (except for GSM 2.5, which is old and dead here in the USA). The US is primarily on LTE... and you can see that phone model doesn't support ANY of the available frequencies.

    Bottom line "GSM" doesn't tell you enough. You have an incomatible phone model for the USA market. No SIM card will fix that.

    Note, in SOME cases, you can activate other frequencies by loading different ROMs into the phone. My old LG V30 did this, for example. I have heard that you can run some Exynos phones here in the USA, but I don't know the details to help. FrequencyCheck may help you figure that out. Be sure the look for the complete model number, not just "Galaxy S10" or something... the naming is worthless for figuring this out.
    1
    No argument there... I agree with why we should be allowed to root/rom. Unfortunately, the carriers pull the strings in the USA (business over people) so we are losing options. Frankly, it pisses me off that they can still prevent phones from connecting to their network just because the IMEI doesn't match (even if the software is correct). In the end, if the device CAN work on the network, the carrier should have no say in allowing/disallowing it on the network. They like to claim that a "bad" device could "hurt" the network, but if that happens, they can lock out that phone and figure it out. I doubt that's even ever happened, but whatever. (They prevented me from using my already-working V30 US998 phone on the network, even though it ran as VS996 with no issues for years... they only later saw the IMEI wasn't "theirs" (original SIM card failed) so they prevented me from re-registering it. So stupid.)

    Good luck, and let us know if you figure it out... I'm always curious to learn!