(UPDATE: With details on how to remove the region lock if you have a China OnePlus 11 in the Philippines.)
The OnePlus 11 is getting praise lately as it marks the brand returning to its flagship killer roots. While it has become official globally a few days ago, the OnePlus 11 actually launched first in China back in January. We’re still waiting for the official sales of the OnePlus 11 in the Philippines on February 21, and those who immediately want to get their hands on one are resorting to buying grey market units.
However, new reports further discourage anyone from getting a grey market OnePlus 11 unit–beyond the lack of Google services and the lack of an official warranty. In a Russian forum, one person bought a grey market OnePlus 11 that’s sourced from China. While the phone worked fine for the first two weeks, the user suddenly received a message that translates to this:
You are using a region-customized phone. Its calling functions are restricted in your region. Please contact customer service for support.
After the user received the said message, the grey market OnePlus 11 experienced limited calling functionality–though he did not mention if cellular data was affected.
Upon further investigation, it appeared that TeleService.apk (com.android.phone) app sent the message, and the configuration files further revealed that the region-locking behavior applied when using the Chinese OnePlus 11 at certain markets. The list of countries that are affected by region-locking is long, but the majority of those included are places where the global version will be sold.
It’s speculated that OnePlus is doing this to avoid users buying grey market units and to highly encourage them to only purchase from official channels. While that is a bummer, there might be a way to bypass the region lock by inputting a 16-digit code that can presumably be obtained via OnePlus support. But again, OnePlus might not accommodate this request–and will still insist that you buy the OnePlus 11 via official channels.
With this occurrence, it is also possible that certain OPPO and realme units might have the same region-locking mechanism to discourage the purchase of grey market units. However, one of our readers told us that it is possible to remove the region lock on these China OnePlus 11 units–you will need to bring the phone to an authorized OPPO Service Center, and they will assist you in removing the region lock.
Nonetheless, we highly encourage everyone to make their lives easier and only buy phones (or any product in particular) via official sales channels. We have a podcast talking about grey market products, so make sure to give it a listen.