The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray is an image lover’s smartphone. Based on the Android platform, it incorporates a front camera for video chatting, a high-definition back camera, and a bright screen ideal for watching movies or videos.

The Xperia Ray a GSM phone, so it can work with any GSM network around the world. However, many carriers have Sony Ericsson impose a SIM lock on the phone before shipping it. Without the matching mobile phone unlock code, you can only use the phone with the carrier from which you purchased it. However, to get the phone unlocked is both simple and legal. All you need is a new SIM card and the specific code to unlock the SIM card for your unique phone, identified by your IMEI number.

Don’t worry that unlocking your SIM-locked cell phone might void the warranty or risk other damage to the phone. It’s perfectly safe, and doesn’t involve any tricky software modifications. All you’re doing is entering a code and restoring the phone to its factory settings. The phone will also remain unlocked even if Sony Ericsson rolls out new software to the phones. Even better, an unlocked phone has a higher resale value.

If you are a customer in good standing with your carrier, it is possible they will give you the mobile phone unlock code for free. Just tell them you’re travelling out of country and want to use your phone with a local carrier in your destination country. You may even be able to get the phone unlocked by your carrier if you visit their store.

If your carrier is no help, you will need to purchase the unlock codes from an unlocking service. You simply provide the unlocking service with the make and model of your cell phone, along with its IMEI number. They will send you the unlock codes you need for unlocking the cell phone. You will also need to buy a SIM card that is associated with a phone carrier other than the one which is your phone carrier, but those are inexpensive and easily purchased at any cell phone store.

Once you receive the new SIM card and unlock code, you don’t need anything else to be able to unlock your Sony Ericsson ST18i Xperia Ray. Simply follow these steps.

1. Power off your phone.

2. Remove your existing SIM card, and replace it with the new SIM card for a carrier other than your current carrier.

3. Power on your phone.

4. The phone will ask for the SIM network unlock PIN.

5. Simply enter the unlock code you were given.

After successfully unlocking the phone, you will be able to use your Xperia Ray with any GSM carrier.

[Photo by Rudolf Stricker]