The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is a scaled down version of the popular Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 series of smartphones, released in 2010. The Mini is the smallest Android-based smartphone, with a touchscreen keyboard, and the Mini Pro is slightly larger to accommodate the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. These phones should not be confused with the Xperia Mini or Xperia Mini Pro, released in 2011.

Here’s something else confusing: the Xperia X10 Mini is a GSM phone, so it should be able to work with any GSM network around the world. However, the cell phone carriers don’t want people to get free or discounted phones from them and then use the phone with one of their competitors, so Sony Ericsson SIM locks the phone. Without the matching unique unlock codes for unique phones, you can only use the phones with the carrier from which you purchased them.

The good news is that unlocking your phone is both simple and legal. Why unlock phones? So you can use other carriers. This is especially important if you’re travelling out of country, and want to be able to buy a local SIM card so you can use your phone with a local carrier. Unlocking the phone also raises its resale value.

Some people worry, why unlock phones if you could damage the phone? No worries. There is no risk to unlocking your phone using the unlock codes that are specific to unique phones, since what you’re really doing is restoring the phone to its factory settings. The phone will also remain unlocked even if Sony Ericsson rolls out new software to the phones, and your warranty remains in effect.

If you are a customer in good standing with your carrier, it is possible they will give you the code you need 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. They may even unlock the phone for you if you visit their store.

If your carrier is no help with the unlock code for the phone, you will need to purchase the unlock codes from a vendor. You simply provide the vendor with the make and model of your cell phone, along with its IMEI number.

Once you receive the unlock code, simply follow these steps.

1. Power off your phone.

2. Remove your existing SIM card.

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.  (You may need to tap the unlock code box to get the number pad to display on the screen, and tap Unlock once the code is entered.)

That’s all there is to it! After successfully unlocking the phone, you will be able to use your Xperia X10 Mini with any GSM carrier.