The Xperia X10i is the international version of Sony Ericsson’s high-end Xperia X10 smartphone. The first of Sony-Ericsson’s smartphones to run the Android operating system, it contains two proprietary apps that act as a single collection point for all your social networks and for all your media files. The 8.1-megapixel camera also contains the ability to geotag pictures and performs smile recognition.

You would think that a phone designated for international use would allow you to use local GSM carriers in whatever country you were travelling through. However, that is not the case. The Xperia X10i contains a SIM lock, like the standard X10, which prohibits the phone from searching out and using GSM carriers other than the one that sold the phone. Don’t blame Sony Ericsson for this, though. The phones are manufactured unlocked, then locked so that the cell phone carriers can sell them to you at a discount and be sure of getting their money back in services.

Unlocking your phone is perfectly legal. By providing unique unlock codes that correspond to the IMEI numbers of unique phones, you can reverse the initial SIM locking and restore the phone to its original manufactured state. Your warranty remains valid, and the phone will stay unlocked regardless of any software updates that may be rolled out by Sony Ericsson. As an added bonus, unlocked phones have higher resale values than phones that are still SIM locked.

So how do you go about unlocking your phone? The first thing to try is to get in touch with your cell phone service provider, and see if they will offer you a phone unlocking service. Many providers will offer you the code for your phone at no charge, provided that you meet some basic criteria such as having an active account with them that is not in arrears, and that you have been a customer of their service for a minimum number of months. Some providers will perform the unlocking service for you if you go into their local store, while others want you to visit a web site or call a customer support number.

Another option is to get the specific unlock codes for unique phones from a third party vendor, although this is not a free service. You can find many of these vendors online promising turnaround times anywhere between minutes and days to provide your code to you.

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

1. Power off your phone.

2. Remove your existing SIM card and replace it with a new SIM card.

3. Power on your phone.

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

5. Simply enter the unlock code you were given.

That’s all there is to it! Now your Xperia X10i can get service from any GSM network carrier.