Sony Mobile has so far introduced seven Xperia models that support a fingerprint scanner. This includes last year’s Xperia Z5 series (Z5, Z5 Compact, Z5 Premium) and this year’s Xperia X series (X, X Performance, X Compact and XZ).
What all of these handsets have in common is that none of the equivalent models launched into the United States support the finger print scanner (apart from the Xperia Z5 Premium, which never officially launched in the US). Sony has never detailed the reason behind this move, apart from saying it was a “business decision”, which could mean it might have had to pay some kind of licensing fee in the US if the feature was enabled.
Anyway, it appears that what a lot of people don’t seem to realise, is that for all models released to date, the lack of a fingerprint scanner has been a software limitation only. The hardware that ships with all USA models incorporates the necessary fingerprint functionality, but it has been disabled through software.
For anyone in the USA who owns one of the above devices, flashing a different region’s software (for example UK or Nordic) would fully enable the fingerprint power button. Obviously, not everyone is comfortable in flashing their handset, but it is a fairly straightforward process – you can check out our previous guide here. You can also make backups of USA software using the same guide, just in case you need to utilise that US warranty. The great thing is that no root or bootloader unlocking is required.
Given what we have seen for the models launched so far, we believe that there is a strong likelihood that the same software limitation will apply for the upcoming Xperia X Compact and Xperia XZ. This should bring hope for those that are thinking of purchasing these models, but have been put off by the fingerprint scanner omission.
If you are a US Sony Xperia owner who bought a model with a fingerprint scanner and re-enabled it, do let us know your experiences below. It may help ease the minds of those looking to purchase Sony’s latest models.