It turns out U.S. Xperia XZ and X Compact versions' fingerprint sensors can be re-enabled


Since the Xperia Z5 line-up came about, Sony Mobile has had the curious policy of excluding fingerprint sensors from its flagship smartphones sold in America. However, an investigation by independent Android developers has revealed that Sony has merely disabled the fingerprint scanning functionality via software limitations, instead of going all-in and removing the physical components required for fingerprint reading.

Thus, re-enabling the fingerprint scanner on US devices such as the new Xperia XZ and X Compact appears to be a question of changing the smartphone's region by flashing software from another country, such as the UK. Of course, this is also a process which voids your warranty, so there's a bit of compromise to consider.

You can still flash back the American software, though, which would restore the smartphone to a factory state. But losing your warranty is definitely something to be wary of if you are interested in modding the Xperia XZ. Should you decide to gamble, follow the instructions from this link and treat yourself to the fingerprint scanner you should have received in the first place. Reportedly, the procedure is pretty straightforward, though we haven't tried it out for ourselves – thus, proceed at your own risk!

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Xperia XZ
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2900 mAh(17.5h 3G talk time)
Xperia X Compact
  • Display 4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2700 mAh(14.1h 3G talk time)

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16 Comments

1. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Yay!!!!

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7165; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Many idiots were saying that Sony made a different version for the US. The US was the only country that Sony's fingerprint scanner wasn't on. I told many that they didn't make a new smartphone without the scanner. It's was just disabled because of a patent issue that wasn't resolved. But phonearena was telling everyone that their devices didn't have the sensor hardware. Common sense would tell you that they would have to make a separate production run with a new device without a scanner. Plus it this separate device would have to go through a new certification process. Alas phonearena has no common sense.

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3097; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

XDA FTW!

3. bossman

Posts: 264; Member since: Jan 27, 2016

Was this just by coincidence or did sony do it purposefully

12. may_czos

Posts: 955; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

they did it on purpose. Probably because of some patent issues.

4. BobLawblaw unregistered

The executives running Sony's mobile division are as mad as a bag of hammers..

5. Taquidi

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 05, 2016

iphone arena staff are so jailed by iphone ecossystem they don't even know about something basic like flashing a firmware into a phone. It's quite a straightforward process. It doesn't void warranty, it's as if you were updating the system along a factory reset (or downgrading, as would be as going from Lollipop to KitKat). There's no rooting involved on the process.

6. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Not only that, but I've been commenting this "news" since forever and they never paid any attention to it...

7. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Yeah it's been like that with all of the US versions of Xperia phones. Dunno what rock the PA writers have been hiding under...

16. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Here: https://www.google.com/patents/US20120019356 I finally found what is most likely the reasoning behind this. (You are welcome PhoneArena)

9. Subie

Posts: 2348; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

"It doesn't void warranty" Even if you do root - here's an interesting read on that. http://motherboard.vice.com/read/jailbreaking-iphone-rooting-android-does-not-void-warranty

14. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

iPhonarena suk big time. They are journalist but not tech savy crazy ppl.

8. aegislash

Posts: 1475; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

What exactly is Sony's reasoning for this? If you're paying such a high price for a phone, you really should have access to all of the features available outside of the US.

10. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I agree that they should at least give a public explanation... But they haven't, however I'm glad that the hardware is still there. It is most likely to be a legal issue, probably a patent infringement in the U.S.

11. Drrobo

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 05, 2016

Great! Glad my guide on XDA is helping people! And yes it's super easy, it doesn't void your warranty, and the fingerprint reader is amazing on this phone.

15. FCB-Eto

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 17, 2013

https://www.google.com/patents/US20120019356. This is the patent stopping Sony and it would be interesting if similar phones with power buttons doubled as finger print scanners ended up before the courts.

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