The latest Sony flagship without a fingerprint sensor is now available in the U.S.

Back late August, I got to take a look at Sony's new Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact, and they're great. They do all the things a smartphone should do in 2017, and they look pretty good. They even have this awesome 3D mapping feature that lets you recreate your face on your phone. It's neat.

The larger of the two phones, the Xperia XZ1, is now available in the U.S. through Amazon (opens in new tab). It's unlocked and works with AT&T, T-Mobile and a bunch of smaller alternative carriers that rely on their networks, but it won't work on Verizon or Sprint. It also doesn't have a fingerprint sensor in the U.S. because of a continuing legal issue with an unnamed entity called Verizon.

That's all well and good, but this phone costs $699.99 from Amazon, which may appear inexpensive compared to recent launches like the Galaxy Note 8, but it's still a lot of money to pay for a phone that lacks a fundamentally important part of the smartphone experience. At least in my opinion.

Should you disagree, it's shipping now and is available in four very nice colors, including my favorite, Moonlit Blue.

If you want something a bit more exciting — still without a fingerprint, but exciting nonetheless — you'll want to wait until mid-October, when the Xperia XZ1 Compact comes out. It's $100 cheaper, and really powerful for a small device.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Okay, sure, snarky headline. But what are my choices if I want a sub-5" flagship? The XZ1 Compact or the iPhone SE are pretty much my only options.
  • There's a reason there aren't very many flagships that small.
  • Profit?
  • And what's that reason? Don't leave us hanging.
  • They don't sell that well. This is simply the reason that most phones are of a size that in the past was perceived as a phablet.
  • It's kind of hard to find out if they don't sell that well when they DON'T EXIST. That's the point. They've continually made the phones larger and NOT provided the smaller sizes anymore, making it impossible to gauge how high the demand is. Of phones with flagship specs, literally ONLY Sony is making one, and NONE of their phone sell well. You can't determine sales on something that does not exist.
  • I assure you my Xperia XZ1 Compact headline won't be so snarky.
  • Yep that's correct.
  • Kind of wondering how only Sony ended up signing a deal which blocks them from using a FP scanner!!! Good phones, but their design is outdated like the iPhones. Maybe 2018 will see them make a strong statement.
  • I'd really like to understand why a carrier would give a rats tail about a FP sensor. I could see another manufacturer having a patent they didn't want to deal with - but a carrier? Guess it's safe to say we will never see Sony phones on Verizon.
  • Yet another waste of Sony brilliance. Great ui, sucky hardware design. Fingerprint sensor issue will haunt them until resolved. I hope they fired whoever agreed to the deal that prohibited then from having a fingerprint sensor for years.
  • wish this one was available in the red like the compact... i still love my old red z3 compact!
  • Anyone willing to take bets that it will just as trivial to enable the fingerprint sensor as it was on the XZ & X???? Maybe AC should look into it.....
  • Am I pissed off at Sony's bezels deep into 2017? Yes. But do I feel Xperia phones are among the best on the market despite that? Also yes.
  • Choice is good . Bezel or no bezel. Some like bezel, in this case lots of bezel.
  • I'm sure it will be or just avoid the regional firmware flash altogether and get an international version to start. They're under $625 already (without US warranty of course). I'll wait to see what reasons Google gives for their $850 Pixel 2 XL first before I replace my XZ with one. It better have a flood projector and dot illuminator for that price (see what I did there). ;)
  • Probably be easy but then you'll most likely give up VOLTE and Wifi calling on Tmobile.
  • I'm waiting for the XZ1 Compact. I'm so sick of the big phone. I've been waiting for a powerful device under 5 inches, this is my next phone.
  • At least it has a headphone jack which is more fundamental than a fingerprint scanner to me. Not to mention it is hundreds of dollars less than the Pixel 2 XL or Note 8 and will perform similarly. It also uses a flat, normal 16:9 screen instead of the goofy 2:1 ratio with rounded corners or curved screen and it is a decent size. The media and their fascination with the weird phone designs this year amazes me. Having a phone that requires you to hold it awkwardly so as not to cover or activate the screen and requiring media and content to be cropped to fit the display doesn't seem like a device I would want to use especially at the absurd prices they think they can charge.
  • They're ahead of the curve now! Face id only no fingerprint. If it's cool for Apple it's cool for them right?
  • I moved away from Samsung after many devices and I purchased a Sony Xperia XZ premium. Sony make nice phones But it's been reported these new phones suffer the same camera problem as the Sony Xperia XZ premium.
    The camera is absolutely **** and Sonys response has been woeful.
    I would advise anyone to avoid these phones as to/if when the problem is sorted.
    It's a shame as in other respects the phones are good.
  • More so than the FPS, I can't understand why apparently everyone except Sony's Mobile division gets their best imaging sensors and hardware. Just no excuse for it.
  • It's the software that Sony repeatedly gets wrong. Not only that, but most everyone is back down to 12 MP (for bigger pixels that let in more light) and optical image stabilization (Sony does not have this). Their software is nowhere near Google's, so even with a great sensor they won't be producing anything close to a Pixel.
  • If only they had Verizon LTE bands, I'd at least give it a try. This plus Verizon blocking them from using fingerprint sensors really sucks.
  • Wrong. The phone has a fingerprint sensor; it's just disabled through software. This is the same as the Xperia Z5 onward. It can be enabled by flashing the firmware from some place that does have the sensor enabled (i.e., UK firmware works great).
  • essential price!!
  • I thought Sony had existed the entire smartphone market 2+ years ago??
  • MORE exploitative headlines LOL. What this writer fails to mention is Sony has been adding face unlock to these phones that dont have fingerprint sensors . Apple is doing the same thing but oh its ok for them because its Apple.
  • "but it's still a lot of money to pay for a phone that lacks a fundamentally important part of the smartphone experience." So stay away from Iphones and the next generation of Samsung Galaxy because the next generation wont have a fingerprint sensor either. Neither will the iclones. This author sounds a bit naive.