Sony launched the two new handsets it unveiled at IFA 2016 recently in the United States. The Xperia XZ and X Compact are both available unlocked and off-contract through Sony’s retail partners which include Amazon. The handsets do feature a fingerprint sensor but it has been locked behind software in the United States whereas it’s activated by default in units shipping in other markets. Sony Mobile’s senior director of marketing has said that the fingerprint sensor has been disabled in these handsets as “a business decision we needed to make as we transitioned from the carrier market to the unlocked market.”
Both the Xperia XZ and X Compact have the required hardware in place so they’re not lacking in that department. All that’s keeping the fingerprint sensor from actually serving a purpose is a software hold which can be broken easily if you’re willing to flash firmware on the device manually.
There’s an entire thread on the XDA Developers forum which details just how one can unlock the Xperia XZ and X Compact fingerprint sensor. You will need to flash firmware from another region to essentially trick the device into thinking that it’s in another region. This will unlock the full functionality of the fingerprint sensor.
It’s not terribly hard to do this but it will be in your best interest to go through all of the steps as they have been detailed in the threat to make sure that nothing goes wrong.