Xperia XZ1 Now Physically Present In The US, No Fingerprint Scanner. (Buy It Now)

At IFA 2017 late last month, Sony unveiled its second attempt at putting out a flagship for the second half of the year. And this time, Sony almost gets the formula right. Well, almost. The Xperia XZ1 is now ready for purchase in the US, unlocked and from Amazon, and it rightly doesn’t carry the high price of the Xperia XZ Premium launched a few months back. Sadly, Sony continues to deprive its US customers with a feature that has become more or less standard on any smartphone, to the extent that even Apple has been criticized for removing it. Yes, it still doesn’t support a fingerprint sensor.

$699.99. That’s how much you’ll be paying for an Xperia XZ1. Right off the bat that is significantly lower than many of this year’s flagships, especially compared to the $1,000 Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple iPhone X. But, at the same time, you are getting what you pay for, both the good and the bad.

The good: you are getting high-end 2017 specs, if you ignore the screen for a moment. That means a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. It has a 19 megapixel main camera with all the mobile photography technologies Sony can throw at it. On the front is a large 13 megapixel selfie shooter. And it thankfully comes with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. 

Here are the things you won’t get. You won’t get a 2K/WQHD screen, though many users are fine with 1920×1080 displays, especially with Sony’s TRILUMINOS LCD tech. You won’t be getting a second camera, because, as good as Sony is with cameras and camera sensors, it still doesn’t have a dual camera phone. And, perhaps most importantly, you still won’t get a fingerprint scanner, at least not in the US. Maybe Apple’s push to make fingerprint sensors obsolete might actually work in Sony’s favor.

These small nitpicks, including a commonly regarded outdated design, might cause some consumers to think twice about throwing their money at an Xperia XZ1. It doesn’t help that Sony still eschews any form of US carrier partnership, forcing buyers to take extra steps to get one, almost as if Sony is actually making it hard for them to buy its latest and greatest phones.

BUY: Sony Xperia XZ1 from Amazon (Black), (Moonlit Blue), (Venus Pink), (Warm Silver)