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Sony is finally shipping a fingerprint sensor on a phone in the US

Sony is finally shipping a fingerprint sensor on a phone in the US


Took long enough

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Sony Xperia L2
Image: Sony

Sony phones will finally come to the US with a fingerprint sensor on them. I know, that probably doesn’t sound very exciting because every phone ships with a fingerprint sensor on it. But for some reason, Sony has always disabled the fingerprint sensor on its phones in the US, which has made them really unappealing for the last several years. But this month, that starts to change.

The next three phones Sony ships — the Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, and L2 — will all include fingerprint sensors when they arrive in the US. Sony is also changing how it does fingerprint sensors: instead of building the sensor into the phone’s power button on the side, these phones all place them on the back. It’s a less elegant look, but it’s a convenient position and what Android users are used to.

A rep for Sony made it sound like this will be a turning point for the Xperia line and that fingerprint sensors will stop being disabled in the US from here on out. It’s a sign that Sony might start taking the US market more seriously — or at the very least, that it’ll stand a bit more of a chance against competitors, rather than lacking a major and critical feature.

Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra
Image: Sony

Unfortunately, these first phones aren’t much to get excited about beyond this change.

There are two mid-range models: the Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra (pictured above), both sequels to last year’s XA1 and XA1 Ultra. The big upgrade this year is that they’re moving from Mediatek Helio processors over to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line — both include the Snapdragon 630. The smaller model is also growing in size ever so slightly, from a 5-inch 720p display to a 5.2-inch 1080p display. The Ultra sticks with a 6-inch 1080p screen. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but they’re supposed to launch later this month or in early February.

The lower-end model is the Xperia L2 (pictured up top), coming just under a year after the L1. It still has a 5.5-inch 720p display, and it’s still running Android Nougat. But this version has more RAM and storage — 3GB and 32GB — as well as a larger battery and what’s supposed to be an improved front-facing camera. Also, you know, a functional fingerprint sensor. It’s supposed to launch around the same time as the XA2 models.