Traditionally, Sony's Xperia Z line has seen subsequent models launch with few improvements over the previous version. Perhaps owing to Sony's bizarre decision to release two flagship Xperia Z devices in a single year, there have now been 11 Xperia Z devices launched – including the Xperia Z Ultra, Compact models and Xperia Z5 Premium – since the beginning of 2013 with the original. Even so, very few of these devices have ever made it stateside, at least where an official launch is concerned. The Xperia Z Ultra was available as a Google Play Experience device as the Sony Z Ultra, the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact were available on T-Mobile, as were the Xperia Z3 line. Yesterday, Sony announced that the new Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact would be heading to the US as well, but now it appears these aren't entirely the same phone as they are elsewhere around the globe.
Sony reached out to the Verge following the original announcement of the devices to let them know that the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact would not be shipping with fingerprint sensors in the US of A. This is a pretty strange move on Sony's part, and it has us wondering what the move behind the change was. After all, it's unlikely to be price, as the smaller Xperia Z5 Compact will cost $499.99, more than the fingerprint sensor-equipped LG Nexus 5X and multitudes of other devices that still make money.
Whatever the reason was, this represents the second strange move that Sony has taken with the Xperia Z line in the past couple of years. Despite being the same device, the Xperia Z1 hit T-Mobile as the Xperia Z1 S in the US, and the Xperia Z3+ was known as the Xperia Z4 in Japan, yet no Xperia Z4 smartphone launched prior to the Xperia Z5 line launch last Fall. We're sure that there was some sort of reason behind the change, but it's a confusing move nonetheless, and one that will more than likely disappoint Sony fans looking forward to getting their hands on the new line of smartphones once they finally go on sale in the US next month.