Xiaomi and Meizu are two of the biggest and fastest-growing smartphone manufacturers in the world, yet both are virtually unknown in the US. Neither company has made an effort to expand its offerings into the US, instead sticking to the known territory of China and the surrounding region. But now, one small US carrier is becoming the first authorized US retailer of Meizu and Xiamoi devices.
US Mobile, a small subsidiary carrier that runs on T-Mobile’s network, is now selling Xiaomi and Meizu devices. The Xiaomi devices that will be offered include the Xiaomi Redmi 2 ($119), Xiaomi Mi 3 ($135) and the Xiaomi Mi 4i ($219). The only Meizu device that will be offered is the Meizu M2 Note ($149). All of the devices place an emphasis on offering big bang for your buck, with powerful specs paired with a low price.
There are some downsides, however. First of all, both Xiaomi and Meizu pack their phones with very heavy skins atop older versions of Android. As the phones were designed for the Chinese market (which doesn’t allow for Google services), the manufacturers make up for that with their own software. That may be a turn-off for many customers.
Additionally, none of the devices from Xiaomi or Meizu support LTE within the US. The phones weren’t designed to be sold in the US, and as such, they don’t include compatibility for US LTE bands.
Even with those drawbacks, the phones may still find a market on US Mobile, which is designed to offer value and flexibility to its customers. The carrier offers 150 different plan options that allow you to mix and match to find the plan that best fits your usage style. It also supports any T-Mobile phone and sells a huge array of devices itself, ranging from voice-only devices to high-end offerings such as the Blackberry Passport.
With this first entrance into the US, we’ll be sure to keep on the lookout for further US expansion from Xiaomi and Meizu.