After years of waiting to get their hands on smartphones from two of the most admired Chinese brands, customers in the US will legitimately be able to buy Xiaomi and Meizu smartphones, without having to rely on grey market imports, which typically don’t come with any guarantees, leaving users with no recourse when faced with malfunctioning devices. Now, however, all that is set to change, thanks to US Mobile – an MVNO running on T-Mobile’s network. The carrier has now reportedly announced the launch of some popular smartphones from the two aforementioned China-based companies, complete with full support and warranties as applicable.
One of the devices that can now be purchased from US Mobile, is the entry-level Redmi 2 from Xiaomi, which is priced at $119. There are a couple of other models from the handset maker that are available for purchase as well, including the company’s 2013 flagship, the Mi 3, as well as the 2014 flagship, the Mi 4. While the older device costs $135, the later mentioned comes with a price-tag of $219. As for Meizu, the company’s mid-range phablet, the Meizu Note 2, is currently listed at $149. All of which sounds very affordable for the hardware specs and the build quality they seem to offer at these nominal price-points. US Mobile also offers some very attractively-priced plans that allow users to mix and match talk, texts and data depending on how much of each they actually require, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach that’s mostly adopted by the four leading carriers in the country.
The one thing, however, that may put a spanner in the works for both US Mobile and the two China-based tech companies, is the fact that none of the devices seem to support the LTE bands used by T-Mobile. While that’s understandable, seeing as these devices were never meant for sale in the US, it might also be the reason why these smartphones may not quite catch on with US Mobile subscribers just as yet. Both the Chinese vendors, however, are said to be looking at an US launch soon enough, with Xiaomi’s international VP, Mr. Hugo Barra, even saying as much during an interview last year. That being the case, it should only be a matter of time before both companies start incorporating all the US-specific LTE bands in their smartphones, thereby making their upcoming handsets truly attractive propositions for US residents.
UPDATE: Xiaomi has reached out to us to confirm that US Mobile is not their official partner in the US, and that they have no plans of selling smartphone in the country as of now. Furthermore, US Mobile has removed all Xiaomi & Meizu phones from their website. To read more about this, click here.