(Update: official statement) Xiaomi phones hit US soil… but we’re not all that stoked

by: John DyeFebruary 2, 2016
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xiaomi redmi note 3 (6)

Update, February 2: Our suspicions were warranted. Xiaomi sent out a statement regarding US Cellular, confirming that US Cellular is not an authorized dealer and that is simply importing devices from China:

Recent reports have indicated that Xiaomi products will be available in the US. Xiaomi only offers a small selection of accessories for sale in the US through Mi.com. There are no plans to sell smartphones through any authorised distributors in the US. US Mobile is not authorised to sell Xiaomi products in the US.

Original post, February 1: Xiaomi has arisen as a massive player in the global smartphone arena. The upstart Chinese company has proven to be a scrappy champion of the middle market, and over the last few years, they’ve risen to a place of prominence throughout Asia. Their aggressive sales and refreshing marketing tactics have made them competitive even with the big dogs, but to-date it’s been incredibly difficult to get your hands on a Xiaomi smartphone if you’re living in a Western country. That is, until now.

US Mobile just revealed that they’re importing Xiaomi and Meizu phones for use on the T-Mobile network. But puzzlingly, the devices they’ve selected aren’t exactly the cream of the crop, and they aren’t optimized for use in the states. US Mobile is now selling the Xiaomi Redmi 2, the Mi 3, and the Mi 4, as well as the Meizu Note 2. What we want to know is, where is the Mi Note in that lineup?

Sure, the $199 to $219 price range is nice, and you do get some pretty incredible hardware for what you’re paying, but none of these devices are optimized for US mobile networks. That means no LTE for you, and to make matters worse, the handsets all come pre-loaded with Chinese apps and services that won’t work in the US.

We’re scratching our heads a little bit at this move. US Mobile is effectively taking the hassle out of importing these products by doing the heavy lifting themselves instead of leaving you with a bunch of hoops to jump through. Nevertheless, this isn’t official arrival of Xiaomi’s boots on US soil that we’ve been hoping for. If you’re looking for an inexpensive device to experiment with, maybe one of these smartphones is for you, but as for an everyday driver… we’re going to keep waiting for something a bit more official.

What are your thoughts regarding the arrival of these devices? Think you’ll be picking one up anytime soon, or will you be waiting like we are? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

Next: Xiaomi Mi 5 will be shown off at MWC 2016

  • Linh

    Apple’s lawyers are ready for them.

    • MikePlus

      You know it.

    • jasonlowr

      I hope apple sues the shit out of them.

      • Goos

        HTC should sue the shit out of Apple because iCrap 6 was a shameless copy of the HTC One M8.

        • jasonlowr

          Dont they share some patents together?

  • Tajwar

    Baby step

  • Kyng

    Makes no sense. Without lte support the devices are gimped from the get go. I just don’t get it…

  • Ridge

    They’re trying to pull a Huawei. too bad they didn’t make the most recent Nexus.

    • EasyCare

      MIUI is a selling point for them. Pure Android is just no-no.

      • Ridge

        In Asia, maybe. However, I was more referring to the fact that they would have gained much more publicity and thus would have been in a much better position for having built a Nexus.

        • Airyl

          It’s not like they’re actually moving into the US.

          • Ridge

            No,but they’re definitely trying to slowly gain some market share in the US. It makes sense, since their phones are cheaper than most of what’s available now.

          • balcobomber25

            How are they trying to gain market share in the US? They don’t officially sell a single device in the US and they haven’t even hinted at selling here.

          • Ridge

            You’re absolutely right. I’d be surprised thy they weren’t thinking about it, but I am definitely mistaken.

            In that case, my opinion is that they should wait until the market for unlocked budget or cheaper premium devices grows, as they would definitely have something to offer in that segment.

          • balcobomber25

            My opinion is they should focus on emerging markets and nothing else. The largest segment for phones in the world is the budget segment, and Xiaomi sells more Redmi phones than Mi phones. Focusing on markets like Brazil, India, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam will be more beneficial to them than trying to compete in the US.

  • Btort

    why would you pay $200 for a shitty phone that doesn’t even work with US LTE? You can even buy a G3 or moto x 2014 or nexus 6 and you will get a phone 5 times better than these POS phones

    • Airyl

      Eh, it’s the exact opposite here in Asia.

    • ggg

      Nexus 6, fanboy? This is a midrange phone, the Nexus not that much. G3 is old, Moto X 2014 some thing.

      • Btort

        old or not, still overall better than these phones

    • balcobomber25

      Besides not having US LTE what is “POS” about these phones? Share with us your knowledge of Chinese phones.

      • AlexFirth91

        That pretty much makes it that IMO. 2016 is here, every phone should have LTE standard, with full spectrum support in an unlocked phone’s case, automatically.

        • balcobomber25

          The LTE bands here are not used in any of the countries in which Xiaomi sells in officially. They have no reason to include those bands. There are phones here which don’t include the bands for Asia. I agree all phones should have every band, but it’s something very few companies actually do. So again besides LTE what makes them “POS”?

      • Btort

        it’s POS if you can buy a s5, htc m8, g3 at the same price AND better quality. You want a good chinese phone? get a hwouweii 5x

        • balcobomber25

          What makes them better quality? I am still waiting for your actual points instead of deflection. Back it up with actual facts about Xiaomi’s quality.

    • Милен Стефанов

      What are you- dumb fuck, stupid shit or fucking moron? Xiaomi DOES NOT sell in US today and I can bet $1000 that when some day Xiaomi OFFICIALLY enters US market the phones WILL support needed LTE bands…

      • Btort

        can you fuckin read dumbfuck? I said why would you pay $200 for a shitty phone that doesn’t even work with US LTE, and also the article was about this POS phone. This carrier is IMPORTING and selling these phones in the US, and I said why would you pay for a POS $200 phone? I guess you are too dumb to comprehend simple logic

        • Милен Стефанов

          I can read, but you can’t think… I hope that you don’t have children- we don’t need more idiots…

          • Btort

            you’re the idiot who could’t comprehend what I wrote. even a 4th grader could comprehend what i wrote.

          • Милен Стефанов

            Are you sure that your parents are not brother and sister? There’s no other reason someone to become so stupid like you…

    • Giorgio, Canada

      Sounds like you used one of them .. NOT

  • Mista_Mr

    That’s makes no sense at all, especially if loaded with chinese apps??!!

    • balcobomber25

      Xiaomi phones have full access to the Play Store and if you buy it from a legitimate source there is very little bloatware on it.

  • Ruby

    I love my RedMi Note 4G and use it as my primary phone when I’m outside of the US. But here in the USA it has no LTE support and cannot be used on Verizon or Sprint.

    • lolwut

      lol who uses Sprint?

      • balcobomber25

        According to the most recent polls about 57 million Americans use it :P

  • Goos

    And where are the Redmi Note 3 and the Redmi 3 ?

  • balcobomber25

    This never made sense from Xiaomi’s point of view. All these phones are not in production anymore and US Mobile is such a small carrier, they would have partnered with ATT or Tmobile if they were going to come here and the Redmi’s newest models would be available.

  • 喻勇

    best wish for Xiaomi company ,I like MIUI OS.

  • Giorgio, Canada

    You can buy an international version online from China or India (I got a Mi3 a year ago) . It was easy to install Google apps. While there are a few apps in Chinese, I put them all in one folder on the last page – not an issue. The phone is very nice, with a very decent camera.