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You can now buy a Xiaomi phone in the US

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But you probably don't want to

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Xiaomi has been the buzz of the upstart smartphone world for the past few years, gaining significant ground in China and other parts of Asia. But its unique blend of direct sales, high-end phones, and low prices has yet to come to the Western world, and it's been nearly impossible to acquire a Xiaomi phone in the US. The company says it plans to bring its devices to America and other Western countries at some point in the future, but today US Mobile revealed that it will be importing Xiaomi and Meizu phones to the US for use on its network (which runs on T-Mobile).

According to a report by PC Mag, US Mobile is selling the Xiaomi Redmi 2, Xiaomi Mi 3, Meizu Note 2, and Xioami Mi 4 for prices ranging from $119 to $219. Those devices aren't the latest and greatest from Xiaomi or Meizu (Xiaomi's high-end Mi Note is conspicuously missing from the list), but they offer impressive specs and feature lists for very low prices. Unfortunately, because US Mobile is just importing these phones and they are not officially sold or optimized for the US, they don't support LTE speeds on US Mobile's network. The phones are also tailored to the Chinese market, with specific apps and services preloaded that don't function here in the US. Presumably, they will have Google's own services, which are not available in China, in place of them.

No LTE and lack of optimization make these less than ideal for the US

US Mobile says it will provide service and support for the phones it sells, potentially alleviating one of the major headaches encountered when you try to import and phone yourself. But given that none of these phones support LTE and aren't really optimized for use in the US at all, you might be better off waiting for something more official from Xiaomi or Meizu, provided it ever comes.

Update: Xiaomi has provided a statement on the matter and says that US Mobile is not an authorized distributor and it currently has no plans to sell its smartphones in the US. The full statement is below.

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.