Even though Xiaomi and Meizu are two of the most popular smartphones makers in China, it has been difficult for U.S. consumers to get their hands on these devices since the only way to do so was by importing them. However, now, that's all about to change.
After previously expressing the desire to move into the U.S. market, Xiami and Meizu smartphones have finally arrived. US Mobile, the mobile virtual network operator that uses T-Mobile's network, has begun selling Xiaomi and Meizu phones starting Sunday night.
These include the Xiaomi Redmi 2, which retails for $119, the Xiaomi Mi 3 for $135, the Xiaomi Mi 4i for $219 and the Meizu Note 2 for $149.
Although these aren't the company's best models, like the high-end Xiaomi Mi Note, these smartphones still provide decent specs for affordable prices. For example, the Mi 4i has a five-inch JDI Full HD display with 1920 by 1080 resolution, 13 MP Sony/Samsung rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera and Snapdragon 64-bit octa-core processor with 2 GB of RAM, up to 32 GB of storage and a 3120 mAh battery. Meizu's Note 2 features a 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD screen, 64-bit octa-core CPU, dual-SIM, 13 MP camera with dual-tone flash and Sony's 3100 mAh battery.
Even though the prices aren't steep, US Mobile is offering installment plans to help reduce the upfront cost for the smartphones, but this does require signing up for one of the provider's 150 plan combinations, such as getting 500 minutes, 500 texts and 500 MB for $24 per month.
The phones have a one-year warranty, are sold unlocked and have support from the carrier. However, they are not compatible with LTE in the U.S., meaning consumers won't be able to use high-speed connections.
Nonetheless, Xiaomi and Meizu both have plans on making smartphone options that will be able to support LTE in the future, with some expected to launch by the end of the year. That means it might be better to hold off from making your next phone purchase until then if you plan to go with a Xiaomi or Meizu device.
Aside from no LTE support, the Xiaomi and Meizu devices are targeted toward the Chinese market, so the smartphones come preloaded with apps that won't serve a purpose for the U.S. consumer. Since Google is not available in China, the smartphones use Android skins instead.
However, a new update reveals Xiaomi is not really on board with this U.S. launch.
"Recent reports have indicated that Xiaomi products will be available in the US," an Xiaomi spokesperson said in a statement. "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 authorized distributors in the US. US Mobile is not authorized to sell Xiaomi products in the US."
The Xiaomi and Meizu smartphones were previously available on US Mobile's website on Monday, but have since been pulled.
Source: PC Mag
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