Xiaomi and Meizu are about to get some carrier love here in the US thanks to US Mobile. Who will start selling, servicing, and supporting phones from both of the Chinese manufacturers since last night. Unless you’re a huge Android nerd you’ve probably never heard of Xiaomi or Meizu. Even if you’ve heard of them you’ve probably never used one before.

However Xiaomi is the third largest phone maker in the world according to IDC. This is due to their high quality yet affordable phones. While importing has always been an option. It often adds a premium to the device, and no service or support is offered. Now for the first time, you’ll have direct access from a carrier thanks to US Mobile. The phones they will be offering through their store are the Xiaomi Redmi 2 for $119, the Xiaomi Mi 3 for $135, the Meizu Note 2 for $149, and the Xiaomi Mi 4 for $219. To make it even more affordable you can make monthly payments on them.

While the specs and prices of these phones are great values, there are some downsides. Mainly that they do not support LTE. These are Chinese made phones for the Chinese market after all. Where they don’t have support for our 4G bands. Meaning if that’s a big deal for you, then you might want to look at some other affordable Chinese phones which were made for the US. Phones from manufacturers like Huawei, Blu, or ZTE.

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Another possible downside, is just like Huawei phones Xiaomi and Meizu are heavily skinned versions of Android. Mostly copying IOS as much as possible, including launchers with no app drawers. Which is a reason Huawei phones get a lot of flack in their reviews.

Still if you can get past the lack of LTE and the skin on the software, these phones are great values. US Mobile’s plans can also be a good value for light users. They run on the T-Mobile network, and use a pricing structure much like Ting. Where you can pick different tiers in voice, text, and data. Only paying for what you need. Which can save you a lot of money, if like I said you are a light user. Founder and CEO of US Mobile Khattak promised an ongoing relationship with Xiaomi and Meizu. He even said that it’s possible that their future phones might include LTE.

I’ve often wondered when Xiaomi might make a push into the US market. They make high quality, well designed, and very affordable products. I think they would be a welcomed addition to carriers here in the US, and also force others to price more aggressively. The biggest downside being their lack of 4G bands. If they could change that, then I think they would be a big success in the US. Much like they have been all over the world.

Source: PCMag