One of the biggest smartphone brands in the world is finally coming to the US market, but it’s not likely to be a huge draw. US Mobile, a small carrier that uses the T-Mobile network, has announced that it is going to start selling a few select Xiaomi products—the Redmi 2, Mi 3, and Mi 4i—along with a device from another China-based smartphone OEM, Meizu.
There are some important catches, though, as far as the Xiaomi devices are concerned. The first is that the MiUI, the Android-based platform that integrates a number of other features and services, such as appointment boking and movie ticket orders, into the Xiaomi user experience, will not be operational stateside. Also, due to regional standards differences, the Xiaomi devices won’t have access to 4G connectivity and will instead be restricted to 3G. Moreover, Xiaomi itself has issued a statement indicating that US Mobile is not an authorized distributor of its products.
A final issue is that none of these Xiaomi devices feature the fingerprint scanners that have been proliferating among the company’s more recent offerings. Xiaomi has been one of OEMs helping to bring this technology to lower ends of the price spectrum, and as it becomes increasingly important in applications such as mPayment authentication, consumers may lose interest in devices lacking the feature.
This all seems likely to chill any potential enthusiasm for the products in the US. Still, at the very least the distribution could make US Mobile a few bucks.