As Xiaomi continues its European expansion, picking up market share in Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and France, one huge market still eludes the Chinese brand - the USA. Talk of devices coming to the US has been around for years but hasn't materialized. That doesn't mean you can't still buy a Xiaomi phone in the US, though. Here's how to do it.
Important things to consider first
The first thing you need to consider is whether the Xiaomi model you want to buy is going to work on your carrier's LTE frequencies. Not all Xiaomi phones have the right 4G bands to work with American carriers, so make sure you do that little bit of homework before you pick one up. A good site for checking if the phone you've got your eye on will work with your carrier is this one.
Also note that the Google Play Store does not come pre-installed on some Xiaomi devices sold directly from China, so be aware of that before you invest in one. Of course, Xiaomi devices sold in some markets do have the Play Store installed and there are ways to get it installed manually. Just keep that in mind when picking a website through which to buy a Xiaomi device. It is always worth looking for the Global Version of any Xiaomi device you plan on importing to the US.
Where to buy Xiaomi phones in the US
The first place to take a look is mi.com where you can choose your delivery country from a drop-down list and see what devices and accessories are available in your region. The website also a really good overview of the phones, so you can do a bit of research see which one you want to buy. Xiaomi has also launched in the UK, so you can check prices on the British website and use that as a guide for what you should be paying on the other side of the Atlantic.
Once you know you want to buy a Xiaomi phone in the US the next step is to find an online retailer that sells it. You can always check Amazon.com or eBay.com to see if either of those sites have offers available, but your best bet is to look up one of the larger retailers that will ship a Xiaomi device to the US. Please note that some retailers charge extra for delivery to the US.
Newegg.com is one of the most popular online retailers through which to buy Xiaomi devices. Stocking a ton of Xiaomi devices, Newegg is a great online retailer with some massive discounts available. Right now, you can pick up a Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 for under $200. You can also get the very impressive Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for under $380.
Oppomart.com is another massive online retailer for not just Xiaomi devices, but other hard-to-get phones like the OnePlus 2. Oppomart regularly has online sales too, so you can also pick up a Xiaomi phone on sale. Today, you can get a Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro for $379. The tastiest deal going on Oppomart at the minute is a Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 for a crazy low price of $319.
TinyDeal.com is another massive Chinese online retailer worth checking out as they too deliver to the US. They even have an English language website which is nice.
Banggood has a nicely set up site in English and also ships to the US. Banggood is also well known for offering heavily discounted phones, including those from Xiaomi. Right now you can grab a Xiaomi Mi9 Mi 9 SE Global Version for $309.
Flipkart is a huge online retailer servicing India. Officially Flipkart doesn't ship outside India but India is a wonderful country with many options for getting things delivered to (and forwarded on from) an Indian address. Of course, this method isn't anywhere near as secure and sure-fire as some of the other options, so perhaps use this as a last resort (unless you have friends in India).
Geekbuying.com is the last on our list of reliable places to buy Xiaomi phones but it certainly shouldn't be considered the worst choice. Geekbuying has a great reputation and also offers Xiaomi phones at heavy discounts.
Have you used a Xiaomi phone? How did you buy it? Let us know!