No carrier will sell their phones and the government says you shouldn't buy them. So how is Huawei trying to break into the US? With a cheaper smartphone.

Huawei has released the Mate SE in the US, which is being sold for the discounted price of $229. It follows the release of its high-end Mate 10 Pro earlier this year.

The Huawei Mate SE is being sold for the discounted price of $229. (Source: Huawei)

Not having a carrier partner is a huge blow for Huawei in a country where 90% of phones are sold with a contract. Buying through a carrier also brings down the sticker price of a phone -- making Huawei’s unlocked phones more expensive in comparison.

Industry watchers were quick to point out the Mate SE is remarkably similar to the Honor 7X, released last month by a sub-brand of Huawei.

But one analyst told us it’s unlikely the phone will do much to improve the world’s third biggest smartphone maker’s standing in the US.

“I wouldn’t expect it to make any huge impact just yet,” IDC’s Bryan Ma told Abacus.