Are you looking to upgrade or switch to an Android smartphone? Are you an Amazon Prime member? If yes, this might a good time to take out your wallet. But there’s a catch — you’ll have to deal with ads on your new device’s lock screen.
Amazon just announced deals for Prime members that bring down the price of the Blu R1 HD and Motorola’s Moto G4 by adding advertisements to the devices — both of the new phones will ship on July 12. The Blu R1 HD, which retails at $100, will now cost $50 for the 8GB version. The 16GB version, which is supposed to cost $110, is priced at $60 for Prime members. The Moto G4 isn’t getting a 50 percent cut like Blu’s device, but you’ll see the cost going from $200 to $150 for the 16GB variant and the 32GB one will cost $180.
Amazon is giving you a choice — a lower-priced phone with ads, or the normal handset at a higher cost.
Both these devices are unlocked, which means you’ll be able to use them on supported carriers. But this exclusive Prime deal comes with two major drawbacks — expect to see advertisements pop up on your phone’s lock screen. These ads will be similar to the ones that are served on Amazon’s Kindle ebook readers and Fire HD tablets, and you’ll be seeing ones from other companies promoting “personalized deals and product recommendations.” This is the first time retail giant is marketing its ad services on non-Amazon devices.
The ads will appear on your lock screen below your other notifications, and you can tap them to learn more, or unlock your phone to dismiss them. Amazon’s Vice President of Consumer Electronics, Laura Orvidas, says the offers displayed on Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers have “been a hit,” with consumers choosing the lower-priced option. An Amazon representative tells Digital Trends that data recorded is limited to attributes like “whether customers clicked on an ad, as well as whether they went on to purchase the product on Amazon after ad exposure.”
It’s also unclear how these devices would receive Android updates. The process is already fragmented since people have to wait for manufacturers and carriers to send out updates, but does this mean Amazon has to update its services as well? The Amazon spokesperson said the company expects “Blu and Motorola to release software updates as they are available. Apps will update via Google Play and Amazon Underground.” It’s unclear if Amazon’s ad services will also have to be updated.
On top of seeings ads on your lock screen, the devices will also come pre-installed with a boatload of Amazon’s apps, such as Amazon, Amazon Video, and Prime Music. You’ll be able to remove these apps from the home screen, but it looks like you can’t remove them completely.
Separate from this Prime exclusive deal, Amazon is also offering an additional $25 off the Moto G4, so you’ll be able to grab it for $125 for the 16GB version, and $155 for the 32GB of storage. You can jump on these deals for the Moto G4 and the Blu R1 HD now if you’re a Prime member, but you’ll also be able to pre-order the devices at their normal prices without offers and ads.
The Moto G4 was announced a few weeks prior, along with the Moto G4 Play and the Moto G4 Plus — you can read more about the devices here. The Blu R1 HD was unveiled today in tandem with Amazon’s Prime deal, and it’s a 5-inch budget Android 6.0 smartphone that has a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It’s powered by a MediaTek 6735 processor, and you can choose between 1GB or 2GB of RAM, and 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. There’s also MicroSD card support, capable of adding up to 64GB of storage, and the rear camera has 8-megapixels, while the selfie camera is packed with 5-megapixels. Blu’s new device is houses a 2,500mAh battery.
With these deals, Amazon is giving you a choice — a lower-priced phone with ads, or the normal handset at a higher cost. It’s clear the direction the retail giant is heading, and we can expect to see more devices and connected products from Amazon to also have an ad-ridden variant.