Amazon has announced that they will be giving Prime subscribers exclusive pricing on the latest Android-powered unlocked smartphones. The first two phones to take advantage of this deal will be the Moto G4 and BLU R1 HD when they each go on sale at the online retailer July 12th.
Amazon Prime members can now take advantage of exclusive pricing–up to 50% off the full retail price–on a selection of newly released, fully featured, unlocked Android smartphones. The all-new BLU R1 HD is only $49.99 ($50.00 off its retail price of $99.99) and the new fourth-generation Motorola Moto G is $149.99 ($50.00 off its retail price of $199.99). Each phone is offered unlocked, with no commitment to a contract, giving Prime members the flexibility to switch between wireless carriers and service options to best fit their needs. The newly launched BLU R1 HD and Moto G are available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/prime-exclusive-phones.
By now, you’re probably like, “Okay, so this headline says there’s a catch involved, but I’m not seeing it anywhere.” Did you check the lock screen? Because the catch is right there.
Yeah, you know where I’m going with this.
As we’ve seen with the Kindle for many generations and now their lineup of Fire tablets, Amazon has decided that by placing ads on any lock screen belonging to Prime exclusive pricing, they could bring the cost down. No, you’re not paying the extra $50 or so with your Prime subscription every year. Amazon’s just giving you ads in exchange for your discounted bill. The retailer describes this technique as a “breakthrough”.
The breakthrough pricing on unlocked smartphones is supported by personalized offers and ads, including deals and product recommendations, displayed on the phone’s lockscreen. When a customer sees an offer, they can tap to learn more about it or simply unlock their phone to dismiss.
I know most of you probably won’t be bothered by these ads, but there’s also another catch. In conjunction with these infamous ads, Amazon’s also preinstalling all their Prime services’ assigned applications. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it, however I believe it might be useful since when you get one of these devices, you’re already signed into your Amazon account like you are when picking up a fresh Kindle or Fire. It’s unclear whether you’ll be able to uninstall this built-in software, however you may not want to since you’ll already have access to Prime without installing anything manually.
In case you were wondering, here’s how Amazon described the Moto G4 and BLU R1 HD in their official press release.
The fourth-generation Moto G is the latest premium phone from Motorola and the thinnest Moto G yet. Compatible with all major CDMA and GSM carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. It boasts a 5.5″ full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset with an octa-core processor at up to 1.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and 4G LTE speeds. In addition, the Moto G features a 13MP camera with dual LED flash, and a 3000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging giving you up to 6 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging. Available with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus microSD card support for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
At $49.99, the BLU R1 HD is the only unlocked smartphone under $100 featuring a vivid HD display with a brightness rating of 420 nits, and a wide-angle 5MP selfie camera with LED flash. The beautiful 5″ HD curved Gorilla Glass display and aluminum metal enclosure incorporate the highest grade material resulting in a stunning look and feel. Featuring a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, fast 4G LTE speed, and an 8MP rear-facing camera, the BLU R1 HD is available with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage or 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage–both have microSD card support for up to 64 GB of additional storage. The BLU R1 HD is compatible with GSM carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile.
You can preorder both of these phones now at www.amazon.com/prime-exclusive-phones. If you don’t want to pay $149 or $49 (respectively) for the Moto G4 or BLU R1 HD with ads, you’ll have to pay full retail price of $199 and $99 for the devices. If you’re not a Prime member but want access to this pricing, I suggest you go grab yourself a 30-day free trail of the service and save some cash.