Amazon has been selling Kindle eReaders and Fire tablets with “special offers” for a few years, allowing you to save around $15 on the purchase price in exchange for viewing ads on the lock screen and in a few other places.
Now the company is bringing special offers to third-party devices.
Amazon is offering deep discounts on some Android smartphones that have been customized to include “personalized offers and ads” on the lock screen.
The deals are available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, and the first two phones available are the BLU R1 HD and 4th-gen Moto G smartphones. They’re both available for pre-order and they should each ship in July.
The Blu R1 HD is an entry-level phone with a 5 inch, 720p display, a MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor and either 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage or 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Prices for this phone normally start at $100 but the Prime Exclusive edition with special offers is available for $50.
Motorola’s new Moto G 4th-edition smartphone features a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of storage.
Normally the Moto G4 sells for $200 and up, but the Prime Exclusive model is priced at $150 and up… and for a limited time Amazon is offering an extra $25 off which brings the price-in-cart to $125.
There’s no word on how difficult it would be to disable lock screen ads by using third-party software… but I wouldn’t exactly expect Amazon to tell us that in a press release. For now if you really dislike the idea of ads that can only be dismissed by unlocking your phone, you might just want to pay the extra $50 to get the ad-free versions.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the Moto G4 Plus is available through the new Prime Exclusive program. That phone is similar to the 4th-gen Moto G, but features a higher-quality rear camera, a fingerprint scanner and up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Incidentally, I’ve had special offers on my Kindle Touch eReader for close to five years, and they’ve never really bothered me much because I spent a lot more time reading books on the Kindle than I do looking at the home screen.
On the other hand, I’ve gotten so used to watching movies and TV shows using a DVR or Netflix in recent years that I’m kind of dumbstruck by how much advertising there is on broadcast TV. Hopefully nobody proposes video lock screen ads that make you wait 30 seconds to unlock your device anytime soon.