POLL: Would you buy a Discounted Smartphone that shows ads on the Lock Screen?

by Amit Bhawani 7

Blu Amazon Prime offer

Amazon is hosting its second annual Prime Day sale bringing in thousands of offers under different categories but what has caught our attention are two Smartphones. You can buy them at a retail pricing of $100 & get the unlocked variant or else get 50% OFF on the price if you opt for the “Prime Exclusive – With Offers & Ads” offer. Do make a note that these offers are only available in the US, specifically on the Amazon.com website.

Amazon Blu Phone Lockscreen AdsWe are referring to the BLU R1 HD Smartphone that was launched in two different variants. The basic one comes with 1GB of RAM, 8GB Internal storage at a price of $100, while the upgraded one costs $110 but comes with double the RAM & double the Internal Storage. The deal here is that you will have to signup for the Amazon Prime Service on 12th July which is the Prime Day, a day when Amazon pushes out zillions of deals to their customers. Under all these deals, what caught our eye was not the regular discounts or the offers but a unique marketing approach Amazon has taken up. This initiative is not just taken with the BLU Smartphones but also with the Motorola Phones, where you can find that the Moto G4 when purchased under this deal, would be available at a $50 off for new prime members.

Since these phones are sold in the US, most of the users would be worried about the locked status, and FYI these are unlocked devices which mean that you could connect to any network. The only point to note is the bands that differ from network to network though the most common ones are 800, 850 & 1900 MHz. Now let us talk about the whole concept of discounting that’s happening in these devices. What’s in it for Amazon to offer these massive discounts that almost bring down the phone’s retail pricing to 50% of the original without compromising on the hardware when offering under a deal.

Cast your Vote on the Poll Below.

The above picture of the Motorola’s phone can clearly show you how the lock screen would look once you purchase the phone under the “With Offers & Ads” option. Instead of a plain lock screen that would generally show the time and the date, here it would showcase content from Amazon that when tapped would take the users to subscription pages. There is not much information yet on how long these ads would appear that hints that it would go on, but according to a few comments on Android Police, it is clear that the phone could be rooted easily. This would offer the user to easily uninstall all these applications and remove all the bloatware that Amazon is installing on their phones. This has not been locked too because Amazon has the data that probably hints that there’s a very small percentage of users who would actually put these efforts to remove all the bloatware.

According to CNET: Along with the special ad-supported pricing, Amazon has added its suite of apps to the phones, including the Amazon shopping app, Amazon Video, Amazon Music, Audible and Prime Now. Users can access all these apps through a single sign-in, so they don’t have to log on to each app individually.

The single sign-in instead of being just a feature is also convenient to a user who subscriber’s to the Prime services because it would save their time in logging into all these services. The question still that we have is whether you would be interested in buying a decent or mid-level specced Smartphone that’s generally retailing at $110 at just $60? The only catch being that there would be a few pre-installed apps which is not something new but also ads on the lock screen. Will you be ok with a new ad showing up on your phone or would you buy this phone & try to root or even run a different launcher to skip these ads?

Do make a note that this is not something that’s the first in this industry. Early in 2014, Indian Smartphone Brand Micromax had launched a similar concept where they were paying their customers to watch ads. The phone model was MAd A94 that came with MAd application that allowed users to earn points that were later converted into currency.

Editors Note: If you ask me my opinion regarding purchasing this Smartphone, I can only recommend it if you plan to buy it as a secondary phone, if not it’s not worth the money. You need to also account the cost of the data, that would be charged to your bill if you are not on WiFi & every time you try to unlock the phone, it would connect to the Amazon servers to show you a new ad on the lock screen. Apart from that even if you ignore the ads on the lock screen, the pre-installed apps will keep sending you notifications or worst still clog up your internal storage in case you buy the phone with the 8GB of Internal storage. Though it is your personal decision and if you plan to buy a secondary phone, this deal is not bad either.

Amit Bhawani


Amit Bhawani is a Professional Blogger & Founder of PhoneRadar, Android Advices & Gizmo Report. He has received various awards like the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award & Samsung Mobilers Award. He covers more on the subject of value of mobile phones to consumers and gives insights to mobile buyers helping them to buy the right device.

  • Eldo Jacob

    I agree with the editor.Most of us don’t want our smartphones to have notifications filled with ads say when we are waiting for an important message or call.It is annoying.Would rather spend 50$ more to get an ad free smartphone.It is more worthy in the long period use.

  • Abhijeet Nagawade

    Showing ads will consume Data. Which indirectly adds to the cost. might sometimes cross the actual price of the phone if user is not on a suitable data plan

  • chiragkapuriya

    It’s batter to invest one time then regretting each time you use your phone. No one love ads specially that adult ads. People want their phone to as much comfortable as it can be.


    Only as a secondary phone

  • jimberkas

    meh. i’ll give it a shot. I ordered the $60 Blu phone that delivers tomorrow. seems like its easy, at least for now, to just install Next Lock and be done with the ads.
    I also just ordered the 32GB version of the G4 with amazon ads, got it for $85 after promos and a gift card. That one might be a bit trickier to work around, but there is a way to disable the ads using ADB already. of course, amazon might plug this hole down the road, but the ads don’t seem too intrusive.
    I like to tinker, so what the hell. cheap entertainment, really. if they suck too much ass, then they get returned to amazon

    • Looking forward to know your experience especially with the BLU because it is not available here in India. That said at $50 / $60 its a steal.

      • jimberkas

        received the phone today. don’t have a sim card in it, so can’t test phone functions. but I’m VERY pleased with build quality and screen. just starting to tinker now, but so far I’m very happy with it. might even get another one.
        the Next Lockscreen app only blocks the amazon lockscreen about half the time, which is weird. but i honestly don’t even mind the lockscreen ads. it does seem to block the notification ads from amazon all the time