Amazon offers Prime members phones … with ads

bluAmazon has announced a new special just for Prime members: Unlocked android phones at a reduced price. If you are a Prime subscriber, you have your choice of either a Blu or a Motorola G unlocked phone for up to 50% off the retail price. The catch is that, just like the Kindles and Fire tablets with Special Offers, the phones feature offers and lock screen ads, as well  as apps that cannot be removed.

The two phones being offered are the Blu R1 HD for $49.99 and the Motorola G (4th Generation) for $149.99.

The Blu R1 HD features:

  • Fast 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor with 16 GB Internal memory and 2 GB RAM
  • Dual SIM and MicroSD support for up to 64 GB of expandable storage
  • Stunning 5″ HD display with curved Gorilla Glass 3 protection, plus an 8 MP main camera and 5 MP selfie camera that includes a front-facing LED flash
  • 4G LTE plus GSM unlocked for your favorite compatible carrier or for international travel (including AT&T, T-Mobile; not compatible with Verizon or Sprint)

The phone is also available in a 16 GB Internal memory and 2 GB RAM configuration for an additional cost.motog

The Moto G features:

  • Fast 4G LTE speed, an up to 1.5 GHz octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a bright 5.5″ full HD (1080p) display ensures videos and games run smoothly and look great
  • Take brilliant photos with the 13 MP HD camera or snap group shots with a 5 MP wide-angle selfie cam. Add up to 128 GB of additional storage with a microSD card
  • The all-day battery includes TurboPower charging which provides up to 6 hours of use in just 15 minutes
  • Unlocked and carrier-friendly, works with all major carrier networks domestically or abroad (including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon)

The phone is also available in a 32 GB configuration.

According to the press release,

The BLU R1 HD and Moto G feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Google Mobile Services, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play. A single sign-on experience provides Prime members easy access to their Prime benefits through the most popular Amazon apps, including tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, over one million songs and playlists with Prime Music, unlimited photo storage and backup with Prime Photos, one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First, FREE two-day shipping on millions of items, and more. Customers also get access to thousands of apps, games and in-app items that are 100% free with Amazon Underground, and can shop a personalized selection of  Amazon’s daily deals right from a new home screen widget.

Unlike Amazon previous Fire phone venture (which was exclusive to one carrier), these phones work with major carriers: AT&T and T-Mobile for the Blu and AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon for the Moto G. Two of the apps installed on the phones, Amazon Underground and Amazon Video are not available in the Google Play Store.

The newly launched BLU R1 HD and Moto G are available for pre-order starting now. The phones will be available on July 12th, 2016. The BLU R1 HD and Moto G without offers and ads are also available on Amazon to Prime and non-Prime members alike, at full retail price.

So, what do you think? I always buy unlocked phones and am due for a new one, so these might be worth considering. I just don’t know how to tell my cats I might be booting their picture for an ad…

Daily Links: X Marks the Spot That Makes Online Ads So Maddening

daily_links_1X Marks the Spot That Makes Online Ads So Maddening (NYT) – I think at this point, we have all run into a few of these. Infuriating.

The USPS is rolling out a feature that emails you images of your actual mail (The Next Web)

Mozilla scraps in-Firefox ads (Computerworld) – Because the number of users who actually want this was how many?

Google Turns On Safe Browsing In Chrome For Android (Techcrunch) – A much needed safety feature.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile is now free on both Android and iOS (The Next Web) – Nice freebie for those who need it for Android.

Need Music For A Video? Jukedeck’s AI Composer Makes Cheap, Custom Soundtracks (Techcrunch) – This looks totally fascinating! I can see so many uses for this!

And finally, my Kindle find of the day, How To Draw Caricatures for just $1.99.

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Can you identify this vintage ad?

Madison web screenshotI am sort of addicted to a new game. When I take a break from whatever I am working on, I “play” for a few minutes. And, no, it’s not Flappy Bird.

The “game” I am playing is part of the archival project at The New York Times called Madison.  According to Ad Age, for the project, The NYT has collected all the print ads from the “Mad Men” era of the 1960s and is asking readers for help.

According to Alexis Lloyd of the Times R & D Lab, “… readers are asked to do one of the following as they scroll:

  • Find. This involves simply indicating whether a highlighted area is an ad, multiple ads or not advertising at all.

  • Tag. Readers enter the company that made the ad and its industry.

  • Transcribe. Dedicated readers transcribe the text of the ads.”

Going through the ads is addictive and definitely fun. The fun aspect is deliberate and designed to encourage readers to help.  Hopefully, the information provided by those who participate will lead to a archive which is searchable by everyone.

The ads themselves are also fun and informative. I had no idea that designer clothes cost that much in the 1960s! And with the recent loss of Lauren Bacall, it was poignant to see an ad for tickets to her performance in the play, Cactus Flower.

Now, isn’t that more fun than Flappy Bird? 🙂 Let me know what you think if you give it a try.