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 and Deals: E-books, why so old-fashioned? Here’s a Web wakeup call

daily_links_1Today, another look at the idea that ebooks should be more interactive. Also, OverDrive looks at making it easier to download library books on a Kobo and more on the role adblockers. In Deals, you can get an unlocked dual sim smartphone and savings of up to 50% off PC accessories.

Daily Links for Tuesday, May 10, 2016:

FTC, FCC want to know more about how carriers and manufacturers issue security updates (Android Central) Right now, it’s just a request for more information, but it is on their radar.

Easier downloads of OverDrive library books coming ‘relatively soon’ for Kobo e-readers and apps (Teleread) This is great news! Now, how soon is soon, LOL?

Why publishers are teaming up to explore time-based selling (Digiday) Will this approach change the way we view online ads?

Reddit’s Technology Subreddit Ponders Banning Wired & Forbes For Blocking Adblock Users (Techdirt) Can you have it both ways? Why should I share your content if you won’t let people see it?

E-books, why so old-fashioned? Here’s a Web wakeup call (CNET) Here we go again. Do you need your ebooks to be more dynamic and interactive? All I want to do is read….

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Unsaid: A Novel by Neil Abramson for $2.99.

In Today’s Deals, there is a BLU Advance 5.0 – Unlocked Dual Sim Smartphone – US GSM and up to 50% off select Logitech PC accessories.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is The Sweet By and By: A Novel by Todd Johnson for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Indebted Series 1-3 Boxed Set by Pepper Winters for  99 cents. The extra Daily Deals is Greenwash: A Katerina Carter Color of Money Mystery (Book 3) by Colleen Cross for $3.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr for $1.99. This is a fascinating sounding tale of the quest for a painting by Italian Baroque master Caravaggio.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)

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, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.