Amazon is Now Selling an Ad-Subsidized $600 Smartphone – Would You buy One?

Don’t look now, but Amazon has gotten back into the premium smartphone market.

After the premium priced Fire Phone crashed and burned, Amazon regrouped and last year co-branded several new mid-market Android smartphones. Primer owners could get a good deal so long as they put up with adverts. This worked out well enough that Amazon currently offer 13 Android smartphones exclusively to Prime members, including the LG X charge, LG G6, LG G6+, and the LG Q6, which were announced today.

I know that this doesn’t sound very newsworthy, but what caught my eye about today’s news was that two of the phones, the Lg G6 and G6+ cost in the range of $400 to $500.The ads will save you about $50 to $100 off the price of the unlocked model, putting the price of the unlocked phone in the same range as the iPhone.

Amazon is now selling ad space on smartphones that cost as much as the iPhone.

Would you buy one?

I know I would not; a $99 smartphone does more than I need, so there is no way I could justify spending $500 on one.

But we all have different priorities; what are yours?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. BDR26 October, 2017

    The problem with an Amazon-subsidized phone, in my experience, is not the ad itself, it’s how the process which serves the ad messes with Android’s notifications.

    Android notifications are inherently worse than iOS’s but there are Android programs that make this a little less worse. Later versions of the Android OS make these a *little* less useful but they still operate. Amazon’s ad server seems to break them entirely.

    Even without this add-on program, though, the Amazon ad-server is still a confusing mess of swiping through a bunch of screens to get to the home page; especially when the phone is booted.

    Still, you can always get rid of this ad service by paying to remove it later and, if you’re not sure that you’ll like the phone, it offers a cheaper introduction. Yes, I’d get a phone with this … and I’ve done it several times; the last was a Moto G5+ that I liked so much I paid them to get rid of the ads.

  2. Ed Bear26 October, 2017

    “paying to remove it later” sounds an awful lot like “That’s a nice phone you’ve got, be a pity if it got all cluttered with advertising.”

    1. Nate Hoffelder26 October, 2017

      I don’t think Amazon announced them before, did they?

      1. Chris Meadows30 October, 2017

        Never saw them announced—and granted, the ones I link in the article are considerably less expensive models than a $600 top of the line one—but apparently Amazon’s been quietly selling them for some little while now.

  3. Steve H.26 October, 2017

    Not a chance!!!I got more than I need with a $300 One Plus phone a couple years ago. No way I want to see Amazon ads on my phone…no way.
    Even the Kindle app shows more things to buy on the home screen…Enough.
    I’ll splurge on the Oasis and REMOVE those ads…$20 to see plain old screensavers…Enough.

  4. Mosby27 October, 2017

    These LG phones don’t hold up their value. Not because they are bad phones but with Samsung and Apple dominating the market, these phones will be cheaper than this in the next couple of months anyways.

  5. Frank27 October, 2017

    It is great for Amazon to be in the premium smartphone space with this co-branding rather than make their own special smartphone.

    Note this requires you to be a member of Amazon Prime.

  6. Kurt27 October, 2017

    I have a Samsung Galaxy something or other that was “free” when I switched my service over to MetroPCS – it is used as a phone and a texting machine – all I need – I wouldn’t use an ad supported phone if it was offered to me for “free”

  7. Name (Required)28 October, 2017

    No way.
    I go out of my way to remove adds in my browser and other programs / devices I use.
    … and a generic, 100Eur phone has more power than I require from a portable device.
    … and I am extremely happy with the YotaPhone I purchased after I found out about the sale from this site.
    … and I had a Paperwhite for a short while. (By the way, I got it after I learned here that it was available at staples in Wirginia shortly after launch. Very dangerous site, this Digital-Reader ;-). ) I got version with adds and I found them extremely annoying. Especially the fact that you had to make an extra click to get wake it up.

  8. Jan28 October, 2017

    No, too expensive for me. My Samsung Galaxy J3 is good enough and only cost $149 at Best Buy. I have a Kindle Paperwhite 3 and I paid to remove the ads. That was worth the money for me.

  9. Allen F31 October, 2017

    Nope. I have no need for a ‘smart’ phone, just a basic one that makes calls. (So $150 extended my pay-as-you-go phone for another three years.)

  10. Chris Meadows6 November, 2017

    My Nexus 6P just stopped working. 🙁 And now I’m highly tempted by the Moto X4, which Amazon is knocking $70 off for showing lockscreen ads on. I could probably deal with the annoyance for $70 in savings.

    1. Nate Hoffelder7 November, 2017

      I just don’t think it’s worth it.

      I would rather buy a $70 cheaper smartphone.

      1. Chris Meadows9 November, 2017

        As I use Project Fi, I have to use either a Moto X4, or one of the more expensive Pixels. The Amazon version is the cheapest X4 I can buy.

        1. Nate Hoffelder9 November, 2017


          I currently use Tracfone (I am that cheap, yes). So I could go a lot cheaper and still get by.

  11. moom10 November, 2017

    I’ve had the ad-supported BLU R1 HD for about a year. My needs in a mobile phone are pretty modest, so for $60, this is a pretty good phone. The ads are annoying but I don’t really pay much attention to them. Actually, they mostly seem dumb — I’ve never purchased anything using the phone & can’t imagine I ever would.
    I’m not sure I would go the ad-supported route again but if it’s a matter or getting the kind of phone I need (mostly modest performance + reasonable storage), it’s not the worst arrangement in the world.

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