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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?

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BDR October 26, 2017 um 2:32 pm

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.

Ed Bear October 26, 2017 um 2:44 pm

"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."

Chris Meadows October 26, 2017 um 3:13 pm

Only just noticed that, did you?

Nate Hoffelder October 26, 2017 um 3:34 pm

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

Chris Meadows October 30, 2017 um 10:56 pm

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.

Steve H. October 26, 2017 um 5:53 pm

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.

Mosby October 27, 2017 um 9:39 am

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.

Frank October 27, 2017 um 9:58 am

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.

Kurt October 27, 2017 um 10:08 am

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"

Name (Required) October 28, 2017 um 4:22 am

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.

Jan October 28, 2017 um 4:05 pm

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.

Allen F October 31, 2017 um 1:33 pm

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.)

Chris Meadows November 6, 2017 um 9:58 pm

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.

Nate Hoffelder November 7, 2017 um 8:00 am

I just don’t think it’s worth it.

I would rather buy a $70 cheaper smartphone.

Chris Meadows November 9, 2017 um 12:51 am

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.

Nate Hoffelder November 9, 2017 um 7:18 am


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

moom November 10, 2017 um 12:41 am

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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