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Amazon starts selling unlocked Android phones as low as $50 with built-in ads

Android phones have gotten very cheap in the last few years at the same time the overall quality of budget hardware has been improving. You can get a reasonably good phone for under $200 now, but Amazon is changing the game in the budget phone race today. It’s offering Prime members the option of getting a new Android phone for as little as $50… as long as you don’t mind some lock screen ads and extra bloatware. I mean, for $50, maybe you don’t mind that at all.

The two phones included in the initial deal are the Moto G4 and the BLU R1 HD. Both phones are available for pre-order in both ad-infused and standard versions. The Moto G4 is the more expensive of the two with pricing starting at $149.99. That includes Amazon customizations, but you can pay $50 to get the regular price without any of that.

The BLU R1 HD will be the one making waves. It’s a less powerful phone (powered by a MediaTek chip and sports a 720p display), but the price starts at $50 with Prime Offers. You can spend $10 more for double the RAM and storage, which is a no-brainer. This phone is also $50 more if you want the non-Amazon variant.

This strategy will be familiar to anyone who has used a Fire tablet (or God forbid, a Fire Phone). Amazon offers the hardware at a discount in exchange for showing you “special offers” on the lock screen of the device. The new Android phones are a bit different in that the entire lock screen experience has been swapped out for an Amazon version. There are also extra pre-loaded Amazon apps on the devices — basically every app Amazon makes.

A lot of smartphone enthusiasts will turn up their nose at seeing ads on their lock screen every day in exchange for a $50 discount, but for regular consumers this is going to be huge. Both phones will ship from Amazon on July 12th. Remember, the ad-supported versions are only available to Prime members. Even with that restriction, I bet these phones are going to be back-ordered fast.

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