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The Alcatel A30 is a $60 Smartphone, But There’s a Catch

They’re good deals if you don’t mind lock screen ads.

Since last year, Amazon has been running their Prime Exclusive Phones program, which knocks down the price of phones by placing ads on the lock screen. The phones generally range from budget to mid-tier, and the two newest additions are no different — the Alcatel A30 and the Moto G5 Plus were already solid budget options, and now they’re even cheaper.

The Alcatel A30 is as budget as it gets in 2017. It’s got a quad-core 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 SoC, which is way down on the Qualcomm tier list. With just 2 GB of RAM, it’ll chug, especially if you try to multitask, but then again, it’s super cheap — not a bad starter phone, especially with a 5.0″ 720p display, an 8 MP rear camera, and a 5 MP front camera. 16 GB of storage isn’t much, but there is a microSD card slot that supports 32 GB of extra storage.

The Moto G5 Plus is the most premium-looking phone Amazon has offered yet, thanks to an all-metal build. It’s also got a more powerful Snapdragon 625 SoC, a 5.2″ 1080p display, either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage, and either 2 GB or 4 GB of RAM, plus a 12 MP rear camera with flash and a 5 MP front camera. A 3,000 mAh battery means it should last at least a day, too.

Both phones run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, which is a first for the Prime Exclusive Phones program. The Moto G5 Plus will work with all carriers, including Verizon, while the Alcatel A30 can be purchased either as a GSM phone compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, and most networks internationally, or a CDMA phone compatible with Verizon.

The phones are both unlocked, with a big caveat. Usually, unlocked phones are free of bloatware (depending on the manufacturer), but that won’t be the case here. The phones are heavily discounted, but in return, ads show up on the lock screen — Amazon has been discounting their Kindle devices in the same way for years. The phones will also come preloaded with a bunch of Amazon apps that can’t be uninstalled (without rooting, at least, but we don’t know how difficult that would be in this case).

The part to watch out for is the ads themselves. They have the same appearances as regular Android notifications on the lock screen, although they are separate and located under your actual notifications. That could lead to some confusion, especially among smartphone novices that will probably be most interested in these phones. There will also be full-screen lockscreen ads, often enough for Amazon services, along with pre-installed ad widgets.

Now for those discounts. Keep in mind that to get access to these prices, you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber — fortunately, if you are, you’re probably already getting your money’s worth in a million other ways. The Alcatel A30, normally $100, is $60 on Amazon, while the Moto G5 Plus’ starting price is cut to $185 from $230.

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