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Amazon has more budget phones to sell you

The Prime Exclusive Phones program gets two more devices: The Moto G5 Plus and the Alcatel A30.

The Moto G5 Plus can be yours for just $185 (well, if you have a Prime account).
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Take a handful of budget phones. Cut their price even more. Voila -- you've got another hit on Amazon.

The online retailer said Thursday that it's building on the popularity of its discounted phones program, called Prime Exclusive Phones, by adding two more devices to the lineup. Prime customers in the US can now preorder the Motorola Moto G5 Plus starting at $185, at least $45 below full retail price, or the Alcatel A30 for $60, at $40 off, Amazon said.

The two new devices were added to the program's three other phones: the Blu R1 HD, the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Play.


The Alcatel A30.

Via Amazon

These discounted prices, available only to Prime members, come thanks to ads Amazon slaps on the devices' lock screens. The company has been offering ad-supported Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets for years but started a similar program for phones only last year. In case you don't want the ads or aren't a Prime member, these phones are also available on Amazon at full price without offers or ads.

Since Amazon's ambitious effort to become a phone maker flopped, the biggest online seller worldwide has been finding creative ways to build up its presence in phone software without creating its own device. Along with the ad-supported phones, which come with a suite of Amazon apps preinstalled, the company has brought its voice assistant, Alexa, to the Huawei Mate 9 phones in the US and to iPhones and iPads via the Amazon shopping app.

Amazon said Thursday that since they launched, the Prime Exclusive Blu R1 HD and Moto G4 remain the top two bestsellers among unlocked phones on Amazon.com. Laura Orvidas, vice president of Amazon.com's consumer electronics unit, added in a statement that these phones "consistently rank in our best-sellers list."

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to provide specific unit sales from the program or specify how much revenue Amazon brings in from the ads on the phones.

The Moto G5 Plus offers a 5.2-inch display, a 12-megapixel back camera and a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. The device will ship starting March 31.

The Alcatel A30 has a 5-inch display, an 8-megapixel back camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor. The device will ship in the coming weeks, likely mid-April, Amazon's spokeswoman said.

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