Blu R1 HD Review (and Giveaway): Best Budget Smartphone Under $100?

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If you’re looking for a dirt cheap phone that’s completely usable and not embarrassing to own then you’re probably looking for something like the Blu R1 HD. While the unlocked version of this phone starts at $99, Amazon Prime members can pick up a version that only costs $49! But there’s a reason why it’s so cheap — it comes with ads on the lock screen.

And since the ads are such a unique aspect of this phone, let’s talk about them first.

Yes, every single time you see your lock screen it’s going to have an ad on it; that’s just the way it is. Sometimes the ads are targeted and sometimes they’re not: when they are they’re more tolerable but when they’re not… it can be a bit annoying. I’m a bit surprised that ads can be so un-personalized considering you have to sign in with an Amazon account during setup (which means they should know you better based on previous orders/browsing history).

I don’t mind seeing an ad for headphones (too much) but I don’t like seeing an ad for lipstick or makeup. And then there’s the bloatware: Amazon pre-installs around 9 apps on your phone and includes a homepage widget.

The ads are fullscreen when you don’t have any notifications, but when you do they are otherwise shrunken down to ...

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