These days, Prime Exclusive phones are a pretty incredible deal.
Remember when Amazon started offering certain phones at a discount through its Prime Exclusive program? Originally, this meant that your phone would come loaded with tons of non-removable Amazon apps, along with annoying lock screen ads for Amazon products. You could pay to have the lock screen ads removed months after buying the phone, but the Amazon apps would remain.
Sounds annoying, right? Luckily, Amazon no longer fills your lock screen with ads, but you do still get a few related apps pre-installed on Prime Exclusive phones. Don't worry, it's not nearly as bad as you might think — let's take a look at what all came on my Prime Exclusive Moto Z3 Play.
Motorola's phones run an extremely close to stock build of Android, which makes it easy to spot non-Google apps on the Moto Z3 Play. Even without opening the app drawer, the default home screen is littered with Amazon apps; Amazon Shopping, Prime Video, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Music, and a folder containing even more branded apps — not to mention a shortcut to Moto Alexa in the dock.
Swiping up into the app drawer reveals, unsurprisingly, even more Amazon apps. In alphabetical order, the Prime Exclusive Moto Z3 Play ships with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Drive, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Music, Amazon Shopping, Audible, Goodreads, IMDb, Moto Alexa, Prime Now, Prime Photos, and Prime Video. Yep, that's a whole lot, but don't panic just yet. There's good news ahead.
Every single Amazon app that comes on a Prime Exclusive phone can be either disabled or uninstalled entirely.
Every single Amazon-related app that comes on the Moto Z3 Play can be either disabled or uninstalled entirely. I did so with all but Amazon Shopping, which I actually use almost every day. Specifically, you won't be able to completely uninstall Amazon Alexa, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Music, Audible, Prime Photos, or Prime Video — you'll have to settle for disabling them instead. But the fact of the matter is that even on a Prime Exclusive phone, you can entirely free your home screen of Amazon apps without having to root or switch to a third-party launcher that allows for hiding apps.
The question is — should you? While you might not appreciate the initial clutter, Amazon's services are genuinely useful. Amazon Music is a great alternative to streaming services like Google Play Music or Spotify that doesn't charge an additional monthly fee for Prime members, and Prime Video is the host to plenty of excellent exclusive content like The Man In The High Castle. Likewise, Audible (bought by Amazon back in 2008) is the largest distributor of audiobooks online.
Truthfully, I don't use the vast majority of Amazon's services, save for its online shopping resources — hence why I got rid of everything else on my phone. But especially for users that aren't already settled into alternatives like Spotify, Netflix, or Hulu, Amazon's services offer a lot of value, given that they come included with an Amazon Prime membership. Especially if you already have a Prime Exclusive phone, these features are definitely worth trying out, at the very least.
In any case, Prime Exclusive phones come with virtually no compromise these days, compared to their more expensive Amazon-free counterparts. You'll still need to sign into your Amazon account during the initial setup, and you still need an existing Amazon Prime membership to buy these phones in the first place. But once you're through the initial setup process, how much Amazon interferes with your phone … is really up to you.
Have you bought a Prime Exclusive phone before? Knowing how little it affects your phone overall, would you be open to buying one now? Let us know in the comments below!