Amazon’s Prime Exclusive Phones have been a big hit, which is why it was strange when they abruptly stopped selling the BLU R1 HD, the least expensive and most popular phone in the lineup. It was revealed soon after that the 3rd-party software updating system used by the phone, unbeknownst to the manufacturer, went rogue and was secretly collecting user data, which is why Amazon stopped selling the phone. Now that BLU has removed the 3rd-party software and switched to using Google’s OTA update system, Amazon is once again selling the ridiculously inexpensive phone.
If you’re a Prime member, you can order the BLU R1 HD for $49.99 and get it in time for Christmas for a great bang-for-your-buck stocking stuffer. I do recommending spending the extra $10 to get the model with twice as much RAM and storage, which is the one I own. I use mine as a “beater” phone, for when I’m worried my “good” phone might get damaged, and as a portable music/podcast player. There’s also a nice rooting and ROM community that has sprung up around this phone, which allows you to remove ads and bloatware.