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Though most people by smartphones from their cellular carrier nowadays, there are a lot of benefits to purchasing one unlocked. Flagships can cost as much as over a thousand dollars in 2023, but unlocked phones give you more flexibility and aren't tied to a long-term contract. By choosing an unlocked phone over a carrier-locked model, buyers forego some of the best discounts on the greatest phones available. That's why people looking for unlocked phones should wait for a sales event like Amazon's upcoming Prime Big Deal Days. Here's everything you need to know about the sale hitting Amazon this October.

What we know about Amazon's upcoming sales event

Amazon's next sales event will be in October, and it's called Prime Big Deal Days. Amazon announced that Prime Big Deal Days will span from October 10 through October 11. We expect Amazon to share more information about the event soon, but it's likely similar to last year's Prime Early Access Sale. That event was held in October 2022 and provided Prime members "early access" to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that year. The Prime Big Deal Days event represents the second time it has had a second sales event in the same year and the third time it has held an October event.

When and where will Prime Big Deal Days be held?

Prime Big Deal Days are set to come sometime in October, but no official dates have been revealed. The event is available to customers in 19 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the U.S., and the UK.

Do you need to be a Prime member to save on Prime Big Deal Days?

Prime Big Deal Days are exclusive to Prime members, and the same goes for all of Amazon's biggest sales events. You can get Amazon Prime for $139 per year or $15 per month, and that not only includes access to Prime Big Deal Days, but also services like free two-day shipping and Prime Video. If you'd rather not commit to a subscription, you can start a 30-day free trial instead. This offer only applies to first-time subscribers, and you'll need to wait to start your free trial until Prime Big Deal Days are closer.

Prime Big Deal Days vs. Prime Day: What’s the difference?

Prime Big Deal Days are a secondary sale for Amazon that helps give buyers access to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales ahead of time. It's usually smaller than Amazon Prime Day, which is Amazon's flagship event that lasts for a full 48 hours in July. You can get great deals during Prime Big Deal Days, including on unlocked smartphones.

Will there be a second Prime Day in 2023?

Officially, there won't be a second Prime Day in 2023. Amazon doesn't consider Prime Big Deal Days a second Prime Day, but it'll likely be similar to past Prime Day events. If you're looking for a second Prime Day event this year, the closest you'll get is during Prime Big Deal Days. The main Prime Day 2023 event was held from July 12 to July 13, 2023, and there won't be another one this year.


Q: What is the difference between a locked and unlocked phone?

An unlocked phone can be used on any carrier's network or without a cellular plan. Typically, locked phones are tied to one carrier, and you may be contracted to keep an active phone line for a set period of time after buying the phone. Locked phones may also come with apps and software specific to your cellular carrier. All the phones on this list are unlocked, so you can use them with whatever cellular carrier you use in the U.S.

Q: When is the best time to upgrade a smartphone?

Considering that most smartphones see yearly updates, there isn't necessarily a bad time to upgrade a phone. It is worth noting that Samsung will release a new Galaxy Z Fold 5 and a Galaxy Z Flip 5 in the coming weeks, but that might not be a reason to hold off your purchase if you like the price. Otherwise, we won't see new phone updates until the fall, so you don't have to worry about getting a year-old product. In fact, some of these phones just recently debuted, like the Google Pixel 7a.

Q: What features should I look for in a smartphone?

The features you value depend on how you use a smartphone, but they generally come down to software, performance, cameras, and display. Google offers a very simple and refined experience in stock Android, but Samsung adds its own device-specific features in One UI. Most great flagships have great performance, cameras, and displays, although Samsung and Google shine in terms of camera quality. Pick the smartphone based on what features you use daily, and you'll likely be satisfied with your purchase.