I upgraded to the Galaxy S22 Ultra for just $375 – here’s how you can do it too

I dampen my enthusiasm for Prime Day deals every year, but here’s a little confession: I just traded in my old Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (128GB) for the new Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (256GB). It was a Samsung deal too good for my digital soul to pass up – and I don’t regret a thing.

Can you blame me? The S22 Ultra is objectively one of the best smartphones on the market today, and it’s been touted since February. I mean, just check out those beefy specs, especially in the optics department.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Specifications
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic Super AMOLED 2X with Adaptive 120Hz
CPU Octa core 4nm
RAM 8 GB / 12 GB
Storage 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
Cameras (rear) 108MP f/1.8 wide-angle, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, 10MP f/2.4 3x telephoto, 10MP f/4.9 10x telephoto
Camera (Front) 40MP f/2.2
Battery 5000mAh
Dimensions 6.4 x 3 x 0.35 inches
lester 8.08 ounces

As a tech reporter, I regularly take lots of high-res photos – indoors and out – so I’ve been thinking about buying a new Galaxy phone for a while. (The foldable Z Flip 3 looked tempting.) And while there were plenty of decent to mediocre Prime Day phone deals cluttering my inbox all week, this one caught my eye:

(Image credit: future)

This particular Samsung offer (opens in a new tab) is still ongoing, by the way, and for any non-Samsung owners looking to take advantage of it, this deal is just okay. However, depending on the phone you are trading in, the value of this deal can skyrocket in a nanosecond.

For example, if I had an old Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, the maximum I could trade would be $495, which would bring the grand total to $805. But luckily Samsung is currently offering “enhanced trade-in value” for its new Galaxy phones, and my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is worth $825 – $25 more than the $800 I shelled out almost two years ago for a 128 GB model on Woot.

Long story: After doing some quick math, I realized I could get the S22 Ultra (256GB) and a bonus smartwatch (normally $250), for just $375. Samsung already had my curiosity, but now they had my attention.

(Image credit: future)

The digital heart is willing, but the mind is weak. Complain about how Prime Day got me Againdamn, I attempted to complete my upgrade through Samsung’s website through Verizon, but that option is only available to those who have postpaid plans (opens in a new tab). (I know now.)

Not to be deterred, I tried to buy an unlocked version of the S22 Ultra instead, but now it was after 8 p.m. EST, and they seemed to be sold out. To navigate this roadblock, I started an online chat with a super-friendly Samsung representative named Kalpana, who repeatedly tried to get me an unlocked phone — to no avail. The S22 Ultra was simply in high demand, and it was out of their hands.

(Image credit: future)

After about an hour it was time to throw in the towel. I was disappointed, of course, but there was certainly nothing Wrong with my old Note 20 Ultra, and now I could at least tell myself that I has tried to upgrade my smartphone, but the Prime Day Galaxy gods simply had other plans. Never mind.

I was about to politely thank Kalpana for trying and say goodbye when I suddenly got the news I was hoping for:

(Image credit: future)

Holy cow! So there you go, folks. Ultimately, the true value of this deal is in the specific phone that you may or may not have to negotiate with. And in that regard, I happened to hit the proverbial jackpot. Plus, sometimes all you need is a little patience. (And a new friend named Kalpana.)