I upgraded to the Galaxy S22 Ultra for only $375 — here’s how you can do it, too

S22 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Unpacked February 2022
(Image credit: Samsung)

I curb my enthusiasm every year for Prime Day deals, but here's a quick 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 regret nothing. 

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

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic Super AMOLED 2X with adaptive 120Hz
CPU4nm Octa-core
RAM8GB / 12GB
Storage128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
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 5,000mAh
Dimensions6.4 x 3 x 0.35 inches
Weight8.08 ounces

As a tech journalist, I take plenty of high-res pictures on a regular basis — both indoors and out — so I'd been thinking about getting a new Galaxy phone for a while now. (The foldable Z Flip 3 looked tempting.) And while there were plenty of decent-to-mediocre Prime Day Samsung phone deals cluttering up my inbox all week, this one grabbed my attention:  

(Image credit: Future)

This particular Samsung deal (opens in new tab) is still going on, by the way, and for any non-Samsung owners looking to take advantage, this deal is just okay. Depending on what phone you're trading in, however, the value of this deal can skyrocket in a nanosecond.

For example, if I had an old Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, the most I could trade it in for would be $495, bringing the grand total down to $805. But lucky me, Samsung is currently offering "enhanced trade-in value" for their newest Galaxy phones, and my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra happens to be worth $825 — $25 more than the $800 I shelled out nearly two years ago for a 128GB model on Woot.

Long-story long: 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 spirit is weak. Grumbling to myself about how Prime Day got me again, dammit, I attempted to complete my upgrade via Samsung's website through Verizon, but that option is only available for those with post-paid plans (opens in new tab). (I now know.) 

Not to be deterred, I tried to buy an unlocked version of the S22 Ultra instead, but now it was after 8pm (EST), and they appeared to be sold out. To navigate this roadblock, I started an online chat with a super friendly Samsung rep named Kalpana, who tried several times to procure an unlocked phone for me — 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, to be sure, but there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with my old Note 20 Ultra, and now I could at least tell myself I tried to upgrade my smartphone, but the Prime Day Galaxy gods simply had other plans. Oh well. 

I was about to politely thank Kalpana for trying and say my goodbyes when I abruptly got the news I’d be hoping for:  

(Image credit: Future)

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

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra + free Galaxy Watch 4:  was $1,550 now $1,200 @ Samsung (opens in new tab)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra + free Galaxy Watch 4: was $1,550 now $1,200 @ Samsung (opens in new tab) + enhanced trade-in credit
Buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G phone (unlocked or through your carrier) for $350 off at Samsung, and you'll get a free Galaxy Watch 4 to go with it. The 128GB base Galaxy S22 Ultra packs a 6.8-inch Infinity-O Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 64-bit 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. And you can save another $1K with the right trade-in.

TJ Fink
Contributing Editor

As a mild-mannered mobile tech journalist and molecular mixologist, TJ has over a decade of detail-driven storytelling under his belt. Conversely, as a seasoned outdoor athlete, he's forever fascinated by every shade of green on this beautiful planet. When TJ’s not coddiwompling through New York City or the metaverse, he can be found field-testing futuristic fitness tech from his living room while crafting Dr. Seussian poetry inside a tattered moleskin.