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Samsung is too busy to take your money for the Galaxy S22

Samsung had its first Unpacked event of 2022 earlier today, which gave us our first glimpse at the S22 series of phones, as well as the Tab S8 series of tablets.  The big release here is the (sorta) return of the Note, now referred to by a fun new name, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. As a huge proponent of the Galaxy S21, I knew I had to go ahead and pull the trigger on the Galaxy S22.

At first, I was troubled by having to decide between my first color choice, burgundy, and the other very compelling colors in the lineup. I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for basic black, even if it is a bit boring. I also really dig the graphite and red options offered only on Sky Blue is also tempting to match my iPhone 13 Pro. But ultimately, I just felt that burgundy.

So let’s buy one!

Galaxy S22 Ultra with Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

By pre-ordering the Galaxy S22 Ultra, I get a free storage upgrade from 128GB to 256GB. That’s awesome. I rarely, if ever, go above 100GB, but if I find myself traveling, I might want to download a movie or ten for the trip, so 256GB it is. I selected my trade-ins. Gone soon would be the Galaxy S21 Ultra and an old iPhone 6S I had laying around that Samsung will give me $50 for. Personally, I found the trade-in deals a little weak/weird this year. Last year, T-Mobile lost its mind and let me trade in a Google Pixel 4a for $800 off the S21 Ultra. This year, I have to trade in the S21 Ultra for less.  It’s fine; I only need one Ultra after all.

Next up came the screen asking how I’d like to spend my $200 in Samsung store credit. It offered me a bunch of overpriced cases and chargers. No thanks. It also offered me the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Buds Pro, both of which I had already bought. Both of those were purchased using credit I received from previous Samsung phone purchases, by the way, which brings into question the sustainability of Samsung store credit incentives. Actually, technically, I bought the Galaxy Watch 3 with past credit, which I then traded in for a Watch 4, but the same question remains. I decided to skip those add-ons and just go straight to checkout.

Or at least I tried to. Then I tried to again. Then I tried again.  You get the idea.

Samsung's website indicates that I have 9 items in my cart, but also that my cart is empty.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Put simply, Samsung’s pre-order website might need a PCR test because it is not feeling very well. Starting just after the event, and leading up to press time for this article, I’ve been trying to buy a single Galaxy S22 Ultra for about six hours. During that time, I’ve attended two work meetings, written an article, eaten lunch, and hosted a podcast. That’s a fairly productive day for me. But I still have not been able to buy a single S22 Ultra.

You may have noticed, that’s the second time I’ve used that peculiar phrase, “a single Galaxy S22 Ultra.” That’s because, during the time that I’ve been fighting with Samsung’s website, I somehow managed to add a second Galaxy S22 Ultra to my cart, and the last two hours have been spent trying to remove that second phone. That is, of course, assuming my cart loads at all. So far, the shopping experience hasn’t been awesome.

Other options

Galaxy S22 Ultra in Phantom Black with S Pen.
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

From what I’ve seen, sites like Amazon, Best Buy, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are performing just fine. Sadly, my best deal is coming directly from Samsung, so my struggle will continue for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, it only takes a small amount of multitasking brainpower to click an “X” and wait for the spinny ball to stop spinning, so it’s not like I can’t get other things done.

Six hours later, I’m being told that the item is not available at this time. This is great because I don’t want it at this time; I wanted it six hours ago. For the record, I get that error message regardless of browser, and regardless of what phone I select. I tried all three phones with various storage configurations and colors and got the same error message every time. I’m fairly certain the site is just broken; Samsung is not out of phones.

So it looks like I won’t be ordering a Galaxy S22 today. It’s possible I won’t order one ever now. My experience with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has not been very ultra. But at least it has been noteworthy.

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Adam Doud
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Adam had been writing in the tech space for nearly a decade. When not hosting the Benefit of the Doud podcast, he can be…
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