Samsung’s new $600 Android tablet is better than I expected

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ laying connected pillows.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus

MSRP $600.00

“For mundane tablet users, nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is good worthy your clip and consideration.”


  • Very competitory price
  • Water and particulate resistance
  • Long-lasting artillery life
  • Bright, vibrant display
  • S Pen included for free


  • Android package brings it down
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Refresh complaint is disappointing

Shopping for a Samsung tablet tin beryllium confusing owed to nan sheer number of options available. The preamble of nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE bid has only added to nan confusion. The “Fan Edition” tablet, akin to nan recently released Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, offers nan basal mobile features that astir users request astatine a much affordable value than nan company’s pricier models.

Getting started, I approached this reappraisal arsenic an mean tablet purchaser who is little inclined to bargain a top-of-the-line tablet for illustration nan Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra aliases Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro. My extremity was to measure whether nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is simply a well-rounded tablet aliases if Samsung had to make excessively galore compromises to create a cheaper type of its different tablet offerings.

To my pleasant surprise, I recovered much affirmative aspects than negatives.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: what is it?

Official merchandise render of nan Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus.Samsung

Before we get into it, let’s explain wherever nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus fits successful Samsung’s tablet lineup and really it’s different from nan precocious released Galaxy Tab S9 FE. The Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus offers a 12.4-inch display, which makes it comparable to nan Galaxy Tab S9 Plus that came retired earlier this year. On nan different hand, nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE exemplary has a 10.9-inch screen, putting it successful nan aforesaid convention arsenic nan Galaxy Tab S9, which boasts an 11-inch display.

Apart from nan quality successful show size, location are conscionable a fewer soul variations betwixt some FE tablets. Firstly, nan Tab S9 FE exemplary is nan only 1 pinch a 5G option, pinch nan FE Plus exemplary only disposable pinch Wi-Fi. Secondly, nan entry-level 128GB Tab S9 FE Plus has 8GB of RAM, while nan 128GB Tab S9 FE has 6GB. The 256GB models besides person differences successful memory, pinch nan FE Plus offering 12GB RAM compared to nan FE’s 8GB RAM.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: what I love

Showing disconnected nan colors connected nan Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+.Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is simply a stunning instrumentality correct retired of nan box. Although I would person preferred a reappraisal portion that wasn’t successful nan mint color, it quickly grew connected me. The tablet is besides disposable successful much accepted colors specified arsenic grey and metallic and, for thing softer, lavender.

The Tab S9 FE Plus features a 12.4-inch WQXGA show that is not AMOLED for illustration nan 1 connected nan Galaxy Tab S9 Plus. However, it still provides a pleasing viewing experience. With a 2560 x 1600 resolution, it is much than capable successful astir situations. However, nan 90Hz refresh complaint tin origin occasional hiccups erstwhile scrolling websites, particularly if you person accelerated fingers. Mobile gamers could besides acquisition immoderate problems, particularly pinch games that impact tons of movement.

Nevertheless, if your apical privilege pinch a tablet is to watch your favourite videos, draw, aliases video chat, nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is very valuable.

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is simply a stunning instrumentality correct retired of nan box.

Apart from nan display, nan tablet has a powerful 10,090mAh battery, providing extended artillery life. With occasional usage, nan artillery tin past for a fewer days, while continuous usage tin springiness you up to 20 hours of artillery life betwixt charges. Additionally, nan tablet supports accelerated charging, ensuring nan artillery is afloat charged successful little than 90 minutes.

I ran down nan artillery connected my reappraisal portion doubly during my testing. The first time, I utilized nan Tab S9 FE Plus for a fewer hours a time complete 3 days. The 2nd time, I wanted to spot if I could execute nan 20 hours of continuous usage that Samsung had promised. In some tests, I utilized nan tablet for drawing, listening to music, watching Netflix, and playing online connection games. I edited a fewer photos, publication done nan Amazon Kindle app, and video-chatted pinch my daughter.

The backmost of a mint colored Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+.Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

Whether done occasional aliases continuous use, I could usage nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus for conscionable nether 18 hours earlier nan artillery needed recharging. Whether nan tablet averages 18, 19, aliases 20 hours betwixt charges, that’s beautiful awesome for a 12.4-inch device.

While utilizing nan tablet, I listened to a batch of audio done its AKG-tuned dual speakers aliases my Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds. And fto maine show you, these speakers are legit! They are much powerful than I expected, and nan sound value is crystal clear. I’m incredibly impressed pinch really they sound erstwhile listening to podcasts and audiobooks. The speakers aren’t ace loud, but you tin footwear backmost and perceive to tunes successful 1 room while moving successful another. All successful all, nan audio output is beautiful impressive.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus has a Samsung Exynos 1380 CPU and Arm Mali-G68 GPU, providing mid-range performance. When opening aggregate apps simultaneously, nan tablet does look to struggle a bit. Although it’s not terrible, it’s not exceptional either. More often than not, nan capacity is decent.

A Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ showing disconnected itself connected a portion of furnishings pinch an S Pen nearby.Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The Tab S9 FE Plus comes pinch an S Pen, which impresses maine a batch arsenic personification utilized to buying Apple Pencils separately. The S Pen moreover matches nan tablet’s color, which is simply a bully bonus. The S Pen useful perfectly good pinch apps for illustration Goodnotes, Clip Studio Paint, and Samsung Notes.

Apart from nan S Pen, Samsung has included respective different features successful nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus that make it an fantabulous worth for its price. These features see support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3. Additionally, nan tablet has an IP68 standing for protection against particulate and water. This standing is not disposable connected immoderate iPads and ensures that nan tablet will stay safe and functional for galore years to come, moreover pinch mundane use.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: an imperfect size

A Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ supra a 11-inch iPad Pro.A Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus supra a 11-inch iPad Pro. Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

As a mobile exertion writer for respective years, I person noticed a clear trend: group are progressively willing successful larger smartphones. However, I don’t deliberation nan aforesaid methodology applies to nan tablet market. Although I don’t person immoderate information to support my claim, I americium convinced that astir users for illustration a tablet pinch a surface size of nary much than 10-11 inches diagonally, specified arsenic nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE and iPad Air. Beyond that size, these devices go excessively cumbersome to transportation around, and purchasing a laptop becomes a amended action for astir people.

The 12.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus has a bigger show than optimal and is besides somewhat heavy, weighing 1.38 lbs. Adding a lawsuit aliases keyboard lawsuit only makes it bulkier and much cumbersome to transportation around. None of this intends that nan tablet is outright bad. It simply makes it a much difficult sell.

I tried to disregard nan size of this tablet, but I person to say, it’s conscionable excessively large for me. Whether I’m lugging it to my section Starbucks aliases utilizing it successful furniture to watch Netflix, it conscionable feels bulky.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: software

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ successful Samsung DeX mode.Samsung DeX showing connected a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus has Android 13 and Samsung One UI 5.1.1. As an Android user, you are already acquainted pinch nan software. However, utilizing it connected a tablet tin beryllium much challenging arsenic astir objects are larger, and immoderate elements whitethorn look stretched out.

If you usage immoderate societal web app, specified arsenic X (formerly Twitter) aliases Facebook, you whitethorn announcement that nan acquisition becomes little enjoyable erstwhile photos are involved, arsenic things thin to look overly large. On nan different hand, immoderate apps, for illustration nan Target app, don’t usage capable abstraction connected nan display, making it difficult to use.

Android tablets person consistently faced optimization issues, particularly nan larger ones. However, Samsung has developed a solution done Samsung DeX, which replaces nan modular Android interface pinch a personification interface that intimately resembles that of Windows and macOS.

With Samsung DeX, you tin spot app shortcuts anyplace connected your desktop, and there’s a imperishable taskbar astatine nan bottommost for displaying app shortcuts, speedy settings, and more. When utilizing Samsung DeX, apps unfastened successful a model view, which you tin set to afloat size if you prefer.

Samsung DeX is really beautiful slick and useful arsenic advertised.

Samsung DeX is really beautiful slick and useful arsenic advertised. However, it does require that you rethink really to usage nan tablet — immoderate tablet, for that matter. Using nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus arsenic thing person to a desktop, coupled pinch its ample display, erstwhile again calls into mobility whether you want a tablet aliases a laptop and removes immoderate of nan touch-friendliness agelong associated pinch tablets.

And, moreover though Samsung DeX has improved pinch each caller release, it remains an imperfect solution. Some apps, for example, still won’t play bully pinch it, while others get a small spot funky erstwhile you resize them. Regardless, if you turn disappointment pinch really mundane Android useful connected tablets, it’s an option.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: accessories

The backmost of a screen for nan Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ showing nan S Pen and spot to put it.Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus comes pinch an S Pen, and, for a constricted time, Samsung is offering a free Smart Book Cover, which usually costs $99. The screen features a typical slot for nan S Pen to guarantee you don’t misplace it while providing fantabulous protection.

Additionally, you tin acquisition nan optional Book Cover Keyboard for $230. This keyboard besides comes pinch a slot to unafraid your S Pen and is highly recommended if you scheme to usage Samsung DeX. With nan keyboard, your acquisition pinch Samsung DeX will beryllium overmuch smoother and effective.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: value and availability

A Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ showing 2 apps opened astatine once.Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

If you’re willing successful purchasing a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus, you tin bargain it straight from Samsung’s website aliases authorized retailers specified arsenic Amazon and Best Buy. The 128GB type is priced astatine $600, but you tin salary an further $100 for nan 256GB type pinch much memory. If you comparison it to nan Galaxy Tab S9 Plus, which starts astatine $1,000, you get amended internals, storage, and representation connected nan latter, but it still runs connected Android 13.

Alternatively, if you are considering purchasing an iPad, nan 11-inch iPad Pro originates astatine $800, nan iPad Air (5th Generation) starts astatine $600, and nan astir affordable iPad (9th Generation) starts astatine $329. However, it’s important to statement that isolated from nan iPad Air, each different iPads person half nan retention capacity compared to nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus.

It’s important to retrieve that prices for accessories specified arsenic covers, keyboards, and Apple Pencils (in nan lawsuit of iPads) will summation nan wide costs of your purchase.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus: verdict

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ closeup.Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is an fantabulous tablet that stands retired for its features and affordable price. It boasts a beautiful design, comes pinch an S Pen, and has a mid-range show that produces vibrant colors and precocious brightness. The speakers are fantastic, particularly for a tablet. Performance-wise, it tin grip astir tasks pinch ease.

However, nan tablet’s ample size and weight whitethorn beryllium a drawback if you scheme connected carrying it astir frequently. The tablet’s show is satisfactory but whitethorn not beryllium perfect for everyone. The Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus besides suffers from compatibility issues pinch Android 13, which tin origin immoderate software-related problems. The Samsung DeX interface tin besides beryllium challenging to usage contempt its improvements.

Despite nan drawbacks mentioned above, nan Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus is still a awesome prime for anyone looking for an Android-based tablet, peculiarly a larger 1 from Samsung. It is priced competitively and offers much features than astir of its rivals. If you require a amended display, chipset, and much RAM and storage, you whitethorn want to see nan Galaxy S9 Plus, but beryllium prepared to walk almost doubly nan amount.

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