We’re back with another exciting unboxing, and this time it’s all about the brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus. These tablets are making waves in the tech world, and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the unboxing and first impressions of these two newly launched Samsung tablets.
Pricing and Availability
First things first, let’s talk about the pricing and availability of the Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE+. Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus are now available in Europe and the United States, with availability expanding worldwide. Prices for these tablets start at $449 in the US and €529 in the Eurozone, making them an attractive option for a wide range of users.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE & Tab S9 FE+: What’s Inside the Box
We’ll begin our unboxing with the smaller of the two, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE, and then move on to the larger Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus. As you follow along, you’ll get a firsthand look at what’s inside the box and our initial impressions.
Upon opening the box for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE, the first thing you’ll notice is the tablet itself. The design is close to the standard Galaxy Tab S9, but we’ve got a refreshing mint green color variant here. Now, let’s delve into what else is inside.
Inside the box, you’ll find the essential S Pen, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable for charging and data transfer. It’s important to note that, just like the standard S9, there’s no charger included in the box. Samsung is moving towards a more environmentally friendly approach with these devices. Additionally, you’ll find an eject tool, which you can use for inserting a Micro SD card or a SIM card, particularly if you have the 5G version of the tablet. Standard paperwork, including a quick start guide and warranty information, completes the contents of the box.
Now, let’s shift our focus to the larger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus. As we open the box, you’ll immediately catch a glimpse of the tablet. The design of the FE Plus closely resembles the standard S9 Plus, and the one in our hands is the elegant Silver version.
Like its smaller variant, you’ll also find an S Pen inside the box, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and no charger. Samsung continues with this eco-friendly approach across its FE series. You’ll also discover the same eject tool and standard paperwork, including the quick start guide and warranty information.
Now, fast forward a few hours, and we’ve had some time to put these tablets to the test. We’ve enjoyed a bit of gaming, watched some YouTube and Netflix, and even run a few benchmarks to gauge their performance. Here’s what we’ve discovered about the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus.
Design and Build Quality
Starting with the design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE, this tablet feels like a successor to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 Edition, albeit with a slightly higher price tag. The tablet boasts a 10.9-inch display with slim black screen bezels and a 12MP front-facing camera. Its body is constructed entirely from metal, ensuring a premium feel. Like the standard S9, it’s protected against water and dust with an IP68 certification.
At the back, you’ll find an 8MP camera. On the sides, there’s a connector for a keyboard dock and keyboard cover, which is always a plus for productivity. The tablet also features a Micro SD card slot, a single speaker on each side (unlike the standard S9, which has four speakers), a USB Type-C port, a volume rocker, and a power button. Interestingly, the power button houses a fingerprint scanner, which functions seamlessly. The placement might be different from the S9 series, but it’s a welcome addition.
The design of the Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus remains in line with the standard S9 Plus. It features a 12.4-inch display with slim bezels and a 12MP front-facing camera. On the back, you’ll find 8MP+8MP dual cameras, one of which is an ultra-wide angle camera. Just like its smaller counterpart, the fingerprint scanner is integrated into the power button. The tablet offers a connector for optional keyboard covers, and it maintains the slim and stylish design that we’ve come to expect from Samsung.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus measure a mere 6.5mm in thickness and are surprisingly lightweight. The FE weighs in at 524 grams, while the FE Plus is slightly heavier at 628 grams. These tablets certainly impress with their design and build quality.
Moving on to the displays, there are noticeable improvements compared to their predecessors, the S6 Lite and S7 FE. The smaller Galaxy Tab S9 FE boasts a 10.9-inch display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440 pixels. This translates to a high pixel density, resulting in sharp and crisp visuals. The larger Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus takes things up a notch with a 12.4-inch display featuring a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The pixel density here is exceptionally high, ensuring that everything on the screen appears sharp.
It’s worth mentioning that both tablets come with LCD displays, setting them apart from the standard S9 series, which boasts AMOLED displays. As a result, black levels on these LCD displays may not be as deep as those on AMOLED screens, especially in low-light conditions. However, for everyday tasks, this difference is not very noticeable. When it comes to overall screen quality, both tablets shine with great viewing angles, vibrant colors, and good saturation. Moreover, they both support a 90Hz refresh rate, making interactions and animations incredibly smooth.
One of the standout features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus is the included S Pen. Unlike some of its competitors, Samsung generously provides the S Pen for free with these tablets. The S Pen, in both cases, is made of plastic and is also IP68 certified, meaning it’s dust and water-resistant. However, there’s a small but essential difference: these S Pens do not require batteries. This not only eliminates the need for recharging but also means that certain features, like using the S Pen as a remote in the camera app, are not supported.
Despite this limitation, the S Pen works great for tasks such as handwriting, drawing, and using the Air Commands. Samsung’s S Pen ecosystem remains strong, and for tasks that don’t require a battery, these S Pens are just as capable as their counterparts in the standard S9 series. We’ll dive deeper into our S Pen experience in our final review, but so far, these S Pens have made a favorable impression.
Performance and Hardware
Under the hood, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus are equipped with the Samsung Exynos 1380 processor. The FE comes with a choice of 6 or 8GB of RAM, while the FE Plus offers options of 8GB or 12GB of RAM. Storage-wise, you can opt for either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. This level of flexibility ensures that there’s a configuration to suit various user needs. What’s impressive is that Samsung provides the option for 5G or LTE connectivity with both tablets. This choice allows users to select a version that matches their connectivity preferences.
In terms of performance, Geekbench5 benchmark comparisons reveal that the Exynos chipset in these tablets falls slightly short of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor in the standard S9 series. It’s also outperformed by the Galaxy Tab S8 and the Xiaomi Pad 6. However, it comfortably outpaces the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2020 Edition) and the S7 FE.
Gaming performance, though, tells a different story. The tablets proved capable of handling games like Genshin Impact, even on the highest graphic settings. However, when it came to PUBG Mobile, we noticed that the settings were restricted to HD graphics. This limitation could be due to game optimization, and it’s possible that future updates will unlock higher graphics settings. For gaming enthusiasts, these tablets with their 90Hz displays promise a smoother gaming experience.
Optional Keyboard Covers
Just like their standard S9 counterparts, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus are compatible with the same optional keyboard covers. You can choose between the slim book cover keyboard or the more comprehensive book cover keyboard. The slim version is seen here with the FE Plus, while the comprehensive version consists of two parts, includes a built-in kickstand, and features a touchpad. These keyboards function well with both tablets, providing a versatile typing experience.
The software on the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus is consistent with the Samsung One UI, running version 5.1.1 on top of Android 13. This software experience aligns closely with what you’d find on the standard S9 series. When using an app, you’ll notice a taskbar at the bottom, similar to what was introduced in Android 12L. This addition enhances multitasking capabilities and streamlines the user experience.
Notably, these tablets offer full compatibility with the S Pen, Air Commands, and other Samsung software features. However, it’s worth mentioning that there are two differences compared to the standard S9 series: the absence of wireless S Pen features and the inability to connect Samsung DeX to an external display wirelessly or via cable. Despite these differences, the software remains robust and feature-rich.
Our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus have been overwhelmingly positive. These mid-range tablets offer a lot to be excited about, from their water-resistant design to the high-quality software and S Pen integration. The beautiful displays, though LCD, are sharp and responsive, and the option for a 90Hz refresh rate is a welcome addition.
These tablets also showcase robust performance, making them capable gaming devices. If you’re in the market for a tablet that falls somewhere between premium and budget, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus are excellent options to consider.
In our upcoming reviews and comparisons, we’ll take a closer look at how these tablets stack up against their competitors, including the Xiaomi Pad 6. We’ll also explore the key differences and determine which audience each tablet is best suited for. So, if you’re deciding between the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and the Xiaomi Pad 6, make sure to stay tuned with us for the full breakdown.
For those who want something a bit more premium without breaking the bank, you might want to check out our review of the Lenovo Tab P1 Pro Gen 2. This tablet sits comfortably between the S9 FE and the standard S9, offering an OLED panel and a 120Hz display. It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking for a flagship tablet experience at a more affordable price.
And with that, we wrap up our unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus. If you have any questions or specific aspects you’d like us to explore in our upcoming reviews, FEel free to leave a comment below.
Check out our unboxing video of Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE+ below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for the latest updates and comparisons on these tablets.
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