Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE: Samsung is back with the Fe or Fan Edition lineup, and here we have two brand new tablets that are offering a lot of the flagship stuff we’d expect like a Galaxy S Pen, Samsung DeX, and of course, the water resistance rating (IP68), which you don’t see on most other tablets. They’re doing all of this at a much lower cost, starting at $450, which is a lot cheaper than most other tablets out there.
I had the opportunity to go hands-on with these tablets for about an hour and a half, play around with them, and film them a little bit. In this article, I want to talk about my first impressions after using these devices and also point out some of the compromises I noticed that Samsung made to bring that price down, as well as if it’s actually a big deal or not to make those compromises.
Key Features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE
Starting off, we have four different colors: mint, lavender, silver, and gray. They’re all pretty muted, not super vibrant colors, but pretty nice for a tablet. Honestly, I put a case on anyway, usually a keyboard case, so I won’t even see the color. There are three different tablets in two different sizes.
The smaller one is the Galaxy Tab S9 FE, which is great for anyone who wants a smaller tablet for use in a car, as a media device in bed, or as a compact laptop replacement when traveling. Then, we have the Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus, which is 12.4 inches, more of an average tablet size. There are three different versions: the FE, the FE Plus, and the FE Plus with 5G, which offers cellular connectivity, making it suitable for various industries, including contractors.
Display Technology: LCD vs. Super AMOLED
Both tablets feature a high refresh rate of up to 90 Hertz, with adaptive technology to help with battery life. However, one compromise is evident: the displays are not Super AMOLED like the flagships; instead, they’re LCD displays. While not as vibrant, they looked decent during my initial testing, but I’ll conduct more tests in different lighting environments for a comprehensive review.
Camera Features and Capabilities
In terms of cameras, both models have an 8-megapixel rear lens, but the FE Plus also has an 8-megapixel Ultra-wide lens. Both feature 12-megapixel front-facing Ultra-wide lenses, suitable for video calls and framing shots differently.
Audio and Charging: Quad Speakers and Super-Fast Charging
The tablets come with quad speakers and Dolby Atmos, and they support super-fast charging through their USB Type-C 2.0 port. The battery life is impressive, with the regular model sporting an 8,000 milliamp-hour battery and the larger model featuring a 10,090 milliamp-hour battery, offering up to 20 hours of video playback.
Processor and Performance
Both models use the Exynos 1380 processor, which is less powerful than flagship processors. They feature volume and power buttons, with the power button doubling as a fingerprint sensor. There’s also an SD card slot for expandable storage up to one terabyte, a handy feature given the tablet’s storage options.
RAM Options and Connectivity
The RAM differs between the models, with the smaller one offering 6 or 8 gigabytes and the larger FE Plus offering 8 or 12 gigabytes. Additionally, both tablets support Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth 5.3, making them suitable for various tasks.
Conclusion: A More Affordable Alternative to Flagship Tablets
In conclusion, these tablets are a solid and more affordable alternative to flagship devices. They provide durability, water resistance, an S Pen, and sufficient performance for most basic tasks, making them accessible to a wider range of users who don’t want to spend a fortune on a tablet. Samsung has also launched other Fe products, including the Galaxy S23 FE phone and the Galaxy Buds FE, which offer exciting features.