In the ever-evolving Android tablet market, Samsung consistently stands out with its Tab S series, and the Galaxy Tab S9 continues this tradition. Packed with notable upgrades, including a shift to Dynamic AMOLED 2X display technology and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processing power, the Tab S9 positions itself as one of the most powerful Android tablets available.
In this review, we’ll explore key aspects such as design, display, cameras, performance, software, and battery life to help you decide if it’s a worthy contender.
Design and First Look
Retaining a sleek and familiar design akin to its predecessor, the Tab S9 impresses with its glass and aluminium build. The tablet’s lightweight (498g) and thin (5.9mm) profile make it portable and easy to handle. Notably, the inclusion of IP68 dust and water resistance sets it apart as the only tablet offering such high-level protection. The addition of a complimentary S Pen stylus enhances its practicality, allowing for versatile usage, although the charging system for the stylus could be more secure.
You can also pair it with a Book Cover Keyboard for better productivity when using the Galaxy Tab S9. Not only for productivity, it also adds a layer of protection for the device while travelling and mobility. The lightness of the device made it easy for me to carry it around while working remotely. And all the buttons are within reach in landscape mode, while docking with the keyboard. The power and the volume rocker buttons are located at the top left, while you can dock the S-Pen near the top behind the tablet.
Around the back, there’s the single 13MP camera which is able to snap some quick usable photos. The selfie camera is located at the top of the display while in landscape mode. This is best while using the tablet on landscape mode for that virtual call with your co-workers or family.
Featuring an 11-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, the Tab S9 strikes a balance between portability and usability. The upgrade from IPS LCD results in a visually stunning experience, with vibrant colours, deep blacks, and impressive HDR performance. The 120Hz refresh rate adds smoothness to interactions, making it suitable for both media consumption and gaming.
Notably, Samsung’s AMOLED display is probably the best on the market since, forever. And with the inclusion of AMOLED on the Galaxy Tab S9, it made the whole experience a whole lot better. The screen is highly responsive, and using the S-Pen is flawless. Every stroke with the S-Pen is smooth and immediate, making it feel natural as though you’re writing on paper.
While the Tab S9 doesn’t prioritise camera enhancements, its 13MP rear and 12MP selfie cameras deliver competent performance. The focus on a single rear camera might limit versatility, but it suffices for tasks such as video chats and occasional photography in well-lit conditions. The absence of dual cameras, as seen in the S9 Ultra, is a minor trade-off for most users.
Boasting the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, the Tab S9 stands out as the most powerful Android tablet. The combination of 8- or 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage ensures unparalleled performance for various tasks, from basic browsing to high-end gaming. The tablet’s capability to handle resource-intensive applications and games with ease sets it apart from competitors.
The Galaxy Tab S9 is able to handle normal day-to-day usage and heavy multitasking. When it comes to performance, the Galaxy Tab S9 performed superbly. Gaming on the Galaxy Tab S9 is an absolute joy. The high refresh rate and AMOLED display adds depth into gaming, with smoother animation and deep blacks with vibrant colours made it even more immersive.
My usual PUBG Mobile game feels super smooth, with all the graphic settings set to the max. With the larger-than-usual display, it was very difficult for me to stop playing. It is that good. The last time I had fun gaming on a tablet was on the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus a year ago. This time the Galaxy Tab S9 performed so much better, albeit the smaller display.
Not forgetting the quad speaker setup that comes with the Galaxy Tab S9. Entertainment use escalated quickly with some of the most immersive experiences you will ever feel.
Running on Android 13 with OneUI 5.2, the Tab S9 offers a customised experience that diverges from stock Android. Samsung’s software additions, while potentially requiring some adjustment for non-Samsung enthusiasts, include tablet-specific features like split-screen multitasking. The promise of four OS upgrades and five years of security patches underscores Samsung’s commitment to long-term software support.
With Android 14 with OneUI 6 is just around the corner, you can be sure that you will have the latest and greatest software on the Galaxy Tab S9. My whole experience of using the Galaxy Tab S9’s software has been great. Any newbies will not find any difficulties while using the Galaxy Tab S9. Everything worked as it should.
Equipped with an 8400mAh battery, the Tab S9 excels in delivering excellent battery life. Its energy-efficient display and optimised Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset contribute to a week’s worth of use on average. The 45W charging capability ensures quick top-ups, although users need to provide their own compatible charging brick.
I can go a full day of usage while working remotely without any worry. By the end of the day, I still have more than 40% of battery life remaining that I can actually use up the next day. But because of gaming, I tend to drain the battery by night time. But it’s okay. This tablet is made for work and play anyway.
In the Galaxy Tab S9 collection, the regular Tab S9 emerges as a compelling choice, offering a premium yet reasonably priced package with its 11-inch display. Despite not representing a groundbreaking upgrade from its predecessor, the Tab S9’s enhancements, including the upgraded display, water resistance, and powerful chipset, position it as a top-tier Android tablet.
If you’re looking to upgrade your current tablet, you may love the Galaxy Tab S9. But if you’re looking for a larger display, more power and features, you can move up a notch with the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus or Ultra. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Tab S9 is an excellent choice given that it comes with an S-Pen and can be accessorised with Book Cover Keyboard that will add character to the device.
You can now purchase a spanking new Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 on their official website and it is retailing from RM1,499.00. Their current promotion will also include the Book Cover Keyboard and the S-Pen.