Samsung also unveiled two bigger, more expensive sibling tablets, the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus and the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.
Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, which is expected to start hitting store shelves in August. For more early impressions, don't miss our Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 hands-on review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is available for pre-order from Samsung right now for a starting price of $799. For that you get the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though you can pay more to upgrade to a beefier model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Happily, Samsung continues to include an S Pen stylus in box at no extra charge.
The tablet is slated to start shipping on August 11th, and as usual Samsung is offering significant discounts on a new S9 if you can trade in qualifying Samsung devices. If you pre-order the Galaxy Tab S9 Samsung will give you the 256GB model for the price of the base 128GB model.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Design
At first glance the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 looks nearly identical to its predecessor. This tablet measures roughly 10.01 x 6.53 x 0.23 inches and is about 1.1 pounds heavy, which makes it slightly smaller and thinner than last year's Tab S8.
In person you're unlikely to notice the difference. What you will notice are the tablet's rounded edges, thin bezels and slight bump on the rear where the camera is housed.
There's also a magnetized strip along the back where you can store the included S Pen stylus for easy storage and charging.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Display
The Galaxy Tab S9 sports a display that looks awfully similar to what we saw on the Galaxy Tab S8, but it was a great screen then and it's still nice now.
The new Galaxy Tab S9 has an 11-inch AMOLED display capable of dynamically changing its refresh rate up to 120Hz. This is a major step up from the LCD display the Tab S8 had. The dynamic refresh rate can be nice to have since it can feel smoother to scroll at high refresh rates (60Hz+) but it also tends to drain the battery faster.
When I reviewed its predecessor the Tab S8 last year I was impressed by how bright and vivid the LCD display looked, but the OLED panel on the Tab S9 should bolder colors and starker contrasts between light and dark elements.
But while we have had a chance to do a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 hands-on, we'll have to wait until we get one into our testing lab before I can tell you how well its display compares to the competition.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Performance
While we won't know how well the Galaxy Tab S9 performs until we test one for ourselves, what we know so far gives me a good idea of what sort of performance you can expect from this slate.
The Tab S9 packs the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that powers Samsung's Galaxy S23. That chipset offers impressive flagship-grade performance in a smartphone, so I'm hopeful that we can expect excellent things when it drives a tablet and thus may benefit from more battery power and heat dispersion.
The Galaxy Tab S9 will also come with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, depending on your region and the model you choose. Its predecessor performed quite well with 8GB of RAM so you should be just fine with that amount on this year's model, but I'm eager to see how (or if) the additional RAM on the 12GB model makes a meaningful difference in performance. Stay tuned for our full review to find out!
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Audio
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 packs a quad-speaker setup with support for Dolby Atmos, just like its predecessor.
However, Samsung claims the speakers are 20% larger on the Galaxy Tab S9, so you should expect them to get even louder than last year's model. Perhaps that will help fill out the tablet's bass range, which was pretty lacking in the Tab S8 (and, to be fair, in tablets in general).
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Software
Samsung's Galaxy Tab S9 will arrive with Android 13 installed, a minor but meaningful update after the major changes that came in Android 12.
I liked how Samsung didn't mess with stock Android 12 too much on the Galaxy Tab S8, so I'm hopeful we'll see the same restrained approach on the Galaxy Tab S9. Samsung has a habit of loading up its devices with Samsung-specific features and apps, which can be great when you own a lot of Galaxy devices and can thus take advantage of all the extra interoperability they offer.
Of course, if you only own a Galaxy Tab then a lot of the extras Samsung includes on top of stock Android will be of no use to you, and can be safely ignored.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Cameras
Samsung has equipped its Galaxy Tab S9 with a 13MP camera on the back and a 12MP ultrawide camera on the front, just like its predecessor.
I liked the camers on the Galaxy Tab S8 well enough, so no complaints there. I expect we'll see slight improvements in the quality of images this tablet takes (and what modifications you can make to them) compared to its predecessor, but again we'll have to wait until we get one in for review to say for sure.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Battery life
While we can't say for sure what kind of battery life you can expect from Samsung's Galaxy Tab S9 until we get one in for testing, we can tell you that it has a bigger battery than last year's model.
Last year's Galaxy Tab S8 came with an 8,000 mAh (milliampere-hour) battery, and it lasted roughly 12 hours and 52 minutes before running out of juice in our battery rundown test.
This year Samsung's equipped the new Galaxy Tab S9 with an 8,400 mAh battery, so I'm hopeful it can surpass its predecessor and break through the 13-hour mark in our battery tests.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Outlook
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 appears to be a modest improvement over its predecessor that's equipped with the latest version of Android.
While it's hard to get too excited about this kind of incremental upgrade to an entry-level tablet, it does mean that we have a new likely contender for one of the best Samsung tablets you can buy.
I really liked the Galaxy Tab S8 for delivering a sweet blend of performance, power efficiency and price, so much so that I think I prefer it over bigger, more expensive products in the same lineup like the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
While this new Galaxy Tab S9 will once again be sold alongside bigger, beefier siblings like the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus and Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, I think the base Tab S9 looks likely to offer the same compelling performance to price ratio that made its predecessor so appealing to me.