Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 early rumors and what we want to see

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 open in keyboard cover on desk, facing left
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series is expected to arrive sometime in 2023. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are some of the best Android tablets out there and we expect the same from the upcoming lineup.

Samsung hasn’t officially announced the Galaxy Tab S9 but rumors and alleged leaks have already begun surfacing. Details are scarce, but based on what we know, Samsung’s upcoming flagship tablets won’t be radically different from their current incarnations. But even if that’s the case, they should still be among the best tablets if they’re similar to the 2022 models.

Here’s everything we’ve heard about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 tablets so far and what we want to see.

Galaxy Tab S9 latest news: Updated April 11

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Rumored release date

According to The Elec (via Android Authority), Samsung is expected to release its Galaxy Tab S9 tablets in the second half of 2023.

The Elec claims Samsung postponed the development of the tablets due to the lesser demand for tech products caused by the slow economy. The Galaxy Tab S8 line was released in early 2022 and some believed the successor line would similarly release in the first half of 2023. If this report is accurate, it would explain why the new tablets haven’t even been announced yet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Price speculation 

We’ve yet to hear anything about pricing so all we can do is take an educated guess.

Given the state of the economy, we don’t believe Samsung will significantly raise the price of the new tablets — if it even raises them at all. The current line started at $699, $899 and $1,099 (respectively) so it’s possible we’ll see similar pricing. But again, that’s pure guesswork on our part.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 design 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus renders have allegedly leaked. If the leaked CAD-based renders shared by OnLeaks (via WolfofTablet) are authentic, the Tab S9 Plus will be similarly sized to the Tab S8 Plus.

a render image of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 9 Plus

(Image credit: OnLeaks)

As you can see from the render above, the new tablet retains the Tab S8 Plus' svelte design, with relatively slim bezels and somewhat matte aluminum chassis. There's no sign of the magnetic strip the Tab 8 had in these renders. So either it's been removed by Samsung or simply missed out in this case.

Going by these renders, expect the 12.4-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate to still be a feature. The dimensions of 11.2 x 7.2 x 0.2 inches could be kept as well. Given we liked the Galaxy Tab 8 series, this isn’t a bad thing. The most interesting bit is how the groove for the S Pen on the back of the Tab 9 Plus looks to be further apart from the cameras, which drops the pill-shaped module of the Tab S8 Plus in favor of two separate cameras.

a render image of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 9 Plus

(Image credit: OnLeaks)

Given how these cameras look similar to those found on the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Ultra, we can guess that the Tab S9 Plus will come with the upgraded cameras seen on two of the best Android phones. For augmented reality apps and other creative tools, improved cameras could be a plus. The Galaxy S23 cameras comprise a 50MP augmented by a 12MP ultrawide shooter and a 10MP telephoto lens.

While we don't expect the Tab S9 Plus to have the telephoto camera, if it got the other two cameras it would have a big upgrade on the 13MP main and 6MP ultra-wide cameras of the Tab S8 Plus. For people working on AR apps or working on digital art that combines real-world images, then such a camera upgrade is intriguing; but we're just speculating here.

A render image of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus

(Image credit: OnLeaks )

Another potential key upgrade is better dust and water protection. The Tab S9 Plus is said to boast a respectable IP67 waterproof rating, which will make it considerably more durable than its predecessor, which had no such rating.

It's also worth noting that Samsung is tipped to launch a foldable Galaxy Z Tab alongside the Galaxy Tab S9 series, but this would be a separate model.

Regarding the entry-level model, display analyst Ross Young posted that it would pack an OLED display.

After the Galaxy Tab S6, which had an OLED panel, Samsung reserved the display technology for the premium models of the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S8 series; with entry-level versions packing LCD panels. If Ross’ latest tweet is accurate, all three expected Galaxy Tab S9 tablets will have OLED displays. This would make the 11-inch tablet more enticing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 specs 

When it comes to under-the-hood improvements, the Tab S9 Plus will likely feature the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip as seen in the Galaxy S23. That chipset offers impressive flagship-grade performance and we'd expect the same for the Tab S9 Plus, only with the potential for better heat dispersion meaning higher performance for longer.

In fact, the leaker @Tech_Reve reported on a Geekbench results for the purported Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra (SM-X916B). It notched a single-core score of 2,054 and a multi-core total of 5,426. The Galaxy S23 Ultra averages a single-core score of 1,870 and a multi-core score of 4,938.

Leaker Revegnus tweeted that the Tab S9 Ultra will have a 10,880mAh battery, which would be smaller than the Tab S8 Ultra’s 11,220mAh battery. Phone Arena reports that the entry-level Tab S9 will pack a 8,500mAh battery instead of the 8,000 mAh of its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: What we want to see 

Improved Dex mode

Dex mode is a useful feature for those who like using tablets as pseudo laptops. This mode readjusts and repositions apps and windows to make a tablet or phone display look more like a desktop or proper laptop. It’s a clever feature that mostly works as intended. However, if you frequently use laptops, you’ll find DeX mode lacking. It’s responsive enough to use, but it doesn't feel as snappy or as fast as Windows 11.

We want a more responsive Dex mode this time around. We’re not asking for it to be on par with Windows, but if actions like moving the cursor across the screen and opening apps are faster, it will improve the overall user experience.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Better Book Cover Keyboard for the Ultra model

In my Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review, I said that its Book Cover Keyboard was an indispensable peripheral. The large keyboard is generally good to type on and I appreciate the S Pen compartment on the back cover. The Book Cover Keyboard also protects the Tab S8 against accidental drops.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With that said, I don’t think Samsung’s peripheral is on par with the Apple Magic Keyboard. The latter keeps an iPad locked in place and the keyboard portion provides a solid and sturdy base. The Book Cover Keyboard feels flimsy in comparison. Because the kickstand on the Book Cover Keyboard is so thin, it can sometimes be difficult to prop the Tab S8 Ultra up without it falling over due to its size.

A sturdier keyboard peripheral would make using the Tab S9 Ultra more pleasant to use. Combine that with an improved Dex mode and perhaps this tablet could be a legitimate laptop replacement for some folks.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is still very much a rumor at this point so it's best to take everything in this article with a healthy dose of skepticism. With that said, it's likely Samsung will release a follow up to the Tab S8 series at some point in the future. For now, stay tuned for more news.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.