Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 leaked promo image hints at this handy upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We know that Samsung’s next Galaxy Unpacked event is coming at some point next month, and we’re fully expecting to see the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Watch 6

All three have recently had press images leaked (Fold, Flip and Watch), and now it’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9's turn, which looks set to join the others for an official unveiling in July.

The latest leak comes via Twitter tipster SnoopyTech and shows all three tablets side by side, confirming that once again the slates will come in regular, Plus and Ultra form factors. 

It is rumored the basic Galaxy Tab S9 will get an OLED panel this time, however. Last year, the basic 11-inch Tab S8 had an LCD screen, with OLED exclusive to the Plus and Ultra versions.

Indeed, the branding appears identical, as you can just about make out the word “Ultra” in the blurry text in the bottom left-hand corner.

It’s no surprise to see the S Pen there, given Samsung’s pressure-sensitive stylus has been bundled with every Galaxy Tab S since the S6. It’s also unsurprising — if a little disappointing — to see the Tab S9 Ultra maintaining the notch on its giant (14.6 inches if the current generation is any guide) screen.

But there is one upgrade hinted at by this promo image. Both the wave being drawn across the three screens and the splashes seen behind the Tab S9 Ultra heavily imply that some form of water resistance is finally coming to Samsung’s tablet range.

We’ve previously heard that IP67 water resistance is expected, meaning it remains protected underwater as deep as 1 meter (3.2 feet) for up to 30 minutes with no harmful effects. While that may not sound too groundbreaking, given that even Samsung’s low-cost smartphones now come with some form of IP protection, this would be a first for the company’s mainstream tablets.

The “mainstream” qualifier is used because Samsung did release the Galaxy Tab Active 3 back in 2020, which is a rugged tablet built for the outdoors, and it comes with an IP68 rating. But it’s bulky, now quite dated and pretty hard to find.

Beyond water resistance, we’re expecting this to be a reasonably modest upgrade, save for the introduction of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 "For Galaxy" chipset. 

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Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.