The Design and Display
The Samsung Tab S9 FE boasts a sleek and stylish design that is reminiscent of its pricier counterpart, the Tab S9. Made with a similar aluminum build and design, this tablet exudes a premium feel without breaking the bank. In fact, it costs almost half the price of the Tab S9 for the same amount of storage, making it a more affordable option for those who want a good-looking tablet that doesn’t feel too expensive.
With a slightly smaller 10.9-inch screen and slightly thicker bezels compared to the Tab S9, the Tab S9 FE offers a similar overall size. Despite being thicker and heavier, it remains manageable to hold, even after extended periods of use. The 1440p IPS LCD panel provides a good display for content consumption, although it may lack the vibrant colors of an AMOLED display. However, the tablet makes up for it with dual stereo speakers tuned by AKG and Dolby Atmos support, delivering impressive audio quality that rivals that of the M1 iPad Air.
Features and Functionality
One notable feature of the Samsung Tab S9 FE is the fingerprint reader, which is conveniently built into the power button. This placement is preferred by many users over under-display fingerprint sensors, as it provides a more intuitive and reliable unlocking experience. Additionally, the tablet comes with pogo pins at the bottom, allowing for compatibility with the same book keyboard cover as the Tab S9. Although this review unit does not include the keyboard cover, it’s a valuable accessory for those who need to enhance their productivity on the tablet.
In terms of input, the Tab S9 FE comes with a non-battery-powered S Pen that can be magnetically attached to the top or back of the tablet. This offers a seamless way to have the S Pen always within reach for note-taking, sketching, and other creative tasks. While it may not be as feature-packed as the S Pen that accompanies the Tab S9, it still provides a solid stylus experience.
Performance and Battery Life
When it comes to performance, the Samsung Tab S9 FE does not disappoint. Equipped with a powerful processor and ample RAM, the tablet offers smooth and lag-free operation, whether you’re multitasking or running demanding apps. The 90Hz refresh rate of the display further enhances the overall responsiveness of the device. Switching between apps, browsing the web, and watching videos are all seamless experiences on the Tab S9 FE.
As for battery life, the tablet boasts a decent amount of endurance. With moderate use, you can expect the Tab S9 FE to last through a full day without needing to be plugged in. However, heavy usage, such as gaming or video streaming, may drain the battery more quickly. Nonetheless, the tablet supports fast charging, allowing you to quickly top up the battery whenever needed.
S Pen Precision and Responsiveness
One of the standout features of the Samsung Tab S9 FE is the S Pen. The responsiveness and precision of the S Pen on the tablet are exceptional, thanks to the 90Hz display. Whether you are sketching or taking notes, the S Pen delivers a smooth and accurate experience. For those who are into art, Samsung also offers a Creator Edition S Pen that provides even better precision for detailed work.
IP68 Water and Dust Resistance
A unique feature of the Tab S9 FE is its IP68 water and dust resistance. This means that the tablet can withstand being submerged in water up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. While there may not be many real-world use cases for this level of durability on a tablet, it can be a great feature for those who enjoy watching Netflix by the pool or in the bathtub. Additionally, the included S Pen is also IP68 water and dust resistant, which is a pleasant surprise considering the price point of the device.
The Tab S9 FE is powered by the Exynos 1380 SoC, which is also found in the Galaxy A54 5G. With 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of expandable storage, the tablet offers a smooth and efficient performance. Although it may not be as powerful as the Galaxy Tab S9, the Tab S9 FE performs admirably well as a productivity tablet. Switching between apps and scrolling is seamless, with only very minor stutters that are hardly noticeable. The optimized user interface enhances the overall user experience, although it should be noted that many Android apps still lack proper tablet support.
Samsung DeX Support
The Tab S9 FE also includes support for Samsung DeX, which allows users to transform the tablet into a desktop-like experience. With DeX, you can enjoy a PC-like interface, complete with resizable windows and a taskbar. This feature can be particularly useful for those who need to multitask or work on documents and spreadsheets. Samsung DeX adds versatility to the Tab S9 FE, making it suitable for both work and entertainment purposes.
In conclusion, the Samsung Tab S9 FE offers impressive features and performance at a more affordable price point than its flagship counterpart. The S Pen provides an exceptional drawing and note-taking experience, while the IP68 water and dust resistance add durability and convenience. With powerful hardware and optimized software, the Tab S9 FE delivers smooth performance for productivity tasks. Samsung DeX support further enhances its versatility. The Tab S9 FE is a worthy option for those seeking a high-quality tablet without breaking the bank.
Samsung Tab S9 FE Review: The Best Fan Edition Product
Limited Display Connectivity
If you prefer a PC desktop-like experience, you might be disappointed to learn that the Samsung Tab S9 FE cannot expand its display to an external monitor. The USB C port lacks display output support and only offers USB 2.0 transfer speeds. While this may not be a significant concern for most users, it is worth noting that Samsung included this feature in its older Tab S7 FE. It would have been beneficial for Samsung to include this functionality in the S9 FE as well.
Capturing Moments with the Cameras
The cameras on the Samsung Tab S9 FE are serviceable and deliver decent results. The device features a single 12MP camera on the back and an 8MP camera on the front. Although they may not match the quality of phone cameras, they are surprisingly good for tablet standards. If you want to capture some casual photos, the S9 FE’s cameras will do the job. Both cameras also support video recording at 4K 30fps. However, it is worth mentioning that some units, like mine, have a main camera limited to 1080p recording. If you have experienced the same limitation, please let me know in the comments.
Battery Life and Fast Charging
The Galaxy Tab S9 FE offers impressive battery performance, lasting up to two days when used as a productivity tablet. However, standby times are not as great, as the battery can be depleted within four days if the tablet is left idle. Thankfully, Samsung has incorporated its 45W fast charging technology, allowing the device to be fully charged in just 90 minutes. Overall, I have no major complaints about the battery life and charging capabilities of the S9 FE.
A Sensible Fan Edition Product
In my opinion, the Samsung Tab S9 FE is the most sensible Fan Edition product that Samsung has ever released. This is primarily due to the lack of competition in the Android tablet market and the notable price difference between the flagship Tab models. The S9 FE offers a great balance of features and performance at a more affordable price point, making it an attractive option for consumers.
The Samsung Tab S9 FE is designed to compete with Apple’s entry-level iPad and the M1 iPad Air. While it may not match up to them in terms of performance and the quality of apps, it certainly offers a great value proposition when it comes to hardware features.
One standout feature of the Tab S9 FE is its stunning display. The tablet boasts a large 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, providing vibrant colors and sharp details. Whether you’re watching movies, browsing the web, or working on documents, the display delivers a visually pleasing experience.
In addition to the impressive display, the Tab S9 FE also offers a slim and lightweight design. It is easy to hold and carry around, making it a perfect companion for frequent travelers or students who need to take their work on the go. Despite its slim profile, the tablet manages to pack in a large battery that provides long-lasting usage.
While the Tab S9 FE may not be on par with the performance of Apple’s iPads, it still delivers a solid performance for day-to-day tasks. Powered by a Snapdragon 750G processor and 6GB of RAM, the tablet can handle multitasking with ease.
Whether you’re streaming videos, browsing social media, or running multiple apps simultaneously, the Tab S9 FE keeps up with your demands. It may not be suitable for intensive gaming or heavy video editing, but for most users, it offers more than enough power for their needs.
Quality of Apps
One area where the Tab S9 FE falls short is the quality of apps. Apple’s App Store has long been known for its extensive selection of high-quality apps, optimized specifically for iPads. While Android has come a long way in improving its app ecosystem, it still lags behind in terms of tablet-optimized apps.
Although you can still find a wide range of apps on the Google Play Store, the experience may not be as seamless and optimized as on the iPad. This may not be a deal-breaker for everyone, but for those who heavily rely on apps for productivity or entertainment, it is worth considering.
Overall, the Samsung Tab S9 FE is an impressive tablet that offers a great balance between performance, design, and affordability. With its stunning display, powerful internals, and useful features like the built-in fingerprint reader and S Pen support, it proves to be a worthy investment for both entertainment and productivity purposes. Whether you’re a casual user or a professional in need of a capable tablet, the Tab S9 FE is definitely worth considering as the best fan edition product in the Samsung lineup.
Despite its shortcomings in performance and the quality of apps, the Samsung Tab S9 FE offers a compelling package with its impressive hardware features. If you’re looking for a tablet that excels in display quality, portability, and overall user experience, the Tab S9 FE is a great choice.
However, if you prioritize performance and a vast selection of tablet-optimized apps, you may want to consider Apple’s iPads. Ultimately, the choice between the Tab S9 FE and Apple’s iPads depends on your specific needs and preferences.