Skip to main content

Samsung just announced 3 new Android tablets. Here’s a first look

The home screen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Samsung has a fresh portfolio of tablets to take on the iPad lineup. These flagship Android slates span three size formats and price points. The new Galaxy Tab S9 trio is nearly identical in heft and footprint to the Galaxy Tab S8 series, save for a minor design tweak, a new chip, and fresh color options.

The pill-shaped camera island is gone, and we now have a floating lens look that’s similar to that of the Galaxy S23 series phones. Plus, there’s an eye-pleasing beige color option to pick from this year. The rest of the package is a modest iterative upgrade at best.

Galaxy Tab S9 series: specs and features

Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Inside all three Samsung tablets is a slightly binned version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip with the “for Galaxy” branding on it. The screen sizes remain identical, as do the quad-speaker arrays and the memory modules inside.

The Galaxy Tab S9 offers an 11-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Climbing up the size ladder, the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus features a 12.4-inch display, while the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra bumps up the display size all the way up to 14.6 inches. The S9 Ultra also has a notch at the top that houses two front cameras.

And 5G connectivity is part of the package across the entire lineup, and once again, Samsung is generously bundling a stylus in the retail package. The only other notable change this time around is that the Galaxy Tab S9 triad opts for an in-display fingerprint scanner, while its predecessor had the biometric sensor integrated inside the power button.

The back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

In terms of the imaging hardware, the Galaxy Tab S9 only has a single rear camera that relies on a 13-megapixel sensor, while the Tab S9 Plus and its Ultra sibling offer a combination of a 13-megapixel main camera and an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera.

The selfie camera hardware also differs. The entry-point Galaxy Tab S9 and its Plus variant come armed with a 12-megapixel front camera, while the Ultra trim adds another 12-megapixel ultrawide camera into the mix.

Samsung hasn’t made any improvements to the battery capacity on its updated tablet lineup. The smallest Galaxy Tab S9 model serves up an 8,400 mAh battery, the Plus version relies on a 10,900 mAh juicer, and an 11,200 mAh Li-ion unit keeps the Ultra model running.

The back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

The RAM and storage capacity goes all the way up to 16GB and 1TB, respectively, but the base models offer half that amount of RAM and only 128GB of onboard storage. Thankfully, if you opt for a lower storage amount and end up needing more space, all versions of the Galaxy Tab S9 family come with microSD card support for up to 1TB of storage expansion.

Galaxy Tab S9 series: price and release date

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (left) and Samsung Galaxy S9 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

So, how much does all of this cost? The Galaxy Tab S9 starts at $800 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage configuration. Stepping up to the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus will set you back at least $1,000 for the 12GB RAM/256GB model, and you can also get the 5G version with the same RAM and storage for $1,1450. Finally, if you go all the way up to the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, you’ll pay at least $1,200 for the base model with 12GB RAM/256GB storage.

The Galaxy Tab S9 lineup is available for preorder now, while regular sales are set to begin on August 11.

If you’re eyeing a top-end Android tablet, the only meaningful update is the new Qualcomm silicon inside the Galaxy Tab S9 series. And while the rest of the specs are extremely familiar, they’re also among the best you’ll find. There aren’t many flagship Android tablets in the U.S. market, so Samsung has the competition cut out for it.

We’ll have in-depth reviews of the Tab S9 family on Digital Trends, so keep an eye out for that coming soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
I almost made a terrible mistake when I first used the Galaxy Z Fold 5
A person holding the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (back) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 (front) Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the pinnacle of big-screen smartphones in 2023. I’m using it right now, and it’s spectacular. However, it’s not all that different from the Galaxy Z Fold 4, apart from changes to the size and weight. Boring! Where’s all the innovation and excitement?

Read more
I used Motorola and Samsung folding phones. Only one gets this feature right
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus folded in hand.

Software plays a crucial role in any device, but it becomes even more important when you have a limited amount of screen space to interact with the user interface. The Motorola Razr series has always been better than the Galaxy Z Flip lineup in terms of usability when folded. This year, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 closes the gap between the two clamshell foldables by offering a big cover screen.

But sporting a big outer display doesn’t immediately make a flip phone foldable a whole lot more useful; case in point – the Oppo Find N2 Flip, where Oppo gave us six widgets (and added a couple more later) to play around with and called it a day. While Samsung brings 13 widgets to the table, the cover screen software is still not on par with the Motorola Razr Plus.

Read more
How one bad decision is ruining all of Samsung’s new phones
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in cream, blue, and black.

This summer’s Galaxy Unpacked event was the usual great fun. We got a new Galaxy Z Fold 5 with an improved hinge and more powerful chip, plus the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a cover screen that’s large enough to see what’s going on. These were joined by the return of a much-loved design in the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, with some refinements to make it even more classy, plus a standard Galaxy Watch 6 and a full new lineup of Samsung tablets.

However, Samsung’s latest product lineup also confirms the road I’ve feared the South Korean gadget maker has been on for at least a few months now. Samsung is getting more serious and less fun and whimsical in its product designs, especially when it comes to color choices.

Read more