Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series first look review: which one should you get?

Published 25th August 2023 - check out what we think about the Samsung Tab S9 series.

A First Look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Series

Following up on the recent Samsung Unpacked event, we’ve got our hands on Samsung’s latest flagship tablets, all ready to be put to the test! Wondering which one may be the one for you from the models available in the market? Read on to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series specifications table

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra


Dimensions: 6.53 x 10.01 x 0.23 in Weight: 498g Colours: Beige / Graphite IP Rating: IP68 Weight: Wi-fi: 17.57 oz, 5G: 17.64 oz

Dimensions: 7.3 x 11.24 x 0.22 in Weight: 581g Colours: Beige / Graphite IP Rating: IP68 Weight: Wi-fi: 20.49 oz, 5G: 20.67 oz

Dimensions: 8.21 x 12.85 x 0.22 in Weight: 732g Colours: Beige / Graphite IP Rating: IP68 Weight: Wi-fi: 25.82 oz, 5G: 26 oz


11-inch AMOLED Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels Refresh rate: 120Hz

12.4 inch dynamic AMOLED Resolution: 2800 x 1752 pixels Refresh rate: 120Hz

14.6-inch 120Hz dynamic AMOLED Resolution: 2960 x 1848 pixels Refresh rate: 120Hz


CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy OS: Android 13, Samsung One UI 5 Tab

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy OS: Android 13

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy OS: Android 13


128GB / 256GB + microSD

256GB / 512GB + microSD

156GB / 512GB / 1TB + microSD


8GB / 12GB RAM


12GB / 16GB


13MP main AF, 12MP ultra-wide rear / 12MP front

13MP AF + 8MP UW, 12MP UW

13MP AF + 8MP UW, 12MP + 12MP UW






Quad stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos

Quad stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos

Quad stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos


£799.99 on Samsung’s official website

£999.99 on Samsung’s official website

£1,199.99 on Samsung’s official website


We’re not kidding when we say that we were blown away with the overall look and feel when we first unboxed the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series. The sleek and lightweight design of all three tablets looks and feels amazing; they’re made up of sleek-looking lines and a composition of metal and glass, with flat edges made out of Armor Aluminium and an indentation holder for the S Pen.

We love that every Samsung Tab in this series automatically comes with an S Pen, saving you the hassle of having to buy it separately (we’re looking at you, Apple!). The S Pen not only has an ergonomic design but matches your model color of choice too. It’s worth mentioning that all Galaxy Tab models in the S9 series sport the same look, with the only differentiator being its size.


The colours available for all three tablets in the series are Beige and Graphite. In our opinion, these neutral tones add to the premium feel of the overall design, giving it a more sophisticated and mature look, far from the pastel tones or prismatic designs of other Samsung devices in the past.

Display / Screen

The Galaxy Tab S9 boasts an 11-inch screen, whereas the Galaxy Tab S9+ and Tab S9 Ultra are outfitted with larger displays, measuring 12.4 inches and 14.6 inches, respectively.

Interestingly, Samsung has made a consistent choice in employing the Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel across the entire series, which is different than the previous year's approach. In the past, the base Galaxy Tab S8 model was equipped with an LTPS LCD display.

What you can expect from the AMOLED panels would be beautiful colours and stunning blacks. The 120Hz refresh rate guarantees fluidity and the panel’s ability to refresh to a lower refresh rate where necessary helps to preserve battery life too. There’s also a quad-speaker setup on all models, with 20% larger speakers. When we put it to the test, we found that the audio was outstanding. Expect an excellent experience while catching up on Netflix or YouTube.

Samsung has conveniently included a Vision Booster feature that automatically adapts the display's brightness and contrast, either when you're using the device outdoors under direct sunlight or in well-lit surroundings.



The latest Galaxy Tab S9 series tablets exhibit enhanced performance compared to their 2022 counterparts, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. While Samsung hasn't extensively elaborated on the distinctions, Qualcomm stated in November last year that the Kyro CPU within the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 showcases a 35% boost in speed and up to 40% greater energy efficiency than its forerunner.

To add on, the Adreno GPU integrated into the chip showcases a 25% surge in performance and a remarkable 45% advancement in power efficiency. Samsung has also introduced a vapor chamber cooling solution in these tablets, marking a debut for Galaxy tablets, which could potentially contribute to sustaining their performance levels over time.

The Samsung OneUI is packed with customization features, making it easy and fun to use. The Tab S9 runs with Android 13 and is set to receive four years of OS updates.

The battery capacities of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, Tab S9+, and Tab S9 are 11,200 mAh, 10,090 mAh, and 8,400 mAh, respectively. Each of these variants is equipped to handle fast charging of up to 45W so there’s no need to worry about returning them to 100% after heavy usage. The USB Type-C port is also designed to be compatible with USB 3.2, making it easy to link the tablet to a TV or an external monitor.

Camera specs / review

Samsung's 2023 models show some tweaks in their camera setup. Notably, the base Galaxy Tab S9 lacks an ultra-wide camera in its rear camera module, sporting only a single 13MP camera. However, the Galaxy Tab S9+ and Tab S9 Ultra maintain a 13MP primary camera while upgrading the ultra-wide camera to an 8MP sensor with a higher resolution.

The front camera arrangement remains consistent with last year's models: the Galaxy Tab S9 and Tab S9+ boast a 12MP ultra-wide camera, while the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra combines a 12MP primary camera with a 12MP ultra-wide camera. We love that the front-facing camera is positioned on the top of the tablet in a horizontal orientation, making it less awkward for video calls or conferences.


Price and availability

The Samsung Tab S9 series is currently unavailable on Back Market though you could pre-order it from the Samsung site. As an alternative, you could always consider the Tab S8 series if you’re looking to buy a tablet. Though the Tab S8 series was released in February 2022, the Tab S8 series has aged well with its top-notch design, hardware, and user experience. In fact, you could say that the Tab S9 is a minor upgrade and you’d save a lot more if you were to opt for a model from the Tab S8 series instead.

It's important to note that the affordable prices reflected on Back Market are due to Back Market specialising in selling remanufactured devices that have undergone refurbishment by certified repair shops.

Although Back Market's products are second-hand, they perform just as well as new devices without any compromise in performance. By choosing used products, you not only benefit from their functionality but also contribute to reducing e-waste and mitigating environmental harm.

At Back Market, your purchase is protected by a hassle-free return policy for up to 30 days. If you encounter any defects or issues, there’s no need to worry as all purchases come with a 1-year warranty, providing the same level of coverage as when buying a new phone. This ensures a risk-free buying experience for customers.

Overall verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Series is undeniably something to look out for, with more pros than cons on the list. In fact, we’re even going the extra mile to say that it’s hard to think of any cons for now.

So which tablet from the S9 Series should you get? Well, if you plan on using your tablet mostly in portrait mode minus the keyboard, we’d recommend going for the Tab S9. It’s compact and ideal, especially if you’re looking to carry it on the go. If you’re looking for something for heavier use, we recommend the Tab S9 Plus as it comes with two camera lenses and also allows you to attach a keyboard if you’d like to use it like a laptop. The Tab S9 Ultra would best suit those who are looking to utilize the tablet as a fully-functional and on-the-go work machine. It’s got the largest screen possible for productivity purposes and is also the most powerful of the three.

In terms of value-to-price ratio, we feel like the Tab S9 itself is already good enough on its own. If you’d just like an overall great tablet and don’t mind too much about having the newest device, our advice is to go for the Samsung Tab S8 Ultra which gives you pretty much the same features for less.


Written by HaziqTech Expert for Back Market UK, Ireland & Australia

When not fighting the good fight for environmental sustainability, Haziq loves making reviews of everything and anything tech-related.

Did you find this article useful ?

Related articles