Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus: Specs, pricing, upgrades, and more

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

After skipping the last generation, Samsung will release two new Fan Edition tablets: the 10.9-inch Galaxy Tab S9 FE and the 12.4-inch Tab S9 FE Plus. Unlike the solitary Tab S7 FE, you'll have two size options when choosing a mid-range tablet. 

Samsung designed the Tab S9 FE with some features pulled directly from the flagship Galaxy Tab S9 series, most notably IP68 dust and water resistance. For owners of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, you'll find a few key upgrades that make it worth the switch, aside from the newer software.

Still, Samsung had to make some notable downgrades to make the Fan Edition tablets more affordable. Now, you can choose whether or not to live with those downgrades or if it's worth paying full price for top quality.

You can check out our Galaxy Tab S9 FE hands-on to get our Tablets editor's initial thoughts on how Samsung pulled off this compromise. Otherwise, we'll focus below on Galaxy Tab S9 FE specs and pricing, how the Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE Plus compare to each other and to the standard Tab S9, and what features to expect. 

Release date and price

2023 Samsung Galaxy FE lineup

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE+, along with the Galaxy S23 FE phones. (Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE Plus launch starting October 10 on Select carriers will begin selling the Tab S9 FE 5G on October 5, should you want cellular service to go with your tablet. 

Otherwise, the new Galaxy S23 FE and Buds FE — announced at the same time — arrive on October 26 and October 10, respectively. 

In terms of pricing, Samsung has told us that the tablets "start at $449.99," but has yet to give us further details on the cost for upgraded memory or for the Tab S9 FE Plus specifically. We'll update this section when we know more. Generally speaking, you'll save $350 compared to the Galaxy Tab S9 with the baseline 6GB/128GB model. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE & FE Plus specs

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE on counter

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryGalaxy Tab S9 FEGalaxy Tab S9 FE Plus
Display10.9-inch LCD12.4-inch LCD
Row 1 - Cell 0 WUXGA+ (2304 x 1440); 249ppi; 90HzWQXGA (2560 x 1600); 243ppi; 90Hz
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 1380Samsung Exynos 1380
GPUArm Mali-G68Arm Mali-G68
Rear cameras8MP8MP + 8MP UW
Front camera12MP12MP
Memory + Storage6GB + 128GB; 8GB + 256GB8GB + 128GB; 12GB + 256GB
PortsUSB Type-C 2.0; microSD slot (up to 1TB)USB Type-C 2.0; microSD slot (up to 1TB)
SecurityFingerprint sensor (power key)Fingerprint sensor (power key)
AudioDual speakers with Dolby Atmos; no 3.5mm jackDual speakers with Dolby Atmos; no 3.5mm jack
S Pen✔️✔️
5G option✔️🚫
OSAndroid 13Android 13
Dimensions10.01 x 6.53 x 0.26in.11.24 x 7.30 x 0.26in.

Both Tab S9 FE models have the same processor, GPU, 90Hz refresh rate, storage, microSD card slot. front camera, charging speed, fingerprint sensor, dual speakers, waterproof S Pen, software, overall thickness, and four color options: Gray, Mint, Silver, and Lavender. 

Their resolutions are also a mere 6 pixels per inch apart, and while the Tab S9 FE Plus has a larger battery, this extra capacity goes directly to the larger display; the battery life is likely quite comparable. 

In terms of key differences, the Tab S9 FE Plus obviously gives you extra display space, though it weighs almost a quarter-pound heavier as a result. It starts with 2 extra GB of RAM and has 4 more GB with the upgraded version. And it has a second rear camera for ultrawide photos, though it has the same resolution as the main camera. 

The only perk to the more affordable Tab S9 FE, aside from being lighter, is that it's the only size with the option to upgrade to 5G. 

Tab S9 FE vs. Tab S9 vs. Tab S7 FE

Top-down view of the Galaxy Tab S9 FE

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Samsung obviously modeled the Tab S9 FE off of the Tab S9, based on their shared water-resistant design. Still, the Tab S9 wins in key areas as the uncompromised, expensive option. 

Switching from the Tab S9 FE to the Tab S9 gives you the following perks: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 over the Exynos 1380, 276ppi instead of 249ppi, quad speakers instead of dual speakers, 120Hz refresh rate over 90Hz, 13MP rear camera instead of 8MP, USB-C Type 3.2 instead of 2.0, Armor Aluminum materials, shorter S Pen latency, and other perks. 

Of these, the biggest change is obviously in terms of performance. The overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the Tab S9 series is an incredibly fast and powerful processor; the Exynos 1380 may have 38% higher CPU performance and 73% higher GPU performance, but falls well short of the flagship chip. 

As for the Tab S9 FE and FE Plus versus the Tab S7 FE, the biggest change is that you can choose a smaller tablet size if you so choose. The 2021 tablet has a comparable LCD resolution, dual speakers, 8MP rear camera, max storage (with microSD), battery size, S Pen, and 5G support. It even has a better USB-C 3.2 port for faster charging. 

In terms of updates, the Tab S9 FE series starts at 6GB or 8GB instead of 4GB, jumps from 60Hz to 90Hz with Vision Booster added, greatly improves the selfie cam resolution (5MP vs. 12MP), and adds IP68 resistance and a side fingerprint sensor,

Generally speaking, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE seems to hit a solid balance for "fans" who want a reliable, long-lasting tablet but don't need ultra-fast performance. We especially appreciate the addition of a smaller tablet option that's better suited for handheld or on-lap streaming, as well as the larger Tab S9 FE Plus for mid-level productivity. 

We can't say for certain yet if these will number among the best Android tablets, but thanks to Samsung's reliable software support and tablet expertise, we're fairly optimistic. Plus, we appreciate that Tab S9 accessories should be compatible with the Tab S9 FE series, according to Samsung. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.