Tab S9FE series

We had a brief hands on with these yesterday though we weren’t allowed to run any tests.

I especially was impressed by the standard 9FE with 5G. The display looked excellent visually and the overall build quality was top notch albeit a step below the S9 series.

Samsung is a weird company, I can’t see that many customers opting for the full s9 series when these are so close in experience but cost less.

It’s especially odd that the units we saw had Android 14 and might launch with them whereas the regular S9 series likely wont get 14 for a few months.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and FE Plus: Everything we know so far | Android Central


Is the FE series akin to the S6Lite?

This is honestly the device that might get me to dstrauss my IPP 11. Even though the FE is not nearly as capable all things considered, it’s considerably lower priced, allowing me more budget for better peripherals and I am really only using this for art on the go. Android has gotten significantly better with mobile art programs in recent years. I don’t know how much I’m really getting out of the IPP with Procreate and CSP. Will this lower spec’d FE really see that much of a performance dip in drawing? And honestly, I’m extremely disappointed in the hover feature of the Apple Pencil. It’s no where near as good as the last time I used Wacom, which was probably over 15 years ago. I’d bet the FE pen at least feels better than the Apple Pencil.

It’s probably a similar idea. FE is slightly lower spec’d with what equates to the bells and whistles cut to maintain the important features at a lower cost. The S6 Lite was the best bang for your buck for a long time. I think this FE is going to be the next best thing from a cost to benefit ratio.

Exactly. they are just somewhat down-specced versions of the existing models with slightly slower processors and more standard (though still quite good) displays.

And anecdotally, the pen experience was indistinguishable from the Tab S series in our brief hands on with only a couple of features dropped like the remote control with the pen.

And when you add in that you can count the number of apps that fully push the current processor in the Tab S series on one hand, the FE’s represent a much better choice for most.

We do intend to fully test the 11 inch model after its release.


Please test for any problems with the digitizer corners or near the magnets.

It seems reports of these issues have accelerated for the S9 iteration, I wonder if it is because of more aggressive polling or reduced voltage for power savings.

1 Like

So again. we did not see/have not seen any issues with the 11 inch S9 when we tested it nor with the 12.4 S9 we have as part of our long term test lab, nor do we have any reports of this in our customer base, save for one report where the 12.4 unit was visibly bent.

So I continue to assert that problems occurring are either manufacturing defects (most likely IMHO) or an external cause related to third party devices.

One more anecdotal thing, is that we have already seen a 3rd party case for the 12.4, purchased on Amazon that due to it’s tight fit, caused the display to visibly bow.


Other than the fact that the 12" version was much more expensive than last years offering, the spec seemed okay, especially now that they upped the RAM from the meager 4 GB to 6 GB. ( in our country, there is no spec choices for these FE/ lite device, only the lowest configuration is often available).

But again, how Samsung manage multi tasking is dodgy no matter how much ram the devices might have. Like my tab S7 FE is even more trigger happy at killing background apps than my old tab A 2019 with s-pen that had a much slower processor, storage and a meager 3GB of RAM.

Yeah, my Fold with 12GB of RAM… never used for than about 8GB. Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s scheduler or whatever was hibernating apps, even ones set not too at times!

I suspect on models with less RAM that they just let apps use what they want and then have the system slow to a crawl into the user closes some. On those devices people expect some slowdown, so perhaps the aggressive management on higher end devices is to make them seem to always be very snappy.

Short update. We just received our Tab S9FE for testing. So far anyway, no detectable pen issues.


Did you check for that one tilt issue on the short side of the screen?

yes, haven’t quite completed our tests generally but NO pen issues detected


That’s just so bizarre (yet good news I guess). I finally had the idea to go back to the Best Buy a few weeks ago and test their display units for the tilt sensitivity disappearing towards the right or left side of the screen. They had an Ultra and regular S9, but no Plus, and both of the units had it — this makes those batches of Ultras particularly ghetto because it had the tilt deadzone in addition to some magnetism issue near the camera on the upper left that causes the cursor to veer offset or for the pen to register as being tilted when it’s upright.

I’m really struggling with their Support. I still can’t even get them to compensate me for the pen having been lost when I followed directions and packed it along with my S9 Plus to that third party contractor to have it diagnosed, only to be told there’s nothing wrong with it.

I’ll keep trying in light of what you’re saying above, thanks for the update. My only remaining idea, aside from trying to wear them out by calling at least a few times per week, is to try to find a rep at Best Buy, or go far out of my way to a Samsung Experience Store, and see if they’ll be so kind as to get on the line with Support together with me…

I get your frustration and wish I could offer more. I also know that it can be difficult to get Samsung to engage as for instance with the Note 7 where in retrospect there was a core design problem, but it took way to long for the real issue to surface.

That being said, we still have not seen any solid link between either a software or hardware flaw and the issues that some are experiencing. And at least as of now the occurrences we’ve seen look like and ultimately could be traced back to either manufacturing defects, or post manufacturing issues, eg. a bent chassis. (which BTW EMR is inherently sensitive to)

It is possible that perhaps there are flaws in Samsung’s manufacturing process and/or overall design of the Tab S, possibly akin to something like what occurred with Apple with the iPhone 6 plus years back.

Or some odd interaction with some 3rd party devices such as cases or even other devices in proximity to the tablet.

We’ve seen similar that to where for instance a few years back dell XPS 13 systems had a weird video static issue which ultimately was traced back to the then new 5ghz band WIFI routers, combined with inadequate RF shielding of the cable between motherboard and display.

In that case, you had to have both one of the new, quite rare routers, AND be less that 10 feet away from said router to experience the issue.

1 Like

BTW; The FE is now generally available to buy, including at BB and others

Finished our tests of the Tab S9FE 11 inch with 5G. Passed without issues (including no detected pen issues)nand IMHO is a much better buy than the Tab S9 11 inch. Besides the switch to LCD (a very good one) it’s a only a tick or slower in general performance. And the 5g at least in the US isn’t available on the regular S9 11 inch.

And, as part of a joint test with a customer, I’m going to try using it, along with the w365 app as my primary system for a week. W365 is surprisingly useful on the iPad 11 Pro and I’m looking forward to the S-pen goodness on tablet to match up with my work s22 Ultra


Do you regularly use an IPP 11? Curious on the comparison between the two.

I do (the M1 version) and that’s one of the things that I intend to delve more deeply into.

That being said, already based on our testing, the iPad has a better display though not by a huge amount. I also like the aspect ratio better on the iPad for general productivity.

Again, based on our testing, but the 4g in the new FE is a bit better than the iPad which is becoming a weakness IMHO generally of the iPad Pro unless/until Apple releases their own 4g/5g modem

And of course, the biggest thing is 3rd party support. iPadOS is simply in a different league than Android which despite recent efforts by Google is still way behind iPad OS in terms of app support and overall usability (eg. way too many Android apps if they are available at all, STILL run like phone apps on Android tablets)

OTOH The S-Pen is hands down the best pen experience IMHO

On the third hand, MS while they were still seeming to support the Duo, were making strides with getting at least parity with IOS versions of their apps such as One Note, seems to have essentially abandoned Android development again with multiple updates to the IOS and Windows versions, while being MIA on android.

On the 4th hand :slight_smile: they have been revving the W365 app on Android at least as often as IOS and they are now at rough parity with arguably superior pen support (with S-Pen specifically) in the latest versions.

1 Like

At the rate you test things, I’d believe if you had two extra hands!

Ooh, so please go into more detail on the W365 pen support. MS Remote Desktop support for things like stroke fidelity and pressure has always been spotty. How is it with W365?

Maybe in Paint and OneNote, do a few fast hatch lines (looking for hooks), tight letters (p’s and d’s, looking for ‘squishing’), fast large circles (looking for vectoring), and slow diagonals (check how smoothing is handled).

So I’d give them a B+ at this point, eg, rapidly improved, but still a couple of ticks off overall smoothness compared to native intel. (still noticeable lag even to casual users)

That’s not entirely their fault though as they can only work with what the native OS/hardware (android) can provide.

There was talk at one point, that Samsung actually offered to take over development of the pen support in return for some type of bundling deal, but to my knowledge, that never actually came to pass.

PS: @Marty from a functional stand point there appears to be an MPP emulator in use for both IOS and Android .e. it translates the host OS pen software to MPP within the app, which is likely why the lag

1 Like

I am 90% sure I’m just going to keep my 11" IPP at this point, but the S-Pen is the most tempting thing about Samsung. I don’t care that much about ecosystem, as I only use my IPP for art and as an e-reader with very very lite writing occasionally along with very very lite web browsing. But the aspect ratio is really pretty key for me. Is the S-Pen really that much better than the Apple Pencil though?