Ryan Haines / Android Authority
In 2020, Samsung started releasing “Fan Edition” models of some of its products. Since then, for Samsung’s Android tablets, we’ve only seen one FE model, which was the 2021 Galaxy Tab S7 FE. Now that the Galaxy Tab S9 series is here, can we expect a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE model to launch? If so, when might that happen?
In this article, we’ve summed up all the credible rumors on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE so far!
Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE?
As of now, all signs point to “yes.” We’ve heard plenty of rumors about the existence of a Galaxy Tab S9 FE as well as a Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus. Most recently, Samsung itself let it slip that the tablets are on the way by erroneously listing the names of the devices on the French version of its website (first spotted by Roland Quandt). Evidence for a new device doesn’t get much stronger than that.
However, in the past, we have seen a ton of evidence for products that then didn’t launch. Therefore, it is still possible Samsung could shelve the Galaxy Tab S9 FE models. For now, though, we fully expect to see these budget Android tablets launch soon.
What is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE release date?
Damien Wilde / Android Authority
As mentioned before, we’ve only seen one other FE-branded tablet from Samsung: the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. This tablet launched in May 2021, roughly ten months after the launch of the main Galaxy Tab S7 family. Based on this, you would assume we’d see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE Plus launch in May 2024.
However, we don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. There is already a mountain of evidence for these tablets, including leaked renders. When this much info is out in the world, it usually means a launch is only months or even weeks away. We’ll likely see the FE tablets launch before the end of 2023.
We expect the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE Plus to launch in 2023.
Unfortunately, as of now, we don’t know much more than that. Samsung will likely do a quiet launch with only a press release — no splashy event or livestream will be involved. It is possible the company could time the launch to coincide with the Galaxy S23 FE, which we also expect to land this year. That would make a lot of sense considering the “Fan Edition” branding, after all.
As of now, our best guess is for a Galaxy Tab S9 FE launch sometime before the big holiday shopping season starts. That would mean October or early November. We’ll have more precise assessments on this in the coming weeks.
As a side note, if you’re wondering what happened with the Galaxy Tab S8 FE, your guess is as good as ours. Samsung never launched this product, and it looks like it never will.
What specs and features will the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE have?
We expect Samsung to launch two FE-branded tablets this year. The Galaxy Tab S9 FE will theoretically be a trimmed-down version of the Galaxy Tab S9. Likewise, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus will be a similarly trimmed variant of the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus.
We have leaked renders for both models. Let’s start with the Galaxy Tab S9 FE. The renders — based on CAD files obtained by reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer and Media Peanut — show a device very similar to the Galaxy Tab S9. There’s a single camera on the back, a spot to charge an S Pen, and flat sides all around.
Media Peanut says the tablet will have a 10.9-inch display. This is roughly the same as the 11-inch display of the Galaxy Tab S9.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus looks to be a slightly bigger model with two lenses on the back — just like the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus. The renders below — courtesy of Hemmerstoffer and Wolf Of Tablet — depict a 12.4-inch tablet with a similar look to the vanilla model.
As far as specs go, this is where we expect Samsung to change things up. The rumored processor for these two tablets is the Samsung Exynos 1380. This is a 2023 system on a chip (SoC) designed for mid-range devices. Although this is an octa-core processor, it will likely pale in comparison to the mighty Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy that appears in the Galaxy Tab S9 series. In other words, if you need a ton of raw power with your Android tablet, you’re not likely to get it with these FE models. Instead, you’ll get a good-enough tablet for entertainment consumption, basic gaming, and all your usual productivity apps.
We also don’t expect either of these FE models to have the AMOLED displays we see on the main Galaxy Tab S9 models. It’s very likely Samsung will stick with LCD panels to save cash. Don’t expect an IP rating, either. Samsung will almost certainly reserve that for mainline tablets.
Elsewhere, you can expect 6GB and 8GB of RAM for the Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE Plus, respectively. We also expect 128GB of base internal storage (with larger options if needed), a capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the side key, and connectors to attach accessories such as keyboards. It’s also very likely an S Pen will come in the box, as we saw this with the Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
What will the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE price be?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9
The only other FE tablet from Samsung — 2021’s Galaxy Tab 7 FE — launched with an MSRP of $529. This was $120 cheaper than the Galaxy Tab S7.
Combining this info with the fact that we know FE models are always cheaper than their mainline counterparts, we guarantee the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE will land at $699 or less. That would be $100 under the Galaxy Tab S9, which starts at the relatively expensive price of $799.
However, the existence of the Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus heavily suggests introductory pricing could be even lower. After all, if the Galaxy Tab S9 FE is $699, then the Plus variant would probably be $799, thus matching the price of the way-more-powerful Galaxy Tab S9. This might cause consumer confusion.
Instead, we think the Galaxy Tab S9 FE could start at $599. This would make it more expensive than the launch price of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE but still well below the Galaxy Tab S9. The Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus could then be $699, making it more premium but still not as expensive as the vanilla Galaxy Tab S9. The fact that the Galaxy Tab S7 FE recently received a permanent price drop to $429 makes this outcome look even more likely.
Unfortunately, we are just speculating here. We have no credible leaked pricing yet for either of these tablets. Be sure to watch this space, as we’ll probably see some soon.
Should I wait for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE?
Damien Wilde / Android Authority
If you have money to burn, there is no reason to wait for the Galaxy Tab S9 FE. We can say with absolute certainty that the Galaxy Tab S9 ($799.99 at Samsung), Galaxy Tab S9 Plus ($999.99 at Samsung), and Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra ($1119 at Samsung) will be better in pretty much every way when compared to the FE models. However, they will be much more expensive.
If you want to save even more cash, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE ($429.99 at Amazon) also still a great deal, especially at its new lower price. That said, it may be worth waiting to see how it stacks up to the Tab S9 FE when it finally drops, Regardless, be sure to avoid the 5G version as it makes compromises on specs.
If you want to spend as little as possible and still get a great tablet experience, the Galaxy Tab A8 ($218.8 at Amazon) is our go-to budget recommendation.
Really, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus will exist as inbetweener options. They’ll be tablets for those who can afford premium design but don’t care about peak performance. If that’s you, it might be worth the wait. But if you don’t fit that category, any of these other options would be a good deal.