It almost seems like a recurring tune from the Tablet market and the reviews of these same products: the market seems to be at a standstill and totally devoid of innovation for some time now, either due to a lack of necessity or because the numbers are never so large as to justify investments in research and innovation, the fact is that tablets continue to have their own audience, or perhaps better to define it as a niche.
Among the largest (and best) high-end tablet manufacturers, beyond the classic Apple which probably holds the record, in the world Android you can't help but think of Samsung: the Galaxy tab s9 plus it is one of the latest rather high-end products launched by the company which, as usual, positions itself on the market with a fairly high price, poco more than 1000 euro, a figure that certainly makes us wonder why we should buy a tablet rather than a notebook, and vice versa of course.
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S9 Plus 5G review
Design and Materials
One of the aspects in which innovation has slowed down a bit, obviously, can only be design and construction; tablets now follow a sort of standardization of the aesthetic and construction aspect, but I certainly don't consider this a negative aspect.
Il Galaxy tab s9 plus, as per tradition, arrives with an aluminum back and side frame: you can perceive that it is well built and with its thin frames it certainly acquires a premium and elegant appearance, making a clear difference with the classic 500 tablets. euros or poco more.
With one thickness of 5,7 mm, the thinness of the Tab S9 Plus is almost astonishing, and combined with the weight of 586 g, sometimes it is difficult to believe that there is such a great concentration of technology; this is to tell you that, in general, it is very convenient as a tablet for reading or for any other use that involves transport, perhaps to university to take notes, on the train to watch a film or work and so on.
Two color variations are available, Beige and Graphite, but the particular thing is that on the Samsung store the two versions depend on the memory size: to be clear, the 12 / 256GB can be purchased in Graphite, while the 12 / 512GB Beige can also be purchased, for a 100 euro difference in the list price. I tried the Beige, as you can see in the photo, and I must say that it is rather elegant and refined, but perhaps I would have preferred the graphite one for greater "aggressiveness", I don't know if I have understood the concept.
The Galaxy Tab S9 Plus charges via USB-C, has four speakers distributed on the two short sides and does not have a dedicated connector for headphones. The four stereo speakers of the Tab S9 Plus they are truly a pleasure to use; powerful and capable of a convincing stereo separation effect, without ever distorting, even at the highest volumes. Hands down, one of the best speakers I've ever tried on a tablet.
In addition, a highly sought after option, the 5G connectivity: here a variant is available that supports mobile connectivity, the extra cost is 130 euros, obviously always comparing the list prices. The most attentive will also have noticed a different part in the back cover: it is the magnetic space dedicated to the S Pen, a characteristic Samsung accessory, which can be placed there not only to be stored, but also to be recharged.
One last interesting detail is the resistance towater IP68, with the tablet theoretically able to survive submersion to 1,5m for up to 30 minutes. Although it is very unlikely that a tablet is in this situation, it should be noted that in this market it is not a frequent feature, but definitely appreciable.
The success of a product in this market segment, let's be honest, is also strongly dictated by the quality of its screen. And I'll be honest, without mincing words, the 12,4-inch panel inserted into the Galaxy tab s9 plus it is exceptional, but on the other hand one could not have expected a different result from the company that has always produced the best displays on the market.
The display Dynamic AMOLED 2X of the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus offers a rich contrast, bright colors and infinite blacks that make the various multimedia contents that are played stand out, films first and foremost, given the compatibility with HDR10+.
In terms of resolution, he sits somewhere between FullHD and 2K, 2800 x 1752 pixels, normal values and which do not influence in any way the performance of the display itself which, among other things, supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. As for brightness, the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus performs very well in direct sunlight, which is unusual for a tablet: and I know you're thinking about a comparison with the 11-inch iPad Pro, don't hide. Samsung's tablet has a higher resolution, supports OLED, has higher brightness and I found it suitable for every context, I leave the evaluations to you.
Hardware and Performance
The Samsung Galaxy tab s9 plus uses a customized version of Qualcomm's premium chipset called Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, the same one found in the Galaxy S23 collection, Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5. This is paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which as I told you poco ago, they can become 512GB if necessary. Contrary to all expectations, there is also a MicroSD slot for expanding the storage memory.
For Android it is decidedly excessive in terms of hardware, especially considering the uses that are made of a tablet, never too extreme if we consider some necessary limitations of the type of product itself: even more so, if the main use of the tablet is multimedia, with a product like this you are definitely on the fast track, as they say, also because there is never too much power, especially if you consider the weight of the software over the years.
Samsung's approach to software has always been a peculiarity of the Brand, which stands out for a feature-rich and graphically always attractive interface, especially in the latest versions of its UI. Here we have obviously Android in 14 version with the latest version of Samsung's OneUI, and among the thousand integrations it is impossible not to notice the presence of Samsung DeX, which allows the tablet to use a full desktop experience and function similarly to a full laptop. It runs quickly and smoothly, and the ability to easily window apps and use a dual screen when needed without missing a beat means it gives a great impression of a fully featured laptop, and doesn't suffer too much from the limitations that come with it. in the tablet context.
For the rest, on this Tab from Samsung you have to live with many "duplicated" apps, because as per tradition Samsung inserts its suite of applications (own store, gallery, archive and more) in addition to the entire suite of Google, which may be redundant. Except for this detail, I found the software to be efficient and well optimized, with nothing to complain about.
We know, guys, the photographic part of tablets is always a very delicate aspect to deal with, mostly because the wishes of the brands are never really clear. Samsung, on the other hand, has always done well with the photographic part in all price ranges and in all categories, including this S9 Plus. Here we have two lenses on the back, one 13 megapixel primary flanked by an 8MP ultrawide and an LED flash; on the front, however, there is space for a pretty good 12 MP selfie camera.
As regards the quality of the photos taken, thanks also to software processing, shots are always obtained with clear details, a wide dynamic range, good contrast and noise always reduced to a minimum. Even if the 13MP lens, f/2.0 is not the most advanced or modern around, it does a good job in most situations, working well both for document capture and for an emergency shot if you have a dead smartphone. The results in low light are a little less good, but one would hardly have expected more. Good, however ultra wide although it does not have autofocus, which could be useful in some cases.
Again, the selfie camera is very good which also integrates an ultra-wide mode, decidedly convenient during video calls where there are more people present, more versatile in use. Audio capture in videos is also good, crisp and clear. Without too many minces, even on this front the Galaxy Tab S9 Plus is one of the best currently around.
Although size and weight are decidedly balanced, the Galaxy tab s9 plus it has a large battery under the body, with a capacity of 10.090 mAh. Although it may seem like a lot, considering the rather demanding hardware mounted on board, I would say that we are at the limit with the battery installed. In any case, this is a tablet capable of ensuring autonomy of about 6-8 hours of continuous and work use, under Wi-Fi network and with maximum brightness. Simulating the playback of a film on Netflix, however, consumed it in an hour poco less than 10% battery, always under Wi-Fi network.
In terms of charging, however, 0-100% takes about 1 and a half hours poco less with its power supply included in the package with a maximum of 45W.
Price and considerations
As I let you understand during this review, this Samsung S9 Plus is a decidedly high-end tablet, with its list price starting from1149 to EUR for the version Wi-Fi 12/256GB and it can go up by a few hundred euros with various options such as increased storage and 5G connectivity.
Each Premium product has a certain market segment and related reference user, and this Samsung tablet is certainly aimed at a target of professional users, who seek maximum reliability from their tablet. With a slim, sleek design, it feels comfortable to hold, its display is truly a pleasure to use, and the speakers are powerful and incredibly clear. The custom processor Snapdragon 8 Gen2 inside it is powerful and the battery life is always enough to get through a whole day. In short, unless you need an iPad Pro for specific reasons, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus is certainly a solution to consider.
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