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Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra 5G Review – DeX makes the difference!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra 5G :


Most people would say that iPads are better tablets, and Android tablets are just Android phones with wider screens, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is not your average Android tablet. It offers much more than Android on a larger screen.

The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is one of the 3 Samsung tablets recently released alongside their foldable, with a 14.6-inch screen, even wider than my studio Surface Laptop.
Why would you want Android on a screen as wide as 14.6 inches? I prefer to do Windows if it’s a tablet.

I’m starting to understand why anyone would opt for an Android tablet, and not just any one, but a flagship tablet from Samsung.

Something has made a difference when it comes to Android tablets, and I must say that Samsung tablets are easily the best of Android.

It’s more than Android, and I’m not talking about the fact that multitasking on OneUI far exceeds the competition especially with a screen as massive as this one.

And the fact that it works natively on the Galaxy Tab? That makes all the difference to me, we’ll get back to it shortly and explain why Dex is a big problem on the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

This thing is expensive, if I’m right, it’s the most expensive Android tablet on the market, it starts at about $1200, here in Nigeria, that’s almost 1.2 million naira.

This should get you a really good laptop! You can even get the Surface Pro 9 for this price no kidding.
But I’m pretty sure that anyone who opts for an Android tablet, wants something that they can’t get from Windows.
Probably the fact that Android is better for touch devices and they want something that runs Android apps well with all the screen space they can get, i mentioned earlier that I pre-ordered the Tab S9+.

Another reason why I pre-ordered the S9+, apart from the fact that the Ultra costs more, is that I preferred something just between the S9 and the Ultra, because this display is massive, useful, but really big.

This comes with the S Pen in the box, but I don’t have the pen that came with which it sticks to the back and recharges, but I do have other S Pens lying around that work great with it.

It is compatible with other Samsung S Pen, it works with the one for the Fold and that of the UItra S23, the build quality of the Tab S9 Ultra is premium, with Gorilla Glass on its screen, I think it’s victus.

Aluminum frame and also aluminum on the back, this thing is also very thin, it looks like it can break in half, but it is quite strong.

And then there is the IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, I don’t see a use case for where you will have to put this in the water, but it is nice to have.

The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra easily has the best display on any tablet, it is a beautiful AMOLED screen, with a refresh rate of 120 hz. Ideal for media consumption. I don’t need to stress enough how useful a screen like this is when it comes to watching videos or even multitasking.

It also has the thinnest bezel of all the S9 series.

I always have it right on my desk, next to my desk, it’s my device of choice for watching YouTube videos when I need it. The speakers also sound great, the best I’ve used on a device like this.

There are 4 speaker grilles, two on each side, the majority of the sound coming from the lower grilles. The high refresh rate gives you that smooth interaction with the device.

We have a user interface 5.1.1 here is what is Samsung’s software on Android, it goes without saying that Samsung easily offers the best user interface that can take advantage of a wide screen like this, on Android it is not only the possibility of multitasking with two or 3 applications side by side, or the floating windows.

And it’s special because it works natively on the S9 Ultra Tab, giving you access to Android but in a more Windows way with a desktop-like experience.

All applications open on Windows and you can have as many as you need, the tablet can handle it, with a keyboard and a trackpad, you experience Android as if it were Windows.

This is much better than normal Android or OneUI multitasking, where you need the extra step of opening in pop-up windows.
This also solves the problem of some applications that are not optimized for widescreens, because you can simply resize to an aspect ratio that you find appropriate for any application.

I wish other Android manufacturers had it, but it’s a Samsung thing and for me it makes all the difference and distinguishes the Tab S9 Ultra from other Android tablets.

It is actually interesting that Samsung does not market this feature enough, I mean Dex, it is also available on other Samsung flagships, I think from the S8 series and beyond if I am right.

The main difference is that for these devices you need an external display, but for the tab it works natively.

This makes a lot of sense, I always have my tablet in Dex mode, it’s not all the time that I want an application to go to full screen every time it is launched, by simply pressing a button it launches Dex, you can also configure it to launch as soon as you attach the keyboard.

While Samsung’s default keyboard covers will work better, if like me you don’t have it, you can always use another one and it will work just fine.

If you own other Samsung devices, the tab S9 Ultra fits perfectly into the ecosystem.

Quickshare is much faster than nearby share, just as good as Airdrop or even better. And then there is the multi-control that allows you to move your mouse from one device to another, even drag and drop files between devices.

For applications that are not well optimized for widescreens, the S9 Ultra tries to stretch the applications to fill the screen, but you can still have it better, when you use it in portrait mode for applications that are not well optimized for widescreens. I have also observed that the autorotation does not work well in Dex mode, this is a disappointment, but not a decisive factor.

I’m also curious why Twitter or the X app here doesn’t maximize the widescreen.
On the Tecno Phantom V Fold for example, there is a parallel mode that works well for widescreens but it is not an option on Samsung devices, not even the Fold.

For maximum productivity on the S9 Ultra Tab, you also have the S Pen stylus, my Fold Pen or S23 Ultra S works very well with the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is probably the most powerful Android tablet, running on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor optimized for Galaxy.

You can even play perfectly, if you are comfortable doing it on a screen as wide as this one, or even better with a controller.
This can go up to 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage for the maximum version, there is a basic storage of 256 GB and 12 GB of RAM.
You can also expand the SD card storage if you need more.

There is also a WiFi-only option, I believe, but this one comes with a SIM card slot, so there is also 5G compatibility.
The battery of the Tab S9 Ultra has a capacity of 11,200 mAh and you can get up to 3 days of use on a full charge.
That’s if you don’t use it as a smartphone though, because it should last less than that, but you will definitely still have a large amount of screen on time.

That’s the battery life I got by having it mostly in Dex mode, so yours can definitely vary depending on how you use your device.

It supports 45W charging however, we don’t get the brick in the box, so unless you have a compatible 45W charger, it can take more than 2 hours to charge if it is completely emptied.

My 25W Samsung charges take about 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully charge them, with a 45W charger it takes about an hour and 30 to 40 minutes.

The Tab S9 Ultra is well equipped for a tablet when it comes to cameras, with two rear cameras and two front cameras, 12MP on the two selfie cameras, these are the wide and ultra-wide selfie cameras, 13MP on the main camera and an Ultra-wide of 8MP.

It’s really not this camera that you take for a walk and then start taking photos, you’re going to pretty much use the cameras maybe for meetings, video calls, you’ll mainly use it indoors, I’m pretty sure, But if you need to take selfies or capture certain moments, it’s definitely possible.

You can even shoot videos up to 4K 30fps, I noticed that on Dex mode however, you don’t have full access to the cameras.
Something that Samsung needs to work on getting out of Dex mode, to fully use the cameras is not pleasant.

Conclusion :

When it comes to Android tablets, I think the Tab S9 series really stands out from the rest of the competition.

As long as the applications you are using are on Android, it will serve you very well.

Most people would definitely opt for an iPad or a Windows device at this price, but this is something that is definitely worth it.

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