This rollout is notable for several reasons. Firstly, neither device has received a great deal of support on T-Mobile in the past, as both still sit on Android 4.4 KitKat — despite the fact they were upgraded to Lollipop on other carriers. Secondly, this is the first update the S4 has received since December 2015, and the first for the Tab 3 since that August — why T-Mobile has suddenly decided to rollout a security update to them is anybody’s guess.
Most strange, however, is that the S4 has been prioritized ahead of almost every other Samsung Galaxy phone on T-Mobile.
@kriscarlon February 2017. *NaeJ
— T-Mobile? (@TMobile) February 9, 2017
The Galaxy S6 on T-Mobile was recently updated with December/January’s security patches, while the Galaxy S7 was last updated to November’s security level. The S5, meanwhile, has December’s security patches. Though T-Mo doesn’t list the exact security level the S4 and Tab 3 are being upgraded to on its site, a customer service rep confirmed the update version (after some confusion) in a tweet.
It’s a strange move from T-Mobile, practically working in reverse chronological order. The patch has arrived out of nowhere and I’d still be sour that the S4 was never upgraded to Lollipop — one of the biggest overhauls of the Android software to date — when it really should have been (it launched with Android Jelly Bean). If anything, this will likely only serve to stir up bitter feelings in S4 owners and further irritate those with more recent devices.
The update should begin to arrive over-the-air in the coming days. Let us know your thoughts on T-Mobile’s update process in the comments.