Not long after Google detailed the January 2018 Android security bulletin earlier this week, Samsung has now reportedly begun distributing the patch to one of its most inconspicuous devices, namely the low-end Galaxy Tab A 7.0 (2016) tablet. The firmware labeled as the version 'T285DDU0AQL3' is currently being rolled out in Bangladesh for the 4G-enabled variant carrying the model number 'SM-T825' and availability will presumably expand into other regions over the coming days.
It's unclear why Samsung chose the Galaxy Tab A 7.0 (2016) as its first device to make the jump to Google's first security patch of the new year, especially given the company's rich portfolio of actively supported devices, most of which are arguably more popular than this slate. However, a wild guess would be that Samsung might be extra cautious in light of recent reports claiming that the January security patch launched by Google on the Nexus and Pixel lineups has affected the performance of these devices. Perhaps Samsung picked the Galaxy Tab A 7.0 (2016) as its testing machine specifically because it isn't that popular. Then again this might be a simple coincidence, or perhaps Samsung's actual roadmap has no relation to the current events surrounding Google's latest release. Whatever the case may be, Bangladesh residents who happen to own the tablet should be able to download the latest security patch over the air later this week and if no major issues are uncovered, more Samsung-made devices and markets will soon receive the same firmware.
It's unclear when the January security patch will arrive on the Wi-Fi variant of the tablet carrying the model number "SM-T280" or when the larger Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016) equipped with an S-Pen will join its smaller sibling. As for the 7-inch slate, it launched in March of 2016 with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out of the box, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, and a 4,000mAh battery in tow, and hasn't received any major software updates since, once again highlighting the oddity surrounding this early security release by Samsung on a device that hasn't really gotten that much attention in the past. Nevertheless, security patches are almost always a welcome addition and hopefully, this one will expand its reach without a hitch.