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Samsung Is Unlocking the FM Radio in New Phones

Dave Parrack 11-01-2018

Samsung has committed to unlocking the FM radio chip in its upcoming handsets. This will allow owners of Samsung phones in the U.S. and Canada to listen to FM radio Analog Radio vs. Digital Radio: How They Work and Their Differences How does digital (HD) radio work compared to traditional AM/FM radio? Can you upgrade your old radio? Here's what you need to know. Read More without the need to be connected to the internet. This is thanks to an ongoing partnership with NextRadio.


It’s a little-known fact that most smartphones have the capability of receiving FM radio signals. The technology is present in the hardware, but many manufacturers and/or carriers don’t activate the chip. Some are starting to see the light though, including Apple’s nemesis, Samsung.

Samsung Commits Support for FM Radio

To be clear, Samsung has been supporting the NextRadio app for a while now. If you check the list of supported devices on the NextRadio website you’ll find lots of Samsung phones. The news here is just that Samsung has committed to carrying on that support with its next batch of handsets.

In its press release, Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio, said, “Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step. They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies.”

We have previously published a guide to unlocking the FM radio chip in your smartphone How to Unlock the FM Radio Hidden on Your Smartphone Here's how to listen to the radio on your smartphone using the FM tuner hidden inside. Read More using the NextRadio app. But it should be noted that other radio tuner apps are available. It’s also worth checking to see if your smartphone is supported before you bother downloading the app.

Apple Thinks FM Radio Is Unnecessary

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news. Essentially, Samsung is just reupping its support for unlocking the FM radio chip in smartphones. However, Apple has refused to entertain the idea of doing the same, claiming that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 don’t even have the necessary chip.


Is your smartphone capable of receiving FM radio signals? If so, have you installed the NextRadio app to access local stations? Do you think the FM radio chip should be activated as standard? Or can you understand why that isn’t always the case? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Rochelle Hartman via Flickr

Related topics: Internet Radio, Samsung.

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  1. TPB
    January 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Seriously? The chip is already there! How much could it possibly cost to activate--which many manufacturers already do!--that it would have even the slightest blip on development cost?

    Also: seriously? It's 2018--I still need the wired headphone plugged in to be used as an antenna? Okay, but let me use my Bluetooth headset simultaneously to listen to it! When I listen to FM, it's often when I'm working in the garage or around the house and damned if the earbud cord doesn't constantly get yanked out of the phone or cause the phone to fall on the floor.