LG to enable FM radio on its smartphones sold in the United States and Canada


One of the most basic features included on mobile phones, FM Radio is rarely seen in smartphones these days, especially those sold in the United States (perhaps Canada too). For some reason, major handset makers like LG are required to disable the FM chip inside their phones before they are introduced in North America.

Well, that's not the case anymore, as LG announced it has teamed up with TagStation, owner of the NextRadio application, to enable FM chips in all phones launched by the South Korean company.

However, LG's decision to enable FM chips in its smartphones in the US, Canada, and Latin American countries, is subject to agreements with local carriers. Moreover, LG announced that it will preload NextRadio on a number of smartphones, but no names have been provided yet.

In case you're wondering what are the benefits of having your FM chip enabled, you might want to know that the direct connection to the phone's FM chip allows you to use 3 times less battery and 20 times less data than streaming radio apps when listening to NextRadio broadcasts.

Once the FM Radio feature becomes available on LG phones, users will be able to listen and experience live, local radio on their handsets. Last but not least, the partnership between the two companies will also provide access to audio emergency alerts even if cellular coverage become unavailable.

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13 Comments

1. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Great move from LG!!!! If they make Note-like device I would move to LG the same day, I don't care the media BS that FM is not used often on smartphones. The features are not valued for how often they are used, but if they could be life-savers. Just like air bags on the cars (or S Pen, Fast charging, Removable batteries, Ultra saving mode ....) BTW to activate FM doesn't even need extra hardware ... it exist on every phone.

11. schultzter

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 20, 2015

My first smartphone had the FM radio activated (Sony Xperia Arc) and I used it every day!!! I don't see any good reason why the FM radio would be disabled?! Especially in Canada since our carriers also own the radio stations: so they're just killing their business!!! Good example of the left hand shooting the right foot.

13. michaelny2001

Posts: 346; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

why? I love my I heart radio app. No static, just smooth listening and it doesn't use too much data either.

2. dimas

Posts: 3419; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Lg is always giving what consumers want but they still can't break samsung's sales. I guess they really need a great engineering design to be on par with samsung. Crossing my fingers that lg v30 will be their answer to the s8+

3. speedingcheetah

Posts: 93; Member since: Jul 22, 2017

Must only be for new phones. I installed that app...it only works over data connection. Did not enable FM chip on my LG V10.

4. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Samsung has already done this

5. BuffaloSouce unregistered

Instead of using FM Radio to get crappy local stations mixed with static, I'd just download something like Iheartradio and get different stations across the country

6. andynaija

Posts: 1264; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

iHeartRadio, TuneIn etc. uses a data connection. It depends what area you're in, some places you might hear static and other areas are crystal clear.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4324; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

FM radio still exists?

8. sun0066

Posts: 282; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

fm radio , i love it , super convenient , when i am traveling and i do not have data connections I am still can enjoy of the radio, it was disabled just to force you to use data, but now most of the data is unlimited, so , they do not care any more.

9. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Really wish the Exynos Note 8 would come with something similar.

10. zr2s10

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

"For some reason, major handset makers like LG are required to disable the FM chip inside their phones before they are introduced in North America." . "...the direct connection to the phone's FM chip allows you to use 3 times less battery and 20 times less data than streaming radio apps..." There is no requirement to disable the radio chip. Every Windows Phone that I've used allows it to work. The second quote I've got there is the reason. The CARRIERS DON"T WANT YOU TO HAVE IT BECAUSE THEY WANT YOU TO STREAM YOUR MUSIC! Honestly, I'm surprised LG is doing this, since the carriers already don't push their phones. Hopefully, the reception is better than it was on my Lumias. I had very little luck getting a clear signal worth listening to, but it may be dependent on the headphones, which you need to act as the antenna. I just save MP3s to my SD Card anyway, but the option is nice if you want to listen to a live broadcast and not have to eat data like crazy.

12. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

BTW i think every smartphone has FM receiver.....even the iPhone.

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