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LG To Include FM Radio Support In Future Smartphones

By Harsh Soni , Aug 14, 2017 10:42 AM EDT
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LG is reportedly partnering with NextRadio's holder TagStation, which will help LG enable the FM radio feature in the upcoming LG smartphone. NextRadio's app is said to be come preloaded on select LG phones, with carrier agreements eventually determining when and where LG is going to position it.

Outside the United States, this is actually a general feature, but most US phones don't offer it. Since the phone vendors are inclined to offer the same device in multiple markets, many Android devices actually have a built-in FM chip which simply left deactivated. LG is partnering with NextRadio to offer FM service on its upcoming phones most likely including the V30, which is going to launch on August 31.

There are two ways to access the NextRadio service - via Streaming Mode, which works on any device with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection or in Radio Mode. All smartphone in the United States, from all manufacturers, support Streaming Mode. FM Mode is only available on Android devices, as Apple doesn't include FM chips in its iPhones, and not all phones support it. A list of smartphones that support FM Mode is available at NextRadio's website, Extreme Tech reported.

If you have a phone, which supports FM mode and has an active Internet connection via cellular or Wi-Fi, you have to download NextRadio "enhanced" content (album covers, newsfeed items, etc). In case you don't have Internet access, FM mode still works, provided there are any FM stations in range of your location. However, radio quality will not be as good as the streaming options, but according to LG, streaming eats 3x more battery and 20x more data than listening to the same station in FM Mode, as reported by XDA-Developers.

NextRadio also sections its supported device list by the carrier, implying that if the user doesn't have a service with the right company, FM Mode may not be supported. There's nothing in the FAQ which clarifies why an FM Radio would work with one service, but not another.

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