• Samsung and NextRadio are teaming up to enable the FM chip on future devices.
  • LG reached a similar agreement with NextRadio in August 2017.
  • An unlocked chip and NextRadio’s app allows you to listen to over-the-air FM broadcasts on your phone.

It’s easy to forget that inside smartphones — modern marvels that they are — there’s a radio, hidden behind all those high-tech bells and whistles. That’s right, nestled between the highly accurate sensors, cameras which record slow motion at 4K, and biometric scanners, lies an FM receiver too. Most phones can’t use them, but it looks like that’s changing.

Following LG’s recent dealSamsung is partnering with NextRadio to unlock the FM chips in its smartphones. 

In its announcement today, NextRadio rightly pointed out that access to FM radio is essential in some areas. If a natural disaster wipes out power or cell towers, radio could be the only way to receive the information you need to stay alive. Unlocking a phone’s FM capabilities could help alleviate that issue. Users with unlocked FM chips can download NextRadio’s app and tune into FM stations in their area.

NextRadio stated that upcoming Samsung smartphones in the U.S. and Canada will have the chip unlocked, but AndroidPolice was able to find several phones already on the market with unlocked chips. If you want to download the app to see if your phone has an unlocked FM chip, hit the button below.

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