There's good news for FM radio listeners and Samsung fans in the United States and Canada.
Samsung smartphone models will have radio chips activated by default starting this year. That means, the radio functionality of 2018 Samsung phone models and onward can be used right out-of-the-box. In some cases, the mobile handsets will ship with the NextRadio application by virtue of an agreement between the South Korean tech firm and TagStation LLC.
TagStation, the owner of the NextRadio app, announced this week that Samsung will unlock the FM radio chip for all smartphones models that will see release in North America, specifically in the United States and Canada. The news came out following an earlier deal forged by TagStation with other Android device makers.
The company said Samsung, currently acknowledged as the largest Android handset manufacturer, will follow the lead taken by LG, Motorola, and Alcatel. The three device makers have earlier committed to making handsets that also function as FM radio receivers.
"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," Paul Brenner, president of NextRadio, said in a statement.
Lifeline In Times Of Emergency
Samsung's partnership with NextRadio will mean another welcome feature for the company's popular handset models that actually was in use earlier builds. With the deal, FM radio will become a regular of Samsung phones, which Brenner said will surely engage more smartphone users with the ubiquitous mode of communication.
It is highly likely that the initiative will be first implemented by Samsung with its first flagship release for 2018 - the Galaxy S9. If the rumors are proved to be correct, Samsung will push for an earlier touchdown for the Galaxy S9 with possible intro at the MWC 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.
The handset will certainly boast of flagship phone capabilities, mostly upgrades from the 2017 flagship bets by Samsung. Going by the announcement from TagStation, among the confirmed feature jumps is FM radio functionality.
The Galaxy S9 with an unlocked FM radio chips will make the device a helpful tool should a natural disaster strikes. Usually, in such a case, power grids and cell towers would be hit and rendered useless, leaving people to rely on radio transmissions. The handset, or other phones with activated radio chips, will then double as the only functioning channel to obtain information that will save lives.