Google is pushing to more tightly integrate its digital products with the physical world, a move bolstered by introduction of new hardware.
Of particular interest to broadcasters will be the Pixel and Pixel XL. These smartphones claim some impressive specs — long battery life, good storage options, and excellent camera and more. Google also includes the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack for both phones — highlighted in the introductory video (a pointed dig at rival Apple’s decision to remove theirs).
In the U.S. Pixel will be carried exclusively by Verizon. However, unlocked phones will be sold online and through Best Buy, enabling consumers who use AT&T, Sprint and other mobile carriers to also get their hands on the goods.
However, what is not yet clear is whether or not the phone is FM chip compatible.
U.K.-based Radio magazine contributor and RadioDNS Project Director Nick Piggott observed on Twitter that “it’s got the right Qualcomm silicon in it to be FM-compat[ible] ... but did they connect the antenna to the 3.5 mm socket...?”
Despite the many tech specs that have already been unveiled, that question remains unanswered, at least for now.
I reached out to press representatives at Google; they could not be reached for comment. If any additional information is forthcoming, I will update this or a subsequent article.
NextRadio representative Maura Kautsky told Radio World in an email that “this is not an issue; just like the Apple phones we can use the USB jack, just as we use the headset port as the antenna to get FM radio.