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Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ Will Unlock FM Chip in US and Canada

The manufacturer has partnered with NextRadio to be the official FM radio service native on its flagship Galaxy phones

INDIANAPOLIS — Broadcasters like me like will expound on the value of radio during emergencies, and most of you are likely familiar with the rhetoric. In fact, this should sound familiar:

“Internet radio and streaming services should be enough but using the actual FM radio feature on a device is more efficient. It doesn’t use any data to stream and uses less battery power so it won’t take your precious data. If you’re the type who scrimps on your mobile data plan, this will be good for you because you can finally enjoy unlimited music for free. You only need to worry about your battery.

“Having local FM radio is also useful especially in times and areas where there is no or little cellular coverage.” This is actually from the androidcommunity website, interestingly enough. “When cellular coverage is unavailable or in times of emergencies and disaster, this FM chip will be able to provide information coming from local radio stations straight to your Samsung smartphone. It’s not only in the US and Canada where unlocking the FM chip is encouraged. Recent natural disasters in Florida, Houston, and Puerto Rico increased the pressure on phone makers to activate the FM chip in phones. This is mainly for public safety and convenience.”

Samsung has partnered with NextRadio to be the official FM radio service native on its flagship Galaxy phones, according to androidcommunity. It’s enabled and ready for use on smartphones purchased directly from mobile carriers.

“It took a while before the company does something officially. With this move, it’s joining Alcatel, Motorola, and LG in activating the FM radio chip,” according to the same article. Other interesting points are:

  • Both United States and Canada will have the FM radio chip unlocked for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ as well as new and upcoming Android phones it will be rolling out in the region in the coming months.
  • For unlocked S9 units, the FM radio chip will be unlocked and enabled with a software update.
  • This particular update will add the NAB FM API to enable support for FM radio and the latest June security patch level.