Many phones actually have an FM chip built into them, but for ones released in the US, this feature is often nonexistent or disabled by carriers (e.g. AT&T, Verizon). Today, however, LG announced that it is partnering with NextRadio to provide free access to local FM radio stations on future handsets throughout all of North and Latin America.
Although you can easily download apps like iHeartRadio to tune into some of your favorite stations, access to raw FM radio channels has a couple big benefits. According to LG, FM radio uses 3 times less battery than streaming services and 20 times less data. Essentially, this means that you can still listen to your favorite songs and catch up on local news even if you’re in an area with a poor data signal or if your phone’s low on battery.
LG will be preinstalling the NextRadio app on certain handsets going forward to enable access to FM radio stations, and although there’s currently no word as to which exact phones will be subject to this, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if LG debuted this new partnership with the upcoming LG V30 that’s scheduled to be announced on August 31.
There are a number of existing LG phones that currently work with NextRadio, including the LG G6, G5, Stylo 3, V20, X Power, and many more. For the lineup of compatible hardware, check out NextRadio’s list of supported devices.