Samsung commits to unlock the FM radio chip in future phones

An unlocked FM chip inside a phone is about more than just free local radio.

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Samsung and NextRadio on Wednesday announced the handset-maker will begin shipping phones in the US and Canada with the FM radio chip unlocked. Currently, Samsung was shipping some devices with the FM radio access unlocked, while others (often dependent upon carrier whims) had a locked FM radio chip.

An unlocked FM radio chip in a smartphone not only provides free access to local radio stations, but also, in emergency situations, access to important information.

In August 2017 LG announced a similar deal with NextRadio and provided a list of devices that already had access to the FM radio chip inside the phone.

Some Samsung devices already work with the NextRadio app. I tested the app on a T-Mobile Galaxy S8 and it worked, but the fact that all phones from Samsung going forward will work is reassuring.

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