Although listening to the radio isn’t the main reason most people buy a phone, it’s a useful feature to have.
It can even be an essential feature at times of national or local disasters when emergency information may be broadcast over the radio.
At a more basic level, listening to FM radio on a phone involves significantly less data and battery usage compared to using online streaming services.
Most phones have an FM chip built in, but often manufacturers choose not to unlock them or don’t publicise their presence, perhaps since suppliers make more money when users exceed their data allowance.
Which Samsung Phones Have FM Radio?
Whether or not a Samsung phone has FM radio depends on several factors, including:
- The model and release date
- Where the phone was bought (US and Canadian versions are different)
- Drivers installed
- Whether or not the FM radio chip is unlocked
This makes answering the question of which phones have FM radio quite complicated.
The USA and Canada
Samsung phones released in 2018 and later in the USA and Canada have the FM radio chip unlocked, so you can listen to FM radio on them.
Samsung has teamed up with TagStation to make its NextRadio app available on US and Canadian phones.
In America and Canada, most phones in the Galaxy S range have FM radio, including the S4 Mini, S5, S5 Sport, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus and the standard, Edge, Plus and Active versions from S7 to S9.
It’s also present in the Galaxy Note 3, Note Edge, Note 4, 5 and 9 as well as the Galaxy Express Prime, Express 3, Grand Prime, Galaxy J3, Galaxy J7 and the Galaxy Mega. Also on the list are the Galaxy ON5, Galaxy Prevail LTE, Galaxy Core Prime, Galaxy Tab E and Tab 4.
Others are being added, so if you have a Samsung phone and are unsure of its FM radio capability, simply download NextRadio from Google Play and try it out. You can see a list of NextRadio compatible devices here.
You may need an antenna to make it work properly although headphones plugged in to the headphone jack will usually do the job.
UK and Europe
Unfortunately, Samsung phones sold in the UK and Europe usually don’t have an FM radio chip, so if you’ve bought a Samsung phone in the UK you won’t be able to listen to FM radio without Wi-Fi.
To be sure, you can try installing the NextRadio app. If the app gives you the option to switch off streaming and use FM without Wi-Fi, this means your phone has FM radio. Otherwise, this means your phone doesn’t have an FM radio chip.