Has S5 FM radio

FM radio for Android: this is how you listen to the radio without internet

Listening to FM radio on an Android device is often not that difficult. Many smartphones already have a classic radio receiver. In these instructions we will reveal to you what else you need and need to know for reception.

Listening to the radio with your smartphone is no problem at all thanks to internet radio. Apps like TuneIn or Last.fm offer a huge range of channels from all parts of the world. However, the internet radio also nibbles on the data volume and needs a reasonably good network coverage for reception. But for many smartphone owners there is a free alternative to radio without internet that they often don't know about.

Many Android smartphones have an integrated radio tuner for FM radio reception. However, in its basic form Android itself does not offer any possibility to access this tuner, which is why it is up to the manufacturers and mobile network operators themselves to activate the tuner for use.

What does a built-in FM tuner do?

In contrast to Internet radio apps, classic radio reception naturally does not consume any data volume, as it does not take place over the Internet. A smartphone with an FM tuner receives exactly the stations that are broadcast in your area. A connected headset serves as the antenna.

Does my smartphone have a built-in radio receiver?

In fact, FM radio receivers are built into many more smartphone models than is generally known. Among other things, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S7 should also have such a chip, even if the manufacturer does not offer any app with which it can actually be used. In the USA, some network operators are releasing the FM receiver chip for the Galaxy S8 and S7 so that radio reception on these devices can be used with the help of third-party apps.

For German smartphone users, however, the extensive list from Inside Handy is recommended, in which all smartphones with an integrated VHF receiver are listed. In the editorial office, we were able to successfully test reception with an LG G6, an Honor 6X and a Sony Xperia Z5 Premium.

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The built-in FM apps from Huawei, LG and Sony. Image: © Screenshot Huawei, LG, Sony / TURN ON 2017

Many manufacturers such as LG, Sony and sometimes Huawei deliver their devices from the factory with a suitable FM radio for reception. If you want to know whether your smartphone can receive classic radio, it is best to check your own app drawer first.

Are there any third-party apps for FM reception?

If there is no manufacturer app for FM reception on the smartphone, reception is usually difficult. There are a few third-party apps that are supposed to enable radio reception, but they usually only support very specific models. The most famous such app is Spirit1: Real FM Radio. According to the developer, this only works with a very limited range of devices and only if they have been rooted beforehand.

In the USA, the developer NextRadio offers an app that also works on non-rooted smartphones. However, this is only optimized for smartphones from certain US network providers. In the editorial office, we were still able to get the NextRadio app to work on some Android devices.

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The NextRadio app also partially works in this country. Image: © Screenshot NextRadio / TURN ON 2017

If you want to try the app on your smartphone, however, you cannot go the official way via the Google Play Store, as this is not even offered in this country. However, NextRadio can be downloaded and installed on the free app platform APK Mirror via sideload. Of course, app downloads from third-party websites are always at your own risk.

FM reception only with headset antenna

But even if you have a smartphone with a built-in FM receiver and the appropriate app, you still need an antenna to receive the radio signals. These are usually available free of charge with the smartphone, because in this case a standard smartphone headset that is plugged into the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack serves as the antenna.

Find the right frequency

Of course, every radio station broadcasts on a very specific frequency. So that you can receive the stations you want to listen to with the FM app on your smartphone, it is best to know their frequency. You can find extensive overviews of the FM transmission frequencies in the individual federal states as well as Austria and Switzerland on the bandscan.de website. Alternatively, you can of course also look directly on the website of the station you are looking for.

Summary

  1. Listening to the radio works on many smartphones completely independently of the data volume
  2. To do this, the device simply has to have an FM chip
  3. Many Android smartphones have already integrated such a chip, and an app for radio reception is often preinstalled
  4. Third-party apps for FM reception often only work with selected smartphones and sometimes require a root
  5. A standard smartphone headset serves as the antenna for reception
  6. You can find the right frequencies for all radio stations on the bandscan.de website, among other places