While most smartphones have the ability to receive FM signals via a tuner, mobile carriers prevent users from taking advantage of this hardware — probably in an effort to get their customers to spend more money on data.
NextRadio is an app that allows users to listen to the radio via their phone's built-in FM tuner, circumventing the data overages that streaming music can incur. LG and Motorola have recently added support for the service, but now Samsung is adding live FM radio support for 2018 and beyond.
The Galaxy S9 figures to be one of the first Samsung phones to have an unlocked FM tuner, allowing you to listen to all your favorite local radio stations. Thanks to the deal in place, it appears that all new Samsung phones that start shipping in 2018 and beyond will finally have the FM tuner functionality unlocked in the US and Canada — regardless of carrier meddling.
This move also bodes incredibly well for the 3.5 mm headphone jack fans, as wired headphones serve as the antenna for receiving FM signals. Considering that, it's safe to say that Samsung has committed to keeping the much-loved headphone jack around for some time to come.