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Is the Sonim XP3plus the only phone with FM radio available from T-Mobile right now?

  • 10 February 2023
  • 13 replies
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I decided to go back to using my Google Pixel 5a recently after using my ol’ flip phone ZTC Cymbal Z320 for a whole year. But I’m really missing that FM radio again as I don’t get any Wi-Fi or data at work. That, and I’m paranoid and want an FM radio on me, but I haven’t found any portable radio that fits in my pocket along with my phone, wallet, keys and everything else in those pockets.

Is there any new Android phone (or iPhone, but I know there’s no iPhone) with an FM (and AM and Shortwave and ATSC) tuner right now from T-Mobile?

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Best answer by tidbits 10 February 2023, 11:39

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Userlevel 6
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None you will have to go older than new to get one.  FM has been phased out of phones for about a decade now in the states.

Userlevel 2
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None you will have to go older than new to get one.  FM has been phased out of phones for about a decade now in the states.

Man, that’s so sad! It looks like there’s a few phones out in other parts of the world with it: Samsung M series and maybe Xaomi phones.

After several times we’ve had valley wide power + phone + data outages, sometimes for days, I’d really like to carry around an FM radio of some sort. I guess I’m going to have to either, like you said, use an older phone again like my “dumbphone” ZTE Cymbal Z320, or add more pocket bulge and stuff yet another uncomfortable device down in one of them. Maybe it’s time for a “murse”?

I could go the ol’ LG G3 phone route too. I had one of those with LineageOS and FM radio until the motherboard died.

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Take into consideration that T-Mobile's (Google's stock) implementation of VoLTE on all devices is required now to have working calling.  Imported devices not designed for the US market and legacy devices will more than likely not meet that requirement.

Userlevel 2
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After being with T-Mobile for 18 years (2005) I'm frustrated with new smartphones and am not sure what to do about it.

Internet in pocket - pros and cons.

No FM radio - what about emergency preparedness? Plus Wi-Fi and data are iffy where I live and work.

Google Play Music is - gone. I can't seem to find an MP3 player app I like so I can play my CD's I've bought over the years. The MP3 player on the ol’ flip phone is better than any app I’ve found.

I hate touchscreens. I hate touchscreens. Or maybe touchscreens hate me…???

I haven't gotten used to subscription stuff like Pandora and Spottify. I mean, why pay for a subscription just to try to find out if I can get my music to play, music that I already bought in CD's? And I'm not impressed with the free versions, so I just don't use these kinds of things.

I don't care about having a camera anymore. It doesn't seem like I can find anything interesting enough to take photos of. Friends, family and people in general don't comment on my Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pics and videos. Out of 20 YouTube videos over the last year, only two got more than 2 views, and only one got one comment.

Sorry about the rant there...

But there's one or two reading/research apps I like and some note taking apps. So I kind of like lugging around an electronic device of some sort.

What would you do in my place?

  1. Drop the Pixel 5a (or is it 4a?) I just started using again after 10 months of using my flip phone and go back again to the flip phone (ZTE Cymbal Z320 4G with FM radio) and then lug around my iPad Mini 2 for reading?
  2. Or get an older smartphone with FM radio and to keep trying to find a music app I actually like? SO an older phone may not work?!
  3. Or keep the Pixel 5a and lug around a pocket Radio, maybe a pocket MP3 player with FM radio?
  4. Or just forget owning a smartphone. Ham radio or other methods of wireless communication just seem more interesting right now. Anyone else on single side band on the 40 meter band???
  5. Or should I admit myself into the psych ward for digital bipolar syndrome?
Userlevel 7
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I still use my Zune Original.

Userlevel 2
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I still use my Zune Original.

Thanks! I’ve always heard good things about Zune players. Maybe a used Zune would be the ticket.

I tried fixing my ol’ 30GB iPod, but I think it’s the motherboard, not the hard drive or battery. Plus the iPod doesn’t have FM radio.

Userlevel 2
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It looks like the Samsung A23 5G may have an FM radio, but no stock app. I wish there were a way to try one for a while and see if adding a second party FM radio app would work or not. But I might just ditch my Pixel for this phone if I can confirm it has FM radio! I’m serious!

Userlevel 6
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Just because it has a “chip” doesn’t mean the coms are set up.  This has been a peeves of mine(not directed at you) trying to explain just because it has a Qualcomm chip that supports FM for example doesn’t mean the rest of the hardware is connected to make it work.  If it has no 3MM headphone jack for example it doesn’t have antennas for it.  Even if it has a 3MM jack it may not have the chip comm connected. Also Qualcomm has to be paid for licensing and FCC has to test it and approve it.  If you look at the FCC code given and you don’t see FM radio testing = It shouldn’t work and if it does then Samsung(or any manufacturer) has to disable it.  So before you buy MAKE sure you check the FCC filings, and also because it’s in 1 country with it doesn’t mean it’s the same device.  It may have the same name, but the logic boards may be different in parts numbers.  Also buying from overseas doesn’t mean it will have all the same bands you need to have service in the states for example.  Carriers require VoLTE with all their bands, but those devices might not have those bands or only a fraction of them.

 

For example the Nexus 4 could do LTE, but Google removed everything needed and blocked it from future updates or else they’d over Qualcomm money and also FCC can fine Google.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/6745/nexus-4-jdq39-422-ota-update-removes-unofficial-lte-on-band-4

 

Also keep in mind US is planning on removing FM in the near future.  They’ve been talking about it since early 2Ks.  There has been push back but at some point they want to free up airwaves for other things, and want FM to go digital.  Some FM stations already have analog and digital versions.  AM wouldn’t be a surprise to be gone in the very near future as AM has been missing in a few cars out right now, and more will follow suite for sure.

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This is terrible (not your fault)! I'm going back to my flip phone immediately and will refuse to buy a phone or car again that doesn't come with what I deam important without a suitable alternative.

Digital radio could be a suitable alternative and I believe that's where this would end up going.

I can't see AM be useful for anything else though. A quarter wave antenna for FM (VHF 88MHz to 108MHz) is only about 2ft long (easy to shorten and still be decently efficient for mobile transmissions). But AM is too low of frequency (MF 580kHz to 1,700kHz) and a quaterwave transmitting antenna would be over 200ft long. How are you supposed to wrap that up into a portable package useful for anything other than receive-only?

Ironically when I went to reply to this a “403 error” came up, which is just one of many problems with digital send-and-receive even when there's no emergency and no pile-up.

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I think I found the FCC’s tests on the phone, but I can’t find anything on FM radio so far…

https://fcc.report/FCC-ID/A3LSMA236V/ 

 

As far as digital goes for FM radio, if they shortened the bandwidth of each channel down to 10kHz with the help of digitalization they’d be able to free up 80% of the FM band for other things and still have the same number of radio channels.

Userlevel 2
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Just because it has a “chip” doesn’t mean the coms are set up.  This has been a peeves of mine(not directed at you) trying to explain just because it has a Qualcomm chip that supports FM for example doesn’t mean the rest of the hardware is connected to make it work.  If it has no 3MM headphone jack for example it doesn’t have antennas for it.  Even if it has a 3MM jack it may not have the chip comm connected. Also Qualcomm has to be paid for licensing and FCC has to test it and approve it.  If you look at the FCC code given and you don’t see FM radio testing = It shouldn’t work and if it does then Samsung(or any manufacturer) has to disable it.  So before you buy MAKE sure you check the FCC filings, and also because it’s in 1 country with it doesn’t mean it’s the same device.  It may have the same name, but the logic boards may be different in parts numbers.  Also buying from overseas doesn’t mean it will have all the same bands you need to have service in the states for example.  Carriers require VoLTE with all their bands, but those devices might not have those bands or only a fraction of them.

 

For example the Nexus 4 could do LTE, but Google removed everything needed and blocked it from future updates or else they’d over Qualcomm money and also FCC can fine Google.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/6745/nexus-4-jdq39-422-ota-update-removes-unofficial-lte-on-band-4

 

Also keep in mind US is planning on removing FM in the near future.  They’ve been talking about it since early 2Ks.  There has been push back but at some point they want to free up airwaves for other things, and want FM to go digital.  Some FM stations already have analog and digital versions.  AM wouldn’t be a surprise to be gone in the very near future as AM has been missing in a few cars out right now, and more will follow suite for sure.

Ya. Looking at customer reviews, it looks like several have boughten the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G and tried to get the FM radio working but couldn’t. There’s no preinstalled app and third party apps don’t work either. The FM chip must be disabled somehow, or not connected, like you say.

 

Now cars are comming without AM and may soon come without FM. That and the same cars no longer have an aux port to hook up your own AM/FM radio… We are in some sad times.

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I’ve found a solution to phones not having FM radio anymore:

Bluetooth headphones that have FM (or maybe even AM) radio built in.

Userlevel 2
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The Nokia G400 has FM listed on the Nokia website… I wonder if by chance the US version has FM too.

 

Edit:

YES! IT DOES HAVE FM RADIO! If you look at this video there’s a spot where you can see most of the apps and FM radio is right there! YES! YES! YES! I wonder what I can get for my unlocked Pixel 4a (non 5g).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqnpbgxIErs

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