Category Archives: Mobile Devices

Using my smartphone like an FM transistor radio: Success! And some advice/tips.

Unlike my prior smartphones (an iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S5 and S7), my newish Lenovo Moto G5 Plus smartphone includes an unlocked FM radio chip — meaning I can use the phone as an FM radio, tuning into and listening live to local broadcast stations for free, data-plan-wise.

(And daily listening via wireless data can add up — the NPR app used nearly half a gig during one recent billing period, and as I write this, nearly 300MB so far.)

So over the past month or two, I’ve gotten the hang of using my Moto G5+ as an FM “transistor radio.”

Moto FM Radio app "favorites"

Moto FM Radio app “favorites”

Moto FM Radio app tuned to a "favorite"

Moto FM Radio app tuned to a “favorite”

Short answer: it works, but so far, I’m still more likely to burn data plan bits (i.e., listen via streaming or download), or keep using one of my old but still working perfectly SanDisk MP3/FM players.

If you want to try using your smartphone as an FM radio, here’s what you need to know, and some other tips. Continue reading