Samsung 2018 phones will prove what’s old is new again — and it could save lives

For all of the advanced features packed into modern mobile handsets, a few basic-but-useful tools have sadly fallen by the wayside; namely the FM radio.

The absence of the ol’ wireless has been even more keenly felt in the wake of natural disasters, as users without power seek to tune into emergency broadcasts.

Now Samsung has joined a group of smartphone makers who’ve agreed to support FM radio in forthcoming devices.

The Korean firm has made a deal with the NextRadio app to activate the FM radio chip within the forthcoming Galaxy S9 handset.

Related: CES 2018

NextRadio is a service that enables listeners to turn in with their local stations without draining as much battery life and data.

Samsung has joined LG, Alcatel and Motorola, who’re all already part of the initiative (via Neowin).

“Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step,” said Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio. “They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies.”

Sorry iPhone users…

One company who won’t be joining the alliance is Apple.

Cupertino in particular came in for criticism for the lack of an FM radio in iPhone models, following a spate of natural disasters in the US last year.

The company was (wrongly) accused of blocking the FM radio chips in iPhone handsets, but was quick to point out the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 don’t even have them.

In a statement Apple said: “iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products.”

Which other old school features would you like to see return to modern handsets? Polyphonic ringtones perhaps? Maybe not. Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.