Is LG’s new smartphone with DAB+ a game changer for radio?

“It depends,” says Peter Saxon

When LG’s new smartphone, the Stylus 2, was launched at RadioDays Europe last week it was touted as a game changer for DAB+ – even for radio as a whole.

radioinfo’s man on the spot, Steve Ahern video popped some of the attendees to gauge their thoughts – all of them positive, see below.

LG’s will incorporate both an FM and DAB+ tuner. Which means that now, radio, on both it’s unique platforms, is available on the device of the century that has become as ubiquitous as it is versatile.

Now radio will be able compete with audio streaming on the same platform but with far superior weapons. While radio has always maintained an advantage in being live and local, it will have the added benefit of being free to air – that is, free of data quotas. And, as a bonus, it is reported that the FM and DAB+ tuners use about a fifth of the battery of streaming.

At a time when every futurist is telling us that the future is mobile, this development from LG makes radio truly mobile. Stick in your earbuds and take it jogging. Plug it into your car stereo or the one at home. Clear crisp radio is everywhere where you are.

Remember when sat-nav was a $2,500 option on a new car? Now it comes standard because it became a standard feature on smartphones – all smartphones.

And there’s the rub.

Whether an FM/DAB+ tuner on the LG Stylus 2 is a game changer will come down to how well the LG Stylus 2 sells. Will the radio tuner be the feature that tips sales in its favour or will people ultimately make their buying decision on the quality of its camera, the stylus feature, its screen size or any one of hundreds of other features embedded in today’s smartphones?

Most importantly, will LG extend the radio tuner to all the other smartphone’s in its range? And even more importantly will the other major manufacturers follow suit and incorporate it into their ranges?

When Samsung and Apple’s iPhone add FM and DAB+ to their phones, then it will truly be a game changer for radio. In the meantime radio should be doing all that it can to promote the LG Stylus 2 so that a DAB+ tuner doesn’t become just another feature that failed to catch on because the benefits were not properly sold to consumers.

Here are some of the reactions from delegates straight out of the LG presentation at RadioDays Europe held in Paris last week.

Here’s Kandee from Sri Lanka


Anders Held from Sweden


Comercial Radio Australia CEO, Joan Warner


Radio Futurologist and radioinfo contributor, James Cridland


RadioDNS’ technologist, Nick Piggott


SCA CEO Grant Blackley


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