FM Radio on Librem 5

Maybe I am raising the question above (or maybe it is a duplicate question), but does Librem 5 come with FM radio? I did not see any conclusive discussion around this question. Does it come disabled at the chip level (like iPhones where it is intentionally disabled by Apple)

@amarok, can you confirm on it?

The L5 specs say that there is no FM radio, and the documentation for the i.MX 8M Quad and RS9116 make no mention of FM radio.

I recall WWII German Panzers were equipped with FM radios and their Soviet counterparts only had radios on the AM band. Now I can’t get it out of my head the idea of a WWII German tank commander holding a cell phone to his ear.

Although there’s no built-in FM radio, you can use the Shortwave app to find FM radio stations that stream over the internet. Works great!

You can search for a specific radio station name, a city, a country, genre, etc.


Hard-wired, proprietary, and not pocketable.

While this is a consolation, I can speak to the sheer Luddite coolness of using a smartphone like it is 1970s tech for reals, and not through streaming media. In this case, the first time I used my rooted Motorola to play FM radio from the airwaves, I was immediately transported back to my childhood listening to my (now crappy) AM/FM handheld radio with the single earbud monaural phone output. I also really love that when you’re using a smartphone as a transistor radio, the corded earphones are your antenna, and that this is a necessity for it working at all. Maybe I’m just nuts :wink:

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I had an FM radio on my Xperia Z1 compact and loved it, too. I actually would have preferred if it worked without connecting earphones, though.

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Once you get your L5, please post your impressions about it vs. Pinephone. BTW, does it have an FM radio? I haven’t checked the specs very closely.

It’s complicated:


I’ve been trying to get some kind of usable FM signal through my tinfoil hat while holding the L5 at right angles, but nothing so far. :male_detective:


I don’t think there’s an FM radio (or AM or DAB) but maybe you can get a USB dongle to plug in the bottom of the phone that gives you a radio (or at least SDR)?

Anyone for short wave? Maybe we can pick up our instructions from those numbers stations. In another development, Donald Pleasence wouldn’t have needed a phone boot in “Telefon”.

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If i remember well the data sheet of RS9116, i saw that RS9116 can play Radio FM.

I just checked the manual for the RS9116 and I can’t find “FM” in the document.

It is really annoying that the smartphone industry doesn’t seem to care about FM radio. I suspect that the cellular operators who sell phones don’t want it, because they want people to be using internet radio so they have to pay for more cellular data, rather than using the free FM signal.


FM radio is out of their control once people got access.

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Also, internet radio is more amenable to data tracking, analytics, and monetization, for the carriers, OEMs, and/or Google, Apple, etc. (unfortunately for us users).

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curseradio-improved works great on L5 terminal. You ssh into the phone to choose your favorite stations (because you need more space for this) and then navigation with the terminal keyboard is a breeze.

By the way, is there a way to zoom the screen with two fingers as you do with images? I would like to be able to zoom the terminal output. Useful for older people that keep forgetting their glasses (like me :slight_smile:) Does copy work on terminal? (I know these are off topic but are small things to deserve maybe a special topic)

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For those who don’t yet have the phone and want to know, to zoom you have to tap the “hamburger” menu, then tap “+” or “-” to zoom in increments of 10%. Then tap to dismiss the menu.

Or you could use Control+ or Control- on the Terminal keyboard. :slightly_smiling_face:

Pinch-to-zoom is not built in, from what I can tell.

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I currently use lxterminal because it supports multiple tabs. You can copy and paste and zoom in and our via menu or keyboard shortcuts. Copy and paste is usually Ctrl + Shift + C respective Ctrl + Shift + V. Zoom is Ctrl + Shift + + and Ctrl + Shift + -. If you don’t remember the shortcuts the menu prints them. The only thing is that I had to switch the zoom in shortcut probably because of my German HW keyboard. Also lxterminal scrolls by scrollbar on the right side instead of swiping up and down.