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While the Verizon Lumia 822 gets FM radio in latest update, the Lumia 928 goes without

Confession: we’re not huge users of the Windows Phone FM Radio, a feature that was omitted when Windows Phone 8 launched last year due to the drivers needing to be re-written. Because of that, we didn’t miss it much, though like you, we always appreciate having things on our phones, even if we don’t use them.

But some of you 'FM radio fans' are certainly quite die hard about it and so when the Verizon Nokia Lumia 928 received the Amber + GDR2 update last week, the missing radio feature (which the update was supposed to bring), raised some eyebrows (and ire).

The immediate question was ‘why?’ though the response should be obvious: the hardware just doesn’t support it, for whatever reason.

That’s a tough pill to swallow when you see that the Lumia 822, a mid-range device found on Verizon, now supports FM Radio with today’s over-the-air update. A discussion on Twitter was started about this topic by some loudmouth and it lead to Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore who tossed it off to Nokia’s Kevin Shields. Shields confirmed, much to the chagrin of Verizon customers, that the Lumia 928’s hardware does not support the FM Radio feature.

While that is certainly a bummer we’re not seeing a lot of blowback on this topic from our audience. Sure, it would be nice to have it and for those who “need it”, you have a right to be troubled. But with the rest of the features the Amber and GDR2 update brings to the Lumia 928, we think it’s a minor issue at this point. What about you?

Source: Twitter

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • I've already read the reason, :-/ well, hope they make the new Lumias with that requirement on Verizon
  • Read the article.
  • Already read it! Thanks hahaha
  • I often forget about this feature, and usually just stream radio from apps. Mostly because my favorite station is 107.7 the end in Seattle and where I live, radio sucks.
  • I wish it had an HD Radio receiver like the ZuneHD did.
  • +920
  • Amen - this was, and continues to be an awesome feature for me.
  • It's useful when you go to a baseball game and want to listen to the radiocast while watching the game. You get more into the game :)
  • At bat 13 will cover you on that.
  • Yes but uses data.
  • @cdbstl76 Not really. There is a big delay between what goes on at the game live and when at bat tells you it happens. Very noticeable, like 3 to 4 pitches behind. When streaming FM radio the delay is almost non existent. I loved my Trophy at ballgames because the radio didn't suck data nor battery that bad. Now that I have the feature back on my 822 I'm pretty happy
  • Sorry, in STL, we don't have baseball on FM. I was just throwing out options.
  • I agree whole heartedly I just wish there was a way to get fm access without a wired headset.
  • I read somewhere that the lumia 928 didn't have an FM transmitter :S
  • I'm not aware of any Windows Phone with an FM Transmitter.... But no, the 928 does not have an FM Receiver...
  • It also apparently doesn't have a FM receiver.
  • It doesn't have an FM transgender.
  • FTM transgender?
  • Yeah. That's the one that starts as Android or iOS and gets a big upgrade.
  • I hate it when people say LOL and ROFL so I won't say that.  However I am currently laughing very hard.  I wish I could thumbs up your comment so here you go. +1 or more.
  • It was a good one, I admit :P
  • Yes, my bad but you got the point right? -_-
  • As said it would have been nice to be able to listen to the radio without using data. This has had to be agrred upon with Verizon if it was not something they thought the consumers would overlook
  • Its frustrating only because it helps conserve Data when not on WiFi :/
  • Exactly, and very useful if you are close or have gone over your data limit, and still want to listen to your fav local staion.
  • I don't understand why people are so against FM radio? I use it every day on my way to work and I love it. Reception is much better than the data coverage where I am most of the time and I think that the sound quality is much better also. Not everyone has unlimited data, so yes, it can be a big deal for some people.
  • Ugh, I have a 10 minute drive to and from work. When my trial sat sub expired I went to fm and man it sucked! I would get in my car, and in the 10 min drive, all I got was commercials and endless drible of talk on local music stations. I could deal with it if it happened only occasionally, but it was constantly. Plus, it was always the same crap music when I got music. I quickly signed up again for sirrius. I wouldn't shed any tears if the a 920 didn't have the hardware.
  • NPR.
  • But the the drivel is news or pledge week.
  • Pledge week on NPR is like a herpes outbreak,...t's painful for a week but you know it will be over and just wait it out. 
  • You're paying for sirius for a 10 min drive? I'm in the same boat. My commute is maybe 15 minutes. I just connected a blutooth receiver to my car stereo and stream music from my phone.
  • Sirrius is cheaper then streaming, I just slashed my data down to 300mb. I also get their new internet streaming so its more useful to me.
  • Does the 8x have hardware for radio?
  • Yes. I already have it running on mine
  • I thought that would be the case, but after the GDR2 update there is still no radio option in my Music and Videos. Am I doing something wrong?
  • Radio should appear in your Xbox Music app.
  • Yes , mine have it (I have the option in Music + Videos) , never used it though
  • The only reason I want FM radio is for an emergency broadcasts for weather alerts and even that isn't something I'm dying to have.  
  • "...emergency broadcasts for weather alerts..."
    In most Verizon areas, you get these as popup alert messages, check your settings to ensure it is turned on.  Amber and other emergency alerts also popup on the phone.  (Tested on 928 and 822.)
  • Well fortunately I have an 820. But it would frustrate me a lot... I'm really looking forward to having FM radio back. I used it at least weekly on my old wp7 device.
  • I am downloading the update now on my 822. I'm really glad it has the radio because we wanted to use it at the new drive-in movie theater here in Fort Worth.  We have been using our old HTC Arrive, which still works like a charm.  Unfortunately, I talked a coworker into getting the 928 which he already ordered and will be getting this week.  I hate to break the news to him now.  Still, I would rather have that camera than the radio anyway.
  • Well at the drive in wouldn't you just use the cars fm radio
  • Not when we sit in the back of our pickup. Remember, this is Texas. Actually, the headphones provide pretty decent sound quality.
  • I can see why folks in my kind of situation would be annoyed by this; I routinely jog in the park near me, and I like to listen to music while doing so, but don't want to use data by listening to the radio via an app.  That being the case, I was excited when I learnt that the 1020 (which I'm getting as a gift) has "true" FM radio built in.  However, if I were on Verizon and was getting a 928 instead, I'd be rather disappointed.  It's hardly a dealbreaker, but still annoying all the same.  
  • That's the whole Verizon experience in a nutshell -> "Not a deal breaker, but annoying all the same..."
    And yes, I am a Verizon customer.
  • Still not as good as HD Radio on the Zune HD.  Maybe next gen Windows Phone devices?
  • I can't wait for radio on my WP, it will come in handy when trekking to work on my bike. No more streaming music data usage for me!! I can save that for more office bathroom porn time.
  • Really? Is it that bad you can't wait tell you get home?
  • It's not missed, I have the Xbox pass. :-)
  • isn't the the radio part of the chip both the 925 and 928 use he snapdragon msm8960
  • What about 620? :L
  • 620 doesn't have FM radio hardware, FM radio will be available on 520,720,820,920,925, 1020.
  • Official source?
  • Just Google "Lumia 620 fm radio", i am not going to spoonfeed you.
  • I prefer Bing but anyway, I couldn't find any official comments on that from Nokia/MS, maybe because Bing search results suck. I'll keep searching. Though, I'm surprised wpcentral never said anything about this.
  • its been confirmed many times that fm radio is not coming to 620, Do you use lumia 620?
  • Confirmed by whom? I never really looked at any kind of 620 news because I didn't have one until someone gave one to me a few days ago.
  • Your ignorance won't bring FM radio to your 620, it doesnt have FM antenna connection.
  • Im being ignorant? Im sorry you feel that way about me, I just wanted to be sure if Nokia confirmed it or not. I am not really that interested in fm radio because there are only like 3 radio stations in my city.
  • It is posted on many websites which can found by a simple bing search and its the same on Nokia website also:
  • Thank you for spoonfeeding me that :)
  • Technically yes. Ignorance means you lack knowledge and you obviously lack knowledge about the 620.
  • Yes :(
  • Was looking forward to this with the amber update on my 928. Bummer!
  • The issue in my mind is not so much if the phone has FM or not (would have bought mine either way), but that if hardware has a feature then the software ought to support it. I would not have picked one phone over another one simply because of the radio feature, but that my phone has a perfectly working radio and there is no way to access it is annoying. Personally I have found that my music collection and podcasts supply a nearly endless amount of content to enjoy, but sometimes you want to listen to live news, or a talk show that is not going to mean anything tomorrow. Anyone know off hand if the FM radio is digital/HD or analog for the L920?
  • We think is a minor issue at this point. Yeah right !! What a way to cover others mistakes. On the other side every thread about what the GDR2 update brings to the devices you clearly read FM radio on the list of features. No matter where you read it , here in WPcentral, on Nokia's page on other sites, etc. FM radio is listed.
  • It also lists that it isn't available on all phones in most of those lists.
  • It's not a mistake. If your phone doesn't have the right hardware, the software isn't going to magically make the radio feature work.
  • I agree that Nokia or Verizon blew it.  We even have an official inquiry that states the 928 will get the FM radio update, and they even listed the 928 as getting the FM radio update prior to this last week.
    It appears the Antenna isn't connected to the chipset, according to Nokia today.
    It is a fairly minor effect, as most Verizon users can afford the data, if you use iHeartRadio or TuneIn, you should have access to most FM & AM stations, and even if you stream them 8hrs a day, at the most it would add $10 to your plan to cover the data if you were a heavy user.
  • I'd say if it is really important look to the "TuneIn Radio" app. You can listen to pretty much any radio station anywhere in the USA and even get some of the scanner codes to listen to police and fire in areas as well. I believe it is also free! Be aware not every station works or works perfect as some of the broadcasters change links and it is hard to keep up but I've been happy with it!
  • FM doesn't use data. And Verizon'd data plans are fucking awful.
  • And even the "TuneIn" App has an option to "use FM for local stations."  Nice touch.  I'm still bummed it's not HD radio though for my 920 (if and when AT&T decides to push the update.)
  • Gotta love fragmentation... So we now have wp7.8, wp8, Lumia 520, some wp8 phones with fm radio and some without. Seems like it keeps getting more and more fragmented. Wasn't that one of the reasons Elop decided to leave Symbian? At least my Lumia 822 now has fm radio :D
  • This!
  • The word fragmentation has been so fucking bastardised. While the whole 7.8/8 situation may attribute towards some sense of fragmentation, this FM radio business has nothing to do with it. There is always going to be phones with different hardware and that is a good thing. By this logic, you would have to release identical devices (hardware and software) each time or release one single device to avoid fragmentation.
    The original use of the term referred to the different versions of android. Phones were split between versions of 1.x, 2.x and 4.x, and often had no direct upgrade path, which led to big clusterfuck where the vast majority of users didn't have the newest version for a long time.
  • The word "fragmentation," for the most part is referring more to software, not hardware. If it were referring to hardware, every Lumia device would be considered "fragmented" because they all offer different hardware of some sorts like the 41mp in 1020 all the way down to the 5mp camera in 520, that's just an example.
  • This isn't an example of fragmentation. Fragmentation is when the os can't be updated on all devices and this result in software either not running on all devices or developers having to create separate code for each device. Not having a piece of hardware on a phone is not fragmentation.
  • Still stands, 520, 7.8, 8.0
  • FM radio? Lets focus our efforts on getting an official XM radio app! (come on Sirius!) Who cares that our 928 didn't get FM!
  • Some of us care.
  • I certainly care as FM doesn't use data and Verizon's data plans are fucking awful.
  • People don't understand that it might be a ton of music streaming apps on the store but they use data. That's why they want the FM Radio cause it is free, besides some people use it to listen radio stations while going to work on the bus or while running on the park etc. There are a lot of radio talk shows people like to hear on the morning and through the day.
    The 620, 810 and 928 do have the FM receiver, it is embedded in the SoC after all, but lack the connection between the antenna input on the SoC and the headphone jack where he headphone wire would normally act as the antenna.
  • Why did they even bother putting it there if its useless
  • Because FM receiver is embedded on the Qualcomm SoC, you can't remove it, the FM antenna connection is the only problem.
  • In 620's case, it's understandable because of the back cover and headphone jack is connected to each other. Is this the same in 928 and 822 as well?
  • No its not the same because the 928 is unibody, the 822, I believe is unibody also, but correct me if I'm wrong.
  • paulheu This is exactly what I keep trying to tell people  but no one wants to accept that answer. For the want of a wire the capabilities of the phone have been needlessly downgraded.  Someone should be fired.
  • Wpc that's bs, it is capable of it
  • What are these carriers smoking?
  • I've never used the FM radio, just on the occasion that I press the radio tab by accident on my Lumia. I use streaming apps for all my audio talk and music. I guess those of us in the US are used to unlimited data. I would find it hard to cut back on my data usage. According to Data Sense Media Streaming (YouTube) and Speedtest(I check my connection speed way to much) make up a bulk of my bandwidth usage. Surprised to see Nokia Music was 5th at 800mb. I thought it would of been 1 if not 2.
  • And then there's the forgotten Lumia 810 on T-Mobile that also did not get FM while the 521 has FM
  • I know. Sometimes I feel like my 810 is the red headed stepchild. It never gets mentioned in articles like this.
  • "by some loudmouth" lol, I wonder if Daniel ever thought I was a loudmouth? I think he would just be happy I read the whole article. I know he doesn't like it when you don't read the article. . . I kid
  • I like to my tweet, so that was the joke ;)
  • Just did my 822 update today. I like the fm radio feature...I had it too on my Htc Trophy. The storage issue for "other" storage is fixed too!
  • Not a big user of the FM radio either, but I did use it on my last phone for listen to football/baseball games while camping and hiking. Comes in really handy, one less device to carry/charge - when hiking 20-30 miles in the mountains that's important.
    Finally storage checker works for the 822!
  • My BOSE headset works well with L1020.  The FM radio sound quality is absolutely superb!  It is a must have feature.
  • Oh, no... Market fragmentation in windowsphone!
  • I don't think so.
  • FM radio is a key feature in markets where streaming data is expensive and WiFi hot spots are hard to find. In US, this is not a key feature at all.
  • Its a key feature for me... In the US.
  • Listening to sports on the radio is not available for streaming for free, Even MLB wants $40 a year, never mind NHL or NFL... Talking like $150 a year just to stream all games I want to listen to, This is something that I would get FREE over FM radio...
  • I've only used it when hiking/camping. Often I'm in places without cellular service much less data service, so even if I was willing to stream a 4 hour sports event while possibly roaming, it would be impossible.
  • So I wonder why Nokia said the 928 would have FM radio on their website. They listed all the models that would have it and the 928 was there and probably still is.
  • This could have very well been a decision that Verizon made by taking this feature out after testing the update on their network and possibly finding a problem. Just a thought.
  • So Verizon and Nokia are just allowed to false advertise as they wish? first spec sheets listed 928 with FM want to return my 928.
    Thanks alot for making a high end phone that doesn't support what the mid-range phones support.....Not happy at all....Shame on Nokia, Verizon and MS.
  • For those that were on Windows Mobile, this is HTC TP2 all over again....this sucks.
  • Yea, and I am pissed off, Thinkining of starting a class action lawsuit on it.... This is BS.
    WPcentral, Could you guys PLEASE see if you can get any word From Verizon, or Nokia (more than a scripted reply) and find out WHY on the flagship 928 there is no FM radio support ?
  • I agree something needs to be done. What will Verizon decide to keep from users next? Where does it stop?
  • You have got to be kidding. Comparing a missing feature on a quality phone to an appaling phone with a hamstrung OS is in no way the same. I know this is an important feature to some and will not minimize it. Comparing it though to any of HTC's brick in a box Windows Mobile devices is just silly.
  • Not comparing the phones per say but the manners in which Verizon appears to like to screw over there customers.
  • Pretty annoyed. I expected that the 928 would be top o' the line with all the bells and whistles. Guess not :l
  • I'm very disappointed my 928 does not have FM and even more so that mid and low-end models so have it. Very poor decision on Nokia's part and quite a let down. And the suggested alternatives do not work for me.
  • I use FM radio on my Lumia900 while commuting on the train. Except at stations the 3G signal drops away, leaving FM as the only option for live content. As 4G isn't going to sort rural bandwidth any time soon, I'll be looking for this feature on any wp8 device move to.
  • I have literally thousands of music services available on my phone. I have apps that give me a multitude of FM stations including the local stations I listen to. Oh, golly, I'm mad now cause some lesser phone gets FM and I WAA WAA WAA! Call your mommy baby.... Hey, Nokia, thanks for my great phone, I'm as happy with it now as I was when I first got it.
  • Clap clap clap. :)
  • You know for all this talk about my 822 being "mid-range", there isn't much difference between it and the 928.
    The 928 has a camera with .7 more mp and a 1/5 inch larger display, but it's also 20 grams heavier and apparently doesn't have an FM radio... so, I'm not seeing a big enough difference to put them into two different classes.
  • Good point. I own one of each. The camera on the 928 is unquestionably superior (there is more to it than just the .7 megapixels), and the screen display is edge to edge, but beyond that here's what you get for the "superior" 928: No removable battery No expandable storage No FM radio So classify the 928 as a "superior" device if you must.  That my friends is called "Marketing"
  • forget fm radio, how about some colors to the lumias on verizon? can i please seea high end yellow lumia on big red? or do i need to switch to at&t?
  • Switch. That will show them!
  • I'm really having fun with this update.
    I pull my phone out of my pocket countless times a day to check the time, now with Glance set to "peek" I just pull out the phone GLANCE at the screen & go.
    I'm still adjusting to the double tap, but I already like it. Now I don't have to hit the power button & reposition my hand to use the screen, its already there.
    My 4G reception seems to be more stable and consistent too.
    I've yet to use the radio (probably won't until CFB starts) and I haven't re-synced my music collection yet, so I'm anxious to see how those improvements work.
  • I pull my phone out of my pocket everyday and yet no update to att Lumia 920.
  • I'd be surprised if it takes AT&T more than 2 more weeks.
  • Meh...Internet radio is so much better and less-garbled with junk anyway. I say bra-va
  • Does this mean that the 928 won't cause radio interference with other electronics then?
  • Annoying, and I wish they'd realize that apps might be free, but the airwaves are not.  Oh well.  I tend to not listen to much FM outside of my car anyway.  Small lose. 
  • Ahh... The joys of being a Verizon customer.
    We get to be the LAST people in the world to get any WP OTA updates.
    We get to be the LAST people in the world to get a new class of Windows Phone, and then it is a one off sub-standard version.
    We get to watch sales people literally pull Windows Phones out of shoppers' hands and convince them that they want an Android.......
    And so many other blessings.
    If I didn't have a legacy truly unlimited plan I would be gone to AT&T in a heartbeat, with all 5 of my phone accounts.
    Oh, and I can't wait to see how they butcher the 1020. They are just stupid enough to demand that it have a lower resolution camera, so that it will be unique to them.