LG brings DAB+ to a new phone

If you’re a fan of radio and prefer it to that whole online radio thing, you’ll love the sound of a new smartphone LG has built.

Australians love their radio, whether its listening to some tunes in the morning on one of the many breakfast shows, relying on the national broadcaster for a good dose of news, calling in and having a conversation on talk back (and even asking the odd tech question to journos going into the stations), or just chilling and letting the radio keep you company on the drive home.

In fact, while many of us are now using mobile music services such as Pandora and Spotify as our personal radios, quite a few Aussies still prefer the old wireless as their way of listening to the world.

Unfortunately, smartphones have skipped out on this feature for quite some time, appearing in devices several years ago as one of those neat extras, but forgotten when mobile data became fast enough for music.

LG, however, seems keen on bringing it back, and will be doing so with the next generation of radio technology: digital radio.

Announced this week at the Radiodays expo in France, LG’s Stylus DAB+ will be the first phone in the world to include a DAB+ receiver, making it possible for the owner of the phone to tune into digital radio stations.

Locally, most of the radio stations you listen to will feature at least one digital station to listen to, and this is the same station broadcast at a higher quality with a sound more akin to CD-quality. The extra spectrum needed to transmit digital radio also affords broadcasters an extra station or two if they want, and so you might find specialty stations from the same network, meaning DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting) can also deliver more stations than its analogue sibling.

Quite possibly the best thing about digital radio comes from the download cost, or lack of a download cost we should say. Unlike net-based streaming radio, DAB+ is free to listen to, with no downloads required at all. In fact, listening via DAB+ is just like listening using a regular radio: you simply switch it on, tune it in, and listen.


“The LG Stylus DAB+ shows our commitment to meeting the different needs of the consumer,” said Gino Casha, General Manager of LG Mobile Communications in Australia.

“We have developed a piece of technology that gives a hassle-free digital radio experience, so consumers are able to listen to select radio stations simply and without incurring costly data usage charges.”

The inclusion of DAB+ might make this phone sound like a premium phone, but the specs read more like it will be a mid-range option, with the phone coming with a 5.7 inch HD screen (1280×720), with support for 4G LTE but only 802.11b/g/n WiFi. Cameras will be included, and you can expect 13 megapixels from the rear camera and 8 megapixels from the one up front, while the storage is set to 16GB with room to move via a microSD slot.

And just like the rest of the LG phones from the past few years, the Stylus DAB+ will run Google’s Android, with the latest iteration found on this phone, version 6.0 also known as “Marshmallow”.

Even LG’s rear buttons will rock up for the phone, with the rear controls under the camera seen in LG’s phones from the G2 to the G4 also making an appearance in a body that measure 7.4mm thick with a weight of 145 grams.

“The device is ideal for many consumers as it provides premium functions at the price of a mid-tier phone,” said Casha.

We’ll let you know when pricing and release information changes, though we’d expect this closer to June or July.