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World's first smartphone to support digital radio launched in Australia

By James Cridland for media.info
Posted 27 April 2016, 1.38am edt

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The LG Stylus DAB+ has launched in Australia. The manufacturers claim it's the world's first smartphone to support digital radio. (In Europe, this unit will be known as the LG Stylus 2). It's a mid-range phablet, with a retractable stylus.

When I tested it in both Brisbane and London, this phone offered great reception of DAB+ Digital Radio. I noted that it delivered a near-flawless reception on bus journeys in both London and Brisbane; and that it was only flummoxed by metal coatings on UK train windows.

The LG Stylus DAB+ comes with a special app from Commercial Radio Australia, which offers tuning by station logo and additional ways to get in touch, like the station's mobile website or social media. Slides from some stations are clickable, allowing for user interaction.

Unlocked and contract-free, the phone costs AUD$449 (£235, US$340). The LG Nexus 5P retails at AUD$647, while the cheapest iPhone available, the iPhone 6s, retails in stores at AUD$1079.

On contract, the phablet will be available from Virgin Mobile, which is the fourth largest mobile operator in Australia. It had a 6.9% market share in December 2014.

Commercial Radio app for digital radio The bespoke app for Australian radio

Press Release

LG STYLUS DAB+ – THE WORLD’S FIRST SMARTPHONE TO SUPPORT DIGITAL RADIO – COMES TO AUSTRALIA

Listen to your favourite Aussie digital radio stations without using data

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, April 27th, 2016 — LG Electronics Australia (LG) today announced the launch of its new LG Stylus DAB+ device, the world’s first smartphone with built-in DAB+ broadcast digital radio. Unlike music streaming and other apps that can use hefty amounts of data, the LG Stylus DAB+ lets users listen to digital quality radio broadcasts for free through a tuner in the smartphone.* Not only will this provide quality digital broadcast, but it also allows the user to access broadcasts pictures and text information on the screen.

Users will be able to access more radio channels with DAB+ than traditional AM + FM, with up to 30 free digital only stations. Popular digital stations include Triple M Classic Rock, Koffee, Coles Radio, Kinderling, The Range, The Edge Digital, Gorilla and NTS.

DAB+ is on air in 40 countries around the world. It is currently available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with plans to rollout to regional areas from 2017.

The LG device was launched in conjunction with Commercial Radio Australia which is a member of IDAG (The International DMB Advancement Group), a global organisation representing radio broadcasters which helped develop the DAB+ smartphone.

Gino Casha, General Manager, Mobile Communications at LG Australia commented: “We are delighted that Australia is one of the first countries in the world to get the LG Stylus DAB+. This is a smartphone that offers something nobody else does – built-in digital radio. Customers in the market for a fully-featured affordable smartphone on which to enjoy a fantastic digital broadcast experience should look no further than this latest offering.”

Joan Warner, Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Radio Australia, said; “Australians love radio, with 95% of the population tuning in each week. Now with the LG Stylus DAB+, radio stations will be able to deliver an even richer radio experience for listeners through the broadcast of visual content such as pictures and text about the track now playing, breaking news and web links.”

”Commercial Radio Australia has developed a tailored interface for the smartphone, which allows listeners to enjoy digital radio alongside related internet content. Users will be able to see station logos and branded landing pages, and click on links to more information, events, offers and radio social media channels,” added Warner.

To celebrate the launch, participating radio stations will promote the LG Stylus DAB+ with an extensive on air marketing campaign from May 9, including listener giveaways of 250 handsets.

How to listen to digital radio on the LG Stylus DAB+

All consumers need to do to enable the digital radio feature on the LG Stylus DAB+ is plug in the headset provided with the phone (this acts an antenna through which the signal is achieved) and click on the Digital Radio logo to start a scan of the local DAB+ radio stations in the area**. They will then be able to select from the list of available radio stations and save their favourite stations for easy access in the future.

More features than you can shake a stylus at...

The LG Stylus DAB+ is only 7.4mm thin and weighs 145g. The handset has a beautiful design and high-end features such as a 3,000mAh removable battery, a MicroSD card slot to allow users to expand storage, and a gorgeous 5.7-inch screen on which to enjoy a variety of content.

The LG Stylus DAB+ also comes with a ‘Stylus’ pen that has a nano-coated tip for more accuracy. There is also variety of user experiences such as Pen Pop, which toggles a popup menu when the stylus is removed to offer shortcuts to Pop Memo and Pop Scanner. Additionally, there is a new function called Pen Keeper, which prevents the Stylus from being misplaced by displaying a popup message when the phone is detected as being in motion when the Stylus slot is empty.

The LG Stylus DAB+ will be available May 2 for RRP $449 from Optus stores, Big W, All Phones, and selected Harvey Norman and Good Guys Stores. It will also be available 5th of May from Virgin Mobile Stores.

LG Stylus Key Specifications: ***

  • Display: 5.7-inch HD In-Cell Touch (1280 x 720)
  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Quad-Core
  • Camera: Rear 13MP / Front 8MP
  • Memory: 2GB LPDDR3 RAM / 16GB ROM / MicroSD
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (removable)
  • Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Size: 155 x 79.6 x 7.4mm
  • Weight: 145g
  • Network: LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.1 / USB 2.0
  • Colours: Titan

*Headphones (included) required to enable DAB+. The Digital Radio Plus Interface will be made available via software update direct to the handset.

**The DAB+ network is currently available in 5 metropolitan capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with plans to rollout to regional areas from 2017) and covers 65% of the population. It offers up to30 free digital-only radio stations and broadcast text and pictures on screen.

***Specifications/features may vary depending on the market.

More information

James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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