Monday, 10 August 2009

Does the Samsung i8910 have a FM Transmitter?

While searching the internet for user accounts of the i8910, I found that the general consensus was that the i8910 was very close to being the 'perfect phone', scoring 9.7 out of 10 on TestFreaks, for example. So, what is it that the i8910 is missing? What could be done to make it please consumers even more? A FM transmitter, maybe?

When the i8910 was first leaked back in February of this year, the listed specifications included a FM Transmitter. This was proved to be true with Eldar Murtazin's preview of an early prototype of the i8910:

However, as you should all know, a prototype can vary greatly from the final product. The production i8910 features a host of changes from the prototypes, including a plastic back (instead of metal), removal of a number of software features and the apparent disabling of the FM Transmitter. Why did I use the word 'apparent'? Because it still isn't clear if the hardware needed for the FM Transmitter to function has actually been removed from production i8910s.

For example, while browsing the Samsung Mobile Innovator website, I found a table that seemed very strange to me:

That is a table, from an official Samsung website, which lists the i8910 as having a FM Transmitter. It is possible that the Samsung Mobile Innovator team have made a mistake, but I doubt it. Firstly, the website is regularly updated by Samsung, why haven't the staff changed it yet? Secondly, the website recently had a major overhaul, and yes, the table also received a makeover but the information displayed remained the same. Thirdly and finally, the rest of the information displayed in the table is correct and valid, so logic dictates that the i8910's data is correct as well. Could this be proof that the hardware inside the i8910 still remains?

However, it should also be noted that the above table raises another issue: the i7110. It's another of Samsung's S60 devices and it does feature an FM Transmitter. If Samsung have already released a phone featuring a FM Transmitter, what reason do they have for removing it in the i8910? Surely it's not due to legalities, right?

It has come to my attention that there are FM Transmitter configuration applications hidden within the system files of the i8910, as discovered here. As expected, 'enabling' the FM Transmitter via this method results in nothing. Some may say that these configuration menus are proof of the i8910 still bearing an internal FM Transmitter, but, is it not also possible that these are simply remnants from when Samsung were tweaking the firmware from the prototypes?

Unfortunately for owners of the i8910, it still isn't clear whether or not the Samsung i8910 will ever be able to transmit music using FM waves. If Samsung are indeed hiding the FM Transmitter, I certainly hope that they issue an official statement providing a reason and explanation, or simply enable the hardware through a firmware update.


  1. Anonymous

    it seems to actually have an fm transmitter. Although i think samsung as it disable, Hopefully with the next Firmware release it will be re-enabled. Its sad that a device has a cool feature that is disabled, Remember the touck Navi wheel on the Nokia n96? Anyway this is an interesting video based aroung the i8910's fm capabilities.


  2. Cellphone Answers

    I can confirm that this mobile phone has a FM transmitter. I dont like to listen to radio that often though... :)

  3. Anonymous

    Idiot, of course you can listen to the radio on your phone. What people are asking is whether the phone can transmit FM radio waves so that you can listen to music through your car radio (for example) that is playing on your phone.

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