My new smartphone doesn’t receive UK stations

My new Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro has FM radios on it but they are all Chinese. How can I get BBC Radio 1, 4, 3, 5, etc?
– Alan

The Redmi Note 8 Pro is an Android smartphone that was released in 2019. Although it’s quite a recent model we’ve not been able to find details about the FM radio app. The Redmi website also doesn’t have a PDF manual for the device. We looked at manuals for similar models with an FM tuner, but these functions were not covered.

Unfortunately this means we’re not able to provide specific advice for the phone.

However, as the phone is less than a year old we would suggest contacting Redmi or the retailer for more information about the radio. There could be a setting for the language or the country which affects the radio app.

Some entry-level and mid-range smartphones still come with an FM tuner. This can be useful if you don’t want to use mobile data to listen to live radio. There are currently no smartphones with a DAB tuner.

Listening to radio on a smartphone

There are generally two types of apps for listening to live streaming radio on smartphones. These will stream the radio station over the Internet, so it’s important to connect via Wi-Fi rather than 3G/4G to save using mobile data.

Apps like Radioplayer and TuneIn have hundreds of radio stations which can be browsed by name or location. These types of apps are useful if you listen to a variety of stations. An app like TuneIn can also be useful if you like to listen to radio stations from around the world.

If you have a favourite radio station you might prefer a dedicated app. These often only contain a single station, or a selection of stations – such as Absolute Radio, Absolute 80s, Absolute Classic Rock, etc. Apps which are dedicated to a smaller number of stations often have more features. You might be able to contact the presenter, enter a competition and see more details about the show or music.

Not every radio station has its own app and you may have to use something like Radioplayer. Some radio apps also include a sleep function.

If you don’t want to install an app some radio stations will play through the browser on the phone. Visit the radio station website and tap the listen button to see if this is possible.