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Best phones with NFC — what are your options?


NFC stands for Near Field Communication and lets you quickly share various files with other mobile devices, make payments via services like Google Pay, and more. Most high-end smartphones have NFC on board these days, while the same can’t be said for mid-range and budget handset.

If you’re in the market for an NFC-enabled smartphone, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find the best phones with NFC at different price points below.

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.

Best high-end phone with NFC: Galaxy S9/S9 Plus

phones with NFC

Both Galaxy S9 handsets have NFC and support Samsung Pay. They were announced in February and are currently two of the most powerful smartphones on the market.

The Plus model offers more than its smaller brother. It features a dual-camera setup on the back, has a larger display (6.2 vs 5.8 inches), and sports more RAM (6 vs 4GB). It also has a bigger battery due to its larger footprint. The rest of the specs and features are the same. Both come with the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset, a headphone jack, and a camera with variable aperture — see more details in the Specs section below.

Read next: What the heck is the Galaxy S9’s dual aperture?

The S9 and S9 Plus look similar to their predecessors with one major difference: the fingerprint scanner is located below instead of next to the camera. This not only looks better but is also more practical. The smartphones also have the AR Emoji feature on board, which lets you turn yourself into an animated emoji with the help of the camera. The Galaxy S9 will set you back $720, while the larger model goes for $840.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S9

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset — depending on the region
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 400GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm, 163g

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution, 529 ppi
  • Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset — depending on the region
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 400GB
  • Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,500mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm, 189g

Read more


Honorable mentions:

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

phones with NFC

The P20 and P20 Pro are Huawei’s latest flagships and made their debut in March. The Pro model offers more in the specs department and is the first smartphone with a triple-camera setup on the back. It’s equipped with a 6.1-inch AMOLED display, packs the latest Kirin 970 chipset under the hood, and has 6GB of RAM. It also sports a large 4,000 mAh battery and has an iPhone-X like notch that not everyone is a fan of.

The P20 is more or less identical to the Pro in the design department and similar when it comes to specs. However, it does have a smaller 5.8-inch LCD display, features two cameras on the back instead of three, and comes with 4GB of RAM. It also has a smaller battery at 3,400 mAh and offers less protection against water and dust (IP53 vs IP67). Both smartphones are already available in Europe and many other markets, with the US not being one of them.


Google Pixel 2 XL

phones with NFC

The Pixel 2 XL impresses in many ways. It comes with high-end specs, runs a stock version of Android, and has one of the best cameras you can get on a smartphone. You’ll find the Snapdragon 835 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM under the hood and a 12.2 MP camera on the back, which can capture bokeh images despite missing the second lens.

Google’s flagship also sports dual front-facing speakers, is IP67 rated, and will get three years of Android software updates. Other things worth mentioning include a 6-inch P-OLED display, a 3,520mAh battery, and 64 or 128GB of non-expandable storage. Unfortunately, there’s no headphone jack on board, which might be a deal breaker for some.


Best mid-range phone with NFC: Moto Z2 Play

phones with NFC

In addition to NFC, which you won’t find on all mid-range smartphones, the Moto Z2 Play also supports Moto Mods. These attach to the back of the device via magnets and add new features to the smartphone or improve existing ones. There are quite a few of them available including a speaker, battery, projector, and more — see full list here.

The Moto Z2 Play sports a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display and is powered by the Snapdragon 626 chipset. It comes in two variants: one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and the other with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It might not be able to take on the Galaxy S9 and other high-end models, but it still packs more than enough power under the hood for the average user.

The smartphone isn’t waterproof, but it does have a water repellent nano-coating. It supports expandable storage, has a headphone jack on board, and sports a 3,000 mAh battery that gets you eight hours of use with a 15-minute charge — according to the manufacturer. Motorola’s mid-ranger currently goes for $500 on the company’s website, although it is frequently on sale for $350.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • Snapdragon 626 chipset
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 156.2 x 76.2 x 6mm, 145g

Read more


HTC U11 Life

phones with NFC

HTC’s U11 Life is a great choice in the mid-range category. In addition to NFC, it sports the popular Edge Sense feature that lets you open an app of choice by squeezing the device. The smartphone also sports an eye-catching design with a Liquid Surface back that’s super shiny and has a unique mirror-like finish that makes it stand out.

The handset comes with a 5.2-inch Super LCD 1080p display, the Snapdragon 630 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It also has 16MP rear- and front-facing cameras as well as a 2,600mAh battery. The smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack, but it does ship with a free pair of USonic active noise canceling earphones. Keep in mind that the U.S. version of the U11 Life comes with the HTC Sense skin on top of the OS, while the global variant is part of Google’s Android One program.


Nokia 7 Plus

phones with NFC

The Nokia 7 Plus is an upgraded version of the Nokia 7, which launched back in October 2017. It has a larger display (6.0 vs 5.2 inches), a newer chipset (Snapdragon 660 vs 630), and a bigger battery (3,800 vs 3,000mAh). It also has a dual-camera setup on the back and features the “Bothie” mode that lets you use front and back cameras simultaneously for split-screen photos and videos.

The handset is part of Google’s Android One initiative, which guarantees a pure, bloat-free OS experience and timely updates. It comes with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Nokia’s mid-ranger also has a modern design with relatively thin bezels and an aluminum body that looks and feels premium — although it lacks a “wow” factor that would set it apart from the competition. It’s up for pre-order in select European markets, where you can get if for 400 euros.


Best budget phone with NFC: Nokia 3

phones with NFC

It can be hard to find a great NFC-enabled smartphone in the budget category. The best choice right now is arguably the Nokia 3, which retails for just 140 euros (~$175).

The Nokia 3 can handle surfing the web just fine, but it’s not great for gaming.

The smartphone’s specs won’t blow your socks off, as it comes with a 5-inch HD display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6737 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM. It can handle browsing the web and checking social media just fine, but it’s not great when it comes to gaming or multitasking — at least when compared to more expensive smartphones.

Nokia’s budget-friendly smartphone has two 8MP cameras (front and back), packs a 2,630mAh battery, and offers 16GB of storage that can be expanded for an additional 128GB. It runs a stock version of Android Nougat and has an aluminum frame and polycarbonate back. You can get it in four color options.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch IPS LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, 294 ppi
  • MediaTek MT6737 chipset
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,630mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.5mm, 140g

Read more


Honorable mention:

Sony Xperia L1

phones with NFC

The Xperia L1 made its debut in March 2017. The device comes with a 5.5-inch HD display, the MediaTek MT6737T chipset, and, of course, an NFC chip. It also sports 2GB of RAM, offers 16GB of expandable storage, and has Sony’s Smart Cleaner on board that analyzes how you use your phone, deactivates unused apps, and clears your cache.

Additionally, the handset features what Sony calls the Xperia Actions engine, which adapts the smartphone’s settings and functionality to your surroundings. To give you an example, it can automatically set the device to “Do not disturb” and lower the display brightness at night. Other specs and features include a 13MP camera, a 2,620mAh battery, and Android Nougat with Sony’s custom user interface on top. Unlike the Nokia 3, this smartphone is available in the US.


There you have it  these are the best phones with NFC in our opinion. However, there are a lot of other great options out there, so let us know in the comments which ones would you add to this list.

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