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 handsets.
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.
Best high-end phone with NFC: Galaxy Note 9
The Galaxy Note 9 has NFC on board and also supports Samsung Pay, allowing you to make purchases with your handset. It was announced in August and is one of the best smartphones you can get your hands on. In fact, we here at Android Authority called it the phone of the year.
It sports a large 6.4-inch display with QHD+ resolution and is powered by the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset, depending on the region. You’ll find a dual-camera setup on the back with two 12MP sensors featuring dual aperture and scene recognition. In terms of design, the device looks similar to its predecessor, with the biggest difference being the fingerprint scanner that’s located below the cameras instead of next to them.
The device also comes with the S Pen, which is a signature feature of the Note series. It now supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) that lets you do things like launch the camera and take a selfie via the button on the stylus. The Galaxy Note 9 has a starting price of $900 — 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s also a beefed-up version with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage available, which will set you back a whopping $1,150.
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution, 516ppi
- Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset — depending on the region
- 6/8GB of RAM
- 128/512GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
- Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: In praise of incrementalism
- The 5 features that make the Galaxy Note 9 great
- Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Which Galaxy do you belong to?
- 7 things you can do with the Galaxy Note 9’s Bluetooth S Pen
Pixel 3 series
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are similar in many ways. Both come with the Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and a fantastic 12.2MP camera. Then there’s also IP68 water and dust resistance, dual front-facing shooters, and, of course, NFC. The phones run a stock version of Android and support wireless charging. Unfortunately, they don’t have a headphone jack.
The biggest differences between the two are in the display and battery departments. The Pixel 3 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD+ display and a 2,915mAh battery, while the larger model offers a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ display and a 3,430mAh battery. The Pixel 3 XL also has a notch.
What makes the OnePlus 6T one of the best phones with NFC is a combination of high-end specs, a great design, and an affordable price tag. The phone sports 6.41-inch Full HD+ display, is powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset, and packs up to 8G of RAM. There’s also a new Mclaren Edition of the device, which bumps the RAM up to 10GB.
Other specs and features include an in-display fingerprint scanner, a 3,700mAh battery, and up to 256GB of storage. Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, wireless charging, or an IP rating — but it is splash-proof. Pricing starts at $550 and goes all the way up to $700 for the fancy Mclaren Edition.
Best mid-range phone with NFC: Moto Z3 Play
In addition to NFC, which you won’t find on all mid-range smartphones, the Moto Z3 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 Z3 Play sports a 6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display and is powered by the Snapdragon 636 chipset. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the U.S., while some other markets get a beefed-up variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It might not be able to take on the Galaxy S9 Plus 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 coating. It supports expandable storage, has a dual-camera setup on the back, and sports a 3,000 mAh battery. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a headphone jack on board. Motorola’s mid-ranger retails for $400 on the company’s website.
- 6.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 2.160 x 1,080 resolution, 402ppi
- Snapdragon 636 chipset
- 4/6GB of RAM
- 64/128GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- Dual 12MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 156.5 x 70.5 x 6.75mm, 156g
- Moto Z3 Play review: The value is still in the Moto Mods
- Moto Z3 Play specs: A leap in power, but what about everything else?
- Spec showdown: Moto Z3 Play vs the competition
The Nokia 7.1 is part of the Android One family, which means it runs a stock version of the OS and is guaranteed at least two years of Android updates. The phone features a 5.84-inch Full HD+ display with a notch, the Snapdragon 636 chipset, and 3 or 4GB of RAM. However, only the 3GB version is available in the U.S.
The handset looks a lot more modern than its predecessor due to its thinner bezels. It sports a dual-camera setup on the back with Zeiss optics and packs a 3,060mAh battery. It supports the Boothie mode, which lets you capture video with the front and rear cameras at the same time. You can get it on Amazon for $350.
The next device on our best phones with NFC list is the Honor 8X, a mid-ranger with a great design, a large display, and an affordable price tag. However, keep in mind that not all versions of the handset have NFC on board, so make sure to check that before making your purchase. The phone powered by Huawei’s Kirin 710 chipset and comes with either 4 or 6GB of RAM. The Full HD+ display measures 6.5 inches, which means it’s even larger than the one on the Galaxy Note 9.
The Honor 8X has a dual-camera setup on the back and packs a 3,750mAh battery. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI on top, which definitely isn’t for everyone. But you can always customize the software quite a bit with the help of a launcher like Nova. In the U.K., the phone goes for 230 pounds (~$290). It’s expected to make its way to the U.S. in the near future, although there’s no word on when that may happen.
Best budget phone with NFC: Nokia 3.1
It can be hard to find a great NFC-enabled smartphone in the budget category. The best choice right now is arguably the Nokia 3.1, which currently retails for just $140 at Best Buy.
The Nokia 3.1 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 5.2-inch HD+ display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6750 chipset paired with 2/3GB of RAM — only the 2GB version is available in the U.S. It can handle browsing the web and checking social media just fine, but it’s not the best when it comes to gaming or multitasking — at least when compared to more expensive smartphones.
Nokia’s budget-friendly smartphone has a 13MP camera, packs a 2,990mAh battery, and offers 16/32GB of storage that can be expanded for an additional 256GB. It runs a stock version of Android Oreo and has an aluminum frame and polycarbonate back.
- 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1,440 x 720 resolution, 310ppi
- MediaTek MT6750 chipset
- 2/3GB of RAM
- 16/32GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
- 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
- Non-removable 2,990mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 146.3 x 68.7 x 8.7mm, 138g
- Hands-on with Nokia’s new affordable range for 2018
- HMD Global’s budget Android One smartphone, Nokia 3.1, launches in India
Sony Xperia L1
The Xperia L1 made its debut in March 2017, making it the oldest device on this list. It 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. the Sony Xperia L1 can be yours for around $135.
Huawei Y7 (2018)
The last model on our list of the best phones with NFC is the affordable Huawei Y7 (2018). It comes with a 6.0-inch HD+ display, the Snapdragon 430 chipset, and 2GB of RAM. However, keep in mind that only one variant of the handset — LDN-L01 — has NFC on board, while all the others don’t. So make sure to check the model number before you buy it.
The phone also comes with a primary 13MP camera, a 3,000mAh battery, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It has a nice design with relatively thin bezels and runs Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI on top. In the U.K., the Y7 goes for around 130 pounds, which roughly translates to $165. It’s not available in the U.S.
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.