How do I test NFC on my smartphone or smartwatch

How do I test NFC on my smartphone or smartwatch?

NFC is short for Near Field Communication. It is a novel feature available in mid-range to high-range smartphones and smartwatches which allows them to interact with another device at a close proximal distance. It works in a radius of about 4 cm.

With the advent of NFC and its growing popularity, there are some major confusion and questions among users about its purpose and applicability. There are many users who are not even sure if their smartphone or smartwatch has an NFC feature or not.

In this article, we mean to tackle them with precise and well-informed answers. Make sure you get your clouds of confusion blown away today!

How to test if the NFC is working on smartphones using an App?

There are a bunch of apps available on the Apple AppStore and Google Playstore that can test if the NFC feature on your smartphone is working or not. The best one I like is the NFC Check by Tapkey. It is a popular Android app in the category of Tools brought to you by Tapkey Dev Services.

The NFC Check lets you know if your smartphone has NFC functionality. It quickly and comprehensively tells you whether the NFC is activated or not.

To Install and use NFC Check by Tapkey:

  • Go to Google Playstore app on your Android Smartphone
  • Search for NFC Check in the search bar
  • Make sure the developing or publishing company is Tapkey. It is provided under the app name
  • Tap on Install and wait for a while for the app to download and install
  • Once the app is installed, open the app
  • Go to NFC Check station
  • If the “NFC is activated” option has a checkmark at its side, this means the NFC feature is working on your smartphone

Note – There are other apps available on the PlayStore to check NFC functionality on your smartphone. But, they seem to have poor ratings compared to NFC Check by Tapkey.

The other alternative to test if the NFC is working on your smartphone or not is to use a quick Google search. This will allow you to gain the required information without installing a third-party app on your smartphone.

On your browser, go to and the famous Google search bar appears. In the search bar, type “Does {Name of your smartphone} have NFC?” and hit enter on the keyboard or click on the search button provided on the side of the search bar.

The search results will give you detailed information about whether your smartphone model has a functioning NFC or not. You can also go to the official webpage of your smartphone and look for the features and specification section where you can find all the information about NFC in the wireless connectivity section.

For example, if you own a Samsung Galaxy S20, you can type “Does Samsung Galaxy S20 has NFC?”.

How to test if the NFC is working on smartphones using an NFC Tag?

NFC (Near-field communication) tags are adhesive stickers or wristbands with small microchips installed in them. These can be read by mobile or smartphones in very close ranges. The smartphone should have a functional NFC for it to be able to scan and read an NFC tag.

An NFC tag is capable of exchanging data (generally a few bits of digitized info) with an NFC-enabled smartphone or smart device. NFC tags are passive devices that draw power from smartphones or readers that read or scan them. The process is called Magnetic Induction. When the smartphone or the reader gets in the proximal distance with the NFC tag, it activates or energizes the NFC tag and facilitates data transfer easily.

So, if you have an NFC tag lying around in your house, you can use it to check the NFC capability of smartphones that you and your family members own. All you have to do is try writing an NFC tag. If you manage to write an NFC tag, then it is a good indication that NFC is available and fully functional on your smartphone.

There are a couple of trustworthy apps for Android devices that you can download and install on your smartphone to write an NFC tag.

Option – 1 – NFC Smart Q app

  • Click here and download the NFC Smart Q app on your Android smartphone
  • Now, once the app is downloaded and installed, open the app
  • Go to “Write Tag Section” on the app
  • Select the task that you want to write on the NFC tag and then confirm it
  • For example, you want your NFC tag to turn on Bluetooth which is an action you can write to the NFC tag
  • Once you are done, confirm it.
  • Now keep the Tag on the backside of your Android smartphone. If the Bluetooth turns on when you put your Smartphone near the NFC tag, this means that NFC on your smartphone is working fine.

Option – 2 – Using Trigger – Task Launcher App

  • Go to Google PlayStore and search for Trigger- Task Launcher app in the search bar
  • Once the app is downloaded and installed, open the app
  • Now, tap on the “+” plus icon to create a task trigger
  • Go to the NFC section and tap on “Next”. You will also get the option to set restrictions for each trigger. Once you are satisfied with the customization, tap on “Done”
  • On the next screen, tap on the “Next” button and select the task.
  • In this particular case, we just want to test the functionality of the NFC. So, we can set the action for a meager task like “Bluetooth On/Off”.Simply choose Bluetooth On/Off option and then tap on “Next”.
  • Now, following the instructions on the screen, place the NFC next to your smartphone. If the app manages to complete the task of writing an NFC tag, it indicates that the NFC is working fine on your Android smartphone.

Option – 3 – for iOS or iPhones (only iPhone 7 and above)

NFC scanning and writing capability of iOS devices are relatively new compared to the popular Apple Pay feature. Initially, iOS or iPhone users had to install a third-party app to use it. But with the launch of the iPhone 7, the NFC comes in-built and you can use it seamlessly.

Here is how you can write NFC tags using iOS devices or iPhones –

  • Purchase a blank NFC tag. Make sure the NFC tag is blank, unlocked, and writable.
  • Install an NFC tag writing app called “TagWriter” by NXP from the Apple AppStore
  • After the NXP TagWriter is installed, open the app and click on “New” at the bottom of the screen
  • You will be provided with a list of different options of what you can write to your blank NFC tags. For checking purposes, select the “Link” option and enter a URL or website name. For example, you can add “https// “
  • Do not type anything in the description field. Adding a description makes the tag unreadable to iOS devices.
  • Once you are done, click on “Save & Write”. Now tap the top of your iPhone to a blank NFC tag (as if you are about to read it). This simply writes the URL to the NFC tag.

How to test if the NFC is working on smartphones and Smartwatches using an NFC Terminal?

NFC terminals are contactless payment terminals that can accept payments from NFC-enabled smart devices like smartphones and smartwatches.

You can use the nearest NFC terminal to find out whether your smartphone or smartwatch has NFC capabilities or not.

All you need to do is visit the nearest shop or place with an NFC-enabled payment terminal and try paying using one the of services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay. If the payment is completed without a fuss, it indicates that your smartphone or smartwatch has functional NFC capabilities.

How do I get NFC to work on my Android?

On most Android devices, if NFC is present, it is turned off by default. This might lead you to believe that your Android smartphone doesn’t have an NFC capability at all.

If you are sure that your Android smartphone has NFC built-in and you have no idea how to get it to work on your device, here is what you can do to make it work.

  • Go to Settings on your Android smartphone
  • Type “NFC” in the search bar in the Settings
  • When NFC appears in the results, you can toggle it ON to enable it
  • Once the NFC is enabled, you can use it to make contactless payments and write blank NFC tags.

Which is better: Bluetooth or NFC?

While both Bluetooth and NFC are wireless means of communication between two devices, this is where the similarity ends.

Bluetooth works at much longer ranges than NFCs and is meant for file transfer between devices or connecting wireless audio devices to your smartphone.

NFC works at extremely short ranges and is used for a wide range of purposes like cashless payments, writing tags, data transfer, and much more. NFC is 10 times faster than Bluetooth in terms of data transfer but the purpose is not the same.

Thus, it will be an absurd or bizarre comparison like comparing apples to oranges. You cannot compare two technologies when you need both of them for entirely different reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Can NFC work Without Bluetooth?

NFC comes with entirely different hardware from that Bluetooth. So, NFC doesn’t rely on Bluetooth to function. It can function on its own even when Bluetooth is broken or turned off.
Both of them are different hardware features meant for different purposes. NFC might rely on Bluetooth to establish a secure connection but one can stop NFC from working even if Bluetooth is turned off.
So, technically speaking, NFC will work without the need for Bluetooth if it has to because it has its own purpose and hardware to connect two devices.

Does iPhone 12 Pro come with NFC installed?

Yes, iPhone 12 Pro comes with NFC installed. In fact, all the iPhones from iPhone 7 to iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with NFC installed. Apple did take its fair share of time in adding NFC to its flagship smartphones. But, they have now provided the hardware and multiple utility software to go with it.
You can use the NFC on your iPhone 12 Pro Max to make Contactless and cashless payments via Apple Pay along with lots of other fun stuff.

Can I Install NFC on my phone?

NFC is not an app that can be installed on a smartphone or any other smart device. It is a hardware feature like Bluetooth that needs to be installed on the motherboard or chip of the smartphone. It cannot be added later via some other means.
If your Smartphone doesn’t have NFC right now, it can never have NFC via some other means or hacks. It needs to be installed by the manufacturers.

Is RFID the same as NFC?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification which allows communication between a reader (powered) and a tag (unpowered). NFC stands for Near Field Communication.
RFID and NFC are not the same but there are some similarities. NFC works on RFID protocols and it can be called High-Frequency RFID as it operates at a relatively high frequency of 13.56 MHz. Thus NFC can be used for a very close range of communication only.
Another major difference between RFID and NFC is that an NFC device (smartphone or smartwatch) can act as both reader and an NFC tag (in card emulator mode). It is also possible to transfer information between two NFC devices in peer-to-peer mode.
Another advantage of NFC over RFID is that NFC communications are encrypted and thus more secure than RFID communications.

How to check: Does my Smartphone have NFC Capability?

To find out quickly about whether your current smartphone has NFC capability or not, here is what you should do.
Go to the Settings of your smartphone and search for NFC in the search bar of the Settings Menu.
If NFC, appears in the search results, it means your Smartphone has NFC capabilities.
You can also check for the same in the Wireless connectivity options section in Settings. Sometimes, NFC might be provided with some other fancy name.

Does Keeping NFC on drain Battery?

NFC is a passive technology. This means that NFC doesn’t have a power source of its own and it utilizes the power from the battery of the device it is hardwired on. So, yes, Keeping NFC on will drain the battery of your Smartphone or smartwatch.
But, NFC takes in very little power and it is not that much power consumption compared to Bluetooth or GPS hardware installed on your smart device. Even though NFC is not power-intensive, it is recommended that you should keep it turned off when it is not in use.