NFC is at a stage where many new handsets have the necessary hardware built into them but the mobile networks are generally not ready to start marketing the technology hard.
This means that you won't necessarily see NFC pushed as one of your handset's key features on the display card in the phone shop, but it may still come equipped with the technology.
So, if you're unsure if your handset is equipped for the NFC revolution, don't worry — help is at hand!
How to check if your phone has NFC
Here's NFC World's list of the top ways to tell if your phone has NFC:
- Got an iPhone? You don't have NFC.
- Check the NFC phones list. Look in our definitive list of NFC phones to see if your model is listed. However, this is not a guarantee that you have NFC because phone makers sometimes vary handset specifications for different countries and carriers. The Samsung Galaxy S II is an example of a device that comes with NFC in some territories but not in others.
- Check the manual. Look in your phone's manual for references to NFC, near field communication or RFID.
- Look for a logo. Look on the device itself for any sort of mark indicating an NFC touchpoint. It will probably be on the back of the phone.
- Check your settings. Look in your phone's settings menu for any mention of NFC. It may be listed in the part that deals with wireless or network set-up.
- Check your apps. Look in your list of apps for anything that mentions NFC.
- Look for an antenna. Open the battery cover and check it for an NFC antenna — they often look like credit card sized spirals of flat wire.
- Check the battery too. Look for signs of an NFC antenna or any text that mentions NFC on the battery itself.
- Try it out! Unlock your phone and wave a contactless payment card or an NFC tag over it to see if anything happens.
- Try a tester app. Apps are available that can test if your handset is NFC capable. Near Field NFC Tester is one such app for Android devices.
- Got any add-ons? It's also possible you may have an add-on NFC solution. The SIM+antenna is probably the most common way of adding NFC to an ordinary handset, and is easily recognisable because a thin plastic "flying antenna" is attached to the SIM card. Other solutions include NFC built into the SIM (this is not common), NFC in a microSD card, or NFC built into a phone case or sleeve, but in these circumstances you would probably know already that your phone has NFC.
Do you have any other ways of telling if a device has NFC? Let us know in the comments below...