Socket Mobile-JP » Comparison & Selection Guides » NFC Reading vs Barcode Scanning

NFC Reading vs. Code Scanning

NFC Reading and Bluetooth barcode scanning are two common technologies used for data reading within various industries. These technologies offer a range of benefits, and the comparison guide below will help you analyze and choose the scanning technology that is best suited for your business.

NFC Reading/Writing (Handheld)



For processing high-value & high-volume assets (50+ items) regularly. NFC tags save time because reading is faster than QR code scanning. While more expensive, costs may be saved in the reading time.


  • Transaction Speed - Are scanned instantly when touched by a dedicated reader, and device is ready for a new scan right away.
  • Costs - Quick scanning and data input saves employee hours and money.
  • Line of Sight - Tag does not have to be in reader's line of sight. Items can be scanned while inside an item casing or packaging.
  • Tag Size - NFC tags can be very small and it does not need anything to be printed on it - an advantage for small items.
  • Unique - Difficult to duplicate and can be associated with very specific items.
  • Durability - Durable and last forever. Difficult to corrupt or destroy.
  • Reusable - Can be reused with write capability.
  • Reading Range - Reads from 0 to 50mm away, depending on reader.


  • Price - NFC tags are more expensive than QR Code labels.
  • Encode Tags - NFC tags need encoding one at a time using NFC tag writer applications, by purchasing special software, or outsourcing for mass encoding.
  • Reading Range - must be within 50mm to scan, depending on reader.

Bluetooth Scanning (Handheld)

scanning scanner-hover


Barcode scanning is ideal for processing a high volume of inventory regularly and when fast, cheap and convenient labeling is required.


  • Price - QR code labels are substantially cheaper than NFC tags.
  • Encoded Labels - QR Codes are easier to produce and print.


  • Write-back - There is no writeback capability.
  • Durability - Barcodes are subject to damage.
  • Reading Range - Requires visibility to the barcode. When multiple barcodes are present, pinpointing the specific barcode to be read can be difficult.