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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.

If you are having issues with your data reader, please review our FAQs for a solution.

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