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Watches With NFC for Contactless Payments

resized nfc watch

NFC, or Near-Field Communication, is a premium wireless technology that allows you to store small units of data on mobile devices. When used with a smartwatch, you can save your bank card details on the watch and utilize its NFC connection to make payments at wireless POS (Point of Sale) terminals.

Its most significant advantage is that you still use your bank card even if you forget your wallet at home. Thus, you are never caught unprepared, and the payment mechanism is so convenient that you won’t miss your wallet.

Using a smartwatch often stirs up images of unappealing-looking devices with monochrome displays that lets you track your fitness. That may have been the case initially when manufacturers first introduced the world to smartwatches. But designer labels have realized the potential of wearable tech and offer fashionable watches with NFC and several other features.

However, don’t be under the impression that vanity compromises functionality. The best watches with NFC also include music players, which come in handy during your workouts and outdoor activities. And in addition to contactless payment, these watches enable you to track health, fitness, and sleep patterns to give you comprehensive insights into your physical well-being.

What’s more, these watches also have considerable tolerance for exposure to water. So, while it would be best to avoid deep-sea diving wearing one, you shouldn’t be worried about any accidental splashes or wearing it in the rain.

Not all smartwatches offer NFC. And even the ones that do vary in the features they offer, their targeted user base (read Andriod or iOS), or their ability to withstand submergence in water.

Comparison of the Best Watches with NFC

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Apple Watch Series 8 on Amazon
Apple Watch Series 8 Screen: 1.9-inch Rectangular Retina OLED
Sports Mode: Yes
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: 50 meters
Music Player: Yes
Sleep Tracking: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: iOS only
Weight: 38.8grams
Charger: USB Magnetic Charger Cable
Buy on Amazon
Garmin Venu 2 Plus on Amazon
Garmin Venu 2 Plus Screen: 1.3-inch Circular AMOLED
Sports Mode: 25
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: 5 ATM
Music Player: Yes
Sleep Tracking: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: Both
Weight: 49grams
Charger: USB Charging Cable
Buy on Amazon
SAMSUNG Watch5 Pro on Amazon
SAMSUNG Watch5 Pro Screen: 1.2-inch Circular Super AMOLED
Sports Mode: 90+
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: IP68 (1.5 meters) and 5 ATM
Music Player: Yes
Sleep Tracking: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: Both
Weight: 33.5grams
Charger: USB-C Magnetic Charger Cable
Buy on Amazon
Fitbit Versa 4 on Amazon
Fitbit Versa 4 Screen: 1.04-inch Rectangular AMOLED
Sports Mode: 40+
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: up to 50 meters
Music Player: No
Sleep Tracking: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: Both
Weight: 37grams
Charger: USB Charging Cable
Buy on Amazon
Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch Smoke on Amazon
Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch Smoke Screen: 1.28-inch Circular AMOLED
Sports Mode: Automatic
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: 3 ATM
Music Player: Yes
Sleep Tracking: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: Both
Weight: 85grams
Charger: USB Magnetic Charger Cable
Buy on Amazon
Michael Kors Access Gen 4 on Amazon
Michael Kors Access Gen 4 Screen: 1.28-inch Circular AMOLED
Sports Mode: Automatic
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: up to 30 meters
Music Player: Yes
Sleep Tracking: No
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: Both
Weight: 60grams
Charger: Wireless
Buy on Amazon
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS on Amazon
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS Screen: 1.4-inch Circular AMOLED
Sports Mode: 100+
GPS: Yes
Water Resistant: IP68
Music Player: Yes
Sleep Tracking: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Android/iOS Compatible: Both
Weight: 41grams
Charger: USB charging cable
Buy on Amazon

1. Apple Watch Series 8 – Best NFC Watch Overall

Apple is undoubtedly the leader in smartwatches, and the Apple Watch Series 8 is their premium smartwatch. It offers everything you expect from a smartwatch and combines this versatility with a user-friendly interface.

The rectangular watch face measures 1.9 inches and uses a brilliant retina display typical of most modern Apple products. The brightness levels measure 1000nits, and the screen is among the biggest you’ll find in any NFC-enabled smartwatch, making it easier to navigate the menu when on the move.

The Apple Watch Series 8 supports contactless payments via Apple Pay, making it convenient to manage alternate payment methods. In fact, once you have stored your card details on the watch, you won’t even need your phone to make payments.

And that’s not all; the watch has various health and fitness features that allow you to track your workouts. Further, it is one of the few smartwatches that you can wear while swimming. It has all the bells and whistles in terms of sensors, giving you the data read-outs at your fingertips.

Interestingly, it also includes Crash Detection, a feature that’ll alert emergency services of the person’s whereabouts in case he is unresponsive after a crash.

On the customization side of things, Apple allows you to change the straps to your liking. And you can customize the watch face to suit your personality and style.

Our Take

The Apple Watch Series 8 is the best smartwatch money can buy. It is user-friendly, has a large screen, and its Apply Pay features allow you to conveniently make payments without troubling your wallet. But you must use an iPhone if you want to utilize all its benefits, as it won’t work with Andriod.

PROS
  • The bright and large screen makes it easy to navigate the menu in broad daylight.
  • You can wear it when swimming.
  • The Crash Detection feature helps to keep you safe in case of a mishap.
  • The changeable straps and customizable watch face allow you to express your style.
  • Advanced sensors and a sleep app provide comprehensive health tracking.
CONS
  • It has below-average battery life.

2. Garmin Venu 2 Plus – Best GPS-Enables NFC Watch

Garmin is an industry leader in GPS products and has been for a while. If you love the great outdoors when on a cross-country run, you’ll love the Garmin Venu 2 Plus with its NFC-enabled contactless payment to pay for your electrolyte drink.

The Venu 2 Plus has a classic round watch face and uses an AMOLED display on its 1.3-inch frame. The screen has Corning Gorilla Glass 3, making it immune to daily wear and tear but be careful not to drop the watch as it could damage the screen.

Garmin supports 25 indoor and outdoor sports on the Venu 2 Plus, including HIIT, Golf, and comes with pre-loaded workouts. It is waterproof, so you can wear it while swimming but avoid diving or submerging it for long periods.

The watch also has plenty of health sensors that measure and track your heart rate, stress, and sleep patterns. And combines it with the convenience of voice calling and smart assistants, but more importantly, Garmin claims the battery lasts up to 9 days.

Our Take

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is perfect for users who love outdoor activities and sports. It offers the convenience of NFC-enabled contactless payment and combines it with many health-related features that allow you to track your overall health and activities.

PROS
  • The circular clock face gives the watch a classic sports watch vibe.
  • It supports phone calls and smart assistants, making it convenient to use and organize your work.
  • It has excellent GPS-based activity tracking and apps.
  • Pre-loaded exercise routines and music functions promote an excellent workout.
  • Changeable straps and customizable watch faces allow you to personalize the watch.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • No wireless charging despite the price.

3. SAMSUNG Watch5 Pro– Best NFC Watch for Android Users

Samsung has the most significant market share of Android users. So, it is natural that most Android users would consider the Samsung Watch5 Pro at least once. And you wouldn’t be wrong; this NFC-enabled watch from Samsung is perfect if you use an Android phone.

It has a 1.2-inch super AMOLED display with a circular watch face that gives it a distinctively sporty look. And its sapphire crystal glass display prevents the screen from getting damaged even when you are pursuing rugged outdoor activities.

As a health tracker, it is better than most as it offers critical readings such as Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat, and skeletal muscles. Further, the watch enables you to track over 90 fitness activities, and you can wear it while swimming because it has an IP68 rating.

Lastly, you can pair this NFC-enabled watch with your phone to answer calls and reply to text messages. What’s more, you can buy the LTE variant that enables you to make calls even when your phone isn’t paired. So, not only can you answer incoming calls, you can even make calls right off the watch.

Our Take

The Samsung Watch5 Pro is the best NFC-enabled watch for Android fans. The LTE variant is a self-contained device that you can use for calling and texting even when your watch and phone aren’t paired. But more importantly, it has a fantastic range of sensors that’s better than most and which enable tracking of health, fitness, and sleep patterns.

PROS
  • The sapphire crystal glass prevents screen damage.
  • It has GPS-enabled features for tracking outdoor activities.
  • The IP68 rating means you can wear it while swimming.
  • The LTE variant doesn’t need phone pairing to make and receive calls.
  • It has an excellent health tracker for BMI, body fat, and skeletal muscles.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • It feels bulky on the wrist, making it impractical to wear while sleeping.

4. Fitbit Versa 4 – Best Fitness Tracking Watch with NFC

The Fitbit Versa 4 is an excellent fitness tracker that will allow you to track over 40 exercises. But that’s not all it does; it has all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch, albeit with a few limited capabilities.

The Versa 4 has a 1.04-inch AMOLED screen that displays all the information, which has an overwhelming fitness-oriented theme. So, it is a smartwatch on the face of things, but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that it’s essentially a fitness tracker with some smartwatch features.

For instance, you cannot make or receive calls like you can with other smartwatches on the market. But before you write it off as a fitness tracker, the Versa 4 reminds you that it’s also a smartwatch by displaying your phone’s notifications. And it supports Amazon Alexa, so you have a smart assistant on your wrist to help you organize your day’s activities.

Our Take

The Fitbit Versa 4 is perfect for fitness enthusiasts who want to track their activities and workouts but also want smartwatch features to stay connected. The Versa 4 is an affordable device that lets you achieve all that and more. Its slim design and ability to track over 40 fitness-related activities make it a versatile tracker for fitness and sleep patterns.

PROS
  • Affordable price.
  • The compact design allows you to wear it comfortably and sleep.
  • You can wear it when swimming.
  • The smart assistant support makes it easy to organize your activities.
  • It has a good battery life that will last a few days.
CONS
  • There is no music player or third-party apps.
  • Unreliable sensors often hamper tracking accuracy.

5. Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch Smoke – Designer Men’s Watch with NFC

The Fossil Gen 6 is a stylish designer smartwatch with all the essential fitness-tracking features. It runs on Google’s WearOS, which makes synchronization with Android phones a breeze, and can also use it with an iPhone, albeit with limited capabilities.

The smartwatch has a classic round, touchscreen AMOLED display that measures 1.28 inches. Unlike other smartwatches, Fossil offers a metal strap that gives the device a trendy look that will match your style.

But a designer watch doesn’t mean that you get anything less in terms of tech. The watch has a SpO2 and heart rate monitor. It auto-detects your activities and provides all the tracking information you’ll need to keep a check on your workouts. Moreover, you can pair it with your phone to receive notifications and even answer calls without taking your smartphone out of your pocket.

Our Take

The Fossil Gen 6 has a trendy look that combines with a full range of smartwatch features to track your health and fitness. It has almost everything you’ll need from a smartwatch except a long enough battery life to last a few days.

PROS
  • Fashionable design that gives it a premium look.
  • It is surprisingly affordable.
  • The SpO2 and heart rate monitor enable you to track your vital parameters.
  • Built-in support for Amazon Alexa helps you organize your day.
  • Smartphone notifications provide constant updates and quick communication.
CONS
  • Poor battery life
  • The metal strap makes it heavy.

6. Michael Kors Access Gen 4 – Designer NFC Watch for Ladies

On the face of it, it’s a designer watch from Michael Kors (MK), but it packs in the utility of a smartwatch with activity and health trackers. Apart from a beautiful design, this smartwatch uses Google’s WearOS operating system to power the smartwatch experience.

The watch has a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen that displays a vibrant interface that you can easily navigate when using the many features. You get a heart rate monitor and Google’s suite of apps, including GoogleFit. Of course, there is NFC for contactless payments, and you also get GPS, enabling you to track your outdoor activities.

This watch from MK lacks the several fitness features you’ll find on mode advanced smartwatches. But in all fairness, the watch is more of a fashion accessory and does not claim to be a fitness tracker. Nevertheless, it has a few basic fitness-tracking features to measure your step count and calories burned.

Our Take

The Michael Kors Access Gen 4 is a fashionable smartwatch that will look elegant on the wrist. So, it makes for a beautiful gift for a loved one and allows them to get smartwatch features while maintaining their style.

PROS
  • You can organize your work as the watch supports Google Assistant.
  • The GPS feature allows you to track outdoor activities.
  • The watch has music storage and controls for apps like Spotify.
  • There are three style variants to choose from.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • It only measures step count and calories burned.

7. TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS– NFC Smartwatch with Best Battery Life

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra blows the competition out of the water with its 45-day battery life when you use it in Essential Mode. Of course, when you run it with all pistons firing in Smart Mode, the battery life falls to only a few days. Nevertheless, it’s fantastic, and even when you run it in the Essential Mode, it’ll track sleep, heart rate, and step count, along with showing you the time.

The Pro 3 Ultra has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display and uses Corning Gorilla Anti-Fingerprint Glass. The watch’s design is suitable for the rugged outdoors and comes with MIL-STD-810G grade durability. And it also gets an IP68 rating, allowing you to wear it while you go for a dip in the pool.

The watch is fully loaded and come with NFC, GPS, 21 workouts, and a full range of sensor that help track several fitness parameters. You can even track over 100 activities, both indoors and outdoors, to get a comprehensive report on your fitness levels.

Lastly, using Bluetooth, you can take calls over the watch when you pair it with your phone. And you can read texts and emails and get app notifications without taking your phone out of your pocket during your 5-mile run.

Our Take

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is an excellent device with every imaginable smartwatch feature. And that’s not even the best part, which has to be that it is considerably cheaper than some of the top-notch smartwatches on the market.

PROS
  • The 45-day battery life in Essential Mode.
  • You can track over 100 activities while wearing the watch.
  • It has a durable design with MIL-STD-810G grade toughness.
  • You can wear it when swimming.
  • Excellent price for the comprehensive set of features.
CONS
  • The bulky can come in the way of a good night’s sleep.
  • It uses an older version of Google’s WearOS.

Best Watches with NFC – Our Buying Guide

Consider these essential aspects along with NFC contactless payments.

Display

Screen brightness is seldom an issue, as smartwatch screens are bright enough to use in broad daylight. However, you may like to consider the size of the screen. Bigger screen sizes make it easier to conveniently navigate the menu but also add considerable bulk to the smartwatch making it difficult to wear while sleeping.

Voice Calls and Notifications

Several NFC-enabled smartwatches allow you to make and receive calls so that you don’t have to stop your workout to fish out your phone from your pocket. Alternatively, you can buy a smartwatch that’ll notify you of an incoming call, text, or app notification so you can respond to it in your own time.

Sensors

Smartwatches come with sensors to measure things like your heart rate, blood oxygen level, GPS position, and whatnot. While some essential sensors like an accelerometer or gyroscope remain common fixtures among smartwatches. Smartwatches with GPS tend to be expensive, so you should carefully choose the ones you’ll use. They are helpful but not always required, so you can look for a more cost-effective device and avoid paying for feature that you won’t use.

Water Resistance

IP68 and 5ATM-rated devices are safe for swimming, and you won’t endanger in any way. But it’s advisable not to wear your smartwatch while diving as the water pressure can damage these devices.

Watches with a 3 ATM rating will remain safe from the occasional water splash or if you get caught in the rain. But it would be best to avoid going swimming while wearing such watches.

Fitness and Sleep Tracking

NFC-enabled smartwatches invariably have many fitness and sleep-tracking features. Fitness tracking features are advanced and allow you to track extensive workouts in the gym or sports.

Sleep tracking features are an excellent way to analyze your sleep patterns to understand and improve your sleep quality.

Best Watches with NFC – Frequently Asked Questions

Are Watches with NFC safe for contactless payments?

While NFC is prone to easy hacking as a technology, the same cannot be said about NFC watches that allow contact payment. Good NFC-enabled smartwatches have a safety feature where you must enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to authenticate a payment.

Another way to secure yourself from the risk is by setting transaction limits on the number of transactions or the transaction amount. Some banks allow you to set these limits specifically for contactless payments.

How can I set up a smartwatch’s NFC contactless payment?

Your smartwatch manufacturer would include its payment app or integrate apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay to facilitate these payments. Typically, the process involves opening the app and manually feeding in the card details. But some specialized payment apps will go a step further and allow you to tap your card on your smartwatch and use the native NFC feature to capture the card details.

Can I use any bank card for NFC payment?

You need an NFC-enabled bank card to use contactless payment on your smartwatch. Look for the wireless symbol on the face of your card. It looks like a horizontal Wi-Fi symbol. If you see it, that means your card is NFC-enabled.

Can I use my NFC watch to make a payment without a smartphone?

Once you save the details of your NFC-enabled card on your smartwatch, you don’t need your smartphone (or bank card) to make a contactless payment.

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