The Most Useless Hardware of a Smartphone in India


What is the "Most Useless Hardware Feature" of a Smartphone?

To find it out, I did a poll on both YouTube and Twitter and I gave 4 Options.
  1. Wireless Charging
  2. NFC
  3. IR Blaster
  4. Flash Light
And Honestly, before the Polls, I thought most will choose Wireless Charging.
But the results were totally surprising.

Poll on YouTube

Poll on Twitter

With over 1100+ Votes that consists 547 Votes from YouTube and 659 Votes from Twitter,
You can clearly see that NFC (Near Field Communications) has the highest number of counts.

Now what led to this embarrassing defeat?
But most importantly, Why NFC is used Less yet gets Demand a Lot by many?


Its a wireless communication protocol that enables communication between two devices over a distance of 4cm or less.

If you don't understand, with this hardware, you can just tap on other device with your phone's back to make payments or do any specific task, like opening a smart lock or opening a door that has smart lock (yeah that's the same thing), or turning on lights, fans, setting alarm or navigation, and there are endless possibilities.

You just have to be creative, think about the action you need to do and set it according to your need. For an instance, lets say you have a Bluetooth speaker that supports NFC, and your Smartphone has NFC. To connect these two, you don't need to open Bluetooth Settings and then search for device, then tap pair while keeping the speaker in pairing mode. Nope, that's a long old fashioned way. You just tap on Bluetooth Speaker with your Phone and you are connected. Yes, that's how easy NFC makes many things in our life.

A Simple NFC Tag

And there are many NFC Tags sold in market that lets you customize them and make them use the way you want. For instance, Lets say you programmed these tags and stick it on your cars steering. Now whenever, you need to start navigation to your home, you don't need to open maps and search for your home and navigate. You just tap the sticker and the navigation begins.

So, if NFC works that good, and it makes our life so easy. Then why it isn't popular at least in our Country? And the reason is totally not related to tech.


Remember, When we were kids? We might have the best of the toys, but whenever we look at other kids and their toys, we felt like, we have nothing and we must have it too.

This influence led us with many things to play, yet very few which we actually play with.

The Same goes with NFC.
The tech behind NFC is great, the use cases of it is remarkable but one truth is also that our country hasn't fully adopted NFC.

When you look at western countries, they use contactless payments many times and in many places, and it has become a norm for them. Whether you are in shopping malls, gas stations or inside a restaurant, their machines are fully equipped with NFC.

But we on the other hand, we don't have that much scale of businesses that provides us an option to pay through NFC.

So, Most of the users who demand NFC, they do it just because, they are influenced by western countries and even they don't use it, they like to have it.

Wait, What? Am I Crazy? Why Am I being Controversial? Do I want to get boycotted by the peeps who really use NFC?

My Face While telling the Truth

Yes, its the truth. and that's how we Indians are. We want a lot of thing without thinking if we really need it or not? We want an Apple Sticker on the back of MI Phone just because we want it to show off, but do we really need it?

We want a transparent back cover for Apple iPhones just because we don't want the Logo to hide. We take our MacBook's in park and sit on a random bench and open the lid of the laptop even when we don't know what we are going to do with it.

Yes we do want a lot of thing. But do we really need NFC?


No matter, how much we want to have NFC in our smartphones, and premium phones will continue to have it. But truth is, we aren't going to use it a lot because India has already got beyond the NFC, an upgraded payment system was introduced, and its called as "UPI".

Look, When I said that western countries has fully adopted NFCs, have you considered a thought that why I gave all the examples related to businesses and their payments?
Even though NFC has the potential to do a lot, but sadly, the truth is, it is mostly used for payments and sometimes to connect Bluetooth devices.

And when the UPI (Unified Payment Interface) is released in India, it was a massive hit. Everyone can just scan a QR Code to pay through any payments app and transaction is successful in seconds.

So UPI hits the NFC business directly to its core and shakes it entire existence in our country.
Today, UPI is present in every corner of country, from small to big businesses, all accepts it.
Even if you go to buy something from a thela, they have UPI too.

And that was the limitation with NFC, that UPI overcame and become a worthy upgrade in the payments department.

The poor limitations with NFC is that its for the RICH.

To have a working NFC Payments mode, the payer needs to have NFC enabled smartphone that doesn't come cheap and the Payee needs to have a machine that accepts payments through NFC which also isn't cheap.

And the need to have a dedicated hardware for the NFC payments was a big disadvantage in a country where most smartphones sells under 20K and most businesses works in local streets in a populated area where even a vegetable seller will find it hard to keep a machine just to accept the payment.

image showing a simple NFC transaction

So, UPI on the other hand, boomed at larger scale.
Even if you just need to pay your friend, who doesn't even have a business.
You can pay him via UPI.

All you need to do, Open your camera, Scan his/her QR Code, type how much you want to pay and enter your pin.
And you are done.

So, Yes, UPI has many advantages over NFC, and that is one big reason that India never needed to adopt to NFC.

And I believe, We really don't need even in future.
All we need is to ditch NFC and continue improving UPI.


The purpose of NFC was bigger, just like Thanos who wanted to save the Universe because it was overpopulating and he saw bigger problems in future, but then he got deviated and thought that he needs to kill 50% of the population to solve the problem.

NFC did the same thing, It tried to save the Payments issue and make it easier but by providing its system to only the Riches while the other half who were in Middle Class or Poor Category, totally left out from its system.

The Result was evident, While NFC was inevitable, UPI identified itself as "I am Iron Man".

BTW, in the Poll Wireless Charging has been voted for the second least used Hardware feature of a Smartphone.

But that's a Story for some other day.
Most Wireless Charging Smartphones may have NFC, but most NFC Smartphones need not to have Wireless Charging.
Till Then,
Take Care and Keep Smiling.

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