NFC tags; about Tectiles, SmartTags, Tag+, Mifare and much more

NFC tags; about Tectiles, SmartTags, Tag+, Mifare and much more

You find a ton of information about tags on these pages, and still updating to make it as complete as possible. A mix of tips, tricks, facts, known problems, user feedback.

Buy NFC Tags with universal compatibility

4 standardized Tag types by NFC Forum

The NFC Forum has mandated four tag types to be operable with NFC devices. This is essential for interoperability between different NFC tag providers and NFC device manufacturers to ensure a consistent user experience.

From the definitions of the different NFC tag types, it can be seen that type 1 and 2 tags are very different to type 3 and 4 tags, having different memory capacity and makeup. Accordingly it is expected that there is likely to be very little overlap in their applications.

Type 1 and type 2 tags are dual state and may be either read/write or read-only. Type 3 and Type 4 tags are read-only, data being entered at manufacture or using a special tag writer.

– Tag Type 1, ISO14443A based;

Products; Jewel, Innovision (Broadcom) Topaz 96 and 512 bytes

Data access; Read/re-Write or read only, users can configure the tag to become read-only

Memory; 96 Bytes, expandable up to 2 kbyte

Speed; 106 kbit/s

Cost; Low

– Tag Type 2, ISO14443A based:

Products; Ultralight (UL) 48 bytes, about 40 characters, Ultralight C (ULC) 148 bytes, about 130 characters, NTAG203 144 bytes, about 130 characters, Infineon my-D Move and NFC, Kovio 2K.
NEW; NTAG210, NTAG213, NTAG215 and NTAG216 will offer respectively 48, 144, 504 and 888 bytes of user memory

Data access; Read/re-Write or read only, users can configure the tag to become read-only

Memory; 48 bytes – 148 Bytes, expandable up to 2 kbyte

Speed; 106 kbit/s

Cost; Low

– Tag Type 3, Sony Felica, JIS X6319-4, Nfc-F:

This NFC tag type is more applicable for more complex applications.

Products; Sony FeliCa Lite 224 bytes, Sony FeliCa 4K 4096 bytes, RC-S965, RC-S888

Data access; Read/re-Write or read only

Memory; 1, 2, 4, 9 KB

Speed; 212 kbit/s

Cost; High

– Tag Type 4, ISO1444-3A Nfc-A and ISO1444-3B Nfc-B compatible, ISO14443-4, ISO7816-4:

These NFC tags are pre-configured by manufacturer.

Products; MIFARE DESFire 2048 / 4096 / 8192 bytes, NXP SmartFX with JCOP, Inside secure MicroPass 4101 2K, MicroPass 4101-2K (MiFare DESFire EV1 tags must be pre-formatted before they can be used with a BlackBerry.)
Inside secure VaultIC 151D/161D with 1.5 / 16 Kbyte

Data access; Read/re-Write or read only

Memory; up to 32 kbytes

Speed; between 106 kbit/s and 424 kbit/s

Cost; Medium/High

Comments and feedback are very welcome, for Joao and other visitors.

About the author

Joao Rostli


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  1. steven

    How do I prevent NFC tag cloning?
    Can WP8.1 device read the UID of a NFC tag?

    1. Joao Rostli

      NFC tags have no guaranteed protection against cloning.
      WP 8.x devices cannot read UID at the moment.

    2. Tag NFC

      About cloning, if you mean copying what’s written in the Tag, you can’t protect it.
      But the UID, instead, that is unique and not falsifiable.

  2. Liam Caffrey

    Does the new anticollision feature on NTAG21X tags mean that several tags can be read by an NFC reader at the same time (i.e. identify the NDEF from multiple tags (say 3 or 4) in a single presentation).

    If so, will existing NFC phones be able to take advantage? Also, will the existing Android SDKs be able to handle anticollision?

    1. Joao Rostli

      Sorry, I can’t answer your questions.
      Look at http://www.nxp.com for anticollision info.
      More info about Android SDK’s at http://www.stackoverflow.com.

  3. Mark

    Any confirmation as to which chips are inside the TecTiles 2? I’ve heard Type 4 but I’m curious how much they hold and which tag they are.

    1. Joao Rostli

      Update April ’13; “Some of them seem to be spotted already, type 4, 884 byte tags.”
      Since April I didn’t found more info about the Tectiles 2.
      Joao Rostli recently posted..LG D605 phone with new Broadcom BCM43341 quad-combo (+ nfc) chip My Profile

      1. Mark

        Thanks. I know they were using the Mifare 1K’s with the first generation of TecTiles but I can’t find what they’re using for the second round (other than what you posted). Yeah, info seems to peter out after the initial announcement of a product.

        1. Joao Rostli

          “Genuine Samsung TecTiles 2 NFC Tags MIFARE DESFire EV1 1K Type 4 Tag” I saw on Ebay, but not a Samsung advertisement.

          1. Mark


  4. THG


    This is a very interesting article and a wonderful job! However you don’t mention anything about NFC-v (vicinity mode). It’d be relevant that you complete this comprehensive review of the NFC ecosystem with a section about NFC-v chips such as NXP icode family.

    I work a lot with this product and til now we know that is readable with Android and BB handsets. Moreover I heard that Windows is evaluating it to update its NFC API sooner or later. At last another rumor let me believe that the NFC forum has a dedicated chair working an it as well.

    I’ll be glad to exchange with anybody interesting in NFC-v and may be bring additional intelligence to the discussion.


    1. Joao Rostli

      THG, thank you very much for your contribution.
      I’ll put it on my to do list.
      Joao Rostli recently posted..HTC FirstMy Profile

  5. Randy

    What software can I use to program tags using a pc?

    Can i write a tag to turn off my phone or go into silent mode? I want to do this for windows and android.


    1. Joao Rostli

      The nfc reader/writer should come with software included. Check before you buy one.
      Sorry, no idea about programming options.
      Joao Rostli recently posted..New Samsung phones with Visa nfc contactless payments appMy Profile

  6. dsethia

    Thanks for the detailed post. Are NTAG21x tags compatible with Android Samsung phones like s3? Are there any apps specific to add signature and password protection?

    I am looking for secure write protected reusable tags that can be used in healthcare for tagging medicines, and other healthcare entities. any suggestions will be very helpful.

    1. Joao Rostli

      “Are NTAG21x tags compatible with Android Samsung phones like s3?” NTAGs are compatible with all nfc enabled phones.
      “write protected reusable tags” Most write protected tags are not reusable.
      Maybe helpful;
      1 Apps like “NFC ReTag” or “Anytag nfc launcher” do associate functions to a specific NFC Tag via an app internal database. These apps write nothing to the tag.
      2 (latest) Tectile app; Creates private TecTile tags that only the owner’s phone can read. The app can Unlock a previously locked TecTile. (Samsung’s tectile is a mifare classic tag and not compatible with all nfc enabled devices)

      Possibly a professional solution with type 4 tags exists?

  7. Glynn

    I found a great place for cool android themed tags is andytags.com – they have Mifare classic 1k and the ntag203 kind. Also have cool design and bunch of different colors

    1. Joao Rostli

      thank you Andy

  8. makandi

    thank u for this usefull subject.

  9. Tyler

    I can’t seem to find any specs anywhere. What’s a good replacement for the LG tag+ tags? Since I can’t seem to find any of those to buy anywhere either.

    1. Joao Rostli

      Yes, hard to find more info about tag+ tags. With an android phone, practically all tags are o.k.. In the worst case (pre-installed LG apps don’t work with other tags) you must install another nfc app. In Google play store, good and free apps available, NFC Task Launcher is very popular.
      Don’t forget to make the new app default.
      Joao Rostli recently posted..Asus PadFone 2 ann.My Profile

  10. panapena

    anyone has experience reading ISO 14443 typ B – cards with Nexus S or galaxy III or lumia 920?

    1. Joao Rostli

      This must be about forum type 4 tags ?
      Feedback from Lumia 920 owners will be difficult to find…

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