Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Sony Xperia S shows off NFC tech in our video

We go hands-on with the Sony's NFC tags, which allow you to load apps and change settings by tapping your Xperia S against a tag.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones, Photography, iOS, Android, gaming, outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
2 min read
Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure
This advertising widget is powered by Navi and contains advertisements that Navi may be paid for in different ways. You will not be charged for engaging with this advertisement. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, this advertising widget does not include information about every product or service that may be available to you. We make reasonable efforts to ensure that information in the featured advertisements is up to date, each advertiser featured in this widget is responsible for the accuracy and availability of its offer details. It is possible that your actual offer terms from an advertiser may be different than the offer terms in this advertising widget and the advertised offers may be subject to additional terms and conditions of the advertiser which will be presented to you prior to making a purchase. All information is presented without any warranty or guarantee to you.
Watch this: Sony Xperia S with NFC tags hands-on

We got our first look at the Sony Xperia S -- the first Sony phone to have dropped the Ericsson name -- over at CES and we're cautiously optimistic about its 720p screen, dual-core processor and unusual see-through strip design. Today we went hands-on again, to see what trickery it's up to with NFC.

NFC (that's near-field communications) is the technology that allows devices to communicate simply by touching. It's the same gubbins found in London's Oyster cards and we've been hearing for years that it'll revolutionise contactless payments, allowing you to pay for your shopping at the till just by tapping your phone on a reader.

Stuffed in the box with your shiny new Xperia S, however, you'll find four NFC tags (depending on your network -- not all will include them as standard) and each one can be programmed to activate a set of commands on your phone.

So what does that actually mean? Say you had an NFC tag in your bedroom. When you get in, you can tap your phone against the tag, which could automatically activate Wi-Fi, pair to your Bluetooth speaker and start up your music player to play your favourite tunes, all without having to even touch your screen.

There's any number of tasks you can associate with each tag -- the one in your office might automatically turn silent mode on, the one in your car might load up the GPS navigation.

We were only given a brief demo of the system, but it all seemed to work perfectly smoothly, so we're really looking forward to playing with the tags in our full review and seeing just what devilry we can conjure.