The Galaxy S10's fancy LED case disables the phone's NFC

The Galaxy S10's fancy LED case disables the phone's NFC
Samsung’s brand new Galaxy phones seem to be everywhere this past week, and for good reason. Everyone that has had access to one of the devices says they’re some of the best phones ever made. However, Samsung didn’t bring new and innovative technology only to its smartphones. The company’s brand new LED cover for the new Galaxy S10 phones has some unique features as well.

The LED cover has tiny LED lights embedded on the back, which can be configured to display various things, from emoticons and a timer whenever you’re using one to take a picture, to a so-called “mood lighting”. Overall, it sounds pretty cool and we’re sure many will enjoy the interactiveness it offers besides the protection of your precious new phone.


As we were admiring the LED cover in person at MWC, we decided to check if a suspicion we had about the intricate case will prove to be true. And sadly, it did.

According to the message that shows up when you turn on the LEDs of the case “NFC isn’t available while using Light control”. This means that as long as the LED functionality of the cover is used, the NFC on your Galaxy S10 phone will automatically be turned off. That means no Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or any other features that rely on NFC to function. Whenever you want to use it, you’d have to go to the LED cover menu and literally turn off the lights.

Of course, the circuitry embedded in the case to make the LEDs work is the culprit to blame for this unfortunate drawback. Whenever power is running through it, it's likely interfering with the NFC signal, so for safe measure, Samsung decided to disable it completely.

To be fair, that’s really only a drawback if you use NFC often and the hassle of turning the cover LEDs on and off would be too much. But from our observations, most people aren’t that deep into an NFC ecosystem yet. For those that are, however, this means they’ll have to rely on a cover without mood lighting. What a bummer!

These cases aren’t available for purchase yet, so there is a slight chance that the final version will allow both the LEDs and NFC to work at the same time, but we wouldn’t bet on it.

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14 Comments

1. androiduser

Posts: 511; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

The s10 is the best phone by far now, but i prefer the pixel because of updates. I'm gonna wait for the pixel 4 and if it is disappointing I'll wait for the s11 and get that, at least it will come with the new ufs 3.0 and ddr5 ram

2. LawnBoy

Posts: 198; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Maybe the best phone but fell far behind in the camera department

3. androiduser

Posts: 511; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

Fell far behind what? But yeah its not the best camera, pixel 4 will excel in that department tho

5. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

It has the highest rear camera DxOmark along with the Mate 20 Pro, and the highest front facing camera Dxomark, the pictures it takes are amazing, best currently IMO with the Pixel 3.

4. libra89

Posts: 2294; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I guess this case will sell in very small quantities then.

6. slim3bdo

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

What a stupid article , So either get use to turning a setting off , which take 2 seconds btw , or if you so dependent on NFC then dont get , its just like everthing else in this world , not all things ment for all ppl , and to simplify it for you bright brain , its just like airpods they don't fit everyone . Really really stupid article .

8. Kdk2020

Posts: 42; Member since: Apr 27, 2016

My thoughts exactly

9. georgi.z

Posts: 12; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

The idea of the article is to inform people about the interaction between the case and NFC, which won't be obvious for most potential buyers of the case. What they'll decide to do after knowing that is, of course, up to them.

11. slim3bdo

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

It does not an entire article about one negative thing about the casr , look at your title , what did u emphasize on , try to learn . If this article was about reviewing the case then its stupid article when you point the one negative thing about it in the title and your main body of the artcle . Stop this bad journalism

14. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

You just don't get it. They posted this article just because the case is really nice people would buy it but if they did know it blocks the nfc some would prefer another case. If they didn't know they would've waisted their money.

7. nique0201

Posts: 62; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

Samsung pay can still be used with the magnetic tech they put in the device.. I've never used the NFC version on it. The magnet is cooler.

10. Vyshak75

Posts: 79; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

I played with a S10e today in a store. Wow... such a nice and compact device

12. andynaija

Posts: 1262; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Samsung Pay will still work without NFC, utilizing MST.

13. Speedeze

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 28, 2019

Just thought i'd drop in to say as I found this article while trying to work out if NFC works or not. I have the case now and the Quick start guide says to set up NFC before installing the case. From the wording in the manual it implies you cant use NFC while in the LED settings. "Verify that the NFC function is working properly before using the device with LED functions or Theme Curation Service feature active" It also states the case has a NFC Antenna and the LED cover does not work while wireless charging. Fingers crossed NFC works with the case on :)

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