Top 9 2D Barcode Scanners

Isn’t it amazing that small 2D barcodes like QR codes store a huge amount of information inside them? With the leaps and bounds of technological advancements, our lives are surrounded by these barcodes nowadays. 

In fact, 2d barcodes like QR codes have become part of our common lexicon. Right from making online payments to directing customers to a landing website page, the uses of 2D barcodes are plenty.  

A 2D scanner is designed to capture and decode the message hidden in the barcodes. It employs sophisticated software and improved hardware components for the efficient and flawless reading of barcodes. 

This article will give you information about why 2D barcode scanner is needed, some FAQ’s, what to keep in mind before buying a barcode scanner, the top 9 2D barcode scanners, and how does 2D barcode scanner works.

Top 9 2D Barcode Scanners in India

Product (Best Brands)Average User RatingPrice RangeBest Price
Our Pick
User-Friendly Design
User-Friendly Design
The most easy-to-use barcode scanner
Barcode scanner with highest symbol contrast
Most value-for-money barcode scanner
Most portable barcode scanner
Most durable barcode scanner
Most premium looking barcode scanner

How 2D barcode scanners work?

(If you are curious about how in general barcode scanner works check out this article.)

The working technique of a 2D barcode scanner is very similar to that of 1D scanners. Both have an illuminator, scanner, and decoder to make sense of the codes.

As the names indicate, illuminators throw a beam of light or laser and capture the barcode image. Some 2D scanners take an image like a normal camera.

The image taken needs to be processed and scanned to make sense. This is where the scanner comes in. Different scanners use different technologies to detect the light reflected or the barcode present inside the image.

The scanned image is then sent to the decoder, which analyzes the image and takes the barcode’s information.

Where the 1D and 2D barcode scanners differ is mainly in the way that the barcodes are designed. 2D barcodes from the beginning have been created to improve the scanning speed and accuracy.

So, no matter the type and specifications of the 2D scanner, they will always be better than 1D scanners.

QR codes are a good example. They are made up of a combination of squares that form a block. The blocks themselves are many in number and together form the QR code.

The basic block present in every QR code is the finder pattern. This will always be the first block that a 2D barcode scanner will look at.

It is an assortment of squares used by the scanner to detect the size, direction, and alignment of code so that the barcode can be analyzed from the proper angle and orientation.

The next block that a 2D scanner would look at is the alignment block. It is a set pattern that allows the scanner to check wheater the barcode is damaged or distorted.

Due to the scanner’s ability to sense these things, even a QR code with an error in the form of blotches and distortions can be accurately scanned to provide the required information.

Other than the 2D barcodes, what impacts a 2D scanner most, is the software used inside the scanner. Unlike in 1D scanners, the software plays a very vital role in scanning.

The higher the price of the 2D scanner, the more sophisticated the software installed is. After the scanner scans the image, the software analyzes every minute aspect of the barcode. The analyzing ability is down to the software in recognizing the different black and white patterns.

Once the patterns are recognized, the scanner can make out which block is for verification and alignment purpose and which block contains the actual data that is needed by the user.

This analysis also helps in weeding out distortions that may make the code unreadable. To overcome this, 2D scanners make informed guesses like humans to correctly recognize the code.

Why 2D barcode scanners are needed?

The first thing that every consumer or business owner who is currently using 1D barcodes and scanners would ask is why they should switch from their current system and adopt the QR 2D barcodes and scanners.

There is an increasing amount of information fed into technological systems in the modern world, and it will only increase. So the main problem with 1D barcodes is the amount of information that they can store.

2D codes use a range of characters, boxes, shapes, etc. to store information instead of a 1D code, which only uses lines. This is why 2D codes can store a huge chunk of data.

In addition to the amount of information that 2D codes can hold, various information also varies a lot.

Due to the nature of the code, they can also store binary information in the form of images, voice notes, web-links, etc. as opposed to the alpha-numeric data that 1D codes store.

This plays a vital role in the modern-day and enables easy exchange of vital messages and data in the form of barcodes, adding another new use to barcodes.

Another reason why people should turn towards 2D barcodes and scanners is the cost factor. Both 2D scanners and 1D scanners are almost in the same range, which was not the case a few years ago.

Also, almost all 2D scanners being in active production can scan 1D codes too, making it a win-win situation for a buyer. They get the latest technology at the same price with no loss in functionality.

How 2D Barcode Scanners differ from 1D Barcode Scanners?

Reading Data and Scan Position

1D barcode scanners are horizontal and rectangular in nature, and that means the scanners can read only horizontal data.

Sometimes, the scanner needs to contact the barcode to get accurate results, but modern 1D barcodes can be scanned from a maximum distance of 24 inches. The scan position always needs to be upright to be able to scan the code properly.

On the contrary, 2D scanners can decode barcodes vertically and horizontally, from a vast distance and at any angle using the alignment blocks.

Form Factor

Both 1D and 2D barcode scanners come in various shapes and sizes convenient for different industries and businesses. The most common form factor for both is the “gun” style due to the portability that it offers.

However, they are also available in the countertop, cordless and mounted shapes for other industries.

The main difference nowadays is the use of smartphones for 2D barcode scanning due to the non-requirement of a database. This is a facility that 1D codes don’t offer.

Advantages of 2D Barcode Scanners

Greater Efficiency

Due to sophisticated software and other hardware developments in recent years, the 2D barcode scanners are way better at reading barcodes with minimal error rates.

The speed of scanning is also very high compared to 1D barcodes. Also, by using technology, human error can be reduced to the bare minimum.

Greater accessibility

In today’s time smartphones with 2D barcode scanners are as widely available as 1D scanners. The price of both types is also in the same range due to technological advancement.

Greater Mobility

2D barcode scanners are becoming wireless machines to facilitate easy mobility between various workstations or places.

They can easily be operated through WiFi, Bluetooth or smartphones. This, along with the absence of a need for a database, makes it very handy for people who need to move constantly inside a big warehouse, industry, etc.

Greater Versatility

Like everything in the modern world, 2D barcodes don’t have just one job. Along with scanning barcodes, they can simultaneously store images, website links, app data, etc. 

Many barcodes can be scanned simultaneously and from different angles too as almost all 2D scanners are omnidirectional in nature. Also, the code’s size can be varied to fit on a certain surface, unlike 1D barcodes.

1. Retsol D-2030 2D Barcode Scanner

Retsol D-2030- Most power
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The Retsol D-2030 provides an accurate reading from paper as well as phones and computers. 

This 2D scanner can even read blurred and incomplete barcodes at a fast speed. It has a rugged design and will last long even after drops or falls.

Here is a list of all the required specifications and features that will influence your buying decision

Main Features
  • The design of the barcode scanner is really ergonomic and sleek to hold and operate
  • Weighs around 130 gms, making it lightweight
  • The voltage required is 5V, and the current required is 300mA during operation.
  • The device captures the image size of 640*480 pixels.
  • The wavelength of the light emitted by the illuminator is 617 nm LED
  •  The barcode scanner supports USB interface
  • Reads all the common 1D and 2D barcodes currently in use
PROS (What we liked)
  • Ergonomic and sleek design so that can it can be handled without any problem
  • It is easy to hold and operate for a long time due to its lightweight
  • The skew angle is the standard 60 degrees
  • Low power consumption
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • A USB interface is supported
  • Print contrast could be better (only 25%)
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2. Henex 2D Barcode Scanner 

Henex HC-3208 is a handheld 2D barcode scanner that employs the most advanced decoding algorithm technology that makes it an ideal barcode scanner for decoding various complex 1D and 2D barcodes.

This 2D barcode scanner is designed for scanning on-screen barcodes on computers as well as smartphones.

It features an ergonomic design that provides comfortable manoeuvring. Thus, you can enjoy tireless working for long durations. 

The presence of a bright buzzer beeps along with red and blue LED indicators to provide fast feedback on the reading experience.  It is engineered for supporting multiple communication interfaces.

Main Features
  • This barcode reader comes with a plug-and-play design for easy operation. It does not require any driver or software. All you need to do is simply insert the USB drive inside your computer and it is ready to go
  • This machine comes with a dust-proof design that ensures its longer service life.  It can be used in various environments without sacrificing its efficiency
  • The scanner shows high compatibility with various systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • It works great with various application software such as word, excel, Novell, and other common software
  • It employs robust and advanced decoding algorithm technology to decode various complex 2D barcodes, including QR code, Maxicode, data matrix, PDF417, Aztec, etc.
  • It can also read various 1D barcodes including code 39 (with full ASCII), UPC-A and UPC-E, Code 9, ISBN / ISSN, code 128 & EAN 128, UPC / EAN / JAN,  Codabar (NW7),  EAN-8 and EAN-13,  IATA Code, JAN-8 and JAN-13, etc
  • This barcode scanner has a scanning distance of 20-250mm 
  • It features a 65° elevation / 30 ° / 55 ° scanning angle with 34° horizontal field of view and 28 ° vertical field of view
  • It provides a reading accuracy of 5mil and a printing contrast of 25%.
  • It comes with 1.8 meters cable, and its anti-fall height is 5 meters  
PROS (What we liked)
  • It is ideally suitable for barcode scanning in various businesses, industries, online payments, warehouse operations, logistics, retail stores, express delivery, library, etc
  • It provides a rapid-fast scanning speed of up to 200 scans per second
  • It is a convenient and easy-to-use barcode scanner that does not require any drivers or software for installation
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No negative points observed so far

3. Pegasus Barcode Scanner 

PEGASUS PS3160 2D QR Barcode Scanner
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The Pegasus PS3160 is an excellent choice for retail, education, government, and hospital operations to read bar codes from different media. It has a wireless connection and works with Windows, Linus, and Mac OS systems.

The hand-held bar code scanner has an ergonomic and sleek design that is comfortable to hold, and the simple plug and play operation makes it easy to use.

Main Features
  • It can read 1 D including UPC, EAN, Code 128, Code 39, Code 141, Matrix 2 of 5, Interleaved 2 of 5,  MSI Plessey, China Postal, Korean Postal, Gs1 DataBar, Codabar and 2 D bar codes like Hanxin, MicroQR, Aztec, Data Matrix, QR code, PDF417, Micro PDF417
  • Ideal for retail, government, education and hospital operations
  • It can work with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS systems
  • Capable of reading print on paper, mobile and computer screen
PROS (What we liked)
  • The ergonomic and lightweight design makes it comfortable to hold
  • Ensures fast and reliable scanning
  • User-friendly design, simply plug and play
  • The trigger is tested a million times and has a long life
  • It can read barcodes from different media
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No negative points were observed
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4. Zebra Barcode Scanner 

Zebra Symbol DS2208
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This product is one of the easiest barcode scanners to use today despite being one technically of the more advanced ones.

The USP of the device definitely has to be the Zebra patented PRZM software used to simplify the whole process. The rest of the features and important specifications are listed below.

Main Features
  • The connectivity tech used is wired with the option of using Bluetooth 
  • An LED provides the notification light with a beeper sound
  • The interfaces supported by the device include RS-232, USB, and keyboard wedge
PROS (What we liked)
  • The barcode scanner is straightforward to use for the first time user and workers won’t need training
  • The Zebra PRZM Software used by the company is one of the more sound software available for 2D barcode scanners
  • Bluetooth and wireless connectivity is provided as an option
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The skew angle is just 65 and can be improved for a barcode scanner which is this costly
  • The print contrast ratio could be better
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5. Honeywell 2D Barcode Scanner 

Honeywell Voyager 1452G2D
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Honeywell is one of the world’s leading brands when it comes to barcode scanners. They have an extensive range of products in every category and produce many electronic products other than barcode scanners.

Honeywell is largely responsible for making barcode scanners as popular as they are these days due to their continuous work to improve the devices.

The Voyager range is one of the highest-selling barcode scanners for Honeywell and the same is true for the 1452G2D. With the latest Bluetooth tech, it is operable up to 10 meters wirelessly. Here are its other features.

Main Features
  • The range of 2.4Ghz with adaptive frequency hopping Bluetooth technology version 2.0
  • The maximum data transmission speed of 1 MBPS
  • The battery of the barcode scanner is rated at 2400 mAh and is made up of Lithium-ion
  • The device can scan up to 50 thousand barcodes at one scan per second on a single charge
  • Maximum skew angle while scanning is 70 degrees
PROS (What we liked)
  • Honeywell products are always top quality
  • Symbol contrast of 35% is very good and better than other 2D barcode scanners
  • The Bluetooth version used is the latest available for barcode scanners, and the range of 10 meters is also quite good
  • The skew angle is also decent at 70 degrees and is enough these days
  • It weighs around 450 grams, making it easy to operate for a long time
  • It can scan from mobile phones
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It takes a lot of time to charge
  • The cost of maintenance is high
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6. Nadamoo 2D Barcode Scanner 

Nadamoo 2D Wireless Barcode Scanner
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Nadamoo is a brand from the US and is rustling the market with such products. When you look at the specs sheet, you will find that it doesn’t skimp on major features and even has better specifications than models placed above it.

One of the main USPs of this scanner is the vast Bluetooth range that it offers. However, that is not its only big feature. Here is a list of everything you need to know before buying this product.

Main Features
  • The frequency of the barcode scanner is stated to be 433 HZ
  • The pre-installed memory can store up to 1 lakh barcodes at a single time
  • The processor  of the scanner is the 32 bit ARM Cortex
  • Print contrast is less than 25%
  • The light source is a 650 nm LED
  • The scan speed is an impressive 260 scans per minute
  • The error rate is less than 1 per 20 million scans
  • It has 1200 mAh battery, and It takes 3 to 4 hours for the battery to be fully charged
  • The skew angle of the device is around 60 degrees, which is quite disappointing
  • The notifications are handled by a buzzer and an LED light
PROS (What we liked)
  • The price to performance ratio and value for money is very good
  • This brand offers bidirectional scanning capability at this price
  • The very low error rate and high scanning speed ensure that the user experience is always good
  • The battery life is another great aspect as it can go on for 10 days without charging
  • In the wired mode, the user can use a barcode while charging
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The contrast ratio is of 25%  which could be better
  • The skew angle of 60 degrees only which could be better
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7. Honeywell 1450G 2D Barcode Scanner

Honeywell 1450G2D
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The 1450G2D Honeywell 2D scanner is good and compact. This is a light product that can be used for menu processing, document processing, and inventory.It offers basic functions in a comfortable manner. Here are some of its specifications and features that you should be aware of.

Main Features
  • The 1450G2D is one of the most compact 2D barcode scanners around, and it weighs just 120 grams
  • The operating power required by the device is just 2W
  • The barcode scanner supports USB, RS232, keyboard, and even the RS485 interfaces
  • The 1450G2D is IP rated, and its rating is IP40
PROS (What we liked)
  • The skew angle of 70 degrees is very good and better than most 2D barcode scanners
  • The symbol contrast ratio of 35% is also great
  • Drop resistance of 1.5 meters is one of the highest for barcode scanners
  • It can decode all standard 1D and 2D barcodes that are available at present
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Expensive
  • It misses on features like advanced image capture and processing applications
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8. Un-tech  Barcode Scanner

Untech MS842 Wireless 2D barcode scanner
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Un-tech is a company relatively new to the barcode scanner industry. They are well-known manufacturers of computers, PDA’s and RFID for industrial purposes.

The Un-tech barcode is a 2D scanner that can also be used wirelessly to keep up with the current trend. The range of the wireless operation is one of its main USP’s along with the price factor.

It does have its share of pros and cons too. Here they are along with the essential specifications.

Main Features
  • It is plug and play. There is no need to install any external drive
  • Wireless operation for up to 50 meters indoors and 100 meters outdoors
  • Can recognize almost all standard 1D and 2D barcodes from screen or paper
  • This scanner has flash memory. It can store up to 2000 code128
  • This 2d barcode scanner applies to the POS system on supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries, bookstores, fashion stores, and magazine kiosks, etc
  • With its CMOS scanning technology, it can identify screen code, incomplete code, and fuzzy code, etc
  • The battery is 2000 mAh
PROS (What we liked)
  • Affordable
  • Decoding speed is 200times per second
  • It is durable and easy to use
  • It has two scanning modes,  trigger scan mode, and presentation mode.
  • The wireless range for indoors and outdoors is quite good
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The skew angle of 45 is very low
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9. Retsol D-3030 Barcode Scanner 

Retsol D-3030
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Retsol is an Indian company aiming to make huge strides in the barcode scanning segment and reduce the dominance of bigger international companies like Honeywell. 

Its products are quite affordable and aim to provide the best user experience possible.

It isn’t a wireless scanner like most of the products on this list, but its specifications are equal to or better than other 2D barcode scanners in the same segment. So here is a list of everything you need to know regarding the Retsol D-3030

Main Features
  • The D-3030 is quite compact in nature and weighs just around 340 grams, making it manageable to hold for long periods
  • It uses a voltage of around 5V and a current of 400 mA for normal operations
  • The image captured by it for scanning will have a resolution of 640*480 pixels like a lot of other barcode scanners.
  • The aiming light source is a 617nm LED with an illumination of 6500k
  • The skew angle is 60 degrees, which is average at best in the price bracket
  • The device doesn’t support wireless scanning and can only use USB cables as an interface
  • It can recognize all standard 1D and 2D barcodes that are currently being used
  • The print contrast is around 25%/ minimum reflective difference
PROS (What we liked)
  • The design is definitely a standout
  • Motion tolerance is a whopping 63 cms to avoid errors when moving fast
  • The drop resistance of 1.5 meters is quite good and makes it more durable
  • The less weight and size makes it easily operable
  • It is durable and performs quickly and well
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It has no wireless capability
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a 2d scanner read a QR code?

Yes. A QR code is a 2 D barcode that can be easily read by mobile phones and 2D scanners.

2. What is the difference between 2d barcodes and QR codes?

2D barcodes are black and white cells that are in a square or rectangle shape. QR codes are a type of 2D code that are black cells in a square grid on a white background.  

2D barcodes are used for encoding data and QR codes can be scanned across different types of barcode apps including 2D barcode scanners.

A QR code can hold more information than a 2D barcode containing information limited to particular details.

3. How do 2d barcode scanners work?

A 2D bar code scanner works by emitting a beam of light or laser from the illuminator to capture the bar code’s image.

The scanner then scans the barcode image using different technologies. The scanned image is then sent to the decoder to analyse the barcode and give you the relevant information stored in it.


Our top 3 choices are Hennex HC barcode scanner, Pegasus PS3160 barcode scanner and Retsol D2030 barcode scanner.

The 2D barcode scanners are designed to keep pace with technological advancements. These provide enhanced efficiency, mobility, and versatility than earlier 1D barcode scanners. These 2D barcode scanners reduce our time and effort to a great extent.  

As 2D barcode scanners store information by using boxes, shapes, characters, etc; these are widely used for storing large chunks of data including web-links, images, voice-notes, etc. 

Whether you are into manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, commercial printing, etc; a 2D barcode scanner is a valuable business tool for you that ensures quick, smooth, and efficient work productivity.


Hemanth Kumar

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