After the launch of the cheapest Raspberry Pi’s single-board computer, Raspberry Pi Zero, we have seen several alternatives coming to the market. With the same form factor and minimalistic design, this board integrates an Amlogic S905Y2 SoC with quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor core running at a clock frequency of 1.8GHz. Some similar alternatives include the popular Banana Pi M2 Zero that came with Allwinner H2+ SoC but the clock frequency of Radxa Zero outperforms all these alternatives.
With the same form factor, the device comes with a rich set of physical connectivity through 40-pin GPIOs, a USB 2.0 Type C OTG, and one USB 3.0 Type C host. Along with this, the small hardware also supports HDMI 2.1 for video output at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. On the wireless connectivity, similar to Raspberry Pi Zero W, Radxa Zero also supports WiFi4/BT4 or WiFi5/BT5 depending on the variant.
Features of Radxa Zero
- CPU: Amlogic S905Y2 SoC with quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor core @ 1.8GHz
- GPU: Mali G31 MP2
- RAM: LPDDR4 512MB/1GB/2GB/4GB
- Flash storage: eMMC 5.1 flash storage of 8/16/32/64/128GB with MicroSD up to 256GB
- Wireless connectivity: WiFi4/BT4 or WiFi5/BT5
- HDMI: Micro HDMI, HDMI 2.1, [email protected] HDR
- Video: H265/VP9 decode [email protected]
- Peripherals: 1x USB 2.0 Type C OTG, 1x USB 3.0 Type C host, 40Pin GPIO, ADC/UART/SPI/PWM
Given the high performance on such a small board, the manufacturer has designed this with Mali G31 MP2 GPU and integrated RAM options (LPDDR4 512MB/1GB/2GB/4GB). When it comes to choosing an SBC that can deliver high performance along with low cost, then this can be a better alternative as this supports a maximum of 4GB LPDDR4 RAM which is 8x more than the Raspberry Pi Zero W. But it is important to note that, this comes with a drawback if in case you plan to use Raspberry Pi HATs, then this won’t be able to support it.
When it comes to storage, the Radxa Zero comes with eMMC 5.1 flash storage of 8/16/32/64/128GB and an optional MicroSD card that is expected to support storage up to 256GB. The board adds on with a cryptographic accelerator that performs computationally intensive cryptographic operations. The hardware supports Android 9, but since the manufacturer has already done Armbian booting, it will be the official OS.
The board starts from $15.00 for 512MB LPDDR4 RAM with WiFi4/BT4 and goes up to $45.00 for the 4GB LPDDR4 RAM with 16GB eMMC, WiFi5/BT5 variant. More details are available on the Radxa community page.