There have been some developments with regards to Espressif ESP32 in the last month since my post about upcoming ESP32 development boards. First ESP3212 module is no more, and has been replaced with ESP32-S module with about the same features, but it’s not pin-to-pin compatible, so the new module won’t work with older breakout boards made for ESP3212. ESP32-S is now out of stock on Seeed Studio, but you’ll find it on IC Station, Banggood, and others shops.
One good news is that it’s now easier to buy – or at least pre-order – ESP32 development boards, although stock may still be an issue, as the platform is very popular.
If you live in the US, you can now backorder “Sparkfun ESP32 Thing” for $19.95. ESP32 board can be powered by either a micro USB power supply or a LiPo battery, and exposes close to 30 I/O pins. ESP32 developer board is still listed on Adafruit for $15, but you can’t pre-order it now, only asked to be notified once it becomes available.
Europeans may prefer purchasing from ESP32-Coreboard from Olimex for 17 Euros, but again it’s out of stock right now. Another option is Pycom WiPy 2.0 breadboard-friendly module going for 19.95 Euros, but you may consider getting the expansion board too for a total of 35.99 Euros if you want to easily power it through a USB power supply or a battery, and add storage via a micro SD slot. You’ll find both options in Pycom online store. WiPy 2.0 board also differs from competitors, as it’s designed to be programmed with (micro) Python.
In South East Asia, Gravitech sells their NANO32 IoT development board for 690 Baht / $20. Like most (all?) other boards mentioned here, NANO32 is breadboard friendly, it includes two user buttons, and can be powered via its micro USB port.
All shops above will also ship all around the world, but if you want to pay less in shipping, and potentially avoid custom fees, it’s always good to check for local options. If you live in other continents, or the board you want is out of stock, buying directly from China is also an option.
A.I Thinker has just listed their NodeMCU-32S on Aliexpress for $24.50 including shipping, with basically the same features as ESP8266 based NodeMCU 1.0, but upgraded to ESP32 providing both WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity.
Widora AIR is also up for sale for $14.88, but once shipping is included it adds up to $22.25. The board is also powered via its micro USB port, comes with two user buttons, and 2x 20-pin headers. It should be noted it’s quite cheaper on Taobao where the company offers it for 60 CNY ($8.88), so I think due to the mismatch between demand and supply, ESP32 boards are quite more expensive than they’d be in a few months, and I’m guessing price with shipping should eventually conerge towards $12 to $15 for NodeMCU types of boards.
If got most of the links to the boards through ESP32.net main page, where the community currently keeps tab of sellers of ESP32 modules and development boards.
One the software side, Espressif has now published Arduino core for ESP32 on their github account, which may not have all the new features of ESP32 yet, such as Bluetooth support, and it requires a “manual” installation, but you should be able to program ESP32 boards through Arduino IDE like you do on ESP8266 boards.
If you prefer NodeMCU / Lua programming, some progress has been made for NodeMCU firmware for ESP32, and while development is taking longer than expected since Espressif moved from RTOS- SDK used with ESP31B beta board to IDF SDKm you can get mostly working code through dev-esp32 branch, and follow the status on github.