Orange Pi 4G-IoT Development Board Launched for $45

Last year, Shenzhen Xunlong Software launched Orange Pi 2G-IoT board for just $9.90. Pricing was incredibly aggressive for a cellular board, but AFAIK the RDA Micro processor used in the design had never been used with Linux so for many people using the board was a challenge (and maybe still is), and some countries have already started to sunset 2G networks.

So it only made sense for the company to work on a 4G board, and that’s exactly what they have done with Orange Pi 4G-IoT now launched for $45 + shipping on Aliexpress.

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Orange Pi 4G-IoT specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT6737 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.1/1.3 GHz with Arm Mali-T720MP1 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI, LCD display interface with touch panel support
  • Audio – 3.5mm earphone jack, built-in microphone
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • nano SIM card slot
    • “GSM” antenna + diversity antenna
    • 2G – GSM @ 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    • WCDMA – B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
    • TD-CDMA
    • CDMA2000
    • LTE Cat 4 [Update May 2018: The bands listed below may not be fully correct, waiting for details]
      • FDD-LTE – B1/B2/B3/B4/B7/B107/B20
      • TDD-LTE – B38/40/41B
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS with antenna
  • Camera – 25-pin ZIF connector for 13MP camera
  • USB – 3x USB host ports, 1x micro USB port (only for flashing firmware)
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, fingerprint (how?)
  • Expansion – 40-pin header with 2x SPI, 3x I2C, 2x UART, 1.8V
  • Misc – IR receiver, power key, power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel jack; battery support through “weld plate”
  • Dimensions – 85 x 55 mm

Mediatek MT6737 is a low cost LTE application processor for smartphone, so it’s no surprise the board can run Android 6.0, but for now at least there’s no word about Linux support. As usual, an Orange Pi board with a new processor (in dev boards) should only be suitable for the most adventurous among us 🙂

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39 Comments
oldest
newest
3 years ago

FDD B2 and B4 — this might actual work in the USA on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile.

3 years ago

I ordered one. I have been looking for a phone chassis to OEM for a long time and none of the phone chip vendors would talk to us.

I found the CPU manual.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X3iKl8Kx_eqfqYqAA-Qwe3rzDSseLM2x/view?usp=sharing

zoobab
3 years ago

I wonder if Freeswitch GSM-Open module will be able to run on this. I used it with an Huawei dongle to route calls through VoIP:

https://freeswitch.org/confluence/display/FREESWITCH/mod_gsmopen

3 years ago

Video in this chip is useless – encode 720P MPEG4 at 15Mb/s. No h.264 encode support.
What is the point in having dual 8MP MIPI camera support with no ability to encode it?

Maybe this is a MT6737T? It supports 30FPS 1080P h.264.

are
are
3 years ago

Wow, LTE, crazy.

What’s current usage for the board?

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 years ago

Jon Smirl, machine vision or surveillance, perhaps? Not everything is about television.

Ankit
Ankit
3 years ago

The most useful list I have seen on internet. thanks a lot ! Do share what board you are using for your IOT

benjamin
benjamin
3 years ago

No battery support is a huge fail, just like with 2G-IOT. Whats the point of such board, if you can’t power it via battery ?

benjamin
benjamin
3 years ago

I’ll believe this when i see it tested. 2G-IOT also had pads for battery, but it turned out there is no hardware (step up regulators for one) to support this, just pads for show.

3 years ago

I want to be able to use the camera to remotely view what the device is seeing. The encoder on this chip is too poor to handle reasonable remote viewing of the video. This chip needs 15Mb/s bandwidth for the camera. An h.264 stream only needs about 2Mb/s. They need to switch over to the MT6737T to get a modern h.264 video encoder, not MPEG4 from 2002.

parrotgeek1
parrotgeek1
3 years ago

I’m not sure where you’re getting this information, but according to MediaTek’s own website (and my own experience) it can encode h264 at at least 720p60

Jon+Smirl
3 years ago

Will they switch onto the MT6737T in the next batch they make?

3 years ago

mt6737:

Video Encoding: MPEG-4
Video Encoding FPS: 30 @ 720p

You must have the MT6737T version which can do h.264

3 years ago

parrotgeek1, do you have a MT6737 or a MT6737T?

Szymon
Szymon
3 years ago

I guess this is another rubbish without CE/FCC…

theguyuk
theguyuk
3 years ago

Well good they innovate but Orange Pi always lets themselves down, on software and after support.

Also now they have given themselves two mobile SoC to support, 2g -IoT Soc and this 4G IoT Soc.

3 years ago

My 4G-IOT board has arrived. I powered it on an hooked it to an HDMI monitor. Four monitors later I found one that will work with the odd 720P mode it defaults to. This default needs to be changed to a more common 1080P mode. I have not verified cellular yet since it takes a mini-SIM card and I had to order one. Mouse and keyboard work from the USB port. It is likely that USB Ethernet will also work, but I did not try, I did download the Android 6 source and it does build and produce an image.… Read more »

boggyb
boggyb
3 years ago

Ran CPU-Z and found that the board is based on MT6735 with 2GB ram and 16GB rom. Tried H264 encode using mediacodec and surprisingly it supports AVCProfileHigh AVCLevel3.

3 years ago

I am wondering if this is a mt6637v which I have zero info on. I don’t want to unsolder the sheild and look. /Proc/cpuinfo says it is mt6737

3 years ago

I meant MT6737V

boggyb
boggyb
3 years ago

As per “Orange Pi 4G-IOT_V1.1_Schematic.pdf” the soc is based on MT6735

3 years ago

I believe those are just generic schematics and do not accurately reflect the board. For example the LTE filters in the schematics are for China and the board is supposed to support US and EU bands too.

3 years ago

Did it actually encode the video? Or just a report saying encoding was available?

theguyuk
theguyuk
3 years ago

Does cpu-z just report what the programmer told it too, for ages it reported Amlogic SoC as 2GHz.

boggyb
boggyb
3 years ago

Yes it did, i do not have a compatible display so I used https://github.com/amitv87/remote_access/tree/master/android to control it from my browser. You can check for the profile constants here https://developer.android.com/reference/android/media/MediaCodecInfo.CodecProfileLevel OMX.MTK.VIDEO.ENCODER.AVC profile/level: 1/1 profile/level: 1/2 profile/level: 1/4 profile/level: 1/8 profile/level: 1/16 profile/level: 1/32 profile/level: 1/64 profile/level: 1/128 profile/level: 1/256 profile/level: 8/1 profile/level: 8/2 profile/level: 8/4 profile/level: 8/8 profile/level: 8/16 profile/level: 8/32 profile/level: 8/64 profile/level: 8/128 profile/level: 8/256 guess this is soft encoder OMX.google.h264.encoder profile/level: 1/1 profile/level: 1/2 profile/level: 1/4 profile/level: 1/8 profile/level: 1/16 profile/level: 1/32 profile/level: 1/64 profile/level: 1/128 profile/level: 1/256 profile/level: 1/512 profile/level: 1/1024 profile/level: 1/2048 profile/level: 1/4096 profile/level: 2/1… Read more »

onebir
onebir
3 years ago

Another one, but more expensive (Amlink M100)
https://shop159653367.world.taobao.com/index.htm

3 years ago

We are trying to get info on this module for $19.
https://detail.1688.com/offer/555199524149.html?spm=b26110380.sw1688.mof001.67.543c58701WKk4Z

This Amlink M100 is $55 which is $10 more than the 4G-IOT ($45) which contains at least $7 more worth of extra hardware (antennas, HDMI converter support, USB hub, GPIO header, etc).

3 years ago

There are a lot of finished phone on the market using this MT6737 CPU: https://www.kimovil.com/en/compare-smartphones/f_dpg+id.87 The Nokia 1 ($110) is easy to disassemble and it has US bands. https://www.kimovil.com/en/where-to-buy-nokia-1 Personally I prefer the Umidigi A1 which uses the more recent MT6739 (support is in the OrangePi Mediatek code). https://www.kimovil.com/en/where-to-buy-umidigi-a1-pro $100, US bands, better screen, camera, etc. For the stuff I am working on it is probably better to use a finished phone which has real FCC, CE, etc approval. And is running a Google GMS certified image with monthly updates. You can then use USB to attach external hardware. This… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
3 years ago

Hi Jon

What stops people just using a phablet if you require a bigger screen?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Cubot-J3-PRO-4G-Phablet-5-5-Inch-Android-GO-MT6739-Quad-Core-1-5GHz-1GB/32882099240.html?

3 years ago

It has Chinese LTE bands – FDD-LTE B1 /B3 /B7 /B8 /B20. I think those bands work with one EU carrier. Needs B2/B4 at a minimum for USA. Umidigi A1 and Nokia 1 have US LTE bands. On kimovil you can put in the country you are living in and it will tell you if the phone is compatible with carriers in that country. 4G-IOT has same problem, the bands it supports don’t work in the USA. MT6739 performance is way better than MT6737. I have one of each phone and it is obvious which one is faster. I can… Read more »

Cjcr07
3 years ago

Hello,

Someone can tell me how it works the GPS module? is ok?
And what about accelerometer? is really or fake? works well?

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