Earlier this year, Shenzhen Xunlong introduced two new Orange Pi cellular IoT boards running Android – but no Linux distribution just yet – with Orange Pi 3G-IoT and Orange Pi 4G-IoT boards, with LTE bands suitable for Asia and most part of Europe, but not the US.
But boards are quite cheap, the 4G-IoT model recently got Android 8.1 Oreo support, if you’d like a display with the board, you can now buy various kits with touchscreen display and in some sets a power supply as well for $34.80 and up plus shipping, or the displays only for $14.80 and up.
Four kits have been launched so far:
- $34.80 Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A Set1 with Orange Pi 3G-IOT-A board powered by Mediatek MT6572 dual core Cortex A7 processor + 256MB RAM/512MB eMMC combo chip, and a 4.98″ TFT LCD touchscreen display (854 x 480)
- $39.80 Orange Pi 3G-IoT-B Set1 with Orange Pi 3G-IOT-B board powered by Mediatek MT6572 dual core Cortex A7 processor + 512 MB RAM/4GB eMMC combo chip, and 4.98″ TFT LCD touchscreen display (854 x 480)
- $64.80 Orange Pi 4G-IOT Set4 with Orange Pi 4G-IOT board based on Mediatek MT6737 quad core Cortex A53 processor + 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and a 5.5″ TFT LCD touchscreen display (960×540)
- $69.70 Orange Pi 4G-IOT Set5 with the same content as Orange Pi 4G-IOT Set4, but adding a 5V/3A power supply
Orange Pi 3G-IoT boards will ship with Android 4.4, while Orange Pi 4G-IoT board are apparently pre-loaded with Android 6.0, despite the Android 8.1 SDK being available.
The development boards should offer more flexibility than 4G phones, but for reference, you can find several 4G LTE Android smartphones for under $50 on Aliexpress. Just make sure to check the bands, and in some case double-check the phone can indeed support 4G connectivity, since some sellers are doing keyword stuffing adding “4G” even for 3G phones.