Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now launched a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-M2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor.
BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports.
- SoC – Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Cortex A55 @ up to 2.0 GHz with an Arm Mali-G31 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4
- Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with HDR, CEC, EDID support
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 1×1 and Bluetooth 4.2 via Realtek RTL8821CU module
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, etc…
- Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
- Misc – Reset and user buttons; Power and status LEDs; IR receiver
- Power Supply – 5V/3A via power barrel (micro USB port does not support power input)
- Dimensions – 65 x 65mm
- Weight – 58 grams
The board can be seen as a cost-down version of Banana Pi BPI-M5 with less RAM, two fewer USB ports, and no audio jack, but otherwise the same features and specifications. As its name implies, it’s also an upgrade to the Allwinner H3 based BPI-M2+ board with a more powerful Amlogic S905X3 processor, more memory, USB 3.0 ports, and 4K video output, as well as a better wireless module, but without a camera interface. That also means the SBC is compatible with BPI-M2 accessories such as the metal enclosure shown below.
The company will provide Android 9 and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CoreELEC) images together with source code for the board, and some of the resources are already available on the Wiki, but somehow the firmware images are not available yet despite the board being up for sale. They should be similar, or even the same, as the image provided for Banana BPI-M5 which can be found in the relevant Wiki, and where I also notice a “HuaWei OpenEuler” image.
Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro board has just launched on Aliexpress for $61, while Banana Pi BPI-M5 goes for $66. Note that the latter was just $53 in March, so both boards appear to be victims of higher prices due to the current global chip shortage.
[Update: The post was initially published on the 4th of March 2021, and updated on May 28th as Banana BPI-M2 Pro became available on Aliexpress]
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.