Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC launched for $61

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.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 ProBanana Pi BPI-M2 Pro specifications:

  • 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
  • Connectivity
    • 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

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro specificationsThe 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.

Banana Pi Metal case

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]

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19 Replies to “Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC launched for $61”

      1. My $25 x96 max+ box (2/16 version shipped with psu,remote+cable) has printed a golden(!) 8k on the box and has a s905x3 inside…
        Anyway I can’t even test 4k (lack of screen and content) but I can tell 1080p works…

        So when it’s finally time for 16k then?

        1. 16K @ 30 Hz is just barely supported on DisplayPort 2.0… with Display Stream Compression. If HDMI and DP increase bandwidth again, it could get real.

          I think H.266 explicitly supports 16K, whereas H.265 is capped at 8K.

          From this info and more we can conclude that the industry will eventually push to make 16K a thing. At least for VR. Hooray!

          1. Did you ever know about the expression “waste of resources”? maybe not if you ask for 8320p of resolution.

            Is human being ever going to stop thinking more is better? I lost hope since I was a teenager. Poor world…

          2. Exactly what I was thinking! The only pixels you can see at 4k are the defective ones. 8K is just for vendors to have something better to sell. As for 16k… I hadn’t heard about it before that question!

          3. Higher than 4K resolution is relevant to VR headsets, and maybe niche specialty setups like that 292-inch microLED wall that Samsung showed off.

          4. I didn’t ask for 8K or 16K. I was just stating facts with some sarcasm.

            When I can go and grab an 8K TV for $200, maybe I’ll care about getting 8K output from an SBC.

    1. Because people just got 1080p. 4k30 isn’t even adopted. Maybe we will see that in 20 years or something. It’s kind of overengineering for now.

  1. Look at how deceptively they advertize the spec – “RT8821CU WiFi&BT 5.0 onboard”, when reality is that the RT8821CU only does Bluetooth 4.2!

    Same lie in the board’s picture as well.

    1. They don’t lie here, they’re just too stupid to realise how certain employees harm the company’s reputation for more than half a decade now. The person in charge of the wiki simply is not able to do proper documentation since not understanding that this requires more than vomiting some letters and numbers in random order into a document.

      BTW: the ‘5.0’ most probably should indicate the RTL8821CU being 802.11ac capable (WiFi 5).

      1. Same procedure as every year.

        I’m really wondering how sinovoip can still pay their employees…

    1. Not rare, it’s part of S905X4 specs. It still means 4Kp60 max only, except with a few features of HDMI 2.1 specs.

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