Orange Pi Zero 2W – A Raspberry Pi Zero 2W alternative with up to 4GB RAM

As its name implies the Orange Pi Zero 2W is an alternative to the Raspberry Pi Zero 2W with basically the same features and form factor, but equipped with a slightly more powerful Allwinner H618 quad-core Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.5 GHz, and more RAM options from 1GB to 4GB.

The new Orange Pi board comes with a mini HDMI port, two USB-C ports, WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless module, a microSD card for the OS, a 16MB SPI flash for the bootloader, the usual 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header, and a 24-pin “function” connector used for expansion boards and located where the camera connector is on the Pi Zero 2W.

Orange Pi Zero 2W

Orange Pi Zero 2W specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H618 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.5GHz with 1MB L2 cache and Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.0/2.0/3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.1
  • System Memory – 1GB, 1.5GB, 2GB, or 4GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash, microSD card socket
  • Video Output
    • Mini HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60
    • Video composite (CVBS) via “function” connector
  • VPU
    • VP9-10 Profile-2 up to 6Kp30
    • H.265 HEVC MP-10 @ L5.1 up to 6Kp30
    • H.264 AVC HP @ L5.1 up to 4Kp30
    • H.264 MVC up to 1080p60
  • Audio
    • Digital audio output via HDMI
    • Audio output via “function” connector
  • Connectivity
    • Dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 (CDTECH 20U5622 module) with external antenna
    • 100Mbps Ethernet via “function” connector
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 Type-C ports also used for power, 2x USB 2.0 interfaces on 13-pin header
  • Expansions
    • 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header with I2C, SPI, UART, PWM, GPIOs (See pinout diagram below for details)
    • 24-pin “function:” connector 10/100M Ethernet, audio output, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, IR receiver input, and signals for power button and 2x user buttons
  • Debugging – 3-pin debug UART
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via USB Type-C port; AXP313a PMU
  • Dimensions – 65 x 30 x 1.2 mm
  • Weight – 12.5 grams

Allwinner H618 Raspberry Pi Zero 2W

Orange Pi Zero 2W pinout diagram
Pinout diagram

Orange Pi says the Pi Zero 2W supports Android 12 TV, Debian 11, Debian 12, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Orange Pi OS (Arch). The new board does not show up in the Download section yet, but I’d expect software support to be similar to the Orange Pi Zero 3 SBC since it uses most of the same components but in a different form factor.

Orange Pi Zero 2W expansion board
Orange Pi Zero 2W connected to the expansion board

The optional expansion board is connected through an FPC cable and adds the following features:

  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Power and 2x user buttons
  • IR receiver

Raspberry Pi Zero 2W alternative Ethernet USB audioThe two boards can also be stacked and secured through the mounting holes with some standoffs.

It’s not the first Raspberry Pi Zero 2W alternative we’ve covered as the Radxa Zero was introduced over two years ago with an Amlogic S905Y2 SoC and the MangoPi MQ Quad launched last year with a similar Allwinner H616 processor as the H618 found in the Orange Pi Zero 2W.

As usual, Orange Pi is hard to beat when it comes to pricing their boards, and the Pi Zero 2W sells for $12.9 with 1GB RAM, $15.9 with 1.5GB, $18.9 with 2GB, and $23.9 with 4GB, while the expansion board adds $4.9. These are the prices you’ll find on Aliexpress, but the board can also be purchased on Amazon, and kits with the expansion board and/or a power supply are on a separate Amazon page. Additional details may also be found on the product page.

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15 Replies to “Orange Pi Zero 2W – A Raspberry Pi Zero 2W alternative with up to 4GB RAM”

  1. Seems good on paper, and the expansion board is cute too. I can’t remember ever seeing a 1.5 GB model of anything. Maybe a smartphone from 10 years ago.

      1. Sounds about right. Now I’m wondering what buyer will channel the Goldilocks fairy tale and reject the 1 GB and 2 GB options in favor of the just right™ 1.5 GB. Other than it being the only one in stock or something.

  2. Sounds good but it doesn’t fit my need. I really want something like this but with a camera interface(CSI) except of a silly expansion board.

    Would have really been great if it wasn’t for that.

    1. Interesting. I’m the opposite. I’d love more useful I/O and I’ve always felt saddened by the useless camera and display connectors I find on RPi type boards.

      It’s even more useful on such a small board as this which is I/O limited to start with.

      Whoever uses the display or camera FPC connectors on these boards?

      1. My first tought was DIY dashboard. Board is so small it could be easily hidden inside monitor case. IMO good way to repurpose old monitor.

        If you want to go step further with smart mirror, camera and display connectors are actually the only thing you need 🙂

  3. I had sooo much trouble with the OS when trying to substitute the original Pi Zero with a more powerful Orange Pi.

    I don’t want to bash Orange Pi in general, but upgrading the OS was just a nightmare, either a lot of errors or it didn’t work at all. At the end had to use images from some private person. Until I just dumped the hardware.

    Unmaintained images or from unknown source shouldn’t be the way to go, especially if you want to use the latest OS releases for security fixes.

  4. This could have been a better product if they had also considered the many Pi Zero hats that make use of pogo pins. So far it appears that Mango Pi boards are the only Pi Zero format boards that conform to that aspect of the Pi Zero format.

  5. Interesting, waiting for riscv…
    if it had more expansion boards… I’d like the lcd and cam cables, audio jack, and a mpcie

  6. It definitely looks like it has a mini HDMI port, not a micro-HDMI one. Which makes sense as Raspberry Pi zero 2w has the same port.

  7. It seems like xenglong are missing the point here, you can’t use wifi or Bluetooth without the external antenna
    And the antenna itself is taking a lot of space relatively to the board

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