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Wireless crazed Orange Pi boasts 4G LTE, WiFi, BT, FM, and GPS

Mar 23, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 4161 views

The “Orange Pi 4G-IOT” SBC that runs Android 6.0 on a quad -A53 MediaTek MT6737 SoC, and offers a 40-pin header, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, GPS, a 4G LTE radio, and fingerprint sensor support.

Shenzhen Xunlong open spec Orange Pi 4G-IOT SBC, which just launched for $45 on AliExpress, is the most wireless savvy Orange Pi to date. The open-spec SBC includes an unnamed, 4G LTE radio module with mini-SIM card slot, as well as a combo module that includes WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS. There is also support for a fingerprint sensor.



Orange Pi 4G-IOT with external antennas
(click images to enlarge)

The Orange Pi 4G-IOT name riffs on last year’s $10, 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE equipped Orange Pi 2G-IOT, but the boards have little in common except for their integrated cellular capability and their lack of an Ethernet port. The only other similarity with the 68 x 42mm 2G-IOT is that unlike almost all other Orange Pi models, neither uses an Allwinner SoC. The Orange Pi 4G-IOT’s quad-core, Cortex-A53 MediaTek MT6737 SoC is more mainstream than the 2G-IOT’s Cortex-A5 based RDA Microelectronics RDA8810PL, which also appeared on the Orange Pi i96.

The R.9 Cat-4 LTE ready MT6737 SoC is clocked from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz, according to MediaTek. There’s also a high-end, up to 650MHz Mali-T720 MP1 GPU. We’ve never seen the Android focused MT6737 show up on a hacker board, and as suggested by the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the launch, Linux support may take a while. For now, Android 6.0 is available.



Orange Pi 4G-IOT front and back detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Orange Pi 4G-IOT is typical of many Orange Pi boards in that it has a Raspberry Pi like footprint (85 x 55mm) and 40-pin expansion header. You get 1GB of DDR3, 8GB of eMMC, and a microSD slot.

An HDMI port is available along with LCD and camera connectors. There’s also a mic and an earphone jack. The Orange Pi 4G-IOT is further equipped with 3x USB OTG host ports, a micro-USB port, and an IR receiver.

There’s also a PRX receiver, which appears to be the source of the listed fingerprint reader support. The photo shows the PRX attached to something that may be a proximity sensor gizmo rather than a fingerprint reader. There are also similar looking card-like external antennas provided for the WiFi combo and LTE radios, which are likely to be optional.

As you can see, there are still some details missing here. Although this is claimed to be an open source board, at publication time there was no wiki or product page on the Orange Pi website.

Specifications listed for the Orange Pi 4G-IOT include:

  • Processor — MediaTek MT6737 (4x Cortex-A53); Mali-T720 MP1 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB of DDR3
    • 8GB of eMMC
    • MicroSD slot with hot-plug support
  • Display/Media:
    • HDMI port for HD resolution
    • LCD interface with capacitive touch support
    • 13-megapixel camera interface (25-pin ZIF)
    • 3.5mm earphone UI/O audio jack
    • Mic
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS combo module
    • 4G LTE module (FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B7/B17/B20; TDD-LTE B38/B40/B41B; GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA B1-B8,
    • Mini-SIM card slot
    • Diversity receiving part (antenna connector)
    • Antennas (may be optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB OTG host ports
    • Micro-USB port (only for writing image)
    • 40-pin expansion header (2x UART, 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 1.8V)
  • Other features — IR receiver; 2x LEDs; PRX receiver for attaching fingerprint reader
  • Power — 5V 2A input; power button; battery supported
  • Weight — 42.5 g
  • Dimensions — 85 x 55mm
  • Operating system — Android 6.0 with C, C++, Kotlin,Java, Shell, and Python support

 
Further information

Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi 4G-IOT is available now for $45 plus shipping. More information may be found in Orange Pi 4G-IOT AliExpress shopping page
 

(advertise here)


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