Orange Pi 5 Review – Powerful, No WiFi

Orange Pi 5 SBC Review
Orange Pi 5 SBC Review

The Orange Pi 5 has finally arrived! I received my pre-order and the board is great. So should you go out and buy it? Probably, but there are some things you should know first that you may not be expecting.

The biggest thing to know is that there is no WiFi/Bluetooth included. If you were planning on using Ethernet anyway this doesn’t have much of an impact. If you do need wireless capabilities we’ll cover what options are available.

In this review we’ll cover what you need to know about the Orange Pi 5 including it’s onboard capabilities, the available RAM options as well as benchmark the board. Let’s get started!

Hardware Used

Orange Pi 5 - Top View
Orange Pi 5

The Orange Pi 5 the latest release from Orange Pi and is the most powerful model yet. It has a 6 core CPU and options from 4GB of RAM all the way up to 32GB of RAM!

Links: Amazon.com*, AliExpress*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.pl*

Geekworm Copper Heatsink Set
Geekworm Copper Heatsink Set

The Geekworm copper heatsink set is designed to fit many different single board computers. It uses thermal conductive adhesive which many “cheap” heatsink kits for SBCs don’t have. Eliminates hotspots and reduces throttling. Can be further enhanced by powered cooling over the heatsinks.

Links: Amazon.com*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.it*

Kioxia 2230 M2 NVMe Drive
Kioxia 2230 M.2 NVMe Drive

The Kioxia (Toshiba) 128GB M.2 2230 PCIe NVMe drive is much shorter than most NVMe drives (full size is 2280). It fits great with single board computers / tablets / other smaller form factors.

Links: Amazon.com*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.com.au*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.pl*, Amazon.se*, Amazon.sg*

Custom WiFi Module (Added 1/13/2023)

Orange Pi 5 Custom WiFi Module
Orange Pi 5 Custom WiFi Module

The Orange Pi 5 official wireless module is designed to fit into a M-keyed M.2 slot (the only one the Orange Pi 5 has). This WiFi adapter will work with both Linux and Android.

Links: Amazon.com*

Specifications

CPU8-core 64-bit processor Big.Little
Architecture: 4xCortex-A76 and 4xCortex-A55
Big core cluster is 2.4GHz
Little core cluster is 1.8GHz frequency
GPUMali-G610 MP4 “Odin” GPU Compatible with OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.2
OpenCL 2.2 and Vulkan 1.2 3D graphics engine and 2D graphics engine
NPUBuilt-in AI accelerator NPU with up to 6 TOPS
Supports INT4/INT8/INT16 mixed operation
PMURK806-1
RAM4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB (LPDDR4/4x)
MemoryQSPI Nor FLASH 16MB
MicroSD (TF) Card Slot
M.2 M-KEY Socket
USBUSB3.0 × 1
USB2.0 × 2
Type-C (USB3.1) ×1
Video OutputHDMI2.1, up to 8K @60Hz DP1.4 (DisplayPort)
DP 1.4 and USB 3.1 ports are multiplexed and the port is shared with Type-C 2 * MIPI D-PHY TX 4Lane
Configurable up to 4K @60Hz
CameraMIPI CSI 4Lane 2 * MIPI D-PHY RX 4Lane
AudioCODEC: ES8388
3.5mm headphone jack audio input/output
Input: Onboard MIC HDMI 2.1 eARC
Ethernet10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
Expansion PortFor extending UART, PWM, I2C, SPI, CAN and GPIO interfaces.
M.2 M-KEY Socket Expansion SlotSupports PCIe NVMe SSD
Supports custom PCIe Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0 module
Button1×MaskROM key
1×Recovery key
1×On/Off key
Power SourceSupport Type-C power supply 5V @ 4A
LEDPower indicator: red
Status indicator: green
Debugging3 Pin debug serial port (UART)
Supported OSOrangePi OS (Droid)
OrangePi OS (Arch)
Ubuntu
Debian
Android12
Dimensions62mm*100mm
Weight46g

Build Quality

The Orange Pi 5 is built very well. Everything is clearly labeled and visible. The PCB is a nice blue color. I received board revision/version 1.2.

Here is the top view:

Orange Pi 5 - Top View
Orange Pi 5 – Top View

You can see the holographic effect on the RockChip CPU in the middle of the board. As you move it in the light you get a neat little effect.

The bottom of the board only contains a few connections such as the M.2 slot, a CAM slot and a couple others.

Here’s the bottom view:

Orange Pi 5 - Bottom View
Orange Pi 5 – Bottom View

I/O Benchmarking

For the review I used a SSSTC 128GB 2230 M.2 NVMe drive. These are available on Amazon for around $10-12 (also see Kioxia 128GB M.2 2230 module*).

You can verify the performance of your drive on Pi Benchmarks using the following command:

sudo curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/TheRemote/PiBenchmarks/master/Storage.sh | sudo bash

Here are the results:

     Category                  Test                      Result     
HDParm                    Disk Read                 375.32 MB/s              
HDParm                    Cached Disk Read          381.15 MB/s              
DD                        Disk Write                234 MB/s                 
FIO                       4k random read            47080 IOPS (188321 KB/s) 
FIO                       4k random write           35128 IOPS (140514 KB/s) 
IOZone                    4k read                   75628 KB/s               
IOZone                    4k write                  67285 KB/s               
IOZone                    4k random read            35874 KB/s               
IOZone                    4k random write           70620 KB/s               

                          Score: 17,718

The full Orange Pi 5 benchmark can be viewed here on Pi Benchmarks.

That is an outstanding score. We are getting NVMe performance. This score actually even beats my ODROID M1 benchmark.

The Orange Pi 5 is without a doubt a very powerful board and is performing exactly where it should be.

Keep in mind that this is PCIe 2.0 performance. This board does not have PCIe 3.0 (only the RK3588 proper has that, not the RK3588S).

UPDATE 1/2/2023: If you update the Orange Pi 5 firmware by using sudo orangepi-config and choosing “System->Firmware” and then choose to update the firmware I was able to get *low* PCIe 2.0 performance (about 280MB/s). I highly recommend updating the firmware with sudo orangepi-config. You may see some marginal improvements!

Due to this you should not use a powerful NVMe drive with the Orange Pi 5. You are limited in speeds to around 500MB/s at best (according to Orange Pi themselves via the user manual) and more like 250MB/s write according to the benchmarking.

If you need help setting up SSD booting see my Orange Pi 5 SSD Boot Guide here.

Benchmarking vs. Pi 4 (added 12/16/2022)

I’ve now installed my heat sinks which looks like this:

Orange Pi 5 with Heat Sinks
Orange Pi 5 with Heat Sinks

That means it’s time for a head-to-head benchmarking match against the Pi 4 to see how the Orange Pi 5 compares. For the benchmark I used the “hardinfo” benchmark which can be installed on most Linux flavors with:

sudo apt install hardinfo

Here are the results:

TestOrange Pi 5Pi 4
CPU Blowfish (lower is better)2.65s5.24s
CPU CryptoHash (higher is better)574.49 MiB/s466.37 MiB/s
CPU Fibonacci (lower is better)0.5s1.73s
CPU N-Queens (lower is better)4.24s8.74s
CPU Zlib (higher is better)0.800.31
FPU FFT (lower is better)1.23s5.52s
FPU Raytracing (lower is better)2.86s2.18s
GPU Drawing (higher is better)2064.13 HiMarks1708.15 HiMarks

That is almost a clean sweep for the Orange Pi 5! The only category it didn’t win was FPU raytracing interestingly enough. On GPU drawing performance however the Orange Pi 5 scored significantly higher and also won all other categories.

Pros / Cons

Pros

  • 4 GB and 8 GB RAM variants cost under $100
  • M.2 slot supports high speed NVMe storage
  • RAM options from 4 GB all the way up to 32 GB available

Cons

  • No WiFi or Bluetooth included (requires either adapter for the M.2 slot or a USB adapter to get WiFi/Bluetooth capabilities)
  • No eMMC option
  • PCIe speeds are limited to 500MB/s (PCIe 2.0, benchmarks show closer to 250MB/s write or PCIe 1.0 performance) — this is slower than SATA3

Conclusion

The Orange Pi 5 feels almost perfect except for the lack of built in WiFi / Bluetooth. This seems like a surprising choice on what seems like is portrayed as their “flagship” model. Fortunately it is easy to add WiFi/Bluetooth on the board via either the custom M.2 wireless PCB or by using one of your USB ports and just using a USB-based WiFi/BT chip.

The board performs extremely well. The GPU is powerful on the board and feels very snappy while using the desktop OS and applications. This board would be a good choice for almost any use case. It would make a great Minecraft server as well.

I’d recommend this one for just about anyone. The price is right. There are widely varying amounts of RAM available depending on what you need. There are good Linux and Android images available even at launch. At under $100 for the 4 GB – 8 GB the Orange Pi 5 is priced well in this market especially for the power and flexibility it offers!

Other Resources

If you are sick of waiting for the official Wifi adapter check out my E-key to M-key adapter guide here

Make sure to see my Orange Pi 5 SSD Boot Guide to see how to set up your NVMe drive to be the root partition for your OS

Don’t miss the rest of my single board computer reviews here

The Orange Pi Zero 2 is a great headless option from Orange Pi available for <$35 or so

I’ve also recently reviewed the Orange Pi 3 LTS which is a long term support variant equivalent in power roughly to a Pi 4

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Razor Burn
Razor Burn
1 day ago

So Ive finally got around to setting my board up and managed to install Armbian 22.1.4 Jammy successfully and completed the recommended updates to Armbian and the firmware plus enabling 3D acceleration.

I proceeded to do the benchmark test however it seems to only want to test the sdcard and not the installed nvme drive so I’m unsure what I need to do to give it a command to also check the nvme?

Drives:
Local Storage: total: 297.95 GiB used: 6.4 GiB (2.1%)
ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: SR64G size: 59.48 GiB
ID-2: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Samsung model: MZALQ256HAJD-000L1 size: 238.47 GiB

Result submitted successfully and will appear live on https://pibenchmarks.com within a couple of minutes.

Category Test Result
HDParm Disk Read 59.94 MB/s
HDParm Cached Disk Read 54.75 MB/s
DD Disk Write 53.1 MB/s
FIO 4k random read 3133 IOPS (12533 KB/s)
FIO 4k random write 910 IOPS (3642 KB/s)
IOZone 4k read 9880 KB/s
IOZone 4k write 2293 KB/s
IOZone 4k random read 7742 KB/s
IOZone 4k random write 3612 KB/s

Score: 1552

A quick check of GParted shows the nvme drive as unallocated, now I assumed partitions would be created once the board did its initial boot up however it appears this wasn’t the case and I’m not sure what I need to do to get it reading the nvme storage…?

I tried to run the extra command from Github to choose which drive to test but got the following error message:

Trimming and syncing drives ...
/var/log: 0 B (0 bytes) trimmed on /dev/zram1
/boot: 103.1 MiB (108081152 bytes) trimmed on /dev/mmcblk0p1
/: 302.9 MiB (317636608 bytes) trimmed on /dev/mmcblk0p2
Your chosen partition (folder) does not exist! Provide a good one or run without parameters to check the rootfs

I’m undecided on whether I will keep using Armbian as it might be easier sticking to one of the Debian or Ubuntu builds from Orange Pi’s website but so far Armbian has been running well yet I did notice really slow wifi speeds when using the recommended wifi/bt 4.0 usb dongle (AF-4827 RTL8723BU) with no Bluetooth available so I ended up just using the Vonets ethernet adapter plugged into the white usb port and it runs much faster yet sucks not having bluetooth supported.

I did a quick video test on Youtube and its showing hardly any dropped frames when playing 2560×1440@30 res (1280×720 frames) which is impressive so overall I’m really impressed with what it can do and commend team Orange Pi for producing a worthy substitute to the more powerful RK3588 boards although the Rock 5B looks to be the better investment if you’re prepared to spend the extra $50 for all the missing I/O options.

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
21 hours ago

Hi James,

Thanks for the recommendations as here I was thinking that these distros had been “updated” since your SSD guide as I checked Github and saw the different versions for download and went to the Armbian website and read release date 23 January, 2023 so thought things were good to go but now I know to just go with Github and will try the latest version and see how I go.

I naïvely assumed that most of the distros were ready for use yet still see people reporting lack of Bluetooth support, 3D graphics, slow WiFi depending on the version and struggles updating from older versions to newer ones such as Android 12, not to mention setting up SSD boot and as I’m new to ARM and Linux it’s been a learning curve but luckily your guides and comments have been a real help so thank you.

You’ve convinced me to try flashing directly to the NVMe using my laptop as I recall Gospa saying it was easy and that way it should create the necessary partitions to be visible and whilst I’m at it I will try a newer version from Github and see how I go but overall, I’m really impressed with the performance as it runs rings around my old laptop and I’ve only scratched the surface for what it can do so hopefully we start to see more accessories released as its one area where the alternatives to the RPi fail and it seems that Radxa and Orange Pi are the only ones rushing to get things released yet we seem to see more on offer from Radxa for the 5B and hard anything for the Pi 5 with hopes that we can interchange as I think you’ll find more people after the 8″ Radxa screen that you linked to in the 5B review than the 10″ one from Orange Pi plus their newest 14″ monitor is overpriced when you factor in the shipping… Thanks again and take care!

Tony
Tony
5 days ago

I received my PI 5 and started to play with it.
A bit annoyed that there was no Wifi, I found in a drawer a DNUA-BS1 network card that I got on an old Skybox.
Of course the driver required ath6kl_usb was not on the Debian distribution of PI 5, thus I decided to build the driver myself.

These are the steps I went through for the ones interested (I guess porting some other drivers would follow the same steps):
– Install kernel header files (explained in the Orange PI 5 manual)
Check that the driver I need exists here
– click on summary
– click on […] on tag
– found the correct kernel release 5.10.110
– get the tar file and extract it in a folder
– go in the extracted folder drivers/net/wireless/ath/ath6kl
sudo make -C /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build M=$(pwd) modules
sudo make -C /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build M=$(pwd) modules_install

– the make module_install creates an extra folder in /lib/modules/5.10.110. The .ko files have to be copied
in the folder 5.10.110-rockchip-rk3588/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/ath/ath6kl

Test the module is there with sudo modinfo ath6kl_usb

It works I have Wifi now.

Owl Creek Tech
Owl Creek Tech
11 days ago

More thoughts on the Android 12(L) on the Orange Pi 5.

Excited that Orange Pi was able to update their Android 12(L) build to 1.02 so that you can use the RTL8723BU chipset identified in the build files but sadly performance is really poor, getting maybe 60Mbps download at its best making it a very poor solution if you are wanting to use OPi 5 for cloud game streaming. In fact my 150Mbps Wifi-to-Ethernet unit does much better and all you need to do is find 5 VDC source, which with the included male adapter, you can actually use the front USB port (nearest the USB-C port) and still use both since you are only deriving a minimal power to power the WiFi to Ethernet adapter. (Here is the one I am using , but four times the price of most WiFi dongles of like performance)

Another even graver issue is the fact you that Orange Pi has not certified their build and hardware with Google so you have to register it as a “Custom ROM” which I made the mistake of trying to register two different builds in the same night and now its not approved. Not a huge deal, unless you were hoping to run Gmail or Chrome. Even if you do get to register it, it is not seen by other apps that are looking for device approval since it isn’t fully certified causing many apps to fail. I wished they had just figured a way to provide updates like other custom Android developers do AND the fact they security update is listed as June, 2022. Not good if you are wanting to use this for more than just tinkering.

Also, I have found XBOX Cloud service and NVIDIA GeForce have problems with the build or hardware. The XBOX Cloud service can be run from a browser to fix a gamepad issue, and you can sort of fix the stutter in the Geforce Now app by forcing it to do 30fps (even if you are using ethernet & fast broadband). Amazon Luna runs, but it too suffers with the WiFi stanck, better with Ethernet (WiFi device or ethernet hub/switch).

On top of that as James has found, it only uses RK3588S only has PCI-e gen2 x2 on their M.2 PCI-e socket, whereas the RK38588 (RockPi 5B) is gen 3, X4 , which really reduces the NVME SSD performance. It still isn’t bad, but if you pay $80 more you can get a Radxa RockPi 5b which also has a M.2 M-Key for WiFi/BT, plus EMMC connector (which Android cannot be installed to yet).

If you work with Android ROMs, than it won’t be a problem to add your own USB Wifi dongle but keep in mind Google coming down hard on “Play Protect” functionality and you might not be limited to non-Google Play apps & services.

PS It seems like a lot of vendors who are trying to use the RK-3588 in tablets or TV boxes still haven’t finished their builds to allow dev samples and we are still months off before all the kinks are ironed out. For its low price to high performance ration, I can be patient.

Owl Creek Tech
Owl Creek Tech
10 days ago

No problem. Luckily these M.2 NVME SSDs are cheap so I actually had my Android 12 1.0 build that I put back in it since Google services work in it. Plus the WiFi to Ethernet module works better than the RTL8723BU, I just lose Bluetooth capability but my stuff is all wired anyway.

I will download the OrangePi-OS Droid ROM, but can’t say I too thrilled with the Chinese ROM, AND it didn’t have GAPPs. (why do the double Tar the file anyway?)

Owl Creek Tech
Owl Creek Tech
10 days ago
Reply to  Owl Creek Tech

Okay just tested the Orange Pi OS “beta” so you don’t have to.

1. No USB WiFI or BT
2. More keyboard/mouse centric.
3. NO GOOGLE SERVICES – Adds the ‘Aurora’ App store and Google Chrome app but not actual Google Services as promote on the opening page for Orange Pi OS (But I have a feeling that many RK3588 based devices are in the same boat or waiting for certification which maybe the case here – one can only hope if you plan to offer a product based on this board)

Stick with the latest build of Android 12 (1.2) but keep in mind the WiFi offered by the RTL8723BU is below what other systems can deliver AND if you want a more touch screen centric Android experience. You can add the GAPP module/package and register the ROM with Google to get most the Google experience. I also still suggest at this time to use a WiFi to Ethernet device or WiFi access point with ethernet port (not very portable though).

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
10 days ago
Reply to  Owl Creek Tech

Thank you for sharing this very helpful information and its good to see you recommend the Vonets ethernet adapter as I saw it suggested by leepspvideo and I believe he tested it with different software and says it works well?!

The only issue I see with the Vonets adapter is that it can’t be used with other boards running OpenWRT version (18.06 or later) due to the 4MB Flash/32 MB RAM such as NanoPi R6S yet that board comes with its own list of recommended wifi/bt adaptors/dongles and using the Ethernet adapter means you have the usb ports free for other uses such as wired controllers, keyboard and mouse…?

I look forward to further news from you and especially your project as I see many people hoping to use the RK3588S as a handheld application and early signs are promising but the concerns you list are valid and will need to be fixed before anything becomes viable.

Keep up the amazing work guys!

Owl Creek Tech
Owl Creek Tech
9 days ago
Reply to  Razor Burn

Thanks, I will message James on how to add video and images to his comment area on my little “game unit.” As much as I grumble, it is really is a lot of power for the money and even the basic Android 12(L) build from Orange Pi is still pretty good. I was able to get it certified again using my other Google (business) account so I am back up and running with 1.02. If anyone plans to use the dongle, use it with 6″ USB extender cable – performance or at least signal strength improves. It would be interesting to see an actual schematic of the M.2 connector to see if one could share both NVME and WiFi on the same connector, I have seen this done on a motherboard once.

Owl Creek Tech
Owl Creek Tech
8 days ago

I can just add a link to my One Drive video file or image and you add it if you’d like. I agree keep the discussion board light and snappy 🙂

I have a few Radxa Zeros and love them, but sadly the don’t have DPI and was hoping to be able just add one of my WaveShare 4×4″ boards for a product I call “NiteyPI”* which I originally created with the RPI zero v2, but RPiOS leaves a lot to be desired for a touch interface. I like the that the RadXa Zero has onboard NMMC storage, which makes super easy to flash & fast. Plus I found a great Android TV ROM. I may revisit it again since I did find 4″x4” LCD panel that also has an HDMI interface.

*for kids to play bedtime stories my wife and I were going to produce as well as other “kids” content. It only provides a shared FTP folder (custom port) on WiFi that the parent has to turn on, with no other way to get on the internet since I closed off all other ports.

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
8 days ago

Thanks for the follow up comments James as many of the points you and Owl Creek Tech make are valid and I too hope to see more accessories for the Pi 5 yet the choice of only 26 GPIO pins is silly and not supporting Raspberry Pi cameras makes it near impossible to find a working solution unless Orange Pi release a specific variant for their newest board doesn’t seem a priority but I’m happy to stand corrected at a later date!

Sadly my NVMe order has been delayed or lost meaning I most likely need to place a new order as I was looking forward to testing out my board and posting my benchmark scores but in the interim how cool is it to see so many people putting their devices to the test and I’ll admit I noticed a few names from the comments section that brought a smile so well done everybody!

We’re truly blessed to have so many wonderful people willing to share their experiences, offering useful tips and inspiration for fun projects so thanks to those people because it allows newbies such as myself the confidence to tinker and not be afraid to approach for assistance knowing somebody will offer some advice or a helping hand towards a possible solution. As for this blog, I’d love to see potential e-ink display reviews as they’ve seen a recent boom with newer ones paired with ESP32’s that look interesting and your Lichee RV 86 & Grove K1100 reviews were real eye openers convincing me to grab a Wio Terminal and some extra sensors to use for some DIY Home Assistant projects so keep posting informative reviews and your bound to see readership grow as now’s the time for gadgets as prices remain affordable and we’re spoiled for choices!!!

I’m hopeful your orders arrive soon as keen to see the Rock 5B, Vision 2 and your thoughts on the Radxa Zero and Pi 800 as its a somewhat neglected keyboard/computer although it has improvements over the Pi 400 and the RK3399 is still a capable chip with decent support so I wait with bated breath for those reviews to drop soon…

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
7 days ago

Thanks for correcting me regarding the camera situation as I had assumed it was an easier process but your explanation explains why we need open sourced hardware/software yet the likes of Raspberry Pi make it hard to play fair… I see the Arducam Mega being promoted as a solution for microcontrollers which is encouraging (its crowd funding) but an option for those requiring a camera for smaller projects until something proper gets sorted for SBCs but I won’t hold my breath!

I went back and watched Jeff’s video and your discussion was great so thanks for sharing and from a community perspective I wish Jeff success with his health problems and hopefully the recent surgery allows him to live a full life as his contributions are invaluable plus he seems like a genuinely lovely guy who’s super generous with his time. As for Raspberry Pi looking away from RISC-V its truly baffling as I thought they were foundation members and since so many larger companies such as google are investing in that technology it seems bonkers to not be promoting it now but I have no reason to mistrust Jeff or other people with inside knowledge and the longer they delay a Pi 5 the greater the risk of becoming insignificant as that appeal of owning a Pi 4B is disappearing quickly as the community looks elsewhere for more bang for their buck!!!

I was very tempted myself to jump on the Vision 2 bandwagon as the dual 1GB ethernet version ships next month and its still available for a good price but I have a few boards and gadgets that require my attention so happy to keep my powder dry, so to speak and see what the reviews are before making a decision but its cool and exciting so I’ll keep an eye out for your review. I agree that the ESP32 offer a great alternative to the RP2040 and having competition helps bring pricing down but just like you I struggle to find accessories as they tend to be used with cameras or infrared imaging so if you find some gear it would make for an informative review…?

I can report that my NVMe arrived today from Amazon US so I hope to spend some time this weekend testing my Pi 5 out as their has been too many upgrades and I’ve fallen a bit behind on what distro supports what dongle, monitor, etc so I’ll be sure to share my results in the coming days… Stay safe and happy computing!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
6 days ago

Hi James,

I believe I may have uncovered why we don’t see onboard wireless as its appears Orange Pi didn’t get the Pi 5 FCC certified as was noticed in an obscure news post back in 2018:

“The Orange and Nano Pis are not FCC-certified, so they’re not likely to be integrated into any product sold in the United States, at least legally-speaking, assuming the manufacturer doesn’t want to be fined. Orange pretends to be certified[1] (the PDF is named FCCCERTIFICATION), but it’s mere verification (now called Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity, or SDoC), and SDoC is not the same as certification[2].
If a manufacturer were to use the on-board wireless they could be heavily fined. Certification for these boards would cost around $15k, significantly increasing the price of an integrated product.”

At least FriendlyElec doesn’t pretend to have gotten their boards certified.

[1] FCC Certification – link is dead

[2] FCC equipment authorization procedures

That said, a manufacturer could still use an Orange or Nano Pi to integrate. Simply disable the onboard Wi-Fi and include a certified USB Wi-Fi adapter.

Oddly enough they did get the i96 and Zero boards certified so its not like they couldn’t have done so for their flagship board but its no surprise that you will find that the 2 cheapest RK3588S boards being Orange Pi 5 and Nano Pi R6S both have no FCC/CE certification and no official support for GAPPs so one really needs to factor this into why certain RK3588 boards cost more as Khadas and Radxa have onboard wireless and are FCC/CE certified resulting in a more expensive device. It also answers the frequently asked question of why we don’t see these boards sold locally and are heavily reliant on Chinese sellers resulting in shipping delays and non existent post purchase support as you’re stuck if you have any issues with a defective board so it really helps to do your research and know the risks!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
5 days ago

Hi James,

Thanks for the replies and providing a link to the FCC data as surprised they didn’t get the Zero 2 done or the Pi 5 as surely it puts a stain on them as a ‘company’ yet many consumers have little clue and make a purchase only to complain why does my board not have such and such and I’ll admit had I taken greater care I might have reconsidered my purchase as it makes me think twice to what else have they cut back on to save a quick buck when the competition mostly follow the rules and get their devices properly certified!

As for your delays, I can only speak from experience having always used allnetchina when purchasing Radxa items and so far I have yet to have any issues or delays with a quick check showing the Rock 5B and most of the accessories ready for shipping on the allnetchina store so my best guess is ameriDroid is having difficulties getting the stock and I recall similar reports in the Radxa forums of US customers complaining that their Rock 5B preorders were delayed whilst allnetchina was looking after its customers and shipping boards globally and keeping ameriDroid out of the loop??? OKdo seems to ship to Europe with a price increase so maybe some buyers used them but the backlog was completed in November/December 2022 so barring shipping and the holidays I don’t see any reason for long delays…?

I’ll admit its not a good look as you’ve paid in good faith believing the items were available and ready to ship so having to chase up is hard and its horrible to see scalpers selling boards for inflated prices but something tells me if you went the aliexpress route you’d be waiting for the scalper to secure the item and face possibly longer delays and with ameriDroid you know you’re dealing with a proper shop that needs to do more to get their suppliers communicating and serving better because an order from September 2022 is frankly unacceptable!

As for the Radxa Zero, I’m surprised to read that response as I see the sub <4GB and 4GB+64GB EMMC boards available on allnetchina and had assumed the more popular versions were temporarily delayed due to lockdowns and holidays with no mention of suspended resupply on the Radxa forums and if it was me I'd be ensuring they had extra supplies as the Zero is great value and they'd sell plenty of boards considering that Raspberry Pi have no plans to get Zero 2 W supplies back to 'normal' anytime soon so reading that Radxa was focussed purely on manufacturing the Rock 5B doesn't fill me with confidence unless your contact was unaware of plans for the Rock 5A as surely they've learnt from the mistakes with the delayed launch of the 5B and from what I see the 5A looks to be the upgrade we all hoped to see with the RPi 4B yet no mention of onboard wireless leaving me perplexed but at least the M.2 slot is e keyed and Radxa has their own cards and for me the 16GB board is cheaper than any currently available Pi 4B 8GB with the 30 USD discount covering express shipping and some change left over, matching the price I paid for the Orange Pi 5 16GB but with some nicer upgrades… Take care good sir!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
4 days ago

Hi James,

I believe we’re seeing limited supplies of the Radxa Zero due to a reported fault with the AW-CM256SM wireless module losing connection on the Android build. It appears that due to supply constraints they swapped out the AP6256 module for the AW-CM256SM with users complaining of dropped wifi that seems to be resolved on the linux distros and now affecting 1.5 version boards using Android? The fault has been escalated to Infineon who provided some custom driver for their other CM256-based products to use on 5.10 kernel, but it is still not quite stable yet. Once that issue is solved Radxa will ask them to backport to 4.9 kernel the Zero Android is using.
Radxa Forums #1
Radxa Forums #2

I believe the 512MB – 1Gb boards use the AP6212 module which is why they are available for sale on AllNet China’s store currently with last update from Radxa on their forum from 14 days ago….?

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
4 days ago

Fantastic news regarding the Vision 2 backup order and fingers crossed you get notification for the Rock 5B as I’m sure they’ll both get plenty of attention as should the Radxa Zero despite the delays and setbacks!? I look forward to those reviews as well as the Seeeduino XIAO breakout board as I purchased the Grove Beginners kit for Arduino and the concept looks similar with adaptors for many sensors and lcd screens plus the XIAO range of micro boards is diverse and adaptable to so any applications…

By the way the Google Pixel Buds Pro Review was an informative read as plenty to like especially the 11 hour battery life yet sadly beyond my budget so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming Google Pixel watch when that drops in the future… Take care!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
5 days ago

Not sure you’ve seen it but looks like Radxa are releasing a Rock 5A according to the Radxa forums

Lilputing link

Might be worth having a look at as expected to ship soon and has a few improvements over the Orange Pi 5…?

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
8 days ago
Reply to  Owl Creek Tech

Have you tried the Waveshare 4.3inch LCD IPS 800×480 screen as I saw a youtuber use it with Radxa Zero with hopes of making his own handheld Android device and it has many connectors such as usb, hdmi and isn’t very expensive plus the fact the Radxa Zero supports Android and Linux is great and from my testing it plays many emulators well for such a small board?

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
8 days ago
Reply to  Owl Creek Tech

Great news Owl Creek Tech and I’d be interested to follow the progress of your work more as it sounds exciting so please continue to keep us all updated!

DiogoMM
DiogoMM
14 days ago

Orange pi support sent me this link with wifi + bt module. after talking for days but I didn’t find any Aliexpress link, if you find it please share it.

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
13 days ago

It appears Orange Pi have updated the English User Manual v0.7 with instructions on getting the 2 of the 3 recommended usb wifi/bt dongles connected so the bluetooth works? It can be downloaded from their website.

3.12.3. USB wireless network card test – page 171-178

I’m still waiting on my RTL8723BU (Support 2.4G WIFI+BT4.0) dongle but the (ODROID) Realtek RTL8821CU (Support 2.4G +5G WIFI Support BT 4.2) should work if you follow the commands to activate the bluetooth which is great to see.

They still refer to the unobtanium AP6275P PCIe network card that can be plugged into the M.2 stating that you need to buy one but where does one find one as no listing on aliexpress nor amazon, only the chip itself…?

So they recommend the 10.1 touch screen LCD and the only camera that’s supported is the 1080p HD web can with no MIPI alternative yet as the 13MP one seems to be RK3399 only…?

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
12 days ago

Hi James,

Thanks for the explanation as I see the link/s on US site and only one is available currently so was left with little choice with my order due to arrive in the a month but I’m confident we will see these pop up on aliexpress quickly after the holiday break and eventually amazon for the cheaper price…

Excellent job to you and DiogoMM as it appears you both got the exclusive as yet to see this shared on Reddit nor Discord so well done to Orange Pi for actually providing a proper card as they said they would… Stay safe a keep up the great work!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
12 days ago

I managed to get it shipped to Australia for the cost of a similar e-m keyed card so happy for the link and to wait as the option to use a supported usb dongle is there as is using NVMe for storage or booting which wasn’t the case a few weeks ago so all I need is for my deliveries to hurry up as they’ve been annoyingly delayed another week but I’m not the only one as vendors/postal services catch up after the holiday break.

I’ll be sure to share any links if I see it listed elsewhere and the progress made since release makes it really appealing and I may end up getting a second board as 4-8GB prices are still good value if you shop around with US Amazon oddly enough cheaper for me than aliexpress as many sellers have marked up pricing due to popularity from reviews such as yours that I see is still trending highly on the google search which is great to see!

Sobhan
Sobhan
17 days ago

Hi. Thanks for the great review. I was looking for a modern board with CSI/MIPI interface to use with a wide FOV cam that won’t break the bank. Therefor webcams are not really an option plus having needing no extra drivers is nice. But this board only has clip-on connector for the CSI cameras (sorry I couldn’t find the connector’s name). And only camera’s I could find with this connector have really short cable. Do you know of any cameras with long ribbon cable I could use with integrated connecter on this board?
PS I checked the published circuit diagram on Orange Pi Website and LCD connectors are not LCD/CAM combo like some other boards; They only have TX lines and CAM connectors only have RX lines.

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