This cheeky Raspberry Pi Zero clone offers more power, and more speed

The Radxa Zero
(Image credit: Radxa)

Brazilian developer of single-board computers (SBCs) Radxa, is working on a turbocharged clone of the Raspberry Pi Zero.

Called Radxa Zero, the SBC has the same form factor as the RPi Zero, but offers a lot more computing performance thanks to its Amlogic S905Y2 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at up to 2.0 GHz.

In fact, the company claims its variant has four times more CPU cores, twice the clock speed and up to four times more RAM as the RPi Zero, which will enable the Radxa Zero to offer about 70% of the performance of the full-fledged RPi 4.

Posting on Radxa’s official forums, a team member said the company wanted to make a clone in the RPi Zero’s form factor for a long time, but it wasn’t until they heard about the Xiaomi TV Dongle and its Amlogic S905Y that they found an appropriate SoC to power their clone.

Win some, lose some

The company will produce a few different variants of the Radxa Zero. The most basic model will offer 512MB of LPDDR4 RAM and an AP6212 wireless module for WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4 that’ll retail for $15. Then there’s the 1GB RAM variant, which will cost $20.

The next two editions will reportedly use an AP6256 wireless module to offer support for WiFi 5. One of these will ship with 2GB RAM and 8GB of eMMC flash, and cost $30, while the 4GB RAM variant with 16GB of eMMC flash will sell for $45.

Also, unlike the RPi Zero, the Radxa Zero will include two USB-C ports, one of them being USB 3.0. It’ll also offer a micro HDMI port that can output video at up to 4K resolutions. 

However, Tom’s Hardware believes that while these specs do sound impressive, the RPi Zero does have a couple of advantages. First up is the cost, with even the top-tier RPi Zero W costing $5 less than the entry-level Radxa Zero.

They also reason that Radxa Zero’s inability to run Raspberry Pi OS also puts it at a disadvantage, as does the lack of a CSI camera port to plug into the Raspberry Pi Camera modules.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.