NanoPi 2 Fire Review: A Raspberry Pi 2 Competitor

NanoPi 2 Fire Review: A Raspberry Pi 2 Competitor

The NanoPi 2 Fire is a high-performance ARM Board for Hobbyists, Makers, and Hackers for IoT projects, developed by FriendlyARM company. It features Samsung’s Cortex-A9 Quad-Core S5P4418  1. 4GHz SoC and 1G 32bit DDR3 RAM. It has a built-in  Gigabit Ethernet port. You can load Android and Debian system images from a TF card. The board integrates both HDMI and LCD interfaces along with 40 pin GPIO pin header, compatible with Raspberry Pi’s external GPIO modules including Arduino’s shield boards.

The board is very compact in size measuring 75 x 40 mm and it’s a lot cheaper and with a faster processor compared to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model BThe being said, The NanoPi 2 Fire is currently sold for $28 (Excluding shipping). For more detailed information you are welcome to visit the FirendlyARM website (Link posted below).

Buy It Now on FriendlyElec Website


NanoPi 2 Fire | Back View



NanoPi 2 Fire Review Focus:

  1. Product Introduction
  2. Specifications
  3. Product Package
  4. Hardware platform
  5. Power usage
  6. CPU Temperature
  7. Software
  8. Video Review
  9. Final Words
  10. Pros / Cons
ProcessorSamsung S5P4418 Quad-Core Cortex-A9, 400Mhz ~ 1.4GHz
PMU Power ManagementAXP228, support software power-off, sleep, and makeup functions
System Memory1GB 32bit DDR3 RAM
ConnectivityGbps Ethernet Port (RTL8211E)
USB1 x USB Host 2.0 Type A, 1 x Micro USB for data transmission and power input
Storage1 x Micro SD Slot
LCD0.5 mm pitch 45 pin FPC seat, full color TFT LCD(RGB:8-8-8)
HDMI1 x HDMI 1.4A Type A, 1080P
Camera0.5 mm pitch 24 pin DVP FPC seat
GPIO40 pin, 2.54 mm pitch pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi 2’s GPIO pin header
OTG1 x Micro USB for power input
Debug Serial Port2.54 mm pitch 4 pin header
User KeyK1(power key), Reset
PCB Dimension75 x 40 mm, Six-layers PCB
Power:DC 5V/2A
OS/Softwareu-boot, Android 5.1, Debian Jessie 8


Optional Accessories

FirendlyARM offers few optional accessories for their NanoPi M3 that are not included in the default package that only contains the development board. The White 3D Printed Housing (Case) comes in handy if you need to mount the unit with a set of 4 screws. My experience in assembling the two parts of the case wasn’t so great to say the least. The upper part where the processor sockets are located was smaller in dimensions which made it almost impossible to close the two parts together, even with provided screws and excessive force the parts didn’t fit well.

NanoPi 2 Fire 3D Printed Housing

    1. Reset
    2. USB Host
    3. LCD
    4. Power
    5. Camera
    6. TF Card (Back)
    7. Micro USB
    8. Debug UART
    9. AXP228
    10. 1GB RAM
    11. GPIO
    12. SP4418
    13. RTL8211E
    14. HDMI
    15. 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet

    NanoPi- 2-Fire-Layout

    Hardware Platform

    The NanoPi 2 Fire Hardware is powered with a Quad-core 5P4418 32 bit Samsung Cortex-A9 Processor. FirendlyARM redesigned the board with onboard Gigabit Ethernet port at the expense of the onboard WiFi Chip, making the product more cost-effective vs. the previous Nano Pi2 model.

    Due to the compact size of this board, only 40 x 75 mm unit doesn’t have a built-in WiFi module and comes with only one USB V2.0 Host that could be a bit limiting if you are not using a mini USB Hub. If you still need WiFi support you can do it by buying a USB WiFi Adapter and installing provided vendor drivers.

    The Board comes with AXP228 PMU advanced power software power-off, sleep, and wake-up features. Although in normal standard operation (depending on CPU load) Processor heats up but still works well it’s very recommended investing few dollars and buying an aluminum/copper heat-sink.


    NanoPi 2 Fire | Full View

      NanoPi 2 Fire dimensions | 40 x 75 mm


      CPU Temperature

      On moderate usage, depending on the CPU workload. I was still able to run and operate an Ubuntu MATE system without any crashes at relatively high temperatures ranging between ~72 – 85C.


      You can find few Linux distributions for the NanoPI 2 Fire such as Kali Linux, Ubuntu MATE, and Arabian Linux at FriendlyARM Wiki pages. From my personal impression, FirendlyARM has much to improve and offer wider image support for more Operating systems.

      NanoPi 2 Fire Hands-on Review

      Final Words

      excluding my bad experience dealing in trying to assemble the 3D printed housing (case) parts, the NanoPi 2 Fireboard performed well and stable. Software support was less great and needs further improvements, but the good news is that FriendlyARM is currently working on developing new images such as Arabian Linux distribution and maybe others. The bottom line, if you are looking for a very compact board for running Linux distributions, then this product does the job well for a retail price of $23 (including shipping).


      Pros / Cons



      • Small in Size: 40 x 75 mm
      • External interfaces: LCD, GPIO
      • On-board Gigabit Ethernet LAN Port.
      • Good Performance
      • Cost-effective.
      • Good Stability.



      • Limited software support / Availability  (Images).
      • No WiFi module on-board.
      • No eMMC.
      • Only one USB port.


      Company Links:

      friendlyarm contact


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