Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W vs Raspberry Pi Zero W: What Upgrades Does It Bring?

Having launched the Raspberry Pi Zero W in 2017 as an upgrade to 2015’s Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi Foundation has now unveiled its latest offering, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. In this article, we will compare the specifications of the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W against its predecessor, the Pi Zero W. If that’s something you are interested in, read on to learn the differences between Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W vs Raspberry Pi Zero W.

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W vs Raspberry Pi Zero W: In-depth Comparison

We have compared these Raspberry Pi Zero boards on the basis of design, CPU, ports and connectivity, as well as price in this article. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Design

Starting with the design, the engineers at Raspberry Pi Foundation managed to pack all the hardware improvements to the original Zero’s form factor. As a result, you can use almost all cases and accessories designed for Zero W with the Zero 2 W. In case you are wondering, the exact dimensions for both models are 30mm x 65mm x 13mm.

While the form factor and dimension remain the same, the Zero 2 W is heftier than the Zero W. How, you ask? The organization explains that the “Zero 2 W uses thick internal copper layers to conduct heat away from the processor.” So yeah, you can now run much heavier workloads on this new Zero-series board, thanks to higher sustained performance.

SoC & Performance

With the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, Raspberry Pi Foundation has bridged the performance gap by using a slightly underclocked 1GHz version of Broadcom BCM2710A1 SoC seen on the launch version of Raspberry Pi 3. It is a quad-core 64-bit SoC with ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1GHz frequency. The SoC and 512MB 450MHz LPDDR2 SDRAM are integrated as a system-in-package (SiP, which they call RP3A0 RP3A0. To recall, the Pi Zero W features a single-core 32-bit ARM11 Broadcom BCM 2835 SoC at 1GHz.

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W design

According to the sysbench results cited by the foundation, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W offers almost five times the performance for multi-threaded workloads than its predecessor. That’s a significant jump and will help you boot up and get started with your RPi Zero projects faster.

Ports and Connectivity

The ports selection and connectivity remain mostly unchanged in this upgrade. You get the usual HAT-compatible 40 pin I/O header, USB 2.0 with OTG, microSD card slot, mini HDMI port, composite video, CSI-2 Camera connector on RPi Zero 2 W.

Multimedia options include H.264, MPEG-4 decode (1080p/30), H.264 encoding at 1080p @ 30fps and support for OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 graphics. It’s worth noting that the Zero 2 W uses Bluetooth 4.2 as opposed to Bluetooth 4.1 on the predecessor.

Price & Availability

Coming to price, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W costs $15. Here, in India, the cheapest option I could find was Rs. 1,300 from Silverline Electronics. the prices at other authorized resellers in India go up to Rs. 1,950. The previous-gen Raspberry Pi Zero W, on the other hand, costs $10 or Rs. 910 in India. Fortunately, Raspberry Foundation is not discontinuing the Zero W. But, there are supply constraints due to the global semiconductor shortage, and the foundation aims to restock Zero W units in 2022.

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W vs Raspberry Pi Zero W: Specs Table

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Raspberry Pi Zero W
Dimensions30mm x 65mm x 13mm 30mm x 65mm x 13mm
ProcessorBroadcom BCM2710A1, quad-core 64-bit SoC
(ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1GHz)
Broadcom BCM 2835 SoC at 1GHz
GPUVideoCore IV VideoCore IV
Memory512MB 450MHz LPDDR2 wire-bond512MB DDR PoP
Connectivity• 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.2, BLE
• HAT-compatible 40-pin I/O header footprint
• Mini HDMI port
• microSD card slot
• CSI-2 camera connector
• 1 × USB 2.0 interface with OTG
Improved PCB antenna
• 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
• Bluetooth 4.1, BLE
• HAT-compatible 40-pin header
• Mini HDMI port
• microSD card slot
• CSI camera connector
• Micro USB power
• PCB antenna
Video• Mini HDMI interface
• Composite video
• mini HDMI interface
• Composite video
Power5V DC 2.5A 5V DC 2.5A
OSRaspberry Pi OS Raspberry Pi OS

Choose the Right Raspberry Pi Zero for Your Project

Since Raspberry Pi Foundation isn’t discontinuing the Zero W, you have the option to pick between the Zero W and Zero 2 W to fuel your cool DIY projects. The performance improvements, courtesy of the quad-core processor, justify the $5 price jump on the new Zero 2 W board if you ask me. It should deliver a better experience and won’t hinder your workflow. If you are looking for project inspirations, feel free to look at our article on the best Raspberry Pi Zero projects.

comment Comments 2
  • Rudraksh says:

    Please tell us how to download Google assistant or Alexa for raspberry Pi zero 2w.. the main challenging task is to take audio output and input but there is a solution in the internet the main part is how to run Google assistant or Alexa… Please make a detailed step by step procedure to download..

  • Rod AthieU says:

    Thanks for the comparison

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