When comparing Raspberry Pi Zero vs Banana Pi, the Slant community recommends Raspberry Pi Zero for most people. In the question“What are the best single-board computers?” Raspberry Pi Zero is ranked 5th while Banana Pi is ranked 31st. The most important reason people chose Raspberry Pi Zero is:
Costs just $5.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely cheap
Costs just $5.
Pro The largest and most active community
Raspberry Pi has the largest following of any single-board computer. The amount of guides, tutorials and software available for the Raspberry Pi is unmatched by any other competitor. A regular user has close to no chance to run into a problem that hasn’t been covered already. If a web search doesn’t yield any results, the users on the official forums are very responsive and will usually reply within a day.
Pro Extremely small size
The Raspberry Pi Zero measures only 6.5cmX3cm and is 0.5cm thick. Making it one of the smallest (if not the smallest) single board computer that can run a desktop OS.
The small size makes it extremely portable and manageable, compared for example to the original Raspberry Pi which often looked clunky and large when strapped on something that would be moving.
Pro Can easily be powered from any external battery pack
Because of its small size and because of the ARM based processor which is extremely energy efficient, it can be run with any kind of external battery pack, even those that are used to charge phones.
This makes it perfect for portable projects that need to be run even when not close to an energy source.
Pro Can run a full HD display at 60FPS
The GPU that the Pi Zero uses is relatively powerful. In fact, it should be able to run a full HD display at 60FPS without any problems.
Pro Easy to install the official OS
All Raspberry Pi boards run Linux as a default OS, the Debian-based Raspbian specifically. Setting up Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi is a breeze and even someone who has not installed an OS before can easily do it.
By simply following the official documentation, you download the relevant software on the microSD card and boot up the board. After this, you can simply follow the instructions to install the OS.
Pro Fast if the OS is compiled properly
If the kernel is compiled properly (like re4son kernel for Kali linux) it's surprisingly fast.
Pro Official support for multiple Desktop-version Linux distros
Banana Pi officially supports Fedora, Arch, Lubuntu and openSUSE. It also can be used with Raspbian (Debian derivative) or Android.
Pro Additional keys for booting or shutting down
Pro SATA port
Pro Onboard Wi-Fi
Most models have an onboard Wi-Fi.
Pro Excellent compatibility with Raspberry Pi software
Other than having a port of Raspbian (the official OS for Raspberry Pi) available for use with full capabilities, Banana Pi can also use many applications that were originally written for Raspberry. One of these is WiringPi, a C/C++ library which gives easy access to Raspberry's I/O with a strong Arduino flavor. But that is just one example of the many open source projects being ported to Banana Pi.
Con Impossible to find one actually selling for $5
Usually out of stock or with shipping fee higher than $5.
Con No Ethernet port
The Raspberry Pi Zero has no Ethernet port, which means that the only way to connect to the internet with it is through a WiFi dongle or a USB Ethernet port.
Con Needs micro-B USB to USB-A converter
In order to connect the Pi Zero to peripherals, it needs a micro-B USB to USB A converter since it only has micro-USB ports and most peripherals don't use that.
Con Has only two micro-USB ports
Due to its small size (and price) the Raspberry Pi Zero only has two micro-USB ports, and one of them is for power which leaves only one port for peripherals.
Con No built-in storage
SD Card required to boot, which further increases the price.
Con No built-in Wi-Fi
Raspberry Pi Zero has no built-in WiFi card.
Con Bad software support
Con Does not fit most Raspberry Pi cases, even though it's where it clearly has gotten the inspiration from
The Banana Pi is pretty noticeable a Rapberry Pi lookalike and the name does not hide this information either. Unfortunately it's a bit larger than the Raspberry Pi, making it very hard to fit into most Raspberry Pi cases.
Con No off-the-shelf camera modules
The A20 chip that the Banana Pi uses lacks a true Camera Serial Interface implementation, instead it uses a parallel camera interface. The problem with this is that there are no off-the-shelf camera modules that support this and can connect to the Banana Pi, but it should be mentioned that the makers of Banana Pi have promised to create a camera module that is supported by it.