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ESP32 Development Boards Review and Comparison

In this article, we’re going to compare several ESP32 development boards. This article aims to help you choose the best ESP32 development board for your project requirements.

The ESP32 is the ESP8266 successor (read best ESP8266 development boards). The ESP32 is loaded with lots of new features when compared with its predecessor. It combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless capabilities and dual-core.

You can find the ESP32 as a standalone chip or as a full-featured development board. There are many ESP32 development boards available. In this review, we’ll take a look at the most popular ones. To learn more about the ESP32 and use it to build IoT projects, we recommend enrolling in our course: Learn ESP32 with Arduino IDE.

Recommended reading:Getting Started with ESP32 Development Board

ESP32 Development Boards Comparison

ESP32 Features and Specifications

Here’s a quick run down of some features and specifications of the ESP32 chip:

How to Select an ESP32 Development Board

When looking for an ESP32 development board there are several points you need to take into account:

  • Pin configuration and the number of pins. To properly use the ESP32 in your projects, you need to have access to the board pinout (like a map that shows which pin corresponds to which GPIO and its features). So make sure you have access to the pinout of the board you’re getting. Otherwise, you may end up using the ESP32 incorrectly. We recommend looking at our ESP32 GPIO Reference Guide that shows how to use the ESP32 GPIOs properly.
  • USB-to-UART interface and voltage regulator circuit. Most full-featured development boards have these two features. This is important to easily connect the ESP32 to your computer to upload code and apply power.
  • BOOT and RESET buttons to put the board in flashing mode or reset (restart) the board.
  • Battery connector. If you want to power your ESP32 using batteries, there are development boards that come with connectors for LiPo batteries—this can be handier. You can also power a “regular” ESP32 with batteries through the power pins.
  • Extra features. There are ESP32 development boards with extra features like an OLED display, a LoRa module, a SIM800 module (for GSM and GPRS), a battery holder, or a camera.

Related content:ESP32 vs ESP8266 – Pros and Cons


This is the ESP32 DEVKIT DOIT board (this is our favorite ESP32 development board). There are two versions of this board, with 30 and with 36 GPIOs. Both work in a similar way. I prefer the version with 30 GPIOs because it comes with two GND pins (however, it’s been difficult to find the version with 30 GPIOs available online). Additionally, even though the other model comes with more GPIOs, the extra ones are not recommended to use (they are connected to the ESP32 integrated flash memory).

The pins are labeled at the top of the board, so it is easy to identify the pins to connect peripherals (there are other models with the labels on the other side, so it is more difficult to identify the GPIOs). It comes with onboard RESET (EN) and BOOT buttons. It comes with a USB-to-UART interface to easily program it using Arduino IDE or other development environments and comes with a voltage regulator circuit. The board can be powered using the micro-USB connector or the VIN or 3.3V pins, and it doesn’t come with a battery connector.

2. Adafruit ESP32 Feather

This is the ESP32-based board from Adafruit. Like the previous one, it comes with a USB-to-UART interface and voltage regulator circuit.  The pins are labeled at the top and the bottom of the board. A great addition to this board is the Lipoly battery connector. This is perfect for portable battery-powered projects.

When you get something from Adafruit, you know it is always high-quality. So, if you are willing to spend a bit more on a great quality product, this is the perfect option. Additionally, Adafruit has a lot of documentation about its boards, which is great to get started quickly.

3. Sparkfun ESP32 Thing

The ESP32 Thing is the ESP32-based board from Sparkfun. It comes with all the functionalities to easily communicate and program the ESP32 with your computer. In addition, it comes with a connector for LiPo batteries and a LiPo charger. This means rechargeable batteries can be easily charged by plugging 5V into the board through the USB connector. Sparkfun also has a lot of good documentation about this board.

4. ESP32 with Battery Holder

This ESP32 development board comes with a battery holder at the back to provide power through a 18650 battery. This board also includes a 18650 battery charging system and two LEDs to indicate the battery state. This is a great choice if you want something compact running on batteries. Additionally, this board can charge and work at the same time.

5. ESP32 with OLED

This ESP32 board is similar to the previous one, but instead of a battery holder, it comes with a 0.96” SSD1306 OLED display. This is perfect for adding an interface to your projects without worrying about the circuitry. However, this board comes with fewer available GPIOs to connect peripherals. So, before getting this board, check its pinout to see if it can connect the peripherals you need for your project.

You can read our getting started guide and learn how to control the OLED display:

6. ESP32 SX1278 (LoRa)

This ESP32 board comes with the SX1278 chip, which is a LoRa transceiver chip. LoRa is a wireless data communication technology that allows long-range communication of small amounts of data while minimizing power consumption. It comes with an OLED display, which is handy to display LoRa messages. If you intend to do a project with LoRa using the ESP32, this can be a great option since it already comes with the LoRa transceiver chip. We also recommend these LoRa boards.

Learn how to use LoRa with the ESP32:

If you don’t plan to use LoRa in your projects, there are better ESP32 options.

Other ESP32 Development Boards

Many other ESP32 development boards have different features that might be more useful than a regular ESP32, depending on your project requirements. Here’s a list of some ESP32 boards with special features that might be handy for your projects:

Get Started with the ESP32 Development Board

You can easily get started with the ESP32 using our resources:

Here’s a list of free ESP32 projects with Arduino IDE you may like:

Here’s a list of free ESP32 projects with MicroPython firmware you may like:

Wrapping Up

In this article, we’ve compared a selection of ESP32 development boards. The ESP32 DEVKIT DOIT, the Adafruit ESP32 Feather, and the ESP32 thing are all very similar. These don’t come with extra hardware, so they are easier to use, and those are the ones we recommend for beginners. We’ve been using the ESP32 DEVKIT DOIT boards, and they work perfectly. However, if you want something really high-quality, the ESP32 feather and the ESP32 Thing are just great.

If you have a specific project in mind, maybe one of the other models is more suitable. For example, if you intend to add an OLED display to your project, the ESP32 with built-in OLED will provide all you need in a small footprint.

We hope you’ve found this selection and comparison of ESP32 development boards useful. Remember that these are just some of the most popular ESP32 development boards (there are many other modules).

We also have a blog post about the best ESP8266 development boards.

Thanks for reading.

[Recommended Course] Learn ESP32 with Arduino IDE

Register in our brand new ESP32 course with Arduino IDE. This is our complete guide to program the ESP32 with Arduino IDE, including projects, tips, and tricks! The registrations are open, so sign up now.

Other RNT Courses

Filed Under: Reviews


The Best ESP32 Projects Overview

DFRobot    Aug 10 2017

ESP32 is highly-integrated with in-built antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise receive amplifier, filters, and power management modules. ESP32 adds priceless functionality and versatility to your applications with minimal Printed Circuit Board (PCB) area requirements.

DFRobot FireBeetle esp32 series is the low-power consumption micro-controller intentionally designed for Internet of Things (IoT) projects. FireBeetle Board - ESP32 integrates a Dual-Core ESP-WROOM-32 module, which supports MCU and Wi-Fi &Bluetooth dual-mode communication. The electric current is just 10μA in the deep-sleep mode. The main controller supports two power supply methods: USB and 3.7V external lithium battery. And both USB and external DC can charge the Lipo battery directly.

FireBeetle Board-ESP32 has made a special hardware design for Arduino IDE. You can make a download without switching booth-mode manually. It supports Arduino, IDF (linux), micropython etc. Moreover, FireBeetle made a pin mapping for Arduino IDE. It can be configured with Dx transport, compatible with UNO and reduce the entry barrier.

Now let's see some Firebeetle ESP32 Board Projects.

The small size and high performance makes FireBeetle become idea solution for IOT low power consumption projects.

Firebeelte Esp32 Project 1: ESP32 Solar Weather Station

This project is made by Hugo Gomes, this project are all well made.

Firebeetle ESP32 Projects 2: How to Make a Smart Colorful Light Based On Esp32

Like what we heard in the song The Color of The Night, we always indulged in the psychedelic lights at night. The colorful lights tell sadness or happiness. I like the color of lights but I hate the uncomfortable manually switch of them. Fortunately, I have DIY a smart colorful light which satisfied my requirements of switch, color and even feelings.

Firebeetle Esp32 Project 3: How to Make a Low-Power-Consumption Fruit Battery

This tutorial can teach you how to make a fruit battery and it verifies the low power consumption of the FireBeetle Board-ESP32. 

FireBeetle Board-ESP32 Project 4: Reforming a Small electric Fan

Summer is coming with steadily increasing warmth. Now, it is a right time to prepare a summer thing──fanner! Therefore, I have bought a small fanner on line; it is good except that it cannot steering.

Firebeeble Esp32 Project 5: How To Make a Step-Counter 

I used to perform well at many sports: walking, running, riding bicycle, playing badminton etc. 
I love riding to travel around before long. Well, look at my portly belly……...Well, anyway, I decide to restart to exercise. What equipment should I prepare? Besides sports facility, yes! I need an instrument! I believe with it, I can keep appropriate amount of exercise. Here the instrument comes into being.
Let’s begin with a video~

Firebeetle ESP32 Project 6: Smarten a Plugboard

Yes! What you have seen is a smart plugboard that converted by ESP32 master board and controlled by BLE of ESP32. As a fan of Arduino, I am worried about that ESP32 has been supporting Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but without libraries files for Arduino. However, the smart plugboard can control many slave equipment at the same time. Trust me, I have made two and tested them.

Firebeetle ESP32 Project 7: How to DIY an intelligent robot arm

When I was a college student, I have bought a robot arm that costs about $85, even a small gear is more than $6. I still remember the package emphasize 10 degrees of freedom. Then I have to eat cookies for half a month... That’s too expensive! However, majority robot arm products are about $150 in the market. The price is really too expensive for ordinary people to afford. How about DIY a robot arm? Let’s do it.


What a hot day it is! Too hot to drive and ride and I am thinking of making a temperature measurement sensor. With FireBeetle ESP32 produced by DFRobot and MLX90614 (a noncontact IR temperature sensor) on hand, let’s do it!

Firebeetle ESP32 Project 9: A Safe to Keep From Your Drinks

It is so hot! I am surprised to find that my beers are gone! To avoid this situation happens again, I decided to DIY a private safe to keep my drinks.

Firebeetle ESP32 Project 10: A Slow Dance Picture Frame

It’s not the lack of beauty in life, but the lack of the eyes to find the beauty. However,we are busy in working and living, finally the high speed lifestyle leads to numb eyes. Therefore, I created a picture frame called ‘Slow Down’which helps you relief your eyes to enjoy happiness of birdsong, flowers and even a feather….

Firebeetle ESP32 Project 11: Let your cigarette lighter wearable

As a Smoker, how cruel it is if i lost my cigarette lighter. I used to think how wonderful it is with a wearable cigarette lighter, So it comes into being.

Firebeetle ESP32 Project 12: Build a talking Alarm Clock synced to Google calendars

ESP32 Projects 13: Mail Alarm

ESP32 Project 14: How to Make a Name Badge with esp32 boards

Have you ever been in a awkward situation where you’ve been in a office for a long time, but your colleagues just can’t remember your name clearly. Now there is a marvelous name badge for you to solve that problem. This badge is made of tricolor E-ink display designed by DFRobot. You can DIY own style for the name badge and add your unique idea into it. Just like this!

Control and automate your electrical appliances from long distances (Kms) without the presence of the internet. This is possible via LoRa.

Hardware components
DFRobot FireBeetle ESP32 IOT Microcontroller (Supports Wi-Fi & Bluetooth)
Reyax RYLR896 LoRa module
PCBWay Custom PCB

ESP32 Project 16: LoRa ESP32 Radios - Easy Getting Started Tutorial

  1. Melusine dragon
  2. Philadelphia weather 2021
  3. Siamese rescue dallas
  4. Orioles 2016 tickets

ESP32 for IoT: A Complete Guide

When it comes to iot, the ESP32 is a chip that packs a powerful punch. The ESP32 is a follow-up to the ESP8266. This low-cost, low-power system on a chip (SoC) series was created by Espressif Systems.

Based on its value for money, small size and relatively low power consumption, it is well suited to a number of different IoT applications.

In this article, we’re going to break down the ESP32’s technical specifications and how it could be used for your IoT project.

What is ESP32?

ESP32 is the name of the chip that was developed by Espressif Systems. This provides Wi-Fi (and in some models) dual-mode Bluetooth connectivity to embedded devices. While ESP32 is technically just the chip, modules and development boards that contain this chip are often also referred to as “ESP32” by the manufacturer. The differences between these are explained further on in the article. 

The ESP32 chip has a Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core variations, with a clock rate of over 240 MHz. There are now several different chip models available, including:

  • ESP32-D0WDQ6 (and ESP32D0WD)
  • ESP32-D2WD
  • ESP32-S0WD
  • And the system in package (SiP) – ESP32-PICO-D4

Models are available with combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, or just Wi-Fi connectivity.

The ESP32 is most commonly engineered for mobile devices, wearable tech, and IoT applications – such as Nabto. Moreover, with Mongoose OS introducing an ESP32 IoT Starter Kit, the ESP32 has gained a reputation as the ultimate chip or module for hobbyists and IoT developers.

While this reputation is not unmerited, the low-cost device can also be used in a number of different production systems, and its capabilities and resources have grown impressively over the past four years.

ESP32 Features and Specifications

Here’s a high-level summary of the features and specifications of the ESP32:

And here’s a more detailed summary:

  • Processors – As previously mentioned, the ESP32 uses a Tensilica Xtensa 32-bit LX6 microprocessor. This uses 1 or 2 cores (*all chips in the series are dual-core, except the ESP32-S0WD). The clock frequency reaches up to 240MHz and it performs up to 600 DMIPS (Dhrystone Million Instructions Per Second). Moreover, its low power consumption allows for ADC conversions, computation, and level thresholds, all while in deep sleep mode.
  • Wireless connectivity – The ESP32 enables connectivity to integrated Wi-Fi through the 802.11 b/g/n/e/i/. Moreover, dual-mode Bluetooth is made possible with the v4.2 BR/EDR and features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
  • Memory – Internal memory for the ESP32 is as follows – ROM: 448 KiB (for booting/core functions), SRAM: 520 KiB (for data/instructions), RTC fast SRAM: 8 KiB (for data storage/main CPU during boot from sleep mode), RTC slow SRAM: 8 KiB (for co-processor access during sleep mode), and eFuse: 1 KiBit (256 bits used for the system (MAC address and chip configuration) and 768 bits reserved for customer applications). Moreover, two of the ESP32 chips – ESP32-D2WD and ESP32-PICO-D4 – have internally connected flash. The others are as follows: 0 MiB (ESP32-D0WDQ6, ESP32-D0WD, and ESP32-S0WD chips), 2 MiB (ESP32-D2WD chip), and 4 MiB (ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP module).
  • External Flash and SRAM – ESP32 supports up to four 16 MiB external QSPI flashes and SRAMs with hardware encryption based on AES to protect developers’ programs and data. It accesses the external QSPI flash and SRAM through high-speed caches.
  • Security – IEEE 802.11 standard security features are all supported, including WFA, WPA/WPA2 and WAPI. Moreover, ESP32 has a secure boot and flash encryption.

ESP32 Functions

ESP32 has many applications when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). Here are just some of the IoT functions the chip is used for:

  • Networking: The module’s Wi-Fi Antenna and dual-core enables embedded devices to connect to routers and transmit data.
  • Data Processing: Includes processing basic inputs from analog and digital sensors to far more complex calculations with an RTOS or Non-OS SDK.
  • P2P Connectivity: Creates direct communication between different ESPs and other devices using IoT P2P connectivity.
  • Web Server: Access pages written in HTML or development languages.

ESP32 Applications

The ESP32 modules are commonly found in the following IoT devices:

Chip versus Modules versus Development Boards

The ESP32 is just the name of the chip. Device manufacturers and developers have three different choices in terms of which format they buy this in, and the decision of which one to go with will depend on their individual circumstances:

  • ESP32 Chip: This is the bare-bones chip that is manufactured by Espressif. It comes unshielded and can’t be attached to a module or board without soldering. Therefore, most device manufacturers do not purchase just the chip, as this will add an additional layer of complexity to the production process.
  • ESP32 Modules: These are surface mountable modules that contain the chip. The benefit of purchasing a module is that these can be easily mounted onto an MCU in the production process. The chip is also usually shielded and pre-approved by the FCC, which means device manufacturers do not need to worry about adding additional steps to the production process to achieve FCC compliance with regard to Wi-Fi shielding.
  • ESP32 Development Boards: These are IoT MCU development boards that have the modules containing the ESP32 chip preinstalled. They are used by hobbyists, device manufacturers and developers to test and prototype IoT devices before entering mass production. There is a wide variety of makes and models of ESP32 development boards, produced by different manufacturers. Here are some important specs to consider when choosing a suitable IoT ESP32 development board:
    • GPIO pins
    • ADC pins
    • WiFi antennas
    • LEDs
    • Shielding*
    • Flash Memory

*Many international markets require shielded Wi-Fi devices, as Wi-Fi produces a lot of Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), and shielding minimizes this interference. This should, therefore, be a key consideration for all developers and embedded device manufacturers.   

Manufacturers of ESP32 Modules and Boards

ESP32 Chips

Espressif Systems are the manufacturer of the ESP32 chip. It is available in both 6 mm x 6 mm and 5 mm x 5 mm QFN packages. Here are the current models available:

ESP32 Modules

●      Espressif

The Espressif Systems esp32 is available in the following modules:


●      Ai-Thinker

Current Ai-Thinker esp32 modules are the following:


Other manufacturers of ESP32 modules include:

ESP32 Development Boards/Dev kits

●      Espressif

The current Espressif ESP32 development boards include:

Espressif Non-OS SDK, using Lua scripting language


Espressif Non-OS SDK, using Lua scripting language

Espressif Non-OS SDK, using Lua scripting language

●      Ai-Thinker

The AI-Thinker development boards include:

Lua, AT commands, MicroPython, Arduino

Embedded Lwip and FreeRTOS

●      Adafruit

The Adafruit ESP32 development boards include:

ESP-IDF and Arduino IDE software

●      Wemos

The Wemos ESP32 development boards include:

Compatible with Arduino, MicroPython

Compatible with Arduino, MicroPython

16 MB/4 MB Flash 4 MB PSRAM

●      Arducam

The current Arducam ESP32 development board is:

Compatible with Arduino IDE

32Mbit Flash, 8MByte PSRAM

What SDKs are Used for ESP32s?

There is now a wide range of software development kits (SDKs) available. These allow developers to program the chip directly without the use of a separate MCU. 

Espressif provides one official SDK for use with either the ESP32, ESP32-2, or the ESP8266. This is the FreeRTOS-based SDK.

Aside from the Espressif options, there are plenty of commercial and open-source SDKs on the market, including:

Which is the best ESP32 Module or Development Board for IoT?

As the above comparisons show, there are a lot of options available with ESP32 IoT boards and modules. To help you with your decision making, we’ve summarized some of the most popular below.

Popular ESP32 Modules


This extremely popular ESP32 module integrates with the ESP32-D0WD.

The main reason that the ESP32-WROOM-32D is such a popular module is its adaptability. It can target a variety of applications, including lower-powered sensor networks to voice encoding and music streaming.

The ESP32-WROOM-32D is often confused with the ESP32-WROOM 32U. Albeit very similar modules, ESP32-WROOM-32U is different from ESP32-WROOM-32D in that the ESP32-WROOM-32U integrates a U.FL connector.


The ESP32-WROOM-32 is the original ESP32 module brought out by Espressif.

ESP32-WROOM-32 is a powerful, generic Wi-Fi+BT+BLE MCU module. At the core of this module is the ESP32-D0WDQ6 chip. The embedded chip is designed to be scalable and adaptive.

While there’s no denying the ESP32-WROOM-32 is a great module, it is not recommended for new designs.


The ESP32-WROOVER module is provided in two versions: one with a PCB antenna, the other with an IPEX antenna. You can find the ordering information for both versions here.

Like the ESPWROOM32, the chip at the core of this module in the ESP32-D0WDQ6 chip.

This ESP32 module features two CPU cores that can be individually controlled. Moreover, the CPU clock frequency is adjustable from 80 MHz to 240 MHz. The user may also power off the CPU and use the low-power co-processor to continuously monitor for changes or crossing thresholds.

Popular ESP32 Development Boards


The ESP32 CAM is a little different from the other development boards on this list. This fully-developed microcontroller also has an integrated camera and micro SD card socket.

The ESP32-CAM is based upon the ESP32-S module, so it shares the same specifications. This includes UART, SPI, I2C and PWM interfaces, Wi-Fi image upload, clock speeds of up to 160 MHz, and 9 GPIO ports.

It includes an OV2640 module – which has a 2 Megapixel sensor – and also supports OV7670 cameras, too.

As there are many components on the bottom, it may be easier to avoid a solderless breadboard when experimenting with the ESP32-CAM. Furthermore, the use of jumpers with female Dupont connectors is recommended.


The ESP-DevKitC is a relatively small development board from Espressif. The I/O pins are broken out to the pin headers on both sides for easy interfacing.

Developers can connect peripherals with jumper wires or mount the ESP32-DevKitC V4 on a breadboard.

A key advantage of this development board is not just its small size, but also its low power usage. 


The HUZZAH32 is sometimes referred to by Adafruit as the ‘feather board.’

This development board is favored by beginners in IoT. It integrates the ESP32 with additional hardware, which makes it easier to program and use in projects.


TheNodeMCU development board features Wi-Fi+Bluetooth connectivity, onboard CP2102 and keys.

A key feature of this AI Thinker development board is that the I/O pins of the ESP-WROOM-32 module are accessible via the extension headers. Moreover, it is open-source and supports several different source codes.

Read Our Other Resources

We’ve published a range of other IoT resources for our community, including:

Ida Hübschmann

Marketing Coordinator at Nabto

Why ESP32's Are The Best Microcontrollers (ESP32 + Arduino series)

#Guide: Which ESP32 development board to choose to develop DIY connected objects

After the success of the Wi-Fi ESP8266 modules, Espressif has not stopped in such a good way and today offers us its successor the ESP32. The first development board based on the SoC ESP-WROOM-32 very often exceeded €15. Since the beginning of 2017, prices have fallen sharply. It is no longer rare to find boards for about €7 / $8 (postage included). It’s happy because the competition is tough against the Raspberry Pi Zero W offers around €11. The ESP32 offer is now very diversified. Here is a brief overview.

Just like the ESP8266 which is now called ESP8266EX or ESP-WROOM-02, Espressif has completely revised its range of ESP32 WiFi chips at the end of 2017. The 2018 range now has 6 models. The ESP-WROOM-32 module will probably be the most widely used module for development board manufacturers for the general public and DIY projects. The ESP32-WROVER module is also available for sale.

ModuleDescriptionPuceDimensions (mm)PinsFlash (MB)PSRAM (MB)Antenne
esp wroom 32 esp32ESP-WROOM-32 integrates ESP32 SoC, flash memory, sensors and PCB antenna with good RF performance

Technical documentation

esp wroom 32dESP32-WROOM-32D integrates an ESP32-D0WD SoC. It targets a wide variety of applications, sensor networks, voice encoding, music streaming and MP3 decoding

Technical documentation

esp32 wroom 32u 0ESP32-WROOM-32U integrates an ESP32-D0WD SoC. It is equipped with an IPEX U.FL connector

Technical documentation

esp32 wroverESP32-WROVER has both an external 4 MB SPI flash memory and an external 4 MB PSRAM

Technical documentation

esp32 wrover iESP32-WROVER-I has an IPEX antenna. The module has an external SPI flash memory of 4 MB and an external PSRAM of 4 MB

Technical documentation

esp32 pico d4ESP32-PICO-D4 is a System-in-Package (SiP) module in a single box.

Technical documentation


In addition to these 6 models, Espressif has developed a mono-core processor clocked at 160MHz that will be available in 2018. This module referenced ESP32-SOLO-1 incorporates the main technical features of the ESP32 modules. This less powerful module should also be less energy intensive, so better suited for battery-powered applications.

  • WiFi antenna power: +19.5 dBm
  • Bluetooth BLE with L2CAP support, SDP, GAP, SMP, AVDTP, AVCTP, A2DP (SNK) and AVRCP (CT)
  • Standby current is less than 5 μA
  • Equipped with the same devices as other ESP32 modules: Capacitive Touchscreen Support, Hall Sensor, Low Noise Amplifiers, SD Card Interface, Ethernet, High Speed SPI, UART, I2S and I2C
  • CE and FCC certified

Before going any further, a brief reminder of the technical characteristics (official document) of the ESP-WROOM-32 module. It is the ESP32 module that is most commonly used in development board manufacturers.

  • ESP32 Module: ESP-WROOM-32 from Espressive.
    • Microprocessor dual core @ 240 MHz
    • 4MB flash memory
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11 b / g / n compliant with IEEE 802.11 compatible with WFA, WPA / WPA2 and WAPI
    • Bluetooth 4.0 LE and BR / EDR
  • I/O
    • 26x Digital I/O (3.3V)
    • 12x analog inputs
    • 4 × SPI, 2 × I²S, 2 × I²C, 3 × UART, CAN 2.0, IR, Touch Sensor,
    • Temperature sensor
  • Cryptographic protection: AES, SHA-2, RSA, ECC, random number generator (RNG)

Here is also the general identification of the pins. As you can see, unlike the Arduino, almost all pins support the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). On the other hand no evolution regarding the input voltage and output, it is always 3.3V.

ESP32 espressif Pinout broche esp-wroom-32

There are some at all prices. Can not test them all. We can just rely on the opinions left by buyers. However, Geekcreit is now a recognized manufacturer. We also find his board under the name MUST recently. The Geekcreit is equipped with a micro-USB connector for power, programming and debugging. It is very well supported by the Espressive SDK. The ESP32 Generic Module must be chosen. It is available for the price of €8,07 excl. It is very often promoted for about €7.

esp32 geekcreit wroom


Full selection of generic ESP32 development boards

If you prefer to stay on familiar terrain, the major board manufacturers now offer boards based on the ESP-WROOM-32 module. The latest is the Wemos LoLin32 presented in this article. It is an excellent choice. Equipped with 4MB of memory and a micro USB connector for programming, it is narrow and equipped with an external LiPo battery connector. It is supported natively by the Espressive SDK. It is available for the price of €6,45 + shipping (8,10 € in my case). This is much cheaper than the SparkFun ESP32 Thing.

wemos lolin32 esp-wroom-32 espressif top view

In the same category Hornbill, an Indian manufacturer launched a Crowd Funding campaign recently and offers the ESP32 Dev

Hornbill ESP32 Dev

Full selection of Wemos LoLin32 development board

Full selection of Wemos LoLin32 Lite (more compact) development board

Interesting news, this board-based ESP32 combined with an OLED screen SSD1306 (tutorial). It comes with an expansion board with 10 connectors that appear to be in Intel Grove format. The board is sold under the Wemos brand and moreover it seems to be recognized as such by the SDK. It is offered for about €12,80 (+ €2,21 postage).

esp32 wemos lolin32 oled grove intel 1esp32 wemos lolin32 oled grove intel 2

This board sold under the name of LoLin ESP32 is available with several expansion boards: DHT11, DHT22, button, LiPo battery 18650 …

Full selection of ESP32 development board with SSD1306 OLED display

The LoRaWan network makes it possible to connect objects (sensors, actuators) or machines without going through a local WiFi network, ADSL or fiber. If you need to develop applications that use the LoRa network, there are now very economical development boards based on ESP32. Development boards are usually equipped with an OLED screen driven for an SSD1306 circuit.

Choose the radio module that corresponds to the frequency used in your country. Each radio module can be configured in a particular frequency. There is an optimal frequency for each module.

ModuleFrequencyBest performance
Semtech SX1272863-870 MHz (Europe)

902-928 MHz (US)

Semtech SX1278Band2(LF): 410 ~525MhzBand3(LF): 137 ~175Mhz433Mhz
Semtech SX1276Band1(HF): 862 ~1020Mhz868Mhz
Semtech SX1276Band1(HF): 862 ~1020Mhz915MHz

esp32 lora lorawan development board

The complete selection of ESP32 development boards with LoRaWan SX1276 or SX1278 radio module

Sources :

If the compactness of the development board is paramount for your project, there are very compact boards. Let us not forget that the ESP32 also incorporates Bluetooth, which makes it possible to make less expensive and more compact setups than starting from an Arduino nano V3 combined with a Bluetooth module HC-06. An HC-06 Bluetooth module alone costs 50% of an ESP32 development boards!

In this area, DIY MORE markets this board for example, which measures approximately 2cm side for about €17.90.

esp32 diy more development board

Less expensive (€6,90), the LoLin ESP32 is an equivalent of the Wemos d1 Mini. It is sold alone or in kit for €45 including a double base, shield DHT11, DHT22, relay, 4x LED WS2812B, 12x Led ring light, proto

lolin esp32 wemos kit

If you do not have a problem with the weld, nothing prevents you from going on the ESP32 + adapter module. We can find kits starting from 5,90 € approximately. Attention to the module, very often it is an ESP-32S which is delivered in the kit.

esp32s adapter board

Full selection of compact ESP32 development board

If you want to develop your own circuits (PCB), nothing prevents you from the ESP32 module alone. A good online circuit design software such as EasyEDA and it’s gone! The module can be found only from about €5 .

esp-wroom-32 esp32s module

Full selection of soldering module ESP32

The ESP32 introduces some changes in the programming. It took a while for the main libraries to be adapted to run on the new Espressif SoC. Today, it is almost as easy to program an ESP32 as an ESP8266 with Arduino code. Read this tutorial to start programming ESP32 modules with the Arduino IDE (on Windows, macOS or Linux).

ide arduino esp32 demo led blink geekcreit

To go further, here are the latest articles and projects based on ESP32

  • ESP32, GPIO pins and associated functions. I/O, PWM, RTC, I2C, SPI, ADC, DAC
  • M5Stack Atomic GPS. ESP32 TinyGPS++ tracker, GPX export on SD card, visualization on Google Maps or VSCode
  • How to store data on a micro SD card. Arduino code compatible ESP32, ESP8266
  • Getting started Arduino. Receive commands from the serial port (ESP32 ESP8266 compatible)
  • C++ functions print•println•printf•sprintf for Arduino ESP32 ESP8266. Combine•format → serial port
  • C++ String functions. concat•c_srt•indexOf•replace•subString… for Arduino, ESP32, ESP8266
  • ESP32. How to connect to local WiFi network with Arduino code
  • How to assign a fixed IP to an ESP32 ESP8266 or ESP01 project
  • ESP32. How to use Timers and Alarms with Arduino Code
  • ESP32. How to use external interrupts with Arduino code
  • ESP32. How to use GPIO digital IO with Arduino code
  • ESP32. How to use the WiFiManager library to manage WiFi connections
  • ESP32. Store temporary data in RTC memory during deep-sleep
  • ESP32. Arduino code for Deep Sleep and wake-ups (Timer, Touch Pad, GPIO …)
  • Get started with ArduinoJSON v6, Arduino library for handling JSON objects

The PlatformIO editor also supports C ++ application development with built-in Arduino libraries. This code editor is very interesting if you want to share code with different micro-controllers. PlatformIO is also able to update the program remotely (including via internet). This feature that requires a paid subscription is for companies that develop sensor fleets. A limited use for Makers (Community version) is however proposed (50 update monthly, prices in detail here). To start with PlatformIO, it’s here. I advise you to install the PlatformIO plugin on VSCode, Microsoft Visual Studio Code open source code editor, lighter than Atom from GitHub.

visual studio code platformio home screen

The ESP Easy team is also working on adapting the firmware for the ESP32 modules. For now, it only works (very well) on the Wemos LoLin32 Lite. It is a little restrictive but it is an excellent development board to test absolutely. To learn more, you can read this full review, the opportunity to discover also the new features of the Mega version.

1 esp easy mega main

  • ESP32, GPIO pins and associated functions. I/O, PWM, RTC, I2C, SPI, ADC, DAC
  • M5Stack Atomic GPS. ESP32 TinyGPS++ tracker, GPX export on SD card, visualization on Google Maps or VSCode
  • How to store data on a micro SD card. Arduino code compatible ESP32, ESP8266
  • Getting started Arduino. Receive commands from the serial port (ESP32 ESP8266 compatible)
  • C++ functions print•println•printf•sprintf for Arduino ESP32 ESP8266. Combine•format → serial port
  • C++ String functions. concat•c_srt•indexOf•replace•subString… for Arduino, ESP32, ESP8266

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Esp32 best

What is ESP32?

I'm sure if you are an electronic geek, you might have heard about ESP32. It is a small yet quality microcontroller that will become handy for your projects. So, in this article, we will see briefly what ESP32 is and its features in short and more on the best ESP32 based development boards that are available right now.

You might find them useful for your IoT or any other microcontroller-based project, so keep on reading to know more about this!

First things first. For those who still do not know much about ESP32, it is a series of a low-cost, low-power system on a chip microcontroller. The predecessor of ESP32 is the ESP8266 microcontroller. ESP32 series indeed costs low, in fact, ESP32 Devkit is cheaper than Arduino Uno. ESP32 also contains some additional features for the same cost, which makes this the perfect tool for many of your IoT projects and experiments.

The microcontroller is created and developed by a Shanghai-based Chinese company named Espressif Systems. When it comes to the main features of the ESP32 microcontroller, it is integrated with WiFi and Dual-mode Bluetooth. The heart of ESP32 contains a Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core variations, it also has built-in antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise receive amplifier, filters, and power management modules. You can see more ESP32 features and specifications here.

As also mentioned above, ESP32 is small, low cost, and consumes less power. This is one of the main reasons why this microcontroller has gained popularity and wide usage over time. Today ESP32 is widely used mainly for IoT projects and related applications.

Common IoT devices built using ESP32 include; smart energy devices, smart security devices, and smart industrial devices. There are also 3 main different choices you can use ESP32.

The first one is as an ESP32 chip,

The second as ESP32 modules,

The third is ESP32 Development Boards.

The ESP32 chip is the bare bone product manufactured by Espressif. ESP32 Modules are surface mountable modules that contain the ESP32 chip. Then finally we have the ESP32 development board which consists of the modules with ESP32 preinstalled.

Let’s now come to our main topic to see what are the best ESP32 based development boards available now.

Memory, WiFi communication capacity, Number of GPIO pins, ADC pins, LEDs are some important specs to consider when choosing a suitable ESP32 development board for your projects. Many development boards have been developed over time with the ESP32 module, however here are some of the best of the best in the list.

1. Adafruit ESP32 Feather

The Feather series of Adafruit is a line of development boards that are both standalone and stackable. Among this feather series, HUZZAH32 is an Adafruit ESP32-based Feather board. It is made with the official WROOM32 module and packed with other peripherals you love to have. The built-in USB-to-Serial converter, automatic bootloader reset, Lithium Ion/Polymer charger, and GPIOs are some of them.

Adafruit ESP32 Feather development board (Image Source: Here)

What is more, the dual-core ESP32 chip at the end of the Feather consists of 4 MB of SPI Flash, tuned antenna, WiFi, and Bluetooth Classic/LE support making it easier to use them for any wireless or IoT project. The HUZZAH32 also has two powering methods. The first method is you can connect with a Micro USB cable and the Feather will regulate the 5V USB down to 3.3V. The second method is to connect a 4.2/3.7V Lithium Polymer (Lipo) or Lithium-Ion (LiIon) battery to the JST jack. Its pins are labeled at the top and bottom so it is easy to use as well.

2. SparkFun ESP32 Thing Plus

This is also another ESP32 based development board with some cool features. The name ‘thing’ indicates that this will be a good ‘thing’ for your internet of things projects. This board utilizes SparkFun’s Qwiic Connect System which means you do not have to worry about soldering or shields to connect the board to the rest of the system. If you do not know yet, the SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields, and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error.

What is more, the ESP32 Thing plus consists of peripherals such as capacitive touch sensors, Hall sensors, SD card interface, Ethernet, high-speed SPI, UART, I2S, and I2C. And not to forget that onboard ESP32 WROOM module, which provides 16MB of flash memory, 520kB of internal SRAM, an integrated 802.11 BGN WiFi transceiver, and dual-mode Bluetooth capabilities, and a JST connector to plug in a LiPo battery.

SparkFun ESP32 Thing Plus development board (Image Source: Here)

The advantage of using this board for your projects is that you can easily program with the board. For instance, you can install the updated ESP32 Arduino Core and program the Thing via Arduino IDE. Good documentation is available for the board so that you can use the Thing without any trouble.

3. ESPduino 32

The ESPDUINO-32 development board is based on the ESP-32 WiFi module. With WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Ethernet, real-time mapping, and other functions, ESPduino-32 is compatible with all versions of Arduino expansion boards. The control chip of this board is the Xtensa LX6 CPU.

ESPduino 32 development board (Image Source: Here)

Not only that, this development board takes the original format of the Arduino Uno rev.3. Hence, the board can be programmed directly from the Arduino or PlatformIO IDE using the micro-USB port. What is more, ESPduino-32 can be powered for the micro-USB port or by an external 5–12V DC power supply.

4. KS0413 Keyestudio ESP32 Core Board

This board is another ESP WROOM 32 module-based mini development board. It also offers easy ways of connecting peripherals as you wish. Special features you might consider include, universal Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, MCU module, with powerful functions. This can also be used in low-power sensor networks. Since the core of this module is the ESP32-D0WDQ6 chip, it is scalable and adaptive.
KS0413 Keyestudio ESP32 Core development board (Image source: Here)

5. Magicbit

This board is also yet another cool magic board in which the ESP32 module is the brain. The board is introduced as an all-in-one platform for coding, prototyping, electronics, robotics, IoT, and solution designing. One of the interesting and handy features of this board is its unique design. Magicbit’s unique design has pluggable modules and many onboard features, which means it consists of various sensors you can just plug and play according to your project application.

This board can be programmed with Arduino, MicroPython, Javascript, even C# using the .net nano framework and their own magicblocks. With this you can program easily with visual code builders. This board is also compatible with many popular platforms like Azure, GCP, AWS, ThingsBoard, Blynk, etc. This means that you have the ability to program these without any hardware knowledge at all. This board is also recommended as a STEM tool so worth having it for the kids too.

Magicbit development board and sensor modules (Image Source: Here)

Another magic this board offers is its mobile application where you can use your mobile phone as an input or an output device. The board can also be used for a wide range of applications including a smart alarm clock, WiFi weather station, make a motion detector, make a tilt sensor, smart dustbin, Bluetooth car, snake game, self-balancing robot, smart sanitizer, remote plant watering, tank water level monitoring, etc. Good documentation and resources are available for this too so you can have a look at them for more details.

6. Pycom WiPy 3.0

Pycom’s enterprise-grade IoT development platform is the WiPy 3.0. This is a tiny board that you can use MicroPython to program. The board also consists of a 1KM WiFi range, Bluetooth and Espressif ESP32 chipset, and dual processor. This tiny device is specially introduced as an IoT development platform therefore, with WiPy 3.0 you can take that project of yours to the next level.

Pycom WiPy 3.0 development board (Image Source: Here)


The board is also of ultra-low-power usage when compared to other microcontrollers and easily fits in a standard breadboard. The main processor is entirely free to run the user application. Moreover, the Pycom ecosystem makes IoT development easy. The team has written a powerful Python API so that you can make the best out of that hardware.

7. Wemos LOLIN D32 Pro

Wemos LOLIN D32 Pro development board uses the ESP32-WROVER module. The board, therefore, has a built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, 4 MByte SPI RAM, TFT display interface, and a Micro-SD card interface. This tiny board is also compatible with Arduino and MicroPython and its default firmware is the latest MicroPython. This means you can learn to program it easily without any hassle. And do not forget that there is plenty of documentation available to learn this too. The Wemos LOLIN D32 Pro belongs to the class of general-purpose boards. This means where most ESP32 pins are broken out for easier access. The board is also breadboard friendly and has both side pin labeling, allowing you easy readability.

Wemos LOLIN D32 Pro development board (Image Source: Here)

8. Banana pi BPI-UNO32

Another development board that has an ESP32 module is the Banana pi, BPI-UNO32 development board. So, it is an Xtensa 32bit LX6 single/dual-core processor-based embedded system.

This one is compatible with Webduino, Arduino, microPython, and Scratch.x. Moreover, the board can also be used with Visuino, which is a visual, graphical development environment for Arduino and similar boards.

Banana pi BPI-UNO32 development board (Image Source: Here)

Thanks to the ESP32 module it has the best power consumption, RF performance, stability, versatility, and reliability like the other boards. Two separate controlled CPU cores, the main frequency can be up to 240MHz, 448KB ROM, 520KB SRAM are some other cool features. The size of the BPI-UNO32 is the same as the Arduino UNO R3. One reason for you to buy this is that the board can be used for a wide range of application scenarios. Good documentation is also available for this one too so you won’t have much trouble learning it.

9. Ai-Thinker ESP32-CAM

The Ai- Thinker ESP32-CAM is the Original ESP32 CAM WiFi+Bluetooth with OV2640 Camera Module based on the ESP32 chip. The specialty of this is the additional feature of using a camera. This makes it ideal for your projects and any IoT applications. Some of the applications include home smart devices, industrial wireless control, wireless monitoring, QR wireless identification, and wireless positioning system. The small-sized camera module of ESP32-CAM can operate independently as a minimum system.

ESP32-CAM is packaged in a dual in-line package and can be directly plugged into the backplane for quick production. This is therefore said to provide customers with a highly reliable connection method. This one too, a good set of documentation is available out there.

Ai-Thinker ESP32-CAM development board (Image Source: Here)


(Originally published on 5th May 2021)

What is ESP32 - the best Arduino replacement?

This article is a getting started guide for the ESP32 development board. If you’re familiar with the ESP8266, the ESP32 is its sucessor. The ESP32 is loaded with lots of new features. The most relevant: it combines WiFi and Bluetooth wireless capabilities and it’s dual core.

Find the differences between the ESP32 and the ESP8266: ESP32 vs ESP8266 – Pros and Cons


In this post, we’ll be using the ESP32 DEVKIT DOIT board as a reference. But the information on this page is also compatible with other ESP32 development boards with the ESP-WROOM-32 chip.

Here’s some examples of ESP32 boards:

Where to Buy?

Our ESP32 projects are build using mainly the ESP32 DEVKIT DOIT board and that’s the one we recommend getting.

You can also read the following article that compares several ESP32 development boards: ESP32 Development Boards.

You can use the preceding links or go directly to to find all the parts for your projects at the best price!


When it comes to the ESP32 chip specifications, you’ll find that:

  • The ESP32 is dual core, this means it has 2 processors.
  • It has Wi-Fi and bluetooth built-in.
  • It runs 32 bit programs.
  • The clock frequency can go up to 240MHz and it has a 512 kB RAM.
  • This particular board has 30 or 36 pins, 15 in each row.
  • It also has wide variety of peripherals available, like: capacitive touch, ADCs, DACs, UART, SPI, I2C and much more.
  • It comes with built-in hall effect sensor and built-in temperature sensor.

Specifications – ESP32 DEVKIT V1 DOIT

Number of cores2 (dual core)
Wi-Fi2.4 GHz up to 150 Mbits/s
BluetoothBLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and legacy Bluetooth
Architecture32 bits
Clock frequencyUp to 240 MHz
Pins30 or 36 (depends on the model)
PeripheralsCapacitive touch, ADC (analog to digital converter), DAC (digital to analog converter), I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit), UART (universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter), CAN 2.0 (Controller Area Netwokr), SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface), I2S (Integrated Inter-IC Sound), RMII (Reduced Media-Independent Interface), PWM (pulse width modulation), and more.

To learn more about the ESP32 GPIOs, read our GPIO reference guide: ESP32 Pinout Reference: Which GPIO pins should you use?

Programming Environments

The ESP32 can be programmed in different programming environments. You can use:

In our projects, we program the ESP32 mainly with Arduino IDE or MicroPython.

Preparing the ESP32 Board in Arduino IDE

There’s an add-on for the Arduino IDE allows you to program the ESP32 using the Arduino IDE and its programming language. Follow one of the next tutorials to prepare your Arduino IDE:

ESP32 Pinout Guide

The ESP32 has more GPIOs with more functionalities compared to the ESP826.

With the ESP32 you can decide which pins are UART, I2C, or SPI – you just need to set that on the code. This is possible due to the ESP32 chip’s multiplexing feature that allows to assign multiple functions to the same pin. If you don’t set them on the code, the pins will be used as default – as shown in the figure below (the pin location can change depending on the manufacturer).

Version with 30 GPIOs

Version with 36 GPIOs

You can read our detailed ESP32 Pinout Reference Guide.

Upload Code to the ESP32 using Arduino IDE

To show you how to upload code to your ESP32 board, we’ll build a simple example to blink an LED.

Copy the following code to your Arduino IDE:

View raw code

In this code, we’re controlling an LED connected to GPIO 23.

So, connect an LED to your ESP32 by following the next schematic diagram.

Important: always check the pinout for your specific board before building any circuit.

Here’s a list of the parts you need to build this previous circuit:

Plug your ESP32 development board to your computer and follow these next instructions:

1) Go to Tools > Board, scroll down to the ESP32 section and select the name of your ESP32 board. In my case, it’s the DOIT ESP32 DEVKIT V1 board.

2) Go to Tools > Port and select a COM port available.

3) Press the upload button.

That’s it!

Note: If you get the following error when trying to upload code, it means that your ESP32 is not in flashing/uploading mode.

Failed to connect to ESP32: Timed out... Connecting...

To upload code, you need to follow the next steps (make sure you have the right board selected:

  • Hold-down the “BOOT” button in your ESP32 board
  • After you see the  “Connecting….” message in your Arduino IDE, release the finger from the “BOOT” button:
  • After that, you should see the “Done uploading” message.

That’s it. After uploading the new sketch, you can press the “ENABLE” button to restart the ESP32 and run the new uploaded sketch.

Note: Learn how to fix the “Failed to connect to ESP32: Timed out waiting for packet header” error permanently when trying to upload new code to your ESP32 board once for all.


After uploading the code, the LED connected to GPIO 23 should be blinking every other second.

Wrapping up

We hope you’ve found this getting started guide useful. The blinking LED is just a simple project to get you started with the ESP32. This is also a great way to learn the procedure you need to do to upload code to your board.

If you like ESP32, we have more than 20 projects with the ESP32 you can find in our repository of ESP32 projects:

You may also like:

If you like ESP32 make sure you subscribe to our blog, so you don’t miss upcoming projects.

Do you have any questions? Leave a comment down below!

Thanks for reading,

P.S. If you like the ESP32, you might also enjoy our ESP32 course: Learn ESP32 with Arduino IDE


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See you here in fifteen minutes, okay. He turned around and left and I also went to my barrack. The local rules were simple and I was getting used to them. Fifteen minutes later, we walked to the plantations to have. Sex there.

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