ESP32 vs ESP8266 which is better


Both microcontroller boards have dual-core CPUs and are capable of running more than one process at a time. However, tasks run on the ESP32 should be completed faster than the Raspberry Pi Pico, all other things being equal. The ESP32 has quickly emerged as a community favorite due to its low cost, low energy consumption, and wireless connectivity features, making it suitable for Internet of Things projects. Other popular ESP8266 based boards include the D1 Mini or the Feather HUZZAH by Adafruit. Espressif also makes its own development boards like the ESP8266-DevKitC. The ESP8266 itself, at its core, is a microcontroller with built-in WiFi in a single, small form factor chip.

They can store and execute complex instructions, and they often have built-in memory and peripherals (like sensors and input/output ports). This versatile processor can be found in both dual core variation as well single cores that offer different abilities depending upon your needs! A key feature of the module is the ability to connect an external antenna through the U.FL connector. We will add here the presence of additional RAM data, which allows you to run the microPython programming language on the controller.

Therefore, this article is going to discuss the pros and cons between ESP32 and ESP8266 and which one is better for your choice. Both have 32-bit processor, ESP32 is dual core 80Mhz to 240MHz CPU and ESP8266 is 160MHz single core processor. Some microcontrollers come with built-in security features, while others require external components.

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If you need low power consumption, then nRF52840 is a good choice. A secure bootloader can help to prevent unauthorized code from running on a microcontroller. It can verify the integrity of the application program before loading it, and it can encrypt or decrypt data as needed. Another way to improve security is to implement security features at the hardware level. This can include features like tamper-resistant packaging, physically secure memory, and hardware-based cryptography.

ESP32 vs ESP8266 which is better

Either way, adding security at the hardware level can make it more difficult for attackers to access data and systems. With power consumption data, we could also check out the modules’ power efficiency, measured in CoreMark score per milliwatt. Here, the ESP32-C3 does a bit better than the ESP8266, and somewhere between the ESP32 running one core and two cores respectively. This confirms what we’ve suspected for a while — if you want to save power, your best bet is to keep the chip sleeping as much as possible, and then run it full-out when it needs to run. ESP32 devices have more GPIO to work with more useable and complicated projects. It is a better suited for every situation where an application needs a microcontroller.

The ESP32 has a slightly more powerful processor, with a clock speed of up to 240 MHz, compared to the Raspberry Pi Pico’s maximum clock speed of 133 MHz. The ESP32 has a faster instruction rate than the RP2040 chip in the Pico. Development boards can differ in form factor and additional features (i.e. LiPo battery charger), but in the end, they are all just an easy way for you to make something with the onboard microcontroller.


When it comes to low-cost, low-power consumption chips, there are a few alternatives to ESP32 and ESP8266. The most popular ones include the CC3200 from Texas Instruments and the Nordic nRF52840. The ESP8266 does not have a dedicated camera interface and thus cannot be used with image sensors.

GPIO pins are more plentiful on the ESP32 than on the ESP8266. Ten capacitive GPROS, which can be used to trigger events, are built into the ESP32. The trigger event is a circuit in which an input pulse, such as in a radar module, causes a reaction. The two low-cost microcontrollers commonly used as IoT devices.

What are the main differences between ESP8266 and ESP32?

A bootloader is a program that runs when a microcontroller is first powered on. Its job is to initialize the microcontroller and load the main application program. Microcontrollers are often connected to sensitive data and systems, so they can be attractive targets for hackers. System on a chip is an integrated circuit that combines all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single chip. If you’re looking for a microcontroller that’s easy to use and has Wi-Fi capabilities, the ESP8266 is the better choice.


The dormant uses even less power but requires an external trigger to wake. Designed by Espressif Systems, the ESP32 is the successor to the ESP8266 microcontroller and offers a number of improvements over it. These include a faster processor, faster Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, more GPIO pins, and several other features.


The esp32 vs esp8266 usually lacks a full-fledged operating system. It is designed to perform a range of tasks recorded in the firmware in the memory of the device. Affordable microcontrollers and convenient firmware development environments also contributed to this widespread use of proprietary IoT development. You can use either MicroPython or C++ for creating small projects on the ESP32. For large, complex projects, it is recommended that you use the ESP-IDF through the Visual Code extension or the Eclipse plugin. Programming on the Raspberry Pi Pico is as easy as drag-and-drop since the device shows up as mass storage when connected to a PC through USB.

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The ESP8266 does not have a built-in CAN bus controller and thus cannot be used with a CAN bus. The ESP32 also has 8 times more Flash memory than the ESP8266 . The color setting command is sent to the ambient light through the LIN bus of the car central control host, so as to change the color of the… TWS is the abbreviation of True Wireless Stereo, which translates as “true wireless stereo.” To put it bluntly, the true wireless headset me…

The comparison is a little skewed because the esp8266 just sends a small amount of data over TCP while the esp32 publishes a message over MQTT/TLS and receives a subscription message. However, as we’ve seen before, the exact nature of the connection tends not to be the dominant factor in the overall power consumption. For education purposes, it has the most resources, and it’s perfect for projects requiring a powerful Linux computer or gateway. The ESP8266 WiFi Module is a self-contained SOC with an integrated TCP/IP protocol stack that can give any microcontroller access to your WiFi network.

Total GPIO Pins

With a deep passion for electronics and the industry as a whole, she has written numerous articles on a wide range of topics related to electronic products and their development. Kristina’s knowledge and expertise in the field have earned her a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information for readers interested in the latest advancements in electronics. While it is not as versatile, it is suitable for most simple DIY IoT projects. However, it has some limitations in the GPIO mapping, and it may not have enough pins to perform the operations you intend to perform. Both boards are inexpensive, but the ESP32 is slightly more costly.

  • For the end user, it doesn’t matter all that much, but if saving money on IP licensing fees is what allows Espressif to include a more modern peripheral set for the ESP8266 price, then we’re all for it.
  • Moreover, the ESP32 is a reliable board, granted its firmware and connected peripherals may at times be unreliable.
  • They can store and execute complex instructions, and they often have built-in memory and peripherals (like sensors and input/output ports).
  • It is assumed that all the optimizations described in earlier posts are made, such as providing all the parameters to wifi.begin and wifi.config.
  • However, many people think that the ESP32 is harder to handle than the ESP8266 because it is more complex.
  • This confirms what we’ve suspected for a while — if you want to save power, your best bet is to keep the chip sleeping as much as possible, and then run it full-out when it needs to run.

I still only use $4 NodeMCU/ESP8266 for many home automation and robot control projects. They are mounted on two 17X10 protoboards for lots of jumper wire space. The I/O can be hugely increased with expander chips like MCP23017 if needed.

The ESP32 is a newer platform that is still being developed, while the ESP8266 has been around for a few years now. This means that the ESP32 may have more features and better support in the future, but the ESP8266 is more widely used and compatible with existing devices right now. The ESP32 has a co-processor that can be used to offload computationally intensive tasks from the main processor.

It adds an additional CPU core, faster Wi-Fi, more GPIOs, and support for Bluetooth 4.2 and Bluetooth Low Power. According to the datasheet, the Raspberry Pi Pico consumes about 91mA during the popcorn test with power-saving disabled. The Raspberry Pi Pico also allows you a bit more flexibility in choosing your power supply. It provides two low-power modes, dormant mode and sleep mode.

Once it’s done, insert the microSD card into your board, connect it to a display, USB keyboard and mouse, and optionally your Ethernet router. The ESP32 is a dual-core 160MHz to 240MHz CPU, whereas the ESP8266 is a single-core processor that runs at 80MHz. These modules come with GPIOs that support various protocols like SPI, I2C, UART, ADC, DAC, and PWM. ESP32 is better than ESP8266 because ESP32 has extra features such as CPU core, Faster Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 , touch sensitivity pins, and built-in Hall Effect sensors and temperature sensors. The ESP32 contains 10 capacitive GPROS that detect touch and can be used to trigger events.

  • Since ESP32 has a better processor, is power consumption is significantly higher than that of ESP8266.
  • Add Wi-Fi, Bluetooth , and low-power consumption, and we have the bestseller among microcontrollers.
  • The Development Kit based on ESP8266, integates GPIO, PWM, IIC, 1-Wire and ADC all in one board.

Indeed, Arduino is designed for electronics projects were you control I/O using C programming with the Arduino IDE installed in a Windows, Linux, or Mac computer. All the hard parts of setting up the hardware are however taken care of or abstracted, so Arduino boards are much easier to use than traditional MCU boards. When it comes to choosing a platform for STEM education or hobbyist projects, there are a number of low-cost, compact maker boards on the market. In this post, we’ll look at the use cases and strong points for each of the boards whether you are just dabbling in the hobby of coding and DIY electronics, or you have a commercial project.