Breakouts

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These are the breakouts used in ZeroPhone and their roles. Here, you can see which breakouts are/aren't required for ZeroPhone assembly and what's their purpose, where they come from, and links to the relevant "Sourcing guidelines" parts so that you know where to get one. The "replacements available" tells you whether we've already developed a board that fits the same pinout and performs the same functions, possibly, adding additional functions.

Pi Zero

Purpose ZeroPhone core, power regulation
Required Yes
Replacements available Not yet
Made by Raspberry Pi Foundation
Origin UK
Sourcing here

The Pi Zero is at the heart of ZeroPhone, its importance is hard to underestimate. It would be traditionally called a "development board" or a "single-board computer", but it fits into requirements for the "breakouts" category, as you'd source it the same way as all the other breakouts. A replacement OSD3358-based board is being developed, but hasn't been released yet.

GSM modem

Purpose GSM (2G) connectivity
Required No
Replacements available Not yet
Made by Unknown (multiple manufacturers)
Origin China
Sourcing here

This provides the ZeroPhone with 2G connectivity, allowing for calls, SMS and GPRS functions. A replacement 3G-capable board is being developed, but hasn't been released yet. You can attach the modem later on (after assembly), or not attach it at all.

ESP-12 module

Purpose WiFi connectivity
Required No
Replacements available Not yet
Made by Unknown (multiple manufacturers)
Origin China
Sourcing here

This provides the ZeroPhone with WiFi connectivity, allowing to access Internet, use SSH and all the other cool things you can do over the network. It's not needed if you get a Zero W (though a Zero + ESP combo would be recommended). In case of non-W-Zero-based ZP, you can attach the ESP module later on (after assembly), or not attach it at all - then, you'll likely want to use a USB-WiFi adapter (or i.e. a USB-Ethernet adapter for wired network).

TP4056 charging&protection board

Purpose GSM connectivity
Required Mostly
Replacements available Yes
Made by Unknown (multiple manufacturers)
Origin China
Sourcing here

This board allows us to charge the ZeroPhone battery, as well as protect it from undervoltage, overvoltage and short-circuits. You can use a ZeroPhone without this board (i.e. for testing purposes), but you will have to power your ZeroPhone through the expansion headers, and this is not yet well-documented.

DC-DC step-up board

Purpose Generating 5V for USB/peripherals
Required No
Replacements available Not yet
Made by Unknown (multiple manufacturers)
Origin China
Sourcing here

This board provides 5V power to the USB-connected peripherals (as well as some externally connected mods, i.e. the 3.5" display mod). You can assemble the ZP without it and then add the board later (or not add it at all), but you will need to connect a charger to the MicroUSB port to power the USB-connected peripherals.

1.3" display breakout

Purpose Displaying the ZeroPhone UI
Required Mostly
Replacements available Yes
Made by Heltec + other manufacturers
Origin China
Sourcing here

The display breakout allows to run the ZeroPhone UI, which will likely be very desirable to have, at least, for the first boot setup (unless you use i.e. a USB-UART). You can try and use a different display, but it's best if you stick to the recommended one.