If you’re looking for a low-cost, single-board solution for Wi-Fi projects, you might be considering the ESP8285 vs. ESP8266. Both of these boards are made by Espressif Systems, and both offer excellent performance for the price. But which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll compare the two boards and help you decide which one is best for your project.
What Is ESP8285?
The ESP8285 was designed to be used in WiFi applications where size and power consumption are important factors. The ESP8285 offers significant advantages over other WiFi solutions in these areas. 
What Is ESP8266?
The chip first came to the attention of Western makers in August 2014 with the ESP-01 module, made by a third-party manufacturer Ai-Thinker. This small board allowed makers to connect an Arduino or other microcontroller to Wi-Fi using the ubiquitous ESP8266 chip.
The ESP8266 quickly became popular for its low cost and versatility. By combining an inexpensive microcontroller with a built-in WiFi transceiver, the ESP8266 revolutionized connectivity for many traditional devices like thermostats, sprinklers, and lights. 
Differences Between ESP8285 and ESP8266
The ESP8285 has a maximum clock frequency of 160 MHz, while the ESP8266 is only 80 MHz. This means that the ESP8285 can perform twice as many operations per second as the ESP8266.
The ESP8285 has 1 MB of flash memory on-chip, while the ESP8266 only has 512 KB. This means that the ESP8285 can store twice as much data as the ESP8266.
The ESP8285 comes in a smaller package than the ESP8266. The QFN-32 (quad flat no lead) package of the ESP8285 is 4x4mm, while the QFN-40 package of the ESP8266 is 5x5mm. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications where space is limited.
The ESP8285 has a lower power consumption than the ESP8266. The ESP8285 consumes as little as 2.7 mA in deep-sleep mode, while the ESP8266 consumes 10 mA. This means that the ESP8285 is more suitable for battery-powered applications than the ESP8266.
The ESP8285 has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support while the ESP8266 lacks this feature. This means that the ESP8285 can be used to create applications that require BLE connectivity, such as fitness trackers and security systems. 
The ESP8285 has a more diverse feature set than the ESP8266, one such feature being a built-in hall sensor. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications that require the detection of magnetic fields, such as proximity sensors and door sensors.
The ESP8285 can be used for applications such as security cameras and drones that require image capture.
The ESP8285 comes with a built-in temperature sensor–a function the ESP8266 does not have. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications that require temperature sensing, such as thermostats and weather stations.
The ESP8285 has improved security features compared to the ESP8266. The ESP8285 supports secure boot and flash encryption, while the ESP8266 does not. This means that the ESP8285 is more suitable for applications that require data security, such as financial transactions and medical devices.
Low Power Consumption
The ESP8285 is designed for low power consumption. The chip can operate at voltages as low as 2.5V and consume as little as 2.7 mA in deep-sleep mode. This makes the ESP8285 ideal for battery-powered applications.
The ESP8285 has a built-in co-processor, which offloads the host processor and frees up resources for other tasks. This means that the ESP8285 can handle more complex applications than the ESP8266.
Total GPIO Pins
The ESP8285 has a total of 17 GPIO pins, while the ESP8266 has only 16. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications that require more I/O pins, such as LED arrays and sensors.
The ESP8285 has hardware-accelerated cryptographic algorithms, while the ESP8266 does not. This means that the ESP8285 can perform encryption and decryption operations faster than the ESP8266.
The ESP8285 has built-in SPI RAM, while the ESP8266 does not. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications that require large data buffers, such as video streaming and gaming.
The ESP8285 supports USB On-The-Go (OTG), while the ESP8266 does not. This means that the ESP8285 can be used to create applications that require USB connectivity, such as mass storage devices and human interface devices.
Microcontroller Unit (MCU)
The ESP8285 is an MCU, while the ESP8266 is not. This means that the ESP8285 can be used to create applications that require a microcontroller, such as embedded systems and robotics.
The ESP8285 has 512 KB of on-chip ROM, while the ESP8266 has only 256 KB. This means that the ESP8285 can store more data than the ESP8266.
The ESP8285 supports the Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol, while the ESP8266 does not. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications that require CAN connectivity, such as automotive and industrial control systems.
The ESP8285 supports Ethernet, while the ESP8266 does not. This means that the ESP8285 can be used in applications that require wired connectivity, such as network appliances and security systems. 
Which Are The Applications? How Can You Run It?
The applications for the ESP8285 include:
- Battery-powered applications
- Applications that require low power consumption
- Applications that require USB connectivity
- Applications that require Ethernet connectivity
- Applications that require BLE connectivity
- Applications that require image capture
- Applications that require temperature sensing
- Applications that require data security
- Applications that require more I/O pins
- Applications that require encryption and decryption operations
- Applications that require large data buffers
You can run the ESP8285 with Arduino, NodeMCU, and MicroPython.
The applications for the ESP8266 include:
- Connecting to Wi-Fi networks
- Controlling peripherals over a network
- Building web servers
- Creating chatbots
- Monitoring sensor data
You can run the ESP8266 with Arduino, NodeMCU, and MicroPython.
Popularity and User-Friendly
The ESP8285 is not as popular as the ESP8266. This is because the ESP8266 was released first and has more features. The ESP8285 is also less user-friendly than the ESP8266.
The ESP8285 vs. ESP8266 debate comes down to three main factors: power consumption, GPIO pins, and ROM. If you need a low-power device with more I/O pins and more ROM, then the ESP8285 is the better choice. If you need a device that is more popular and user-friendly, then the ESP8266 is the better choice.
Sustainability and Compatibility
When it comes to choosing between the ESP8285 vs. ESP8266, one of the key considerations is compatibility. The ESP8266 was designed as an upgrade to the popular ESP8255 Wi-Fi module. It is compatible with most of the same software and hardware as its predecessor. This means that existing projects can be easily upgraded to use the ESP8266 without any major changes.
It was designed as a solution for devices that need on-board storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, such as home automation hubs and security cameras. The trade-off for this extra functionality is that the ESP8285 is not compatible with as many existing ESP8266 projects.
Suitable Projects for the ESP8285
Now that we know what makes the ESP8285 unique, let’s take a look at some of the best projects for this chip. Remember, since the ESP8285 is fully compatible with the ESP8266, any project that uses an ESP8266 can also be used with an ESP8285.
The following are three of our favorite projects that use an ESP8266:
Smart Home Hub
By using an ESP8266 as a smart home hub, you can easily control all your smart devices from one central location. You can even access your smart home hub from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.
Wireless Weather Station
A wireless weather station is a great way to keep track of the weather conditions in your area. By using an ESP8266, you can easily connect your weather station to the internet, so you can always stay up-to-date on the latest forecast.
Remote Controlled Robot
By using an ESP8266, you can easily build a remote controlled robot. This is perfect for anyone who wants to build their own robot without having to worry about wiring or programming. Plus, since the ESP8266 is WiFi-enabled, you can control your robot from anywhere in the world. 
No matter what project you choose, the ESP8285 is a great choice for any WiFi-enabled project.
Suitable Projects for the ESP8266
The ESP8266 is a perfect fit for many small projects. Here are some examples:
- Smart home devices: You can use the ESP8266 to control smart home devices such as lights, locks, and thermostats.
- Wearables: The ESP8266 can be used to create wearable electronics such as fitness trackers and smartwatches.
- Robotics: The ESP8266 can be used to control robots and other electronic devices.
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices: The ESP8266 can be used to create IoT devices such as connected thermostats and security systems.
- 3D printers: You can use the ESP8266 to control a 3D printer.
- Cameras: The ESP8266 can be used to control a camera.
Pros and Cons of ESP8285
The ESP8285 has a few pros and cons that you should consider before using it in your next project.
- The ESP8285 has built-in WiFi, so you don’t need to add an external WiFi module.
- The ESP8285 is cheaper than the ESP8266.
- The ESP8285 has more GPIO pins than the ESP8266.
- The ESP8285 is smaller than the ESP8266.
- The ESP8285 requires less power than the ESP8266.
- The maximum operating temperature of the ESP8285 is lower than the maximum operating temperature of the ESP8266.
- The ESP8285 has a smaller memory than the ESP8266.
- The ESP8285 does not have a built-in USB port, so you will need to use an external USB to serial converter.
- The ESP8285 is not as widely supported as the ESP8266.
- The ESP8285 does not have as many pins exposed as the ESP8266.
Pros and Cons of ESP8266
The ESP8266 has a few pros and cons that you should consider before using it in your next project.
- The ESP8266 has built-in WiFi, so you don’t need to add an external WiFi module.
- The ESP8266 is cheaper than the ESP8285.
- The ESP8266 has more GPIO pins than the ESP8285.
- The ESP8266 is easier to find than the ESP8285.
- The maximum operating temperature of the ESP8266 is lower than the maximum operating temperature of the ESP8285.
- The ESP8266 requires more power than the ESP8285.
- The ESP8266 does not have as many pins exposed as the ESP8285.
SoC vs Microcontroller
These components include a central processing unit (CPU), memory, input/output (I/O) interfaces, and other peripherals.
A microcontroller is a type of SoC that contains a CPU, memory, I/O interfaces, and other peripherals on a single IC. Microcontrollers are used in a wide variety of electronic devices, including automobiles, appliances, industrial control systems, and consumer electronics.
The main difference between SoC and microcontroller is that SoCs are designed for specific applications while microcontrollers can be programmed to perform various tasks. SoCs usually have more components and are more complex than microcontrollers. Microcontrollers are more versatile and can be used in a wide variety of applications. 
Are ESP8285 and ESP8266 the same?
The ESP8285 is an improved version of the ESP8266. It has 1 MiB of built-in flash, compared to the 512 KiB of the ESP8266, and also supports some new features like automatic bootloading from an external SPI flash.
What is better than ESP8266?
If you need more built-in flash, the ESP8285 is a better choice. Otherwise, the ESP8266 should be fine for most applications.
Is NodeMcu ESP32 or ESP8266?
It has support for many platforms and programming languages. NodeMcu ESP32 is a more powerful version of the ESP8266 with more pins, more RAM, and supports dual-core processors.
Why is ESP8266 so popular?
The ESP8266 is popular because it is inexpensive and has a wide range of capabilities. It can be used as a simple WiFi module, or it can be programmed to do more complex tasks.
What are disadvantages of ESP8266?
The main disadvantage of the ESP8266 is its limited processing power and memory. It is not suitable for applications that require a lot of computing power or storage.
How far can ESP8266 transmit?
The ESP8266 can transmit data up to about 4 km in open space. However, in practice, the range will be much lower due to obstacles such as buildings and trees. The actual range will also depend on the power output of the ESP8266 module and the sensitivity of the receiver.
How long can ESP8285 run continuously?
The ESP8285 can run for up to about 8 hours on a single battery. However, in practice, the battery life will be shorter due to a number of factors such as the power consumption of the module and the size of the battery.
How long can an ESP8266 run on battery?
The ESP8266 can run on battery for up to about 4 hours. However, in practice, the battery life will be shorter due to a number of factors such as the power consumption of the module and the size of the battery.
Can ESP8285 work as a router?
The ESP8285 can work as a router, but it is not designed for that purpose. It is not as powerful as a dedicated router and will likely have shorter range and battery life when used as a router.
Can ESP8266 work as a WiFi repeater?
The ESP8266 can work as a WiFi repeater, but it is not designed for that purpose. It is not as powerful as a dedicated WiFi repeater and will likely have shorter range and battery life when used as a repeater.
Useful Video: ESP8285 at 460 meters. First impressions.
There you have it! The main differences between the ESP8285 and ESP8266 are its built-in flash memory and higher maximum current output. If you’re looking for an all-in-one WiFi solution with no need for external memory, the ESP8285 is your best bet. However, if you’re working on a project with limited space and/or power, the ESP8266 may be a better choice. Thanks for reading!