It seems to me like Photon is 'winning' on the price front and ease of programming and of course the cheap wifi connection.

I realize the cloud portion (even the local cloud server) could be considered a disadvantage, but what about things like ability to drive dc/stepper motors or some exotic sensor? Perhaps not enough analog and/or digital pins? etc..

One disadvantage I can think of is the lack of resources whereas the Arduino has a ton of references online with working with all kinds of motors and sensors.

  • It's horses for courses. The Photon fulfils a different need to the Arduino. Use the device that best fits what you want to achieve.
    – Majenko
    Oct 3 '15 at 20:41
  • Arduino has never been inexpensive; once you are willing to consider alternatives there are many having more capability, and some selling for less than half of the price of the photon. For a one-off, effort is a substantial consideration, while for a project you will use in volume, how the price decreases as you start buying in volume matters a lot - Arduino almost wins there, as you can use the inexpensive bare chips on a custom design, while with photon you may have trouble cutting out the "particle" middlemen. Oct 3 '15 at 22:08

Photon advantages:

The photon has cloud compatibility and wifi access. The Arduino doesn't without a separate shield.

A photon about 1/4 the size of an Arduino UNO

Photon is much cheaper than arduinos

Arduino UNO advantages:

Arduino UNO has 5 volt AND 3.3 volt while Photon has only 3.3 volt

Arduino has many resources while Photons don't since Photons are fairly new

Arduinos don't need any wifi to work while Photons need to be connected to wifi and the cloud to flash code (Although there is a way to flash over USB cable, it is HIGHLY complicated with need of the terminal and DFU-UTIL installed.)

UNO has 5 analog, 13 digital ports while Photon has only 5 analog, 7 digital

UNOs have female pins, so no breadboards are necessary for small, simple projects. Photons have male pins, and they need to be plugged into a breadboard or soldered.

Personally, I have both an UNO and a photon. Photons are useful for small and more compact projects, while Arduinos are for projects on a bigger scale. Unless you specifically need access to the cloud or access to WIFI, I would suggest buying the Arduino. Good luck!

  • 1
    "Photons need to be connected to wifi and the cloud to run code". This isn't completely correct. Photons need internet for code to be uploaded to it, but other than that, they can run without internet (if your code doesn't require internet, but in that case you can just use an Arduino).
    – Len
    Jul 26 '16 at 7:47
  • 1
    Thanks for pointing that out. I will edit my answer. I would also like to say that it IS possible to flash code to an Photon without wifi, but it is a highly complicated process. Jul 26 '16 at 8:52
  • 1
    Your new edit also includes some more information of USB flashing a Photon, which indeed is really complicated. Good addition.
    – Len
    Jul 26 '16 at 12:08

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