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Google and Huawei announce new Raspberry Pi-like Android dev board

Huawei just announced a new Raspberry Pi-like mini computer that will let developers create software for Android on an ARM-based development board for the first time.

The HiKey 960 comes packing some of the latest smartphone hardware, with Google, ARM, Archermind, LeMaker, and Huawei all teaming up to produce the computer.

Its release means developers can take advantage of high-speeds when developing Android software, though the board can also be used as the basis of an Android PC.

Related: Best Raspberry Pi projects

Up until this point, developers have had to make use of x86 chips to develop software for Android, but Intel has been scaling back Android support on those processors for some time.

Linaro, an Android software package developing group that aims to “lead collaboration in the ARM ecosystem by bringing together industry and the open source community”, backed the HiKey 960 project.

Huawei logo

The board itself is about as powerful as today’s top-end smartphones and packs Huawei’s latest octa-core Kirin 960 processor – the same chip used in the the Huawei Mate 9.

There’s also 32 GB of storage and 3 GB of RAM, two USB 3.0 ports, backed up by one USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 support, along with an HDMI port.

The HiKey 960 will support resolutions up to 1920 x 1080, and there’s the usual array of pins to allow devs to attach other add-ons.

Huawei has also made sure the Mali-G71 GPU is capable of outputting 4K, and the board comes with the open-source version of Android.

Google has jumped on-board, officially supporting the 960 and the less capable HiKey 620, with the former set to ship in the US, EU, and Japan in early May.

The 960 wil go on sale for $240, which works out to around £185 – though we’re still confirming UK pricing so stay tuned.

WATCH: Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2

Let us know what you think of the new dev board in the comments.

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