Building an Android computer using a range of low-cost hardware is an economical yet attractive idea. In this tutorial, we will get acquainted with the methods of this work.
More fun than programming is building a computer system with your own hands! Compared to software production time, this requires a series of hardware components and on the other hand the relative skill of the user. The problem with building an Android computer is that the platform is not developed for working on desktop devices, so it is a bit difficult to find hardware components that match its operating systems.
In this article, you will get acquainted with the hardware components required along with the necessary operating system to build an Android laptop and pocket computer.
How is it possible to build an Android computer?
In the simplest case, you need a single board computer (SBC -> Single Board Computer) and a case. Some bags can add an extra battery and even a display, so choosing the type varies depending on the user’s needs.
Fortunately, Android works with most SBC boards. We suggest that you choose an SBC, despite the possibility of building Android computers using other types of boards. One of the main reasons for this is the customization of some versions of Android operating systems to run optimally on them. As a result, the reliability and reliability of the computer will increase and the possibility of problems will decrease. In the following, we will get acquainted with the best SBC boards.
- Pi 4 (Raspberry Pi 4): ABC among multiple boards, Raspberry feet enormous popularity and compared with other, longer support cycle. Their price is very reasonable compared to the hardware components that they provide in the form of a board. For people with limited budgets, Raspberry Pi is the ideal choice, especially for No. 4.
- Orange Pi 4B: This board is cheap, fast and efficient, but is limited to Android 8.1 operating system.
- Banana Pi M4: Compared to other SBC boards, this is the cheapest option, but again similar to Orange Pie 4 Unlimited on Android 8.1.
- Rock 64: The important difference with the previous two SBC boards is working with Android 9. This model offers significant hardware in terms of price.
- Atomic Pi: The only SBC based 32-bit, computer-compatible architecture on this model. Atomic Pie uses an Intel processor and supports various Android operating systems such as Android TV.
Build an Android computer with a touch screen
Raspberry Pi 4 can easily be turned into a tablet. All you have to do is make a case with a display on it. In these types of bags, modules are required and there is a touch screen by default. Just connect an SBC board to it.
If you want to locate yourself or connect to the Internet using your mobile computer, fortunately there are a number of modules.
Build an Android computer with desktop computer parts
If you have an old computer at home, you can also turn it into an Android mobile system. In this case, you must find one of the 32-bit versions of Android to install. Sometimes you can use an existing computer to run an Android computer, otherwise you have to buy a series of additional hardware components.
Android operating systems suitable for handheld computers
The most important part when building an Android computer is choosing and then mounting the appropriate operating system. Some versions of Google’s mobile platform operating systems have been developed for mobile processors, but others can be implemented on SBC boards. Clicking on the name of each will be sent to the download page.
- Bliss OS : This is an open source operating system and is the result of the efforts of a non-profit company. Bliss OS is a good option for Android computers.
- Android-x86 Project : This operating system is a customized version of Android for desktop computers.
- OpenThOs : If you are looking for open source versions of Android for desktops, OpenThOs is a good choice.
- PrimeOS : This Android operating system was developed by a company and you have to buy it. Fortunately, there are free versions as well.
- Phoenix OS : This custom Android operating system has Chinese language, so keep this in mind before installing.
- Android for ARM : On some single-board computers, such as Raspberry Pi, a version of the Android operating system is installed by default. For convenience and speed of use, you can buy one of them.
- Chromium OS: A version of Chromium OS is available for users to install, but unfortunately this platform does not support Android applications. There are currently two versions of chromium for building a laptop. CloudReady does not support Android applications, and its developer has no plans to add this support. The second version is called Arnold the Bat and its developer seeks to add the ability to use Google Play Store applications in its operating system.
The best Android x86 motherboards
For an Android project, never get a motherboard for desktops. If you build an Android computer with a desktop x68 motherboard, the chances of problems will increase.
If you have to buy such a product, get an Intel Atom motherboard. Although almost all motherboards boot Android operating systems, the problem is that it is not possible to use many features such as audio playback or port support.
Older mobile chips, such as Intel Atom series processors, offer the best performance in this situation. For example, the Asrock Q1900-ITX motherboard is capable of playing audio if an Android operating system is mounted on it. The reason is the support of Realtek ALC662 by Android x68. It is not possible to comment on the performance of the ALC792 or ALC892 chipsets. To solve the sound problem, you can use Bluetooth speakers next to your Android computer.
The best network cards for building an Android computer
If you start building an Android computer from scratch and the existing network card does not work on it, buy an Intel wireless network card. Compared to other brands, they are more likely to work on SBC boards with an Android operating system. A popular example is the Intel 3160. Another lower priced option is the Intel 7260.
Components that do not matter to an Android computer
Other components such as case, data storage drive, monitor, power supply and other items are not important and you can choose them as you wish. In other words, because of the use of Android on your computer, you have no restrictions in choosing them.
At a higher cost, you will increase the processing power of your Pocket PC. For example, it is better to buy an SSD instead of an HDD hard drive. Android operating systems will be developed to work on HDDs and it will be problematic to pair them with mechanical hard drives.