Arduino Uno vs. Arduino Pro Mini: Comparison Guide


The difference between the Arduino UNO and the Arduino Pro Mini board is its performance. Arduino UNO is much faster than the Arduino Pro Mini board and it uses for further advanced applications. 

It is a recommended board if you are a complete beginner. The famous, Arduino UNO board, uses an ATmega328P microcontroller, and consists of 14 digital I/O pins and 6 analog pins, while the Arduino Pro Mini consists of 14 digital I/O pins, 6 Analog pins, a reset button, holes for mounting pin headers. 

Arduino Pro Mini board comes without pre-mounted headers and it gives leverage to use with the headers or you directly sell your wires onto it. It gives an advantage over Arduino UNO; it becomes much easier to use it in exhibitions or on objects.

Arduino Uno Arduino Pro Mini
Microcontrollers
Uses Atmel ATmega328P chip
Microcontrollers
Uses Atmel ATmega328P chip
Physical Size
The UNO is a larger board with more pins and connectors
Physical Size
Pro Mini is a smaller board that is designed to be more compact and easy to integrate into projects. This can be important if you are building a project that has limited space or needs to be portable.
Programming and software
The UNO and the Pro Mini are both compatible with the Arduino IDE and use the same programming language and libraries
Programming and software
Same as Arduino UNO

*Note: The UNO uses a 5V system voltage, while the Pro Mini can be configured to use either 5V or 3.3V. This can be important when you are interfacing the board with other components or devices that have different voltage requirements. For example, if you are using sensors or other components that operate at 3.3V, you may prefer to use a Pro Mini with a 3.3V system voltage to avoid the need for level shifters or other voltage conversion circuits.

What is an Arduino UNO?

Arduino UNO board description

The Arduino UNO is the most popular board in the Arduino family, and a user friendly for beginners who want to get started with electronics and programming. The board is based on the ATmega328P microcontroller and has a clock speed of 16 MHz. The UNO has 14 digital input/output pins, 6 analog input pins, and 6 PWM (pulse-width modulation) pins. It also has a USB port for programming and a power supply.

What is Arduino Pro Mini?

arduino-pro-mini

The Arduino Pro Mini is a compact and lightweight board suitable for projects with space constraints. The Pro Mini is based on the Atmel ATmega328P microcontroller and has a clock speed of 16 MHz. There are 14 digital I/O pins and 8 analog pins on the Pro Mini, along with UART, SPI, and I2C interfaces for communication. The board can be programmed using an FTDI cable or an external programmer.

Arduino UNO Vs. Arduino Pro Mini Pin Description

S. No Pin Type Arduino UNO Arduino Pro Mini
1 Digital I/O 14 20
2 Analog Input 6 6
3 UART (Serial) 1 1
4 I2C 1 1
5 SPI 1 1
6 Pulse Width Modulation Pins 6 6
7 Total 20 35

The UNO board, now in its R3 generation, is the most recent iteration of the standard 328p-based Arduino board. From a software engineer’s perspective, there is no discernible distinction between the two boards. 

The Uno’s bootloader code is shorter and allows for faster sketch uploads at a higher baud rate, and that’s one of the key differences between Arduino UNO and the Arduino Pro Mini.

Additionally, the 328p chip on an Arduino Pro Mini board can have its bootloader swapped out for the UNO version, allowing the board to take advantage of all the same features as the Arduino UNO. This makes the Pro Mini a great option for projects that require a smaller form factor, but still need the capabilities of the Arduino UNO.

Arduino UNO Vs. Arduino Pro Mini Specs

Arduino UNO Arduino PRO Mini
General
Dimensions 2.7¨ x 2.1¨ 0.7″ x 1.3″ (approx.)
Pricing $20-23 $9-10
Connectivity
I/O Pins 14 20
PWM Pins 6 6
Analog Pins 6 6
Analog Out Pins (DAC) 2
Computing
Processor ATMega328P ATMega328P
Flash Memory 32 kB 32 kB
SRAM 2kB 2kB
EEPROM 1kB 1kB
Clock speed 16 MHz 16 MHz
Voltage Level 5V 5V
USB Connectivity Standard A/B USB Mini USB
Communication
Hardware Serial Ports 1 1
SPI Support Yes Yes
I2C Support Yes Yes

The voltage level of the Due board is different from that of other Arduino boards. The Arduino Pro Mini also uses a microcontroller that operates at 3.3V, which is lower than the typical 5V used in most other boards. It’s important to be cautious when applying voltage to the pins, as excessive voltage could damage the board.

Performance Comparison UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini

  • While the Arduino Pro Mini and Arduino UNO share the same clock speed of 16 MHz, their microcontroller architectures differ. The Pro Mini utilizes an 8-bit microcontroller, while the UNO features a 32-bit microcontroller. This distinction impacts their overall performance capabilities.
  • For common tasks and projects, such as basic sensing, data logging, and simple control applications, the Pro Mini’s 8-bit microcontroller is more than capable. It can efficiently handle tasks that involve digital and analog input/output, as well as basic communication protocols like I2C and UART.
  • It’s important to consider the specific requirements of your project when choosing between the Arduino UNO and Arduino Pro Mini. If you prioritize performance for complex tasks, the UNO may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you have more modest requirements or need a smaller form factor, the Pro Mini can still handle a wide range of applications effectively.

Compatibility Comparison UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini

One of the biggest advantages of using Arduino UNO is its compatibility with a wide range of shields; which are add-on boards that provide additional functionality. Hundreds of shields are easily available for the UNO, including ones for Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and LCD displays.

Similarly, the Arduino Pro Mini has different pin layouts and voltage requirements compared to the UNO, which means that it may not be compatible with some shields. However, there are still many shields that are compatible with the Pro Mini, and it is small size and lower power consumption make it a popular choice for projects that require a compact form factor.

Power Consumption Comparison UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini

The Arduino Pro Mini has a lower power consumption than the UNO, which makes it a better choice for battery-powered projects. The UNO can run on as little as 7 volts and has a sleep mode that reduces power consumption to a few microamps. The Pro Mini, on the other hand, requires a lower voltage and has a lower power consumption due to its smaller size and less powerful processor.

Price Comparison UNO vs. Pro Mini

The Arduino UNO is the cheaper of the two boards, with a price point of around $25. On the other hand, Arduino Pro Mini, is more affordable with a price point of around $10-$15, making it a more cost-effective option for projects with a tight budget. The reasonable price makes the UNO and Pro Mini a more affordable option for beginners and hobbyists just starting with electronics and programming.

Which board should you choose? 

When choosing between the Arduino UNO and Arduino Pro Mini, it is essential to consider the specific requirements of your project. For example, you are a beginner or hobbyist who is just starting out with electronics and programming. In that case, the UNO is the best option due to its simplicity, shield compatibility, lower price point, and community. On the other hand, the Arduino Pro Mini might be a better choice if you are an advanced user who requires a smaller form factor and still needs the capabilities of the Arduino UNO.

The Pro Mini is ideal for projects that require small sizes and lower power consumption. However, it has limited memory and processing power compared to the Arduino UNO. So, if you need more processing power, memory, and speed then the UNO is a better option. It handles complex and demanding projects, such as audio and video processing, robotics, and machine learning with ease.

Related Reading About Arduino Comparison

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which board is more affordable, Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini?

Arduino UNO and Pro Mini come at a price of under $50, but as compared to other boards the exact price of UNO is $25-$31 and Pro Mini is around $10-15

If you are a complete beginner and haven’t used any microcontroller before. I would suggest you to use Arduino UNO because of its online community and easy-to-use hardware.

  • Can I use the same code on Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini?

The Arduino UNO code you write is compatible with other Arduino boards with minimal changes. Libraries, functionality, and pin position may vary from board to board.

  • Which board has more pins, Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro mini?

Arduino pins vary from board to board; Arduino UNO has a total of 28 pins and it consists of 14 Digital Input/Output pins (including TX and RX), 6 Analog pins, 3 ground pins, 1 RESET Pin, 1 3.3V pin and 1 5.5V while The Arduino Pro Mini has 20 digital Input/Output pins and 8 Analog pins, 2 UARTs (hardware serial ports). 

Pin Number Arduino UNO Arduino Pro Mini
0 RX RX
1 TX TX
2 INT0 N/A
3 INT1 N/A
4 PWM N/A
5 PWM N/A
6 PWM N/A
7 N/A
8 N/A
9 PWM PWM
10 PWM PWM
11 PWM PWM
12 N/A
13 LED LED
A0 Analog In Analog In
A1 Analog In Analog In
A2 Analog In Analog In
A3 Analog In Analog In
A4 Analog In SDA
A5 Analog In SCL
A6 Analog In Analog In
A7 Analog In Analog In
A8 N/A
A9 N/A
A10 N/A
A11 N/A
A12 N/A
A13 N/A
A14 N/A
A15 N/A
DAC0 N/A
DAC1 N/A
SDA SDA SDA
SCL SCL SCL
TCK N/A
TMS N/A
TDI N/A
TDO N/A
TRST N/A
SS N/A
MOSI MOSI N/A
MISO MISO N/A
SCK SCK N/A
RX1
  • Which board has more memory, Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini?

The Arduino Pro Mini has 32KB of flash memory and 2KB of SRAM, whereas the Arduino UNO has 32KB of flash memory and 2KB of SRAM as well. So, in terms of memory, the Arduino UNO and the Arduino Pro Mini are equivalent.

  • Can I use the same shields on Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini?

Some shields may be compatible with every other Arduino board, but it is not guaranteed. Because every board has different sets of pins and voltage levels. So, it would be difficult, but there are some of shields that can connect on both Arduino UNO and Arduino Pro Mini. 

Shield Arduino UNO Compatibility Arduino Pro Mini Compatibility
Ethernet Shield Yes Yes
Motor Shield Yes No (different pin layout)
GPS Shield Yes Yes
Bluetooth Shield Yes Yes
WiFi Shield Yes Yes
LCD Shield Yes Yes
SD Card Shield Yes Yes
OLED Shield Yes Yes
Relay Shield Yes Yes
Keypad Shield Yes Yes
NFC Shield Yes Yes
  • Which board consumes less power, Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini?

Compared to the Arduino Pro Mini, the Arduino UNO has slightly higher power consumption and is less preferable for use with battery-powered applications. The Arduino UNO runs at 5 volts and also has a sleep mode, but its sleep mode may not be as power-efficient as the sleep mode on the Arduino Pro Mini.

The Arduino Pro Mini, on the other hand, has a lower power consumption due to its smaller size and lack of an onboard USB-to-serial converter. It is designed for low-power applications and can operate in a wider range of input voltages (from 3.3V to 12V), making it more flexible for battery-powered applications.

  • How do I decide which board to use for my project, Arduino UNO vs. Arduino Pro Mini?

If power consumption is a concern, the Pro Mini’s lower power consumption may be preferable. Additionally, the Pro Mini operates in a wider range of input voltages, making it more flexible for battery-powered applications.

On the other hand, if the project requires a larger number of I/O pins or requires more processing power, the Arduino UNO may be a better choice. The UNO has more I/O pins and a larger amount of flash memory, making it more suitable for more complex projects.

Overall, the choice between the two boards will ultimately depend on the specific needs and requirements of the project.

Mataf Khan

An electronics enthusiasts from childhood became an electrical engineer, I've been playing with Arduino and other electronics gadgets like raspberry pi since when I was 14. and have a passion of troubleshooting Arduino problems.

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