For newbie what to start with: Photon or Core?

Hello all!

This is my first post.

As I understand all stuff sold by Particle is what we called Internet Of Things and I have no idea which device (or how do you call it?) to start with: Photon or Core?

Please let me also know if there any discount coupon.

I apologise if there’s already the answer here - please point me to it.


There’s no discount coupon and the Photon would be a great choice for better hardware and lower price :smile:

Thanks, Kenneth! :wink:

The Photon and Core essentially serve the same purpose. The difference is that the Core is the first generation and the Photon is the 2nd (and latest) generation. If you already have a Core or have access to one already, you can go ahead and start tinkering with it, and then transition to the Photon when you’re ready.


Yep, work for Particle, can vouch. If you’ve got a Core on you already then go for it, if not the Photon is indeed cheaper and the hardware is newer.

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@askar, if you’re interested in the differences between the Core and the photon, we recently published a Photon Changelog on our blog. It outlines the major differences between the two boards. Here’s a nice summary from the post:

  • The Photon includes a more powerful and more reliable Wi-Fi module,
    and you’ll have a lot more RAM and processing power at your disposal.
  • There are a bunch of new hardware peripherals, and the Photon can be
    surface mounted (if you buy it without headers).
  • We now have our own modules, the PØ and the P1, for sale alongside the Photon. Great for
    when you want to scale up manufacturing.
  • The firmware includes a full RTOS (Real Time Operating System), and
    the Wi-Fi connectivity code runs alongside your code in a more
    intelligent way than it did on the Spark Core.
  • We’ve made some awesome changes to our firmware to
    separate your code from the system code so that over-the-air firmware
    updates are BLAZING fast (a couple seconds to update).
  • We fixed lots of bugs. Most of those fixes (and many of the improvements) will be
    available on the Spark Core as well in a few weeks, including
    significant reductions in memory consumption (both FLASH and RAM).

Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for reply @wgbartley, @christine and @jeiden ! :smile:

@jeiden, thanks a lot for your time to write a detailed list.

I don’t have any device at the moment and I’m totally new to all of it (but I’m an IT guy).

I guess, it’d be wise if I start with Photon then, because it’s newer…

I had a list of products at the store and I wish I could all of them. :smile:

I live in Japan (I hope you ship there), so it’d be cheaper if I buy a set of products that I could use in the near future.

It’s so exciting as this a new field to me, so I have no idea which ones to choose for my 1st order.


Good luck @askar! I agree you should start with a Photon. It is what we will be focusing our development efforts on internally moving forward.

@jeiden, thanks a lot!

I see there’re 2 types of Photon: with breadboard and no breadboard headers. Which one should I choose?
(I apologize it this question already has an answer in the forum.)

In the description it says “Does not ship with breadboard or USB cable.”…

What additional peripherals do you recommend to order together?


Oh, I see there is a Photon Kit, that includes USB cable…

@askar If you are a beginner I would definitely choose the Photon with headers. Headers are what allow you to use the Photon with a breadboard for prototyping purposes. The headers also allow you to plug in the photon to any of the shields we sell (relay shield, battery shield, etc.). The reason to buy a photon without headers would be if you were trying to surface mount the device onto your own custom PCB.

The photon kit would be a good choice for you, as it includes a breadboard for making circuits, a USB cable for powering the device, and a few components for your first projects. For more info, check out the Photon Kit here:

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Hi @jeiden,

I was considering about Particle Maker Kit with Photon instead of Photon Kit
Do you still think Photon Kit is better in my case?


Sure, the maker kit with Photon would be great as well. It will be shipping at the end of June, and contains many parts that will be helpful in your first project (resistors, capacitors, sensors and more are included). It will help avoid the need to by separate components as you level up on building projects with Particle.

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Just made my 1st order! :smile:

Are there 32bit drivers for te Photon I only have 32 bit window boxes xp and vista

Have you tried using the driver that is currently provided?

yes got this:

Hmm i don’t own a 32bit Windows so @mdma needs to help me with this :wink:

Can you try the new drivers posted earlier today? Do those work by chance?

New drivers worked and my Photon is claimed I’m a happy camper. Thanks all for the help

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