I would have liked to have seen a ‘hobby board’ version of the photon. Sort of like the current photon but without the power regulator (that I don’t need), the USB connector, buttons and RGB LED. It would have the extra pins along the top of the module for the buttons and LED.
This would give me an easily solderable package, but allow me to move the buttons and the RGB LED to better locations on my board. Using the Photon as as is, forces me to enlarge the size of my board and have some awkward compromises.
I’ve been able to solder some network chips and power regulators that have ground pads on the back of their package using a hot air gun and low temperature solder paste such as:
I don’t think it’s possible to solder the P1 with its 9 pads underneath with this method, without a stencil and a reflow oven. That’s what is holding me back from purchasing the P1.