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Want a Flipper Zero without paying inflated prices? Now's your chance

The Flipper Zero is a powerful, multi-functional, cybersecurity tool, and you can now pick one up for less than usual.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Flipper Zero
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I've written quite a bit about the Flipper Zero, the portable, multi-functional, cybersecurity tool that looks like a kid's toy, since I got my hands on one back in January. You can even load a variety of custom firmware onto the device to give it more powers.

The problem is, up until now supplies have been limited, and many would-be buyers have not been able to find one, or ended up buying one from a third-party seller at inflated prices.

Also: These are my 3 must-have Raspberry Pi accessories

Well, now's your chance to get one -- the official Flipper Zero shop has a good supply of Flipper Zeros, along with the Wi-Fi dev boards, silicone cases, screen protectors, and prototyping boards. 

View at Flipper Zero store

Tech specs

  • ARM Cortex-M4 32-bit 64 MHz (application processor)
  • ARM Cortex-M0+ 32 MHz (network processor)
  • Flash: 1,024KB
  • SRAM: 256KB
  • 1.4-inch 128 x 64 LCD monochrome display
  • 5-button joystick with back button
  • 2000mAh rechargeable battery
  • 13.56 MHz NFC
  • 125 kHz RFID
  • 18 GPIO connector
  • Infrared (TX/RX range: 800-950 nm, TX power: 300 mW)
  • iButton 1-Wire support (Dallas DS1990A/CYFRAL compatible)
  • USB 2.0 port, type C 
Flipper zero reading the NFC chip in a bank card

Flipper zero reading the NFC chip in a bank card (details redacted)

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Don't be fooled by the looks. 

Underneath the fun exterior and the cute dolphin virtual pet graphics is a powerful dual-core ARM processor that runs hardware that can be used to hack the planet.

Also: Flipper Zero: Geeky toy or serious security tool?

There's a sub-GHz wireless antenna that can capture and transmit wireless codes to operate wireless devices and access control systems, such as garage door remotes, boom barriers, IoT sensors, and even remote keyless systems, along with a built-in infrared transceiver that can both capture and transmit IR codes to control things like TVs.

But there's more.

The Flipper Zero can read, store, and emulate NFC tags, EM-4100, and HID Prox RFID cards.

There's also a 1-wire connector that can read and emulate iButton (aka DS1990A, CYFRAL, Touch Memory, or Dallas key) contact keys.

Also: Protect your data with a USB condom

Finally, on the top, there are GPIO connectors that allow the Flipper Zero to connect to other gadgets in the real world. 

Everything is controlled using the 5-way touchpad and a back button, and the 1.4-inch 128x64 display is ample to keep you informed.

Flipper Zero with Wi-Fi dev board fitted

Flipper Zero with Wi-Fi dev board fitted

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Keeping everything running is a 2,000mAh rechargeable battery that's good enough for a week or so before needing a recharge.

You will need to add your own microSD card to make the Flipper Zero work. I recommend something cheap and cheerful like this Amazon Basics microSD card because it isn't going to get stressed by heavy workloads.

For $169, the Flipper Zero is very interesting. Sure, it's not a substitute for high-end pentesting tools, but it offers a lot of power in a very small and portable package. It's certainly not a toy, and it's one of the easiest, cheapest ways to work with RFIC and NFC. It's also a fantastic educational tool and a way to get people -- young and old -- into cybersecurity.

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