I am software developer and new to the embedded systems. I need to use a wireless communication method to send/receive data from embedded system and a mobile smart phone (Android - iPhone).

My target to minimize the cost of the unit and have a long battery life. Which module should I use ?

  1. GPRS module.
  2. GSM/GPS module.
  3. Bluetooth module.
  4. WiFi module.
  5. Bluetooth/Wifi module.
  6. Radio transceiver module.
  7. Other
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ To improve the question you should add the range required and any latency / bandwidth requirements and any other relevant context. But assuming you're OK with the range and bandwidth of Bluetooth I'd guess that will be cheapest and have the best battery life. \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterJ
    Apr 10, 2013 at 9:58

2 Answers 2


If your bandwidth requirements are less than ~230.4 kBaud or so, then the cheapest and easiest way is to use one of the many HC-05 (or similar) serial BT modules available from eBay.
(EDIT - note comment from Chris on iPhones below)
Here's an example (you can also get versions with a pin header for through hole or breadboard use):

HC-05 BT Module

They may claim faster speeds, but in my experience with a few of them, the best performance I have had without issue is 230.4 kBaud (of course this may also be due to the paired modules capabilities also, though my module stopped responding to AT commands when set to higher speeds)
If you need better performance (and datasheets) there are also better quality (and more expensive) modules available from the major vendors such as Farnell, Mouser, etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's very hard to support both types of smartphones with a bluetooth device. Ordinary bluetooth can work with Android, but would not work with iDevices without being Apple certified. Bluetooth Low Energy can work on recent iphones/pads, but only has software support on a handful of recent Android phones, and not in a standard way since it is done with vendor-specific extensions. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2013 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chris - thanks for the info on iPhones/Pads, I have only written code and used Bluetooth on Android phones. Doesn't surprise me in the least that Apple makes it difficult, one of the reasons why I stay as far away from Apple stuff as possible ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Oli Glaser
    Apr 10, 2013 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's hard to take sides there; while childish on plain bluetooth, Apple is now supporting the off-the-shelf BLE chips. Meanwhile Google drags their feet on providing an API to access hardware capability that is already in the phones many people own, meaning the only supporting Android devices are the handful where vendors did it their own way. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2013 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chris: I see - from the moderate amount of experience I have with Android, it seems the platform has always been lagging a bit behind with the latest hardware capabilities. Maybe it's the price for an open platform of this scale - less coordination between vendors and Google. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oli Glaser
    Apr 10, 2013 at 15:02

Consider that for using Bluetooth on iOS, you will need MFi certification. So if you are targeting multi-platform, go with wifi. If you are sending the data on demand on with low freq, you can put wifi to sleep mode which will conserve your battery.

For example this module will consume 4µA in sleep mode.


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