So, what do you think of the new Raspbery Pi Zero Wireless? How will other competitors respond? An OrangePi Zero with Bluetooth would trounce this board, or a Nanopi could do, just gotta hit at or below the same price point.
OK, to get into this Zero W thingie headless I had to start from scratch. For whatever reasons the Raspbian Lite image I was using on RPi 3 before did not connect to my Wi-Fi when started on the Zero. Also the usual way to get into using g_ether module didn't work (maybe since I upgraded RPi kernel to 4.9 in the meantime?). No idea.
Edit: It seems the kernel update to latest 4.9 release breaks g_ether functionality. To test through Wi-Fi performance I repeated the kernel update on the freshly flashed Raspbian image and now Ethernet over USB isn't working again.
So I decided to reflash Raspbian Lite and to start from scratch following the instructions in first paragraph here:
Here are the simple steps I did after Etcher finished burning/verifying the image on my MacBook Pro: I checked with 'diskutil list' which disk device the SD card was (disk2) and then to enable SSH and Ethernet gadget mode on Raspberry's USB OTG port:
diskutil mountDisk disk2
echo "what a shit show" >/Volumes/boot/ssh
echo "dtoverlay=dwc2" >>/Volumes/boot/config.txt
sed -i 's/rootwait/rootwait modules-load=dwc2,g_ether/' /Volumes/boot/cmdline.txt
diskutil eject disk2
Then I ejected the SD card physically, inserted it into Zero's SD card slot and connected the USB Micro USB port on the Zero with one of the USB3 ports of my MacBook. As soon as the Zero appeared as an USB Ethernet adapter (g_ether), I activated 'Internet Sharing' so the Raspbian on the Zero has been supplied with an IP address and NAT routing from OS X. Then it was a simple 'ssh email@example.com' and I was in.
Next steps in Raspbian:
apt-get --no-install-recommends install network-manager
# deleting wlan0 and wlan1 from /etc/network/interfaces
systemctl restart network-manager
nmcli dev wifi list # showed nothing
# adding 'iw reg set DE' to /etc/rc.local
And then it was just logging in through USB again and a simple call to get Wi-Fi working:
Now let's see whether RPi Zero shows better Wi-Fi performance as RPi 3 (should be the case according to RPi people due to 'better antenna'):