Android App Emulators Online vs Real devices

Android Emulators

Real Devices

Physical Device for Mobile App Testing

Android Emulators

Real Devices

Online Android Simulators for PC vs Physical Devices

Testing your mobile app on Android Emulator

Android emulators simulate the hardware and software of Android devices on your computer so that you can test your Android apps without having a physical device in hand. While easily accessible and inexpensive, emulators have significant device hardware and software limitations. As a result, your mobile app may pass an Android emulator test, but fail on a real device. In fact, Google even recommends that you test your mobile app on a real device prior to submitting it to the Play Store!

How do Android Emulators and Physical Android Devices compare

After speaking to our tens of thousands of customers, we have created a checklist that compares what you can test on emulators and real devices.

Android Emulator Physical Android Device Browserstack Real Devices
Mobile App Functionality
App basic functionality and UI layout
Application load speed
Test interrupts, battery consumption, CPU & memory utilization
Natural gestures (tap, scroll, zoom, pinch, pinch and zoom and more)
Colors and resolutions which render differently on different screen densities
UI performance (transitions and orientation)
Hardware functionality (bluetooth, camera, gps, and more) Coming soon
App performance across device configurations (chipsets, memory, etc.)
100% real world accuracy

Advantages of testing real devices in the cloud

Compared to Android emulators, physical Android devices have the benefit of testing performance and accuracy. However, this requires buying, configuring and maintaining a lab of devices. Our Real Device Cloud gives you instant access to 1000s of real Android devices to test your mobile applications, right from your browser.

Criteria Physical Device BrowserStack Real Device Cloud
Procurement Difficult Easy
Storage Difficult Easy
Maintenance Difficult Easy
Parallel testing Difficult Easy
Sharing devices between remote teams Difficult Easy
Device coverage Up to $1200 per device $59 per month