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 EmulatorPhysical Android DeviceBrowserstack 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.

CriteriaPhysical DeviceBrowserStack Real Device Cloud
ProcurementDifficultEasy
StorageDifficultEasy
MaintenanceDifficultEasy
Parallel testingDifficultEasy
Sharing devices between remote teamsDifficultEasy
Device coverageUp to $1200 per device$59 per month

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Android Emulator?

An Android Emulator is used to mimic a specific device that runs on an Android operating system (OS). Android Emulators can help test applications on Android devices, to avoid any production defects.

Why do users opt for an Android Emulator then?

Android user base accounts for close to 75% of the global market share, as Statcounter. Hence, for any app or website developer, providing a clean and bug-free experience for users running Android OS becomes very critical. Interestingly, the number of Android users on different versions are equally distributed with Oreo 8.1 (19%), Marshmallow 6 (15%), Oreo 8.0 (15%), latest version Pie 9.0 (14%), Nougat 7.0 (11%) and Lollipop 5.1 (10%).

However, it is expensive to maintain a real Android device lab due to regular device maintenance costs and constant device upgrades based on new device releases. Therefore, users opt for an Android Emulator online.

How does an Android Emulator really work?

An Android Emulator for PC replicates a browser or an Android App, on a defined operating system (like Windows, Mac). It attempts to create virtual hardware conditions of an Android device, which can be used for the purpose of testing and debugging.

There are multiple Android Emulators Online in the market like Andy Emulator, which have their own set of limitations and will never provide a real device environment for bug-free testing.

What are the disadvantages of testing on an Android Emulator?

The top reasons for a user to uninstall an app or exit the website are high memory consumption, battery drainage, inefficient RAM utilization, slow load times. Such major concerns cannot be tested on an Android Emulator since these hardware configurations cannot be mimicked in an emulator.

Online Android Emulators for PC tends to be slow in virtualization, as it only partially mimics the functionality of the software as well as the hardware. Such emulators don’t do justice to the world of testing where testers need to perform regression and end to end testing on Android devices, and not compromise on certain test cases.

Why use real device cloud of BrowserStack instead of Android Emulators?

BrowserStack provides instant access to 2000+ real mobile devices and browsers over the cloud. Testing on a Real device cloud can help you to test in real-world scenarios with additional features at your disposal. Thus, common use cases like using natural gestures and camera, battery drain can be tested.

BrowserStack also provides an option to integrate with CI/CD tools like TravisCI, Jenkins, TeamCity and more. QA Testers and Developers can collaborate by sharing bugs via our JIRA, GitHub, Trello and Slack integrations.

Android Real Devices for App Testing vs Android Emulators