APK Emulators vs Real Android Devices for testing

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Versatile application testing includes running a progression of tests to guarantee that the usefulness, execution, convenience, and dependability of the application meet the different testing requirements. It is no big surprise that the application testing area is flourishing across the globe, with over 6.3 billion cell phone clients. Accordingly, the utilization of portable applications overall is expanding alongside the number of application downloads.

The income produced from versatile applications is supposed to reach $935 billion by 2023. With this expanded application utilization, organizations should embrace quality and cell phone testing arrangements that let them foster their portable applications in a savvy and convenient way. The basic piece of having a vigorous testing process is to pick the gadget on which the test is being run. Choosing the right testing arrangement with many gadgets, working frameworks, equipment, and programs is basic.

Cell phone testing arrangement is tied in with picking between emulator versus test system versus genuine gadgets. Genuine gadgets are an incredible mix of significant worth and advantages, yet they likewise accompany a particular expense. Then again, emulators and test systems for cell phones can likewise be helpful and give special advantages to engineers and analyzers, yet they additionally have downsides.

This article investigates the distinction between emulator versus test system versus genuine gadget and when to pick the right answer for your business.

Types of Mobile device testing solutions

Mobile app testing is an integral part of the software development lifecycle. It ensures that you release only high-performing apps such as baseball 9 and protect its brand value. Testing has also developed with several advancements and emerging mobile testing solutions with the technology evolving.

The main types of devices to conduct mobile app testing are:

  • Virtual Devices
  • Real Devices

What is Virtual Device Testing?

A Virtual Testing Device is a software program that provides similar functions to a real phone but is not an actual phone. It simulates the functions of a smartphone, allowing testers to run their application and see how it would perform on a real device.

Virtual devices are classified into two types: emulators and simulators.

What are Emulators?

An emulator is a software application that emulates the functionality of another piece of software, hardware, or the operating system of the target device. It allows you to test your application by simulating a genuine device. Automation, unit testing, and debugging all make use of emulators. Because software is often platform-specific, developers create apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.

Various emulation techniques are used by different types of emulators. Whatever the case, the end goal is always the same: to replicate the experience of using the original gear or application. Some emulators outperform the original product in terms of performance and include additional features. There are several online APK emulators available for running app tests on various devices and OS versions without the need to configure and install them on the machine.

What are Simulators?

A simulator is also a piece of software that enables your device to execute specialized programs designed for other operating systems. Simulators are created in high-level programming languages and are mostly utilized on iOS devices. iOS simulators for app testing are frequently used to guarantee that the program functions as intended across several contexts.

For instance, to assess an app’s ability to send data to another app. Because the actual hardware configuration is unlikely to have a substantial impact on data transfers for your program, a simulated environment is usually sufficient. Simulated testing environments are also useful for confirming that an application’s interface displays correctly at different screen resolutions.

Pros and Cons of Testing on Emulators and Simulators

Emulators and simulators are virtual gadgets that replicate real-world technologies and provide a number of benefits. However, testing mobile applications on virtual devices has obvious drawbacks.


  • Cost: The most obvious benefit is that virtual device testing is less expensive, and this applies to both local and cloud-based systems.
  • Capturing Results: Using a virtual device allows the user to simply capture results by capturing a snapshot of the bug observations.
  • Variety: You may test your application across numerous platforms and use cases that involve multiple devices and operating systems using virtual device testing.
  • Availability: Simulators and emulators are widely available and free to use.


  • Only certain platforms have access to virtual devices. They may occasionally be incompatible with your application. Emulators, for example, can only test Android devices and do not support other operating systems.
  • Hardware settings cannot be replicated in virtual device testing.
  • Performance validation is unreliable because these findings may change as the operating system evolves. Even if the testing goes flawlessly, there is no guarantee that your results will be accurate on a real device.

What is Real Device Testing?

The real devices are several mobile handset models that the end user would utilize. The process of testing your online, hybrid, and native applications on physical devices is known as real device testing. This means you’re evaluating the exact way your users interact with their mobile devices. This enables you to launch and test the functionality of your application in order to confirm that it functions properly on consumer phones.

Real-world devices will have various aspects such as temperature and other software that must be taken into account during testing to ensure optimal app performance. A smartphone might have numerous interruptions such as phone calls, battery problems, screen locks, and so on. You must test these disruptions, which can only be done directly on real devices.

The results of real-world device testing are extremely accurate. However, the cost is higher because the corporation must purchase numerous real devices, which must be updated on a regular basis with new and frequent gadget releases in the market.

Pros and Cons of Real Device Testing

The benefits and drawbacks of real device testing are illustrated here.


  • Accuracy: Measurements from real devices are more accurate and dependable. The testing is usually done in a live environment. This is significant since network-related actions may have an impact on the quality of your app. What happens, for example, if a user receives a call or a text message in the middle of a transaction? In such a case, how does the performance of your app suffer? Emulators are incapable of detecting these types of flaws.
  • Better user experience: Testing on real devices can help you understand the user experience by taking into account memory, size, CPU, and other factors.
  • Expose performance concerns: With real devices, it is easy to expose performance flaws.


  • High Costs: As previously stated, real device testing is more expensive. The costs of acquiring equipment and managing physical sources might be complicated.
  • Slow debugging: Testing on real devices might slow down debugging during the early stages of software development.
  • Device fragmentation: The introduction of multiple device kinds, varied operating systems, and regular software changes make testing on real devices more difficult.

Emulator vs Simulator vs Real Devices Differences

Mobile applications are run on real cell phones, not emulators. When testing on real devices, you will attain higher quality. However, testing real devices for every application you design is not viable due to cost and convenience.

In this part, we will distinguish between simulators and emulators, and genuine devices. Check out the chart below to learn about the differences in these devices’ capabilities.


  • Emulators and simulations are not real phones. The program provides the same capabilities as a traditional phone.
  • Emulators and simulators are unable to reproduce battery and other performance limitations.
  • It is best suited for specific types of functional test case executions.
  • There are no hidden fees.
  • Most emulator and simulator testing is open source and free.
  • Emulators/simulators cannot simulate real-world performance difficulties such as network or power issues.
  • Cross-platform testing can be carried out with ease.
  • Less dependable – emulators and simulators merely simulate the genuine device, and hardware or software circumstances may change on a frequent basis.


  • Physical device testing is performed on physical devices.
  • These tests can be carried out seamlessly in real-world device testing.
  • It is better suited for real-time performance testing.
  • Real device testing is expensive since you must purchase many devices to test your application.
  • It is not open-source or free. You must purchase actual devices in order to test your software on them.
  • It enables real-time performance testing of the network, battery, location, notifications, and other concerns.
  • Testing between platforms is not supported.
  • It produces more accurate and dependable findings.

Emulator vs Simulator vs Real Device Testing

In this segment of emulator versus simulator vs actual devices, we’ll look at how to use cloud test execution platforms like LambdaTest for mobile app testing. LambdaTest is a cloud-based cross-browser testing tool that allows you to test browser and app functionality across several browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices. Furthermore, it enables manual and automatic mobile application testing on an online device farm comprising 3000+ genuine devices and OS combinations, as well as emulators and simulators. Real device cloud, emulators, and simulators let you test and troubleshoot your application considerably faster.

Furthermore, you are not required to set up an on-premise device lab. You can rapidly test on a Real Device cloud with LambdaTest, with no setup or maintenance charges.

According to Ilmibook, you can use the LambdaTest Appium testing platform to automate app testing and test mobile apps on the Appium mobile device cloud. It provides a variety of testing capabilities such as native app features, gestures and interactions, complete test log reading, geolocation testing, LambdaTest tunnel to test locally hosted apps, 120+ LambdaTest interfaces with third-party tools, and much more.


Mobile app testing has evolved into an essential component of the app development lifecycle. To ensure that your software works effortlessly across several devices, you must extensively test it before releasing it to the market, reducing the risks associated with releasing a malfunctioning application.

As a result, using a Real device cloud for testing is more convenient, less expensive, and delivers real-time statistics on your application’s performance. This approach assists testers in locating issues and developers in resolving discovered bugs while minimizing maintenance and costs.

I hope you now understand the differences between an Android emulator and an actual device and an iOS simulator and a real device. If you have any questions or recommendations, please leave them in the comments area below.