HomesoftwareA Comparison Of Testing On Real Devices And Emulated Environments On Cloud

A Comparison Of Testing On Real Devices And Emulated Environments On Cloud

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The overall development process has always included a significant amount of web testing and app testing. Finding and fixing bugs entails testing, whether it’s locating navigational errors, problems with sign-up forms, faults with payment processing, or even just a simple change in font size. Testing can, however, make sure that no modification adversely affects the user experience on various devices.

When it comes to testing, it is all about choosing between emulators and real devices. In real device testing, we perform a test on physical devices, while testing is also done on emulators that mimic the functionality of the hardware or software referred to. Both have certain advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the comparison between tests done in the emulator and real devices on the cloud. 

Overview Of Real Device Testing

The numerous real devices that are used to evaluate a website or app’s functionality and usage patterns are considered real testing devices. In other words, real device testing is understood as the approach where you test software applications across actual physical devices like smartphones, tablets, and others. 

In order to test their software applications, testing teams typically purchase a few real devices running iOS, Blackberry, Android, phones, tablets, and iPads. However, real device testing on the cloud does not need to have physical devices in-house, rather, you can test physical mobile devices or other hardware remotely via the internet in cloud infrastructure. 

The ability to assess how the application performs when linked with specific hardware features like cameras, GPS, and sensors is one of the many advantages of testing on actual hardware. Furthermore, it enables testing under a number of circumstances, including those with shifting network densities, battery capacities, and device orientations.

Benefits Of Conducting Testing On Real Devices On Cloud 

It has several advantages and is essential for assuring the dependability and standard of software applications to test on real hardware. Let’s evaluate each of these benefits in greater detail:

Issues specific to the device

Every real device has particular quirks or restrictions. Finding device-specific issues that might not show up in emulated environments or on other devices is made easier by testing on actual devices. For guaranteeing interoperability across a varied ecosystem of devices and operating system versions, this is very important.

Performance testing

Extensive performance testing is possible with real devices. You may evaluate how well your app works with different hardware setups and optimize it for improved performance. This is necessary to avoid problems like crashes, latency, or overuse of resources, which can irritate users and produce poor reviews.

Testing on Different Operating Systems

In addition to allowing you to test your app on various operating system versions, real device testing also allows you to test it on numerous device types, assuring compatibility with various Android and iOS iterations. 

Drawbacks of Testing on Real Devices:

While testing on actual hardware has numerous benefits, there are several disadvantages and difficulties that developers and testing teams should be aware of:

Cost and Maintenance

A large range of physical devices can be expensive to purchase and maintain. The cost of purchasing the most recent models, maintaining them with the most recent operating system updates, and repairing or replacing broken devices can have a big influence on the testing budget.

Geographical restrictions

The physical locations of real devices are frequently fixed. Teams with dispersed members who need access to the devices for testing may find this to be inconvenient. When team members are not located in the same region, collaboration can be difficult.

Device Fragmentation

The Android ecosystem is renowned for its fragmented OS and device ecosystem. Due to the numerous device manufacturers and customizations, testing on actual Android smartphones can be more difficult.

Data security and privacy

When testing on actual hardware, sensitive or actual user data may be used. With the increased emphasis on data protection laws, it might be quite important to ensure the privacy and security of this data when testing.

Resource Intensity

Conducting tests on actual hardware can be resource-intensive and require infrastructure, power, and physical space. Additionally, handling a lot of devices could put a load on the resources of the testing environment.

What are Emulated Environments in the Cloud?

Cloud-based virtualized testing environments known as “emulated environments” are constructed to replicate different operating systems and devices in order to test software applications. The performance, functionality, and compatibility of apps may be evaluated by developers and testers without the need for physical hardware, thanks to these virtual environments that imitate the behavior of actual devices.

Users can access a variety of virtual devices with various settings, screen sizes, operating system versions, and network setups in these cloud-based simulated environments. Through remote interaction, they can run their applications and run tests on these virtual devices just like they would on actual hardware.

Advantages of Emulated Environments in the Cloud:

Emulated cloud environments are a good option for testing apps since they have the following benefits:


Cloud environments are very expandable, making it simple to increase your testing capacity as necessary. Multiple devices can be tested simultaneously, cutting down on testing time and speeding up the development process.

Broad Device Coverage

Cloud platforms give users access to a huge library of simulated devices that reflect different brands, makes, and iterations of operating systems. With such broad device support, you may test your software on a variety of settings, increasing the likelihood that compatibility problems will be found.


Anyone with an internet connection can access cloud-based virtual worlds. This accessibility between team members in multiple geographic areas enables real-time testing and collaboration.

Faster Access to Devices

Instead of having to wait for physical devices to be made available, cloud-based emulators offer quick access to devices. When you need to test the newest device models soon after their introduction, this agility is extremely beneficial.

Automated Testing Integration

Integrating cloud-based emulators with automated testing frameworks and continuous integration (CI) pipelines is a breeze. As a result, manual testing efforts are not as necessary because efficient and repeatable testing processes are now possible.

State management and snapshots

A lot of cloud-based emulation systems let you take snapshots of particular device states, which makes it simpler to reproduce and troubleshoot problems. This function is useful for locating and fixing tricky issues.

Network Simulation

Different network conditions, such as varying network speeds, latency, and connectivity states, can be simulated in cloud environments. This enables you to evaluate how well your app functions in various network scenarios.

Flexibility in Device Configuration

Cloud-based emulators frequently offer opportunities to modify device parameters, including screen resolutions, orientations, and hardware characteristics. This adaptability enables you to test your app using particular user preferences and circumstances.

Drawbacks of Emulated Environments in the Cloud:

Despite their many benefits, cloud-based simulated environments have some drawbacks and restrictions that should be taken into account when choosing a testing strategy:

Limited Realism

Emulated settings might not accurately reflect how real devices behave. They might not precisely represent specific hardware interactions, sensor readings, or performance traits, which could cause errors in test findings.

Device-Specific peculiarities

It can be difficult to effectively imitate some real devices’ distinctive peculiarities or quirks. Emulators might miss certain device-specific defects, which could cause compatibility issues with genuine hardware.

Network simulations

Although cloud-based emulators are capable of simulating a variety of network situations, they might not accurately reflect the complexity of real-world networks, making it difficult to test in extremely difficult or highly unpredictable network environments.

Resource Intensity

Running tests in simulated environments based on the cloud can use a lot of computational power. Costlier testing may result from resource-intensive test scenarios or extensive parallel testing.

Lack of Physical Sensors

Physical sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes, and ambient light sensors are frequently absent from emulators. This makes it more difficult to test apps that largely rely on sensor data or outside factors.

Choosing the Right Approach

Depending on your unique testing objectives, project requirements, and limits, you can test apps on real devices or in cloud-based simulated environments. LambdaTest, a digital experience testing platform, is one of the most used cloud-based platforms to perform tests. 

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and test execution platform that facilitates browser and app testing across various browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices. It offers both manual and automated mobile app testing on a device farm comprising 3000+ real devices and OS combinations, as well as emulators.

Testing and debugging can be done swiftly on either the Real Device cloud or emulators. Moreover, LambdaTest eliminates the need for setting up an on-premise device lab, allowing you to instantly test on a Real Device cloud without incurring setup and maintenance costs.

For app automation, you can leverage the LambdaTest Appium testing platform to test mobile apps on the Appium mobile device cloud. This platform provides features such as testing native app functionalities, gestures, comprehensive test logs, geolocation testing, LambdaTest tunnel for locally hosted apps, integration with 120+ third-party tools, and more.

In many situations, a hybrid strategy that includes both techniques might be the best course of action. To assist you in making a wise choice, here are some of the tips to choose between emulator and real device testing on LambdaTest. 

Consider your financial limitations

Cloud-based emulators are a more cost-effective starting option if you have limited financial resources, as buying real devices might be expensive upfront. However, keep in mind that cloud computing expenses might add up over time.

Project Scope

Assess the size and complexity of your project. Cloud emulators might be adequate for smaller projects with fewer device requirements. Real device testing may be beneficial for larger projects, especially those that are aimed at a large user base, to ensure thorough coverage.

Testing Goals

Clearly state your testing goals. Testing on actual devices is crucial if accurately simulating genuine user experiences is your main goal. Cloud emulators provide a greater variety of devices and configurations if you need to test for widespread compatibility.


Take your project deadlines into account. Faster access to devices is frequently provided through cloud-based emulators, which helps accelerate testing and the development cycle.

Hybrid Approach

In many situations, combining the two strategies yields the best results. Real devices can be used for testing hardware-specific functionality, executing key scenarios, and fine-tuning user interfaces, while cloud-based emulators are used for larger coverage and scalability.


Choosing the appropriate testing strategy is essential in the dynamic world of app development. Both testing on actual hardware and testing in cloud-based simulated environments offer benefits and drawbacks. Understanding the particular requirements and limitations of your project will help you make an informed choice that will make sure your app is dependable, user-friendly, and prepared to rule the software world. Always keep in mind that providing a faultless user experience is the ultimate aim, and choosing the correct testing technique can make all the difference. 

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