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How to Choose Mobile Devices for Testing

With an increasing release of new mobile devices coming into the market. It has become demanding for the businesses to ensure that their mobile applications and websites work smoothly across multiple platforms, devices, and screen sizes of all devices new and old.

The following graph shows the ever increasing number of Smartphone users worldwide.
There were around 3,668 millions Smartphone users worldwide in 2016 which increased to 6,567 million in 2022. These smartphone users are expected to reach around 7,690 millions by the end of 2027.

With a whopping 100 million users adding up at an average rate every year, it is quite clear that the smartphone industry is at a boom and so are the mobile applications.

Now-a-days we are able to perform various tasks from the palm of our hands, thanks to these smartphones. From making payments, to renting a taxi, booking theater tickets, ordering food, etc, everything is happening at the swipe of a screen from our mobile devices.

With various technologies emerging so fast, mobile application development is also booming and clients are also demanding releases and updates often. At this juncture it is necessary that the mobile applications are tested thoroughly on a wide range of devices, screen sizes, etc. before it is released to end users to ensure the success of an app.

What is Mobile Testing?


Mobile testing is the process of verifying the functionality, usability, look and feel and performance of mobile applications and websites on various mobile devices.

With effective mobile testing, issues that may affect the user experience, such as crashes, timeout errors, and slow performance, can be identified and fixed before the application is released to the market. It also ensures that the mobile application meets the required quality standards needed for its success.

Mobile Testing is quite a broad term, but when we actually sit for testing, we need to sharpen it to a narrow focus and talk in terms of different Operating Systems, devices, screen sizes, compatibility, performance, etc.

In this blog, we will discuss choosing mobile devices for testing. As we need to be careful and consider multiple factors before we proceed with testing as these factors impact the overall business.

Choosing mobile devices for testing


There are multiple factors we need to take care of while choosing mobile devices for testing. Let’s discuss this one by one.

Geographical Region


We should make sure that we study the geographical region correctly so we can ensure that we test the mobile application on the right set of mobile devices. Countries like the US, UK, etc. have made good technological progress and mostly people prefer using iPhones in these regions, so it is required that we test our applications on a wide range of the latest iPhones running different iOS versions. Likewise, people in countries like India, Germany, etc. prefer using Smartphones based on Android OS. Every region has a different Operating System and mobile vendor. People’s preferences change according to the geographical regions.

Here is the data for Smartphone Vendors Share in India which shows that Xiaomi mobile devices are most popular in the region, followed by Vivo and Samsung.

So, in case if we are planning to release a mobile application in India, choosing the latest devices from Xiaomi, Vivo or Samsung could be a good option for testing.

Likewise, here is the data for the Smartphone vendor share in United States

Looking at this data, we should consider the latest mobile devices from Apple, Samsung and Motorola for testing.


Target Audience


Target Audience is another important factor. It can be further classified into age range, device usage pattern, etc. We should be choosing the mobile devices that are most popular within the target audience.

For example, if we are developing a mobile application for kids, we should consider the mobile devices that are popular among the kids in that region.

Likewise, for testing a mobile application related to transport services like Car, Taxi or bike ride, we should take into consideration the devices that are popular among the operators and consumers of these services.


Operating Systems


Operating Systems play a major role in mobile phone usage. Also, for mobile development, it is a prime factor. Based on the Operating System, we can choose the mobile devices for testing.

For example, here is the data for Mobile operating system market share in India

So, if we are considering releasing mobile applications in the Indian region, we should consider the Android and iOS Operating devices majorly.

Again, there are different versions available for Operating Systems ,we should see to it that we consider the latest as well as minor versions of these Operating Systems.

Here is the data for Android Operating System version usages in India

As per the data, Android 12.0 is used by 27.91% people, followed by Android 11.0 at 26.45% and Android 10.0 at 17.44%. As per the analysis, we should take the devices with Android 12, 11 and 10 versions respectively for testing. It is also a good option to consider the Android device with the minimum version supported by the application, as this ensures that the people using the app with the minimum version also can use the application seamlessly.

To summarize this, first take out the data for the popular Operating System in the region where the application is intended to be released. Next, dig deeper and analyze the different Operating System versions people use in that region and finally decide based mobile device testing on different Operating Systems and their versions.


Screen Sizes and Resolutions


There are mobile devices with different Screen sizes and resolutions. While testing this should also be considered and tests should be written to check the display of the application screen on different screen sizes. All the icons, titles, fonts, characters, images, etc should be consistent across all the mobile devices.

If the visual integrity between different Screen sizes and resolutions is not correct, chances are people might lose interest in the application, providing a negative feedback on AppStore/PlayStore which might affect the overall app success.

Here is the data for Screen Size usage across United States

As per the data, 10% use 1920×1080 screen size followed by 7.6% who use 390×844.
Here, we can take the first 3 screen sizes as an option for mobile device testing.

Based on these Screen sizes we can search for the mobile devices which have such screen size and resolutions and pick those for testing.


Popular Mobile Devices


With mobile devices launching rapidly almost every month, we should also make sure that we consider the popular mobile devices for testing. By testing the mobile application/websites on popular devices, we can confirm that most of the users of the respective popular device are seamlessly using it. This is also required to check for the compatibility of the application on different hardware and software configurations.


Supported Browsers on Mobile Devices


Though we have a list of popular modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. which can be installed on the mobile phone using App Store/ Google Play Store. However, there are some popular mobile brands which have their own browser pre-installed in the mobile.

As these devices are popular, there are more chances of the user using the inbuilt browser for browsing.

We should make sure to test our websites/applications on these browsers as well.
Hence, while choosing the mobile devices, such devices should also be considered, as it will help us to check for the errors/ crashes/issues the user might face on these browsers.

Role of Cloud Platforms in choosing mobile devices for testing


As cloud platforms like pCloudy provide a wide range and variety of Mobile devices for testing. We can leverage these mobile devices available on the cloud platform for testing. This can save a lot of money by leveraging these platforms to test as we don’t have to invest to buy all the required devices for testing. Cloud based app testing platforms provide us with multiple devices with multiple Operating System versions which can be used on demand.


Latest Android devices available on pCloudy platform


android devices on pcloudy platform


Latest iOS devices available on pCloudy platform

ios devices on pcloudy


To Summarize, for choosing the mobile devices for testing, we should consider the geographical region, target audience, mobile operating system, popular devices, screen sizes and resolutions. As all these factors impact the overall mobile application usage which finally relates to business and app success.

Overall, it is important to test the mobile applications and websites on a variety of mobile devices to ensure quality apps that work for all the users seamlessly.

Happy Testing!

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Faisal Khatri

Faisal is a Software Testing Professional having 14+ years of experience in automation as well as manual testing. He is a QA, freelancer, blogger and open source contributor. He loves learning new tools and technologies and sharing his experience by writing blogs.

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