How to Choose Mobile Devices for Testing?

Posted Jul 26th, 2016

Your mobile app needs testing, you know that. You have read a few articles about different testing strategies and learnt that you have to choose the right mobile devices for testing. But what are the right mobile devices to test your app on? Don’t worry, we can help you find out!

Getting to know manual and automated testing

As you probably know, you can test your mobile app in mainly two different ways: there is manual testing, the most common form of mobile testing, and automated testing, less used but spreading quickly.
Our research showed that combining the two options will enhance test efficiency while helping you to save time and money at the same time. We call this approach integrated testing: that means that 80% of your tests cases should be automated while only 20% should be performed manually. To learn which test should be automated you can check out our “Test Automation Best Practices” blog post.

How to Choose the Mobile Devices for Manual Testing?

Choosing the mobile devices for manual testing is a little bit more tricky. You can test on whatever device you may have lying around, but users who have different devices may download your app as well. The best strategy is to test on the most used devices in your target market, usually 5 to 10 mobile devices (depending on the sizes of the target market).

Now you are asking yourself: “How can I find out that information?
Well that is not as difficult as you may think! Just find the answers to the questions below and you’re done!

  1. What are the most used mobile OSs
  2. What are the most used mobile OSs version?
  3. What are the most common screen sizes?
  4. Who are the leading manufacturers?

With these information you can use websites like GSMArena to find mobile devices based on the most common specs of your target market. At this point you can compile a list with devices to acquire or sign up for a cloud platform that can give you remotely access all the devices you need.

How to Choose the Mobile Devices for Automated Testing?

Choosing the mobile devices for automated testing is easier: you should still choose the most important devices for your target market but you should test on at least 25 – 30 different devices, if your app is a public app; you should also make sure to cover as many test case as you can with automated tests. That is usually around 80% of all the use case, depending on the app. The remaining test cases, the ones that can’t be automated, should be performed manually.

Getting started

Since you may be still a little confused, below are some links to help you get started. 

Manual Testing

Here is a downloadable free cheat-sheet to help you organise all of your tests and gather information about the mobile devices to test on.

Automated Testing

Here is a getting started tutorial on Appium, one of the most used mobile UI automated testing frameworks.

Multiple mobile devices for testing 

Written by

Ely Hechtel


Mobile testingManual/Live testing