Top Mobile Devices to Test – How do you know which ones to test?

We get this question all the time. And I hate to say it, but there is no right answer. However, you can apply some reasonable criteria to come up with YOUR list for YOUR application. Some of these criteria may include:

  • User group-this is a critical criteria as different targeted user groups have different goals and behavior as well as financial resources. If your target group is kids from 10-13 to play a game, then obviously your selected mobile devices will be different than an application that is targeted towards business executives who want to look at stock prices.
  • Screen size-you probably want to get a wide variety here to make sure rendering is done correctly for the users you are targeting.
  • Application type (game, financial, informational, etc…)-obviously, a game uses different resources than a informational app. Consider this when choosing what devices to test on. If your user group plays games, then various screen resolutions and sizes along with CPU’s should be tested.
  • Application platform (local, hybrid, web)-depending on the type of application, different resources will be used. Storage of data, transmission of data, and local CPU cycles should all be considered dependent on your application’s usage.

For one client, after examining their criteria, we worked together to come up with this list of top mobile devices to test:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S3
  2. Samsung Galaxy S2
  3. Samsung Galaxy S4
  4. Samsung Galaxy Note
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note II
  6. Samsung Galaxy S
  7. DROID RAZR Maxx
  8. HTC Desire HD
  9. HTC ONE X
  10. HTC Droid DNA
  11. LG Optimus G
  12. LG Google Nexus 4

Note that iOS phones are not on the list. This is because this company goes after the Android market and does not target the apple market. As you can see choosing the ‘top mobile devices’ for mobile testing is not a flippant matter, nor is there a list for everyone to use. Rather, you need to think about who your users are and what their requirements are to get the best user experience out of your mobile application. Additionally, the ‘top mobile devices’ will change over time as new ones are released and as old ones fall out of favor, or just plain get old (usually after 18-24 months).