App testing: Android SDK emulator or Genymotion in 2018?

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Mar 18, 2018, 3:11:05 AM via Website

I am a developer planning to test my app on all the major Android versions 4.x - 7.x (API level 14 to 25) to see if it works or breaks using a software emulator. I basically narrowed down to 2 choices: default Android SDK emulator or Genymotion.

The Android Studio/SDK ships with the emulator, which is the de facto (or perhaps best) tool, and somone (plightofbyte) wrote in 2017 it is better/faster than Genymotion. However, I got it setup and tested it. It is still awfully slow in 2018 despite what plightofbyte wrote. For example, the ripple effect when we tap a button in a Material-style app takes 0.5 second (estimated) in a real device, but the ripple takes 5 seconds to slow cascade on the Android emulator, about 10 times slower. The mouse cursor simulating the finger was draggy as it moves across the emulator screen. It is unbearable and frustrating even for testing.

So I am now wondering if my poor Android qemu-based emulator is performing poorly due to some bad setup/configuration, or I should just go with Genymotion? For your information, my Android emulator is already running with the latest Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM) v7.0.0 and Intel display driver (Intel VT-x and fast-virt enabled). And it is still terrible in my perspective.

Are Android app developers today using Genymotion/Bluestacks/Andy etc. or the default SDK's Android emulator. Is the default Android emulator supposed to be usable enough in 2018? I am just confused that some developers are saying the Android emulator has improved enough in recent years to be pretty usable, and I don't get the same experience.

The obvious bad thing is I can't test Android on ARM using Genymotion, only x86, but I can't care less. My apps do not run on TV or Android Wear or utilize very special sensors/features that the emulator must support, pretty much run-of-the-mill sensors like accelerometer, compass, GPS, orientation (auto-rotation) only. My focus is ensuring at least the app works (no unresponsive UI elements, no obvious layout or broken icons problems, buttons work when tapped etc.) on Jellybean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat.

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