Android emulators have been around for quite a long time allowing PC users to use Android for various purposes virtually. Be it deploying and testing new apps by developers or playing arcade games; you can do it all without actually having to buy a new device. But what is an android emulator? Which are the best Android emulators for Windows 7, 8, 10 & 11? We got you entirely covered in this article.
Table of Contents Hide
- 7 Best Android Emulators For Windows in 2021
- Conclusion | Best Android Emulators for Windows
Also read: 13 Best NDS 3DS Emulators For PC & Android.
Android is ruling more than half of the smartphone industry, and there are many reasons why one should be using an android emulator.
A lot of developers test their developed apps on virtual devices than the actual device to avoid complications. If a developed app uses system services such as calls, network settings, and other crucial services, it may break up the device.
Android emulators are also one of the best ways to emulate an Android experience on your Windows computer. You can play android games, download and install apps from the store and do several other operations.
But which is the best Android emulator for Windows? We tested dozens of emulators, and these are the best picks.
7 Best Android Emulators For Windows in 2021
1. Genymotion – The Perfect Android Emulator
- Battery test
- Network testing
- Disk IO throttling
- SMS and call interruptions
- Accelerometer and multi-touch
- Pixel perfect
In the first place, the best part about Genymotion is the features and compatibility it holds for your convenience. Genymotion allows you to have a battery test based application running. It helps you to react with various battery levels changing and test it easily.
The GPS feature is something that is not available on most of the emulators. With GPS, you can develop and test your location-based android apps. You wouldn’t like to miss out on this cool feature while developing a location-based android application.
Like other android emulators for windows, not to mention that Genymotion allows you to use the webcam. This feature allows you to use camera applications and also screencast your virtual device. The webcam is also a source for videos on Genymotion.
You would not like to have network interruption on any device using your apps. Genymotion allows you to have a network test while developing your android application, and that’s why it is one of the best android emulators. The network test includes 4G, 3G, Subway, and Edge.
With Genymotion, you can also check Disk IO throttling and emulate devices with slow internal storage. You can also have SMS and call interruptions using genymotion and record their effect. Along with accelerometer and multi-touch, Genymotion, the perfect android emulator, has pixel perfect display. It displays the exact screen on the window.
Genymotion is compatible with Android SDK tools and android studio. It also allows testing your website in various Android browsers.
Also read: Best File Manager for Windows.
Premium Features of Genymotion
Android ID and IMEI can be changed on the go without having to reboot your device. This enhances the track testing and also categorizes your device. The device ID and IMEI is displayed with this tool and is handy in use. With premium features, genymotion is a must-have android emulator.
With the Open Gapps feature, you can test and run your developed android applications with a single click. If you are using an app based on google play services, then this eases your testing capabilities. It also allows you to clone and reset your android device. By all means, with this feature, you can clone your device multiple times for iterations and other integrations. Additionally, you can also factory reset your device and reset it to the same as it was loaded.
Gneymotion is a paid android emulator, and it supports both cloud and desktop. It is great for business, and I recommend you try it for free and then buy it for further use.
But I am a personal user, and I cannot afford Genymotion: If you face the same problem, let me tell you that you get Genymotion for free if you use it for non-commercial purposes.
- Faster than most Android devices.
- Can be integrated with Android Studio and Eclipse.
- Cross-Platform support with large library of emulated devices and custom devices.
- Free version available + bundled wiith virtualbox.
- Simple setup with GPS widget included.
- Can’t be used inside a virtual machine.
- Custom display resolution are not allowed.
- Gapps are not installed by default.
- No OpenGL support.
2. AndyOS – Android Emulator for Windows
- Phone as a remote control
- Run communication apps
- Seamless transitions
- No limit on storage
AndyOS is a powerful android emulator and provides a better hand on GUI based applications. The most interesting feature about the AndyOS is how it is built to play games and emulate the whole android operating system. It is quite handy when it is about playing games on your emulator compared to other android emulators.
Not only games but andy os is also good when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of the emulator. It is overall a good android emulator. If you are playing games such as cars and strategy games on your AndyOS, you can also use your android device as a remote controller. It is one of the features missing in other android emulators, as far I know.
If you want to use an Android emulator just like any other smartphone and not develop apps, you can download AndyOS. It provides a seamless transition of apps and eliminates storage restrictions as you store directly on your PC. No doubt it is one of the benchmarks for android emulators on pc.
It lets you explore all the parts of an android device in a virtualization experience and is visually appealing. It is one of the best android emulators, which you can download without any second thoughts.
- AndyOS emulator can be rooted.
- Allows installing third-party launchers.
- Great application stability and compatibility.
- Fully functioning notifications and widgets.
- Stable and better Clash of Clans experience.
- Available on Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11.
- Reported to drop a bitcoin miner on users computer.
- Still on Jelly Bean version.
- Resource intensive.
- Only installs in Windows C drive.
- Poor cross-platform – No linux support and crashes Mac.
3. Anbox – Android Emulator for Linux OS
- Open Source
- No limits
Anbox is one of the most pioneer android emulators present for android app development in Linux. It stores the whole operating system inside a container, abstracts the hardware and also integrates core services. Every android application on the device will be integrated as a native application.
The best part about this android emulator is the way it is designed. Anbox uses LXC to provide virtualization. LXC is a Linux container that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single controlled host. These multiple operating systems are isolated and have operating system-level virtualization.
Anbox is an open-source android emulator and is licensed under apache and GPLv3. It runs as a whole operating system on the emulator, which is quite flexible to run any application. Developers who love playing with software can easily customize it according to their needs.
Since Anbox is at operating system virtualization, it does not have direct access to any hardware resources. You can put it in this way; it installs all your applications in a sealed box disallowing any access to your hardware or data.
Also read: How to Convert EXE to APK on Android and PC
It is seamless and does a lot like a bridge between hardware acceleration features when it comes to performance. Considerably when compared to other android emulators on Windows, Anbox is an emulator focusing on saving your data and hardware resources.
Anbox tightly integrates with the host operating system and provides all the flexibility for virtualization. This android emulator manages a good line of hardware to let you even play the most resource-intensive games without compromising hardware.
It has great versatility for emulation; it supports all the versions from cupcakes to the latest android version in the market.
- Only for Linux OS
4. Android SDK – Official Emulator For Android
- Visual layout editor
- APK analyzer
- Fast Emulator
- Intelligent code editor
- Flexible build system
- Real-time profilers
Android SDK is an official emulator by android which allows you to monitor a virtual android device on your screen. It lets you test your developed android apps without any hazel and is convenient.
The most amazing feature of this emulator is the visual layout editor. This is an intelligent way to design your android apps by dragging UI elements into the visual editor instead of writing the code. The visual layout editor allows you to layout your designs on different versions. Along with testing layouts on different versions, you can also test it on different sizes of screens.
The Android SDK provides insights for APK composition with an APK analyzer. This helps to reduce the time spent on debugging issues along with dex support inside your app itself. The APK analyzer also reduces the size of the developed app being exported. An APK analyzer is a powerful tool that compares two apps side by side and has a quick view of final versions such as android manifest.
Additional Features compared to other Android Emulators for Windows
This android emulator is faster compared to other emulators and allows you to test your apps conveniently. It is almost similar to a real device with testing capabilities for stimulating calls, text messages, sensors, network applications and location-based operations. It is fast and allows you to use a pre-defined configuration for different android versions.
Furthermore, the intelligent code editor is a perk for android developers. It lets you edit your code and develop it intelligently. The toolbar lets you perform actions like launching the app and running android tools. Also, there are many more handy tools in the editor which will help you through the development.
Android profilers help with real-time updates of what CPU memory and other resources your app is utilizing.
5. Bluestacks – Android emulators and games
- Supports External controllers
- Optimizes CPU usage
- Multiple Gaming
- Gamer Specific android emulator
Bluestack android emulator is designed to play your android games on pc. This is the best android emulator along with Tencent’s android emulator to play your favourite games.
With Bluestacks, you can connect external hardware such as a keyboard and mouse while playing your mobile game on PC with an android emulator.
Also, with Bluestacks, you can play multiple games without compromising your CPU performance. This is a great way to play games and also sync them on different screens. This is something that most Android emulators don’t provide.
Bluestacks android emulator can help you with local language translation of any game and automate tasks. Suppose you are changing your weapon during the game, then you can automate a single button to change your weapon repeatedly even if it is not programmed originally in the game.
Enable high fps and also record your game with a single click and lock your cursor automatically during the game while shooting. This is some hack with smartphone gaming.
Bluestacks also offers multiple other utilities such as disk cleanup and multiple android profiles. You can record and also screenshot your gaming experience right from the Bluestacks android emulator.
- Easy to use and setup.
- Decent performance.
- Can run multiple instances.
- Install apps from stores and APK files.
- Default home screen cannot be customised and lags.
- Limits android functionality with default launcher.
- Bloatware and loaded with Ads.
6. Android x86 – Android Emulator for Windows
- Standalone live systems
- Built-in wifi support
- Free iso download
- Can be downgraded
Android x86 is one of the best android emulators to use if you are facing problems with Genymotion. It is open-source software available in iso format and is easy to install. You can easily access their source code and manipulate the emulator as per their needs. The idea behind android x86 is to bring the Android operating system on Linux operating systems, and developers test the apps and perform operations. Install an android x86 emulator on your computer, install a virtual box, and select the downloaded android x86 iso file.
The installation is pretty simple and directly interacts with the hardware on your system. It is virtualized on your system with the help of a virtual box that lets you create your live android distribution.
Android x86 supports an inbuilt wifi connection, and it doesn’t require any network configurations to run your applications unless you want it.
The iso files can be easily downloaded from the website, and these android versions can also be downgraded using the iso files. It is pretty much one of the alternatives for Genymotion and can be used if you suffer from Genymotion in the first place.
- Bluetooth and WiFi support.
- Open source.
- Stable device support.
- Slow performance.
- Limited devices support.
7. ARchon Android Emulator
- No dedicated virtualization
- Android apps on chrome
- App conversions for Archon
ARchon is a unique android emulator; it does not depend on virtualization like other android emulators for pc. You can directly run your apps and play games on chrome with the help of the ARchon android emulator. It is pretty simple to install and use it; install ARchon runtime on your browser and visit chrome apps to start using it.
It is one of the handy android emulators with games and is much more powerful with the help of a chrome browser. The android apps can be deployed and run on ARchon by using chrome, and it does not need any other virtual box to run the environment. Everything is done on chrome.
If you are a developer switching from other android emulators to Archon android emulators, you can convert your applications. There are several tools available on the internet to convert your developed app compatible with the ARchon emulator.
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Conclusion | Best Android Emulators for Windows
Several Android emulators let you play games, test apps and do more. However, not all apps work great. Bluestacks and Genymotion are two of the popular android emulators for Windows. Emulators are safe to use when used for non-commercial purposes and testing apps. However, using it for emulating apps that are not permitted can lead to a ban or legal.