Android emulators gained popularity once people began to fathom that playing android games on their PC with mouse and keyboard can offer much better feel. The emulators were first used for testing Android applications on PC as playing with keyboard and mouse provided much better functionality. PC’s were used for android apps development since the inception.
Right from when the first emulator was built, Bluestacks has been one of the most favorites of users. Its ease of setup and feasibility to download google apps on the go, using both the normal UI and APK files has played a major role in its getting where it is today. Today, however, there are many more emulators on the market and for you, here is the list of best android emulators on the market today, in no particular order.
Top Best Android Emulators – For Windows PC Download:
1. Genymotion: One of many popular emulators, Genymotion, with a robust environment, can emulate practically any Android device on your PC. Built on the x86 architecture, it is super-fast and easy to use, which also means that there is no ARM support pre-installed. It also does not come equipped with google apps by default. One other problem that users face is that unlike the premium version of this software, the free version does not offer much functionality and high-end features.
If you are here for android app testing and analysis, Genymotion can be one of the best Bluestacks alternatives. One reason for this can be the faster and more sporadic android updates you get as compared to other emulators.
2. NOX App Player: An emulator that can easily surpass Bluestacks with the features it has to offer. NOX gives all the features that Bluestacks does, and additional ones for developers and app testing communities. With the ability it provides its users to root and unroot their devices just instantly, with one click of the mouse, the accessibility knows no bounds. It comes pre-installed with VirtualBox and allows the flexibility to choose the RAM allocation, SD card memory, etc. With games that involve location sensitivity, it is really handy because of the GPS controller that is pre-installed. Because it is a heavy software, it requires excessively high amounts of time to initiate, but a little patience can definitely prove worthwhile.
Best for both testing and games. One of the best android emulators and by far, one of the best Bluestacks alternatives for sure.
3. Andyroid: Android came into existence around 2014 and has been the best go-to choice for app developers and gamers at large. Pre-equipped with ARM support, this emulator lets you use all google apps on the go. Andyroid is much easier to setup as compared to NOX, Genymotion or Bluestacks. APK files can also be installed by only dragging and dropping into the window. This comes absolutely free for both Windows and Mac OS. Like, NOX root accessibility is provided.
Best for gaming and productivity.
4. MEMU Play: A great alternative for Bluestacks and somewhere a little better even. Unlike the Bluestacks emulator, this one runs on Android Lollipop which has been made available with the latest update of the emulator. The updates are more frequent, like Genymotion. So, you can choose to download Kitkat (older android version) or Lollipop (Android 5.0 latest) or even both at the same time. It comes pre-equipped with google apps and VirtualBox giving you feasibility to allocate RAM, Graphics card, CPU, etc.
This is the best Good for gaming.
5. Android Studio: This has been the most popular Android development platform and has been recognized by Google. It comes handy for app testing and making specifically for Android. It comes with a built-in emulator. It can run even the latest Android versions before any other platforms, provided Google releases their SDK files. It is a heavy software and the emulator will not always run smoothly with all PCs. It is difficult to set up even. Unless you are a developer, it is not recommended to use this platform for emulating your device. This software is available for free.
Best for development and testing. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux Operating Systems.
6. Droid4X: This emulator is best known for its simplicity, which makes it suitable for consumer level emulation. Droid4X is not as much intended for development, productivity or testing as it is for gaming and gamers. Since it focuses more on Android games, all the apps might not work as smoothly. However, 99% of android apps are compatible with Droid4X. This software is available for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems. It comes for free absolutely with no paid versions or unpaid restrictions as such.
Best for gaming and can be used for productivity purposes also.
The choice of emulators is completely subjective and depends on the purpose of usage. You can choose to use both paid and free versions of these emulators as per the amount of usage and requirement of features. Using two or more android emulators at the same time can result in PC instability.