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Which phone to buy for Android development?

I am an newbee iOS developer also trying to learn Android development. Which device would you recommend to buy for Android?

To really test whether your app works on most devices, you would have to test on different devices with different screen resolutions.
If you don’t care about that, simply getting a popular phone might be the easiest solution. Those are usually performant enough.
My personal preference are samsung galaxy devices, but don’t have to.

Thanks for the reply!

I bought this one. It’s relatively cheap and works quite well. Used it both for native and React Native dev.

Awesome, thank you very much for that!

Hello iwalter,
According to my experience, i will suggest to going through Samsung and Nexus. Samsung is best for testing purpose because some issues only occurs in the Samsung device Like camera issue etc

Thanks for the advice!

An approach for your consideration, as in my current multi-platform project was to start by researching current market share of our target audience.

Android OS version penetration in the target geo (consider global and/or local reach). ie look at the highest usage % of OS and then the device.

Stretch to look at the lowest common denominator for the highest reach, eg Kitkat, Jellybean etc. and match to the device of your personal choice for development supporting the spread of OS versions.

In my case we are forced to test on Android 6 devices as one of the dependent libraries doesn’t currently run on Android 7 so a choosing a Google Pixel isn’t a viable option, neither can we test our App on any new phone pre-installed with Nougat. Hoping for an update of the lib soon . . .

Hope this input helps.

Excellent advice, thanks! I don’t really have a target audience yet as I am still just beginning to learn Android development.

I think an android developer should always go for a nexus, not because of the specs and features, but because it has a killer feature very few smartphones can achieve.

The main feature beneficial for developers is quick updates, the updates to android arrive lightning-quick and hence are the first to arrive on this one. Also as it has stock UI, it is best for you to test your apps on such a device before going anywhere else.

If you want a phablet, then either go for the Nexus 6P and f you want a smaller phone then the Nexus 5X. I know they are a little too costly, but definitely worth the price, especially for an app developer.

Hope this helps …

Hi @iwalter,
If you are starting Android development, you will realise that using the simulator is not good enough and hence you might fare better with a device.

Depending on your budget, get a device that allows you to play with most the features (in case you decide to try things like NFC, bluetooth, camera, etc). If you get a low end phone, you will not be able to test some of the advance features (when you reach that stage) and might have to pay for another device then.

I would suggest getting a decent device now that could also serve as your phone and use it as a development device too.

Depending on where you are, there are some good deals on the S20 range by Samsung. Though this is an overkill as a development device.


For the efficient android application testing, you need different devices so as to ensure the effective functionality as per the device requirements including resolutions, graphics, permissions, etc. The better solution is to use the simulators or emulators for the testing on different android versions and devices.

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