Comparison of Android Emulator tools

The following table compares the tasks you can perform using the emulator UI, AVD Manager, commonly used command-line startup options, and the Emulator Console. In the AVD Manager, you can set hardware profile and AVD properties.

The table compares features that are similar, but not necessarily with identical functionality, between different emulator tools.

Although not listed in the table, the adb utility also supports commands for interacting with virtual devices, as described in Android Debug Bridge. For example, you can install an app on a virtual device by using Android Studio, the emulator UI, or adb. You can copy a file to a virtual device using the emulator UI or adb, and copy a file from a virtual device using adb.

Remember that to use certain features of the emulator with your apps, you need to enable them through various <uses-feature> elements and manifest permission constants, just as you would if you ran them on a hardware device.

Table 4. Comparison of Android Emulator tools

User interface control Hardware profile property AVD property Command-line startup option Console command
Device hardware
Device type: Phone/Tablet, Wear OS, Android TV
Back, Home, Overview, Menu Input: Has Hardware Buttons (Back/Home/Menu)
Settings: Send keyboard shortcuts to Input: Has Hardware Keyboard Keyboard Input

Directional Pad

Navigation Style: None, D-pad, Trackball, Wheel
Zoom Mode
Battery power command
Phone gsm and sms send commands
Rotate Supported Device States Startup: Orientation rotate command
Camera Camera

(can choose webcam)


Take Screenshot

Settings: Screenshot save location

Virtual sensors
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, GPS, Proximity Sensor geo command
Fingerprint finger command
Volume -noaudio


event command
Disk Images and Memory
Memory and Storage: SD Card -sdcard
Memory and Storage: Internal Storage
RAM Memory and Storage: RAM -memory
Memory and Storage: VM Heap vm command
In the Your Virtual Devices page of the AVD Manager, right-click an AVD and select Wipe Data. -wipe-data
network status command
Network: Latency -netdelay network delay command
Cellular: Network Type Network: Speed -netspeed network speed command
Voice status
Data status
gsm command
Signal strength
Settings: Use detected ADB location -port


redir command
-tcpdump network capture start and network capture stop commands
In the System Image page of the AVD Manager, select a system image capable of VM acceleration. -accel
Multi-Core CPU
Emulated Performance: Graphics — hardware, software, or auto -gpu


-selinux {disabled|permissive}
Settings: Emulator window theme
Resize Screen Size and

Screen Resolution

window command
Default Skin Device Frame and

Custom Skin Definition

-screen {touch|multi-touch|no-touch}
-debug tags