Ranked #1 / 6 in Browser testing
— Last updated: 2021-12-14
BrowserStack is a great product for manual and automated testing on a large number of devices. Integrations with other services make it a powerful tool, but latency can be high when live-testing devices and some newer OS releases are not immediately available.Visit BrowserStack
BrowserStack offers plans starting at $39/month for live testing, $169/month for automated testing (desktop only) and $249/month for automated testing (desktop & mobile).
Device & browser support5/5
Tests can be conducted on more than 3,000 devices and browsers, including major releases of Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices from multiple vendors, although some newly released versions are not immediately available. Approximately 50 releases of Chrome, Firefox and Opera are available for testing. Other browsers like Edge, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Yandex are also supported, but with fewer historical versions.
Debugging & error reporting4.5/5
BrowserStack can report bugs to various project management tools like Jira, Trello, GitHub and Slack. Screenshots captured during tests can be annotated in the dashboard to highlight certain sections which did not render properly before generating bug reports. The logs generated by the Selenium, network, browser console, etc., as well as video recordings of tests, can be used to analyze failed test cases.
What we like
BrowserStack supports testing on a large number of browsers (50+ versions for popular ones) and devices (both real and virtual). Real mobile devices are available with Android and iOS versions going as far back as 2.2 and 3.0 respectively. Virtual machines are available with customizable configurations like screen resolution, operating system (ranging from Windows 11 to Windows XP and macOS 12 to macOS 10.6), browser version and some browser-specific capabilities such as whether or not to enable popups in Internet Explorer. Multiple testing frameworks, namely Selenium, Cypress, Playwright and Puppeteer can be used to write tests.
At the time of writing, recently launched devices and OS updates (macOS 12, and iPhone 13) were still not available for testing despite being released several months ago. The speed at which new OS releases are available varies significantly amongst all the different browser testing tools we reviewed.
Local testing can be done by creating an encrypted tunnel to securely test websites hosted behind firewalls or VPNs. Additional configuration can be set up to mask the output of particular commands, allowing sensitive data like email, cookies, credentials, etc. to be redacted from session logs. Disabling Selenium logs and video recordings for such tests can further improve privacy. When video recordings are turned off, screenshots of remote test devices can be captured and stored straight to the user’s computer to analyze issues.
BrowserStack offers a Chrome extension that opens the current URL in a live testing environment with a single click. User interface components can be tested - allowing/denying browser permissions or simulating clicks on alerts and prompts is possible. This is important to avoid regressions or errors in crucial transaction procedures.
Testing on real devices is supported, which makes it easier to find device-specific peculiarities. BrowserStack has data centers across the globe - the tests can be tailored to run in various countries and languages, allowing timezone bugs and localization issues to be detected. Local censorship can also be discovered thanks to the ability to run tests from more than 60 countries (currently in beta).
BrowserStack supports several SDKs and integrations for popular CI/CD tools to perform automatic tests viaBitbucket Pipelines, GitHub Actions and on CMSs such as WordPress and Shopify. It is possible to integrate BrowserStack and multiple other platforms like Google Sheets, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Microsoft Office 365, Vimeo, etc. using the Zapier integration. Compatibility with a large number of services allows users to extend BrowserStack’s functionality and use it in a variety of scenarios.
What we don’t like
BrowserStack Live allows testing websites on physical mobile devices in real-time, but we found that network latency is high. This issue is most prominent when scrolling or typing. A few seconds of delay between pressing a key and seeing the character on screen is undesirable and annoying. Another thing to keep in mind is that remote debugging via dev tools is available only on Chrome browsers on Android devices. Screen reader functionality (in beta) is not yet supported on mobile devices. On desktop devices, it did not work properly and kept repeating the same sentence again and again.
Test reports are not generated for live tests. Other products we tested keep a log of tests performed and allow screen recording while testing to review bugs later, but this is not possible with BrowserStack. Bugs can only be shared via a screenshot, making it difficult to share findings with stakeholders.
Most of the real mobile devices available for testing are from a handful of vendors (Samsung or Google) - fewer devices are available from other vendors (OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Motorola) and for some vendors (Vivo, Oppo, and Huawei) only a single device is available. There are no Linux desktop devices available for testing. Newer devices like iPhone 13 are also not available yet.
BrowserStack limits the number of tests that can be queued. Once this limit is reached, the only way to add more tests is to wait for prior tests to finish execution or pay more. There is no option to view or edit the queue from the dashboard - only the number of tests in the queue are displayed.
BrowserStack supports Axe API to run accessibility tests, test reports are generated as JSON objects and contain relevant details such as Xpath of the element which caused the violation. Although it gets the job done, this process is not very user friendly because the tester needs to scour through raw JSON files. Other tools like Polypane or Ghost Inspector provide better solutions by presenting the results in a more user friendly fashion.
Console developer perspective
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