There used to be a time when the popularity of emulators spiked so much that every other person wanted one installed on their PC. Frankly, it was because of the huge demand of people trying to either install or explore Android on their Windows system.
With that need arises a vast demand for Android emulators, and few of the ones managed to make their name, such as Bluestacks. Soon after, other popular Android emulators started emerging on the internet. One such name is the Nox emulator.
Today, we’re pitting BlueStacks and Nox against each other to determine which one is the best emulator for Android. So, let’s not waste any time and get right into the article!
What are Android Emulators?
Emulators are nothing but software that emulates some other operating system or interface. Through this software, you can experience a completely different operating system, meaning you have access to almost every feature of that OS.
In the case of Android emulators, we’re looking at software or applications that emulate the Android operating system. Even though you are using a Windows computer, you will be able to explore Android on the system by just installing an emulator.
Emulators are reasonably popular for retro gaming as it enables users to experience old gaming consoles on their modern devices. Considering the popularity of Android, it was evident to see the emulators making their way to mobile operating systems.
Why Would You Use One?
Another popular question that I see many users asking is why one would use an Android emulator when they already have access to it on their phones. Well, here are the reasons you might want to use Android emulators.
- It gives you a virtual machine with an Android operating system on other devices
- Ability to run Android apps and games on your other devices
- Play games like PUBG Mobile on your Windows PC
- Get mobile-exclusive mobile games on your PC
- Effortless multitasking
- It could be an excellent addition to test your apps if you’re a developer
- Explore the Android operating system without any text or call interruptions
- You don’t need to worry about high-end specs or battery life
These are some of the few benefits of using an Android emulator on your Windows PC. Of course, Android emulators are not for every user out there. If you see yourself using an emulator, you should keep reading as we will now talk about BlueStacks and Nox in much more detail.
BlueStacks vs. Nox: Battle of Emulators
If you do a quick Google search for an Android emulator, you will come across BlueStack and Nox emulators. These two are some of the best Android emulators that you can get at the moment. BlueStacks has a very long history as it is one of the oldest Android emulators, while Nox is pretty new but still one of the best as it is relatively lightweight.
We’ve been using both emulators for quite some time now to find out which one is best for you, and here’s what we found!
BlueStacks vs. Nox: Introduction
Initially released in 2009, BlueStacks is now one of the popular Android emulators. BlueStacks is the company, while the name of their product is BlueStacks App Player. The company also has a bunch of other cloud-based products.
Since the initial release, this Android emulator has come a long way with many massive improvements in terms of performance, user interface, stability, and much more.
As of now, the latest version of BlueStacks App Player is BlueStacks 5. The company recently also announced BlueStacks X, a cloud-based Android gaming platform. Of course, we will keep our discussions limited to the App Player only. BlueStacks claims to offer top-notch features such as less RAM usage, a lighting-fast experience, efficient multitasking, and much more.
NoxPlayer, on the other hand, is a relatively newer Android emulator. Released back in 2015, NoxPlayer has slowly become the internet’s favorite Android emulator.
BigNox, the company behind this, focuses more on the gameplay experience, which most people want to extract from an emulator. When writing this article, the latest version of the emulator was NoxPlayer 7, meaning the product has already gone through seven major updates since the initial release.
BlueStacks vs. Nox: System Requirements
It’s now time to look at the minimum system requirements for Android emulators. It’s necessary to see which one works even on the older generation of PCs without giving you any trouble.
- Operating System: Windows 7 and above
- Processor: Intel or AMD processor
- GPU: up to date graphics drivers
- Memory: at least 4GB RAM
- Storage: 5GB free disk space
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel or AMD multi-core processor
- GPU: Intel, Nvidia or ATI
- Memory: 8GB RAM or higher
- Storage: SSD
- Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
- Processor: at least dual-core Intel or AMD chipset
- GPU: Open GL 2.0 or above
- Memory: 1.5GB RAM
- Storage: 1GB available under the installation path
- Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 10
- Processor: Multi-core chipset which supports VT-x or AMD-V
- GPU: Open GL 2.0 or above (higher the better)
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Storage: 1GB available under the installation path
You should make sure to meet the minimum system requirements at least to be able to use any of the emulators. Of course, the more you’re close to the recommended requirements, the better the experience.
BlueStacks vs. Nox: User Interface
We can not stress enough how important a user interface is. It can break or make the software. Add all the bells and whistles; if the user interface is not good, then that software is a piece of crap. That is why we will first talk about the user interface as our important metric for comparison.
The all-new version of BlueStacks 5 does have some noticeable changes when it comes to the user interface. The legacy of this emulator is visible by the user interface and experience of the emulator.
The developers have put a lot of thought into better interaction and a user-friendly environment. The software brings a lot of customization to the table. For instance, you can set up key shortcuts to control your games the way you want.
BlueStacks has tweaked up the user interface, so the first thing you will see is a column of applications, meaning you will not get a traditional Android user interface but a tweaked one. This UI might confuse newcomers using the emulator for the first time.
One thing that really annoyed us was the addition of a lot of bloatware on the software. The custom home screen has tons of apps that are not installed by default. Clicking on it will take you to the Google Play Store. This entire thing is pretty annoying and ends up ruining the user experience.
Unlike BlueStacks, NoxPlayer takes a different approach with its user interface. There’s no custom home screen here, instead of the good old traditional Android UI. The moment you fire up the NoxPlayer, you will feel like you are using an Android smartphone on a PC.
The developers of NoxPlayer focused more on a simple, minimal, and easy-to-use user experience. As a result, it’s easy for the newcomer to settle in.
Even though the user interface is simple, NoxPlayer brings powerful features to the table. You don’t make any compromises when it comes to customization. NoxPlayer comes with all the standard customizations and even more. In our opinion, we find NoxPlayer bringing a much more practical and more usable user interface.
BlueStacks vs. Nox: Performance
Apart from the user interface, performance is another solid metric for the comparison. A good Android emulator should deliver efficient performance with minimum lags and glitches. Furthermore, it should be able to handle multi-tasking and have super smooth animations.
We have tested both these emulators on various patterns to find out which one is better when it comes to performance.
It is worth noting that BlueStacks has a solid history behind its development. It’s been there in the market for a much longer period and has witnessed incremental growths and changes every year. While this emulator might not have impressed us with the user interface, it manages to meet our expectations in the performance department.
We did heavy testing of BlueStacks on our system that meets the recommended system configurations. We tried multitasking, and the experience was quite snappy and breezy.
The gameplay experience is also top-notch on this, which makes me say that the developers have focused a lot more on gaming which is very good. Even if you go by the benchmark tests, you would know how far away BlueStacks is in terms of performance.
So far, we haven’t come across any Android emulator that can go head to head with BlueStacks in terms of performance.
Coming from BlueStacks, we noticed some massive differences in terms of performance. The multitasking experience was not that snappy, and the animations sometimes were laggy. Thanks to the minimal user interface, things were not that bad and were slightly worse.
NoxPlayer opens up very fast as compared to BlueStacks. Furthermore, the developers don’t push ads during startup time, which is a good thing.
We also noticed that this Android emulator consumed fewer system resources than the BlueStacks. This thing means that you can run NoxPlayer even on mid-range or low-cost PCs. Like BlueStacks, the developers have put an extra focus on the gaming experience. We tried playing many popular games out there, and the experience was decent. It was not great but not worse as well.
For a fairly new company, NoxPlayer managed to do very well in terms of performance. Even if you go by benchmark tests, you would see NoxPlayer is only behind BlueStacks and proudly sits at the second position.
We can see NoxPlayer competing with BlueStacks head-to-toe in the coming years. But for now, BlueStacks takes the lead.
BlueStacks vs. Nox: Features
The next metric for our comparison is Features. It’s time to see which Android emulator delivers valuable features that would enhance the user experience and are not just gimmicks.
BlueStacks comes with a lot of bells and whistles, to be honest. The official webpage of the software showcases and claims a lot of exciting features. Well, we decided to check each one out.
The developer claims that this emulator uses less RAM and is lightning fast. As you already know, the software does offer impressive performance. The company also claims that this emulator has the most extensive game library with over 2M+ apps. That’s true. The emulator comes with so many games that it would take you years to play them.
Some of the other features are listed below:
- Game controls
- Multi-instance & sync
- Native gamepad support
- Real-time translation
- Shooting mode
As you can see, BlueStacks does come with a plethora of features focused on the gaming experience. For instance, Game Controls give you the ability to use a keyboard, mouse, and gamepad. Multi-instance allows you to create parallel space within the emulator allowing you to run two or more instances of an app.
Macros allow you to automate a few things such as auto-login or harvesting in games like Rising of Kingdoms. To be honest, we loved using Macros and found it very helpful in actual usage.
Many useful features but most of them are only related to gaming. However, everything becomes useless for someone who’s not using the emulator for games.
NoxPlayer also comes with many features but not a plethora of them. As mentioned earlier, NoxPlayer focuses more on essential, minimal, and simple user experience. The developers have kept the features set to a minimum and added only those features that people will use.
It comes with Macro Recorder that allows you to record actions for playback at a later time. You also get multi-instance enabling you to run various instances of games and apps. You can use one-click mapping to open the keyboard layout allowing you to game with a keyboard, mouse, or gamepad. A dedicated App Center will enable you to download all the popular games from the app library. Sadly, there’s no Multi-Sync in the NoxPlayer as of now.
One thing that separates NoxPlayer from BlueStacks is Virtualization Technology (VT). This new performance feature allows the program to run isolated systems on single server hardware. VT is the reason behind Nox’s efficient performance and consumption of fewer system resources. That’s it. Those are all the essential features that NoxPlayer brings to the table.
BlueStacks vs Nox: Security & Privacy
Another aspect that we’re going to look at is Security and Privacy. No matter how good a product is, you should stay away from it if it doesn’t promise to keep the user data safe and secure. Let’s see how BlueStacks and Nox stand up regarding security and privacy.
It is worth noting that Android emulators are highly known for their lack of security and privacy. Since they use loose Android OS to remove device restrictions, these emulators don’t offer the best protection. If you’re using an Android emulator on your Windows PC, you should be aware of that.
Android emulators also use a bootleg version of Android OS, which is also not a good thing. But then again, you would not be able to use Android on your Windows PC without that.
Since its initial release, the company has seen immense popularity, and with that comes the responsibility of handling user data safely and securely. Considering it’s a huge brand, we expect it to keep the user data safe and secure.
The company claims that it does not ship its software with hidden malware, and you should not worry about it as long as you are downloading it from the official source.
The company also claims to be safe, and you should not worry about using your Google account. With that said, we highly recommend only using a separate Google account for any Android emulator.
Lastly, BlueStacks also claims to care about privacy and claims that your data will never be shared with any other company. There used to be a time when you needed to turn off your antivirus to install BlueStacks, but that no longer happens.
NoxPlayer, on the other hand, is not a big brand and is relatively new to the Android emulator market. It still has managed to make a name in the market and is highly trusted by users and the internet community.
With that said, NoxPlayer has recently been a part of a controversy where hackers put malware on the Android emulator. Of course, such incidence also has happened with BlueStacks in the past.
What we believe is never depend on the company for your privacy and security. Always take extra measures to keep yourself safe on the web, especially when using an Android emulator. You should use a random unrelated Google account on these emulators so that even if the data ends up getting leaked, it will not harm you.
With that said, it is your personal choice to go with any of these Android emulators in terms of security and privacy. BlueStacks has a big name behind it, while NoxPlayer has recently been a part of the security-related controversy.
We have now covered all the significant aspects of comparing the BlueStacks and NoxPlayer. BlueStacks is one of those Android emulators that everyone knows the name of, while NoxPlayer is that new kid killing the game and is on his way to competing with the popular offerings.
To sum up, NoxPlayer received our vote regarding the user interface. We liked the simple, easy to navigate around user experience that NoxPlayer offers. If you’re new to the Android emulator, we highly recommend exploring NoxPlayer. BlueStacks, on the other hand, is for those who are already comfortable with using Android emulators.
Coming to the performance, BlueStacks managed to get our vote as it offers a snappy user experience with high benchmark scores. It’s not that NoxPlayer is inadequate in terms of performance, but it’s just that BlueStacks provides a bit better performance.
There is also the security and privacy section that you should really focus on, and that is where you should be the one to decide the vote.
We are slightly inclining more towards NoxPlayer as it delivers a minimal, simple, and easy-to-use user experience in almost every single category. If performance is your primary criteria, then BlueStacks is the way to go, as it is way ahead of the NoxPlayer in that aspect. We see NoxPlayer reaching the performance bar further down the road and might end up being toe-to-toe with BlueStacks.
Hopefully, you will be able to decide which one is a better Android emulator for you out of the two options by reading this comprehensive article on BlueStacks vs. Nox!