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  1. I'm starting mobile development, and I would want to know if it's necessary to target a specific smartphone, or nowadays one can run a simulation that will provide accurate data of how the game will perform on a given device.

  2. If simulation tools are not good enough, what version of iPhone and what Android mobile should I target as of 2013, for making games like Angry Birds, Jetpack Joyride, etc? (2D games only) I would buy that smartphone and make my tests there.

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You can use the emulators for simple testing, but do yourself a favor and get some sort of smart phone to do full testing on. I think just about any 3.x phone would be good if you want to maximize compatibility (I think 5.0 is the latest however). The emulator is good for simple "Is my object where it should be on screen" tests but it's not very good for actual play testing. Any model should be fine however, just remember that some have different buttons than others (my HTC Evo One only has 3 buttons while most have 4) –  Benjamin Danger Johnson Mar 1 '13 at 0:52
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2 Answers

No simulators that I know of give reasonable expectations of on-device performance. The iOS simulator, in particular, is very bad. And I think the Android one is an emulator.

As to what devices you should support, that's really a business decision that you have to make on your own based on the theoretical cost/benefit of making your particular game work with hardware of massively varying speeds. You could see which devices are still being sold, or see what publicly-available data is out there.

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+1 for No simulators give reasonable expectations of on-device performance. –  laishiekai Mar 1 '13 at 0:51
    
+1 publicly-available data is out there. –  Cameron Fredman Mar 1 '13 at 1:08
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Yes, before starting Android game development, you must have a real phone, not emulator. Emulator in almost all cases doesn't work as expected and it can really make trouble. Mobile: Samsung Galaxy S3.

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