Tour Mobile1st’s Mobile Device Lab

In Technical Brief by Chris Strahorn

Sitting in a data center deep in the heart of Texas is Mobile1st’s mobile device lab. It’s part of what makes Mobilizer unique. Combined with our programming and online interface, the lab delivers real test results from real mobile devices right to the comfort of your desktop browser within about 30 seconds.

To learn more about the beating heart of our operation, I spoke to Chris Strahorn, Mobile1st’s CTO. Chris came to us with a remarkably deep background in software development, mobile technology and product management, having led the development of a wide variety of applications, ranging from consumer-focused mobile apps to back-end financial systems.

Mobile Device Lab: Which Devices Are Selected?

strahornThe Mobilizer testing lab currently hosts 14 phones and tablets (16 likely by month’s end!). Chris notes that those devices were strategically selected to capture the largest share of the smartphone market and the key alternative operating systems. To ensure efficiency in processing requests and for redundancy purposes, the lab contains multiple versions of each selected device.

Our new #15 device, Chris says, will be Samsung’s much-hyped latest and greatest – the S6 – also chosen because it will allow Mobilizer users to test their websites on the Android OS 5.0 Lollipop.


Mobile1st estimates the price tag for hardware for a typical mobile device lab at well over $10,000. That outlay of money (and the time and effort) to implement and maintain a full panoply of devices would be a heavy burden for any company. Compound that difficulty with the unfortunate fact that the necessary lineup of phones and tablets for a mobile device lab is a moving target – one estimate suggests you need to replace 30% of your testing devices every quarter just to stay up to date.

“It’s simply not practical for every company to buy those devices, and you surely don’t want to risk your website and your company’s reputation by relying on emulators. So instead, web professionals and digital marketers work with us as a cloud provider, and we pay the expense and provide the technology to make it easy for them to use.”

As anyone knows who has hooked up their own device farm (or perhaps walked into an ATT store to take advantage of their array of phones quickly before you get kicked out! 🙂 ), testing via the cloud this way is a real convenience – offering ease, speed, accuracy, and dollar savings. You can visually inspect your site’s performance on over a dozen mobile devices right on your desktop browser and actually receive results faster than if you were sitting right next to your own jimmy-rigged lineup of devices!

Mobile1st is a leader in marketing technology and site optimization solutions. More than prioritizing and executing industry leading CRO practices, we do what makes the money; optimizing our Client’s digital commerce product toward consistent financial growth and ROI. All achieved through excellence in Lean UX, Analytics, Research, Experimentation and Development.
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