07-30-2012 02:24 PM
The BB5 through BB7 certainly do not perfectly emulate the device behavior... There are frequently issues that arise on device hardware that are not seen on simulators (playing two sounds at once on older CDMA devices is one example).
The other issue is that you can easily load any OS revision on an actual device, whereas the simulators are occasionally released with specific OS revisions.
08-01-2012 09:49 AM
08-01-2012 11:21 AM
The best way to get free hardware from RIM is to attend RIM sponcered events and participate in RIM's developer promotions. Over the past year they have given away around 30,000 free PlayBooks to devs, and another 4,000 Dev Alphas.
However if you can't get any hardware do not be afraid of the simulators. The BlackBerry simulators are far more accurate and useful then the Android ones are.