React Native vs. Flutter: What Is The Most Popular Framework for Mobile Apps?

Article by:
Denis Kastsiukevich
4 min
The cross-platform mobile development world is abundant in battle-ready frameworks. We begin the first part of our article on comparing the two most popular cross-platform frameworks.

Mobile application development continues its rise in demand. More and more companies are investing in creating such solutions. But it's crucial to make the right choice when it comes to the technology. In another article on the topic, 'React Native vs. Flutter: What to Pick for Your Next Project?', we gave recommendations on which frameworks to choose, describing which framework is best suitable for a particular project type. On this page, we'll focus on other distinguishing features in the comparison of Flutter and React Native.

React Native vs. Flutter: Overview

‍React Native was released by tech mogul Facebook in 2015 and became a framework dominating the industry. It was built on top of JavaScript and helped to develop robust mobile apps.

Other players planned to overthrow React Native from its top positions in the cross-platform development Olympus. Among them, Google was overwhelmingly successful. The company presented an ambitious project called Flutter in 2017.

Since then, Flutter has helped numerous high-profile companies to achieve their business goals. The technology helped to build recognized apps like Google Ads, Tencent's  AITeacher, Xianyu by Alibaba, Reflectly, Cryptograph, and many others.

In any event, both frameworks are considered among the top options for creating mobile applications.

Which Is Better: React Native vs Flutter?

Flutter development advantages make it stand out from other frameworks. It doesn't employ Javascript, which turns out to be the reason why developers prefer it to other options. We'll discuss how this can benefit the development process in more detail later.

Now, let's stress the following: React Native is one of the top cross-platform frameworks out there. It occupies a strong position on the market but it is hardly the only option for mobile developers. If we look at the trends over time, we can see that the framework gradually loses in search volume to its close contender. Flutter shot up and still continues to boost curiosity. Experts, developers, and ordinary onlookers have started to raise their eyebrows and examine the pros and cons of the Flutter framework.

Flutter and React Native dynamics in Google Trends
Source: React Native vs Flutter Google Trends

Where does this rivalry lead? Is Flutter set to beat React Native or further divide the market for cross-platform development?

Let's look at this interesting situation. According to recent statistics, the market size for mobile development development is projected to grow strikingly to $777.4 billion in 2032. This makes the growth rate as high as 14.4% throughout 2023 to 2032.

As the results of the study suggest, the mobile app market has become a gold mine with vast opportunities. The stakes are high; therefore, it is important to utilize the most effective technology stack and development tools that can guarantee profit boost.

Let's find out more details about React Native and Flutter to understand their value for mobile development. We'll start from developers and companies providing Flutter or React Native development services who deal with both technologies every day.

First, we turn to Stack Overflow. It conducted a survey in May 2023 to obtain data about developers' preferred technologies and other aspects related to app development. The survey found that Flutter beats React Native in preferred frameworks by developers (i.e., in the "Most Popular Technologies" segment).

Stack Overflow Survey Results
Source: Stack Overflow

We can also observe a significant change in attitudes on GitHub. The Flutter community reached a significant milestone, it has more stars than React Native (156k vs 111k) as of August, 2023.

We believe it serves as a wake-up call for Facebook's popular framework. Is it time to hail to the brand new king of cross-platform mobile development?

Comparing Flutter vs React Native

To understand the full picture, let's go to the basics and highlight the differences between Flutter and React Native. We chose the following parameters:

  • User interface
  • Performance
  • Development time
  • Documentation
  • Community

User Interface

Both technologies behave differently when designing User Interface. React Native uses UI components and relies on the JSX, which helps to create simple and readable UIs. The framework also includes special UI libraries, such as styled-components.

Flutter creates a UI out of adaptable widgets from its catalog. They serve as building blocks that help to create a user experience and support Material Design and Cupertino (Apple's) looks.  The UI part of your app will imitate the design of iOS or Android OS and provide a native look and feel. However, Flutter has unlimited possibilities for implementing UI animations, unlike React Native.


If we do a Flutter vs. React Native performance comparison, we can state that because Flutter programs are immediately compiled into native code, they work faster. Flutter applications do not need to use a bridge (a layer in the form of JavaScript code as in React Native) to interact with native components.

React Native can reach the same level of performance but it is necessary to spend extra time on optimizations.

Development Time

Both of these mobile app development frameworks are on the same level although you need to write fewer lines of code with React Native. However, with Flutter there are fewer problems in the course of development and the time is approximately the same.


The documentation for both technologies is at an excellent level. However, since React Native is older, there is more documentation for that framework. This situation leaves a mark on the quality. Some developers point out that RN documentation can be chaotic and “littered”.


More than 5 years on the market, React Native has acquired a large community that keeps on growing. Flutter, in turn, is stepping on its competitor’s toes, and the community is catching up.

Flutter vs React Native: Comparison Table

We put together a brief table dedicated to React Native vs Flutter comparison. You can overview fast facts about the two frameworks.

Parameter React Native Flutter
First Release: 2015 2017
Created by: Facebook Google
Technology: JavaScript Dart
Time-to-market: Fast Ultra Fast
Documentation: Extensive, but a bit clumsy Smaller, but clear and precise
Hot Reload: + +
IDEs Supported: Almost every IDE possible VS Code, Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA
Native Performance: Great Great
Learning Curve: Easy to pick up, especially if you used React or Javascript before Quite steep, you need to pick up Dart, and reactive programming isn’t all intuitive
Used by: Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Tesla, etc. Google, Google Ads, Alibaba, Tencent, Hamilton Musical, JD Finance
Github stars in Aug'23: 156k 111k

Summing  Up

In this article, we focused on differences between React Native and Flutter and the way they contribute to the development of cross-platform apps. We also discussed why Flutter is gradually pushing React Native from the top position.

From the comparison of React Native and Flutter, we can see that they have their unique features and strong sides. Among the most significant criteria for comparison are user interface, performance, development time, documentation, and community. Taking into account the differences between React Native and Flutter, you can now make informed decisions and justify each choice.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cross-platform development. You should take into account the peculiarities of the project that is on your agenda. If you have questions on the subject, feel free to contact us to discuss custom mobile app development services that'll fit your business needs.

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