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React Native vs Flutter 2024: Which is more suitable for your next project?

February 13, 2024 BY EPM Agency

When it comes to cross-platform app development, React Native and Flutter have emerged as frontrunners. These frameworks have changed how developers build applications, offering unique advantages and posing fascinating challenges.  

Both frameworks have their champions and critics and have proven their worth in the market. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of these technologies, shedding light on their architecture, performance, developer experience, and the quality of applications they produce. 

React Native vs Flutter Comparison Summary

Feature/Aspect React Native Flutter 

Origin and Backing
Developed by FacebookDeveloped by Google
Programming LanguageJavascript (React)Dart
PerformanceHigh performance, but can vary with complex UIsConsistently high performance across UI complexities 
UI ConsistencyGood, with some platform-specific adjustments Excellent, with uniform UI across platforms 
Design and Customisation Extensive, with access to native components Rich widget library offering high customisation 
Learning CurveModerate (easier for JavaScript developers) Steeper (requires learning Dart) 
Community SupportLarge, established community Rapidly growing, vibrant community 
Ecosystem MaturityMature, with a wide range of libraries and tools Evolving quickly, with increasing tools and libraries 
Platform SupportiOS, Android, Web (via extensions)iOS, Android, Web, Desktop
Integration CapabilitiesGood, with possible need for native codeStrong, with consistent platform integration
Resource UtilisationEfficient, with attention needed for optimisationHighly efficient in CPU and memory usage
Deployment and DistributionStreamlined, but platform-specific nuancesSimplified process with a unified codebase
Future OutlookContinuously evolving, strong market presenceRapid growth, aligning with market trends
Case StudiesFacebook, Instagram, AirbnbGoogle Ads, Alibaba, Hamilton Musical
Best for ScenariosProject leveraging web development skillsProjects requiring high UI consistency

Understanding the Core: Features and Architecture

Overview of React Native

React Native, introduced by Facebook, is a framework that marries the flexibility of JavaScript with the high performance of native application development. At its core, React Native utilises the same fundamental UI building blocks as regular iOS and Android apps. However, developers use JavaScript and React instead of building in Java, Kotlin, or Swift.

Key Features:

  • Hot Reloading: A standout feature, allowing developers to see the results of the latest changes without restarting the entire app.
  • Extensive Library Support: The framework boasts a rich ecosystem of libraries and tools, enhancing its capabilities and developer productivity.
  • Native Components: React Native renders using real native components, ensuring that the user experience is as close to native as possible. 

Overview of Flutter

Flutter, Google's UI toolkit, has swiftly gained popularity in app development. It uses Dart, a language optimised for building UIs focusing on performance. Flutter is unique in its approach, as it does not rely on web browser technology, or the set of widgets provided by each platform.

Key Features:

  • Hot Reload: Like React Native's Hot Reloading but often considered more advanced, allowing more immediate reflection of changes.
  • Rich Widget Library: Flutter provides a comprehensive range of widgets that adhere to Google’s Material Design principles.
  • Skia Rendering Engine: The engine allows Flutter to draw UI components, offering excellent performance and a consistent look across platforms. 

Comparative Architecture Analysis

UI Rendering:

React Native and Flutter adopt different approaches to UI rendering. React Native interacts with the native components of the platform, making the app feel like a part of the device’s ecosystem. In contrast, Flutter uses its Skia engine to draw the UI, giving developers more control over the appearance and allowing for more graphical customisation.

Performance Implications:

This architectural difference impacts app performance. React Native’s use of native components generally leads to good performance but can be limited by the bridge connecting JavaScript and native elements. Flutter’s direct method of drawing to the screen can lead to superior performance, especially in graphically rich apps. 

Developer Experience and Ecosystem

React Native:

Familiarity with JavaScript makes it easier for web developers to transition to React Native. Backed by Facebook and a large community, it offers extensive resources for problem-solving and learning.


Despite being newer, Flutter has a rapidly growing community and strong backing from Google. It offers an all-in-one package with a wide array of widgets and tools for developers.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Both frameworks aim to simplify cross-platform development. React Native allows for a shared codebase between platforms but sometimes requires platform-specific code for fine-tuning. Flutter, with its consistent rendering across platforms, offers a more uniform look but can sometimes lead to challenges in matching the platform-specific UI conventions. 

Performance and Efficiency

React Native and Flutter, each with unique architectures and design philosophies, offer differing performance characteristics. This section delves into these aspects, offering a comparative view that can guide developers and businesses in making informed choices.

Performance Metrics

React Native:

React Native apps generally perform well for typical use cases, significantly when leveraging native modules. However, the bridge between JavaScript and native code can sometimes lead to performance bottlenecks, particularly in complex or computation-heavy applications.

Notable metrics include relatively quick start-up times and a smooth user experience for standard apps.


Flutter is renowned for its excellent performance, primarily due to its direct compilation of native code and its use of the Skia Graphics Engine. This results in a consistently high frame rate and responsive UIs, even in graphically rich applications.

Performance benchmarks often show Flutter leading in frame rate consistency and lower memory consumption. 

Efficiency in Development

React Native:

The framework is known for its development efficiency, with hot reloading and a wide range of available libraries and tools. This leads to quicker development cycles, especially for developers already familiar with JavaScript.

The need for native code for certain functionalities can, however, sometimes slow down the development process.


Flutter’s hot reload feature and a comprehensive set of pre-designed widgets greatly accelerate UI development. Additionally, its single codebase approach simplifies the development process for both iOS and Android platforms.

The learning curve for Dart and the Flutter framework can initially slow down development, particularly for those not already familiar with them. 

Real-World Application Performance

Case Studies:

For React Native, apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb have demonstrated its capability to handle large-scale, complex applications efficiently.

Flutter has been used effectively in apps like Google Ads and Alibaba, showcasing its ability to deliver high-performance applications across various industries.

App Size and Battery Life:

React Native apps can be larger due to the inclusion of JavaScript components. However, with proper optimisation, the impact can be minimised.

Flutter apps tend to have a smaller footprint and are efficient in battery usage due to their compiled nature and efficient rendering engine. 

Performance Optimisation

React Native:

Memory usage in React Native apps can be variable. Efficient coding practices and optimising state management can help reduce the memory footprint.  

Optimisation techniques include reducing the bridge's load, using native modules for intensive tasks, and efficient data management.

Profiling tools in the React Native ecosystem assist in identifying and addressing performance issues.


Flutter applications are known for their efficient memory usage. The framework’s approach to rendering and its efficient use of the Dart language contributes to this efficiency.

Flutter offers extensive profiling tools to analyse and optimise performance. Best practices include leveraging efficient state management and minimising widget rebuilds.

Flutter’s layered architecture allows for more granular performance tuning. 


Both frameworks are scalable but have different considerations:

React Native: Its modular nature allows for easy integration with existing apps and systems, making it suitable for projects that might scale in complexity.

Flutter: With its high-performance rendering engine and consistent behaviour across platforms, Flutter is well-suited for apps anticipating a growing user base and requiring uniformity across devices. 

Community Support and Ecosystem

Both React Native and Flutter boast robust communities and ecosystems, each offering unique resources and support systems for developers.

Community Size and Engagement

React Native:

Community Scale: React Native benefits from a large, established community. It has a substantial presence on platforms like GitHub, with numerous contributors and a wealth of shared resources.

Engagement: The community actively participates in developing and refining the framework, contributing to a vast array of libraries and tools.


Growing Community: Although newer than React Native, Flutter has rapidly built a robust and enthusiastic community. Its GitHub repository shows impressive growth in contributors and user engagement.

Community Contributions: Flutter's community is known for its active contributions, including a wide range of widgets and tools, which are continually expanding. 

Official Support and Documentation

React Native:

Documentation: Facebook provides comprehensive documentation for React Native, constantly updated to reflect changes and new features.

Support Channels: Various channels, including forums and social media groups, offer platforms for official updates and community support.


Documentation Quality: Google has invested in creating detailed and user-friendly documentation for Flutter, covering everything from setup to advanced features.

Support Resources: Flutter developers have access to many resources, including official forums, Google's events, and dedicated websites. 

Learning Resources and Developer Onboarding

React Native:

Given the widespread use of JavaScript, many developers find it easier to transition to React Native. The internet is rich with tutorials, online courses, and guides dedicated to React Native, making it accessible for beginners and experts alike.


Flutter’s reliance on Dart means a steeper learning curve, but the framework's design and comprehensive documentation ease this process. Flutter’s growing popularity has increased learning resources, including official tutorials, community-led courses, and extensive online documentation. 

Ecosystem Maturity

React Native:

As a more established framework, React Native has a mature ecosystem with many stable, well-tested libraries and tools. The maturity of the ecosystem translates to reliable long-term app maintenance and scalability.


Flutter's ecosystem, while younger, is evolving quickly, with Google and the community actively expanding its capabilities. Despite its relative novelty, Flutter is committed to API stability and backward compatibility, crucial for long-term projects. 

Integration Capabilities and Platform Support

The ability of a framework to seamlessly integrate with various systems and platforms is critical. React Native and Flutter offer distinct approaches and capabilities in this regard, influencing their adaptability and effectiveness in diverse project scenarios.

Platform Support

React Native:

React Native initially focused on iOS and Android but has expanded to include web, macOS, and Windows support, leveraging community-driven projects like React Native Web and React Native Windows. While primarily used for mobile apps, React Native's expanding platform support enables developers to create cross-platform applications with a single codebase.


Flutter was also primarily aimed at iOS and Android, but it now supports web, desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux), and embedded systems. This expansion is backed by official support from Google. Flutter’s ability to run the same code on multiple platforms without significant changes is one of its key strengths, simplifying the development process for multi-platform applications. 

Integration with Existing Systems

React Native:

React Native integrates well with various backend technologies, often using REST APIs or GraphQL. This flexibility makes it suitable for apps that interact with diverse backend systems. Integration with legacy systems is feasible but may require additional native coding or custom solutions.


Flutter also supports integration with different backend technologies, facilitated by its rich set of libraries and plugins.  While Flutter can integrate with legacy systems, the need for Dart expertise might pose challenges in specific scenarios.

Support for Native Features

React Native:

React Native provides access to native features like GPS, camera, and sensors through community-developed packages or custom native modules. The framework’s architecture allows for a flexible approach to leveraging native device capabilities, albeit sometimes at the cost of added complexity.


Flutter offers a more streamlined approach to accessing native features through its plugin system. The framework ensures consistent use and behaviour of these features across different platforms. 

Third-Party Libraries and Plugins

React Native:

The React Native ecosystem is rich in third-party libraries and plugins, providing extended functionalities. The vast community contributes significantly to the library ecosystem, although quality can vary.


Flutter’s plugin library is growing rapidly, with Google and the community actively contributing. The plugins are generally of high quality and ensure consistent behaviour across platforms.

Futureproofing and Adaptability

React Native:

React Native's reliance on JavaScript, positions it well to adapt to future technology trends. Ongoing support from Facebook and the community suggests a promising future for apps developed with React Native.


Flutter's comprehensive approach to UI design and its capability to run on multiple platforms makes it well-positioned for future technology developments. With Google's backing, Flutter will likely remain a relevant and sustainable choice for app development. 

User Experience and Design Flexibility

User experience (UX) and design flexibility are critical determinants of an app's success. React Native and Flutter, each with unique approaches, offer different capabilities and tools for crafting engaging user interfaces and experiences.

User Interface Design Capabilities

React Native:

React Native provides a component-based architecture, allowing developers to build a UI with reusable components. This approach is familiar to those with a background in React for web development.

It offers good flexibility in UI design, allowing for customisation and adherence to platform-specific design languages like Material Design for Android and Human Interface Guidelines for iOS.


Flutter is renowned for its extensive widgets and tools enabling highly customisable and attractive UI designs. It allows for the creation of complex UIs with ease.

Flutter excels in maintaining design consistency across platforms, thanks to its rendering engine, which ensures that UI elements look the same on every device.

Consistency Across Platforms

React Native:

React Native can achieve UI consistency across platforms, but it often requires more effort to fine-tune the UI components for each platform to ensure that they adhere to the respective design guidelines.


With its comprehensive widget library, Flutter provides a more unified and consistent experience across platforms without requiring extensive modifications.

Animation and Interactivity

React Native:

React Native supports animations and interactive elements, but implementing complex animations can sometimes be less straightforward and require additional libraries.


Flutter stands out in its support for rich animations and interactive elements. The framework provides a powerful set of animation and motion widgets, making creating smooth, complex animations easier.

Accessibility and Internationalisation

React Native and Flutter:

Both frameworks provide support for accessibility and internationalisation, which are crucial for creating inclusive apps and reaching a wider audience.

They offer tools and guidelines to implement features like screen readers, larger text options, and localisation for different languages.

Impact on User Engagement and Satisfaction

The UX and UI capabilities of a framework directly impact user engagement and satisfaction. Apps that are responsive, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing tend to retain users more effectively.

Both React Native and Flutter offer the tools to create such engaging experiences, but the choice depends on the specific requirements of the project, the target audience, and the desired level of customisation. 

Deployment and Distribution

Deploying and distributing mobile applications is crucial in the app development lifecycle. React Native and Flutter offer unique approaches to deployment and distribution, influencing how apps reach their end users.

Deployment Process

React Native:

Deploying React Native apps involves key steps, such as bundling assets, configuring build settings, and preparing the app for release on the respective app stores. Tools like Fastlane can streamline the deployment process. However, developers might need to handle platform-specific nuances, especially when deploying to iOS and Android.


Flutter's deployment process is relatively streamlined, with a consistent approach across platforms. The framework provides detailed guidelines and tools to assist in preparing and building the app for release. Flutter's unified codebase can simplify deploying the app on multiple platforms, potentially reducing the time and effort involved. 

App Store Compliance

React Native:

React Native apps generally comply well with App Store guidelines. However, using certain native modules or third-party libraries might require extra scrutiny to ensure compliance. The submission process is straightforward, but developers must be mindful of platform-specific requirements, especially for the Apple App Store.


Flutter apps align well with app store policies, aided by the framework's focus on performance and UI consistency. The consistent performance across platforms helps meet the compliance requirements with less platform-specific tweaking.

Handling App Updates

React Native:

React Native supports over-the-air updates, allowing developers to push updates to users' apps without going through the app store update cycle. This feature can be a significant advantage in quickly addressing bugs or making small changes, though major updates will still require traditional app store submissions.


Flutter does not natively support OTA updates like React Native. All updates need to follow the standard app store submission and review process. The traditional update approach ensures that all users experience the app uniformly after each update. 

React Native in 2024

The framework has undergone substantial architectural updates, bringing new features and enhancements that improve performance, developer experience, and overall application capabilities.

One of the notable updates in React Native is the focus on enhanced performance and optimisation. The framework has introduced a new threading model for concurrent execution, leading to faster rendering and improved UI responsiveness. Additionally, improvements in the JavaScript runtime enhance the efficiency of JavaScript code execution, contributing to overall better app performance. Another significant development is the introduction of a more modular approach to building applications, leveraging the concept of “Fabric.” This allows for component-level updates, minimizing unnecessary re-renders and improving overall efficiency. Moreover, improvements in memory management reduce the memory footprint of React Native applications, which is particularly beneficial for devices with limited resources.

React Native also continues to improve its hot reloading functionality, allowing developers to see changes made to the code without restarting the entire application, significantly speeding up the development process. The framework has made enhancements to its developer tooling, including better debugging capabilities, which provide more powerful tools for identifying and fixing issues efficiently. 

For more in-depth information on React Native's updates and trends in 2023, you can refer to sources such as React Native 0.73 - Debugging Improvements, Stable Symlink Support, and more and A Guide for React Native in 2023, which provide comprehensive overviews of the latest developments in React Native. 

Flutter in 2024

Flutter plans to deliver stable releases on a quarterly basis, focusing on the goals of multi-platform support, developer experience, and app quality.  

Flutter's support extends beyond mobile to include desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux) and web platforms, broadening its applicability and reach. They continue to support advanced APIs, aiding in building apps with better user experience and performance. This includes enhanced integration with serverless computing, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), as well as the growth of progressive web apps (PWAs).

The introduction of the Flame game engine by Flutter offers robust gaming options and extends Flutter's capabilities in the video game industry. It utilizes the Flutter framework to simplify coding and construct projects more effectively.

Flutter aims to continue its growth trajectory by addressing challenges such as migrating its ecosystem to null safety, advancing Dart, and eradicating performance impediments. The focus also includes delivering unparalleled performance on all platforms, reducing friction when calling system APIs, and building a secure and sustainable ecosystem.

These developments indicate that Flutter is not only keeping up with the current demands of mobile app development but is also strategically positioning itself for future advancements. Its multi-platform capabilities, emphasis on quality and developer experience, and strong community support make it a compelling choice for a wide range of application development needs.

For more detailed information on Flutter's updates in 2023, you can refer to the Flutter Documentation and insights from Walturn, Next Big Technology, and Intelivita

Flutter vs React Native Conclusion

React Native and Flutter have emerged as two of the most prominent and capable frameworks, each offering a unique blend of features, performance capabilities, and developer experiences. Our comprehensive comparison across various dimensions — from performance design flexibility to community support and future outlook — reveals that both frameworks have distinct strengths and ideal use cases.

React Native, with its JavaScript roots, offers a familiar ground for web developers and boasts a mature ecosystem, making it a strong contender for projects that aim to leverage existing web development skills. It excels in scenarios where the goal is to achieve near-native performance with a shared codebase, particularly in projects where time-to-market is a priority.

On the other hand, Flutter, powered by the Dart language and Google's backing, stands out for its exceptional UI consistency across platforms and rapidly growing ecosystem. It shines in scenarios requiring high-quality, visually consistent UIs across various devices, and its performance efficiency makes it a preferred choice for complex, graphics-rich applications.

In conclusion, React Native and Flutter are potent tools in a developer’s arsenal, capable of building high-quality, efficient mobile applications. The decision hinges on aligning the framework's strengths with the project's goals, ensuring that the chosen technology meets the current needs and aligns with future trends and advancements in the mobile app development realm. 

References / Sources

For more detailed information on Flutter's updates in 2023, you can refer to the Flutter Documentation and insights from Walturn, Next Big Technology, and Intelivita.

For more in-depth information on React Native's updates and trends in 2023, you can refer to sources such as React Native 0.73 - Debugging Improvements, Stable Symlink Support, and more and A Guide for React Native in 2023, which provide comprehensive overviews of the latest developments in React Native.

React Native Official Documentation: React Native Docs

Provides comprehensive information directly from the official React Native documentation.

Flutter Official Documentation: Flutter Docs

A resource for detailed information about Flutter, directly from the official Flutter documentation.

State of JavaScript 2020: React Native: State of JS - React Native

Offers insights into the usage and trends of React Native in the JavaScript community.

State of Flutter 2020 Report: Flutter 2020 Report

A survey report providing insights into the adoption and usage of Flutter.

Medium - React Native vs. Flutter: A Comprehensive Comparison: Medium Article

An article on Medium that provides a detailed comparison between React Native and Flutter.

TechCrunch on React Native's Impact: TechCrunch - React Native

TechCrunch article discussing the impact and significance of React Native.

Forbes on Flutter's Rising Popularity: Forbes - Flutter

A Forbes article explaining why Flutter is a popular choice for app development.

GitHub Repositories:

React Native: GitHub - React Native

Flutter: GitHub - Flutter

Both repositories provide access to their respective source codes, issues, and contributions.

Case Study - Airbnb's Experience with React Native: Airbnb Engineering Blog

A detailed case study on Airbnb’s experience using React Native.

Case Study - Google Ads on Flutter: Flutter Google Ads Case Study

A showcase of how Flutter was used in developing the Google Ads app.

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