Flutter vs React Native: Which is Better for Building Modern Mobile Apps?

Last week, we wrote our first post about Flutter. In that article, we covered the basics: we explained what Flutter is, when it was created (by whom and why), why it’s so hot among mobile app developers right now, and why our team loves it.

Of course, our previous blog post has only scratched the surface. There is so much more to say and share about this free, open-source tool for coding and creating native apps for Android and iOS.

So, just like last week, we’re going to keep the focus on Flutter and explain how it compares to its biggest rival, React Native.

Why are We Comparing These Two Solutions?

Since mobile phone usage is increasing every year and now the highest rate of web traffic is generated via mobile devices, every respectable customer-facing business in the world is thinking about building a modern mobile app that will enable them to respond to the shift in the customers’ behavior and provide them with a favorable experience.

So, if you’re planning to invest in the creation of a mobile app, you need to be 100% sure which cross-platform development technology fits your business needs and budget.

There’s a plethora of frameworks to choose from but Flutter and React Native have emerged as absolute leaders in the industry.

Of course, determining which one of these two solutions is better for your project is never a simple task.

Both Flutter and React Native come with their own benefits and limitations. Regardless of the type of project, there’s always a ton of pros and cons on the list that make choosing one over the other a total gamble.

However, since we at Share It have created a lot of mobile apps with Flutter and React Native, we feel like we have some authority on this topic to help you understand how to analyze these frameworks and figure out which one to choose for your app.

So, without further ado, Let’s start with the basic overview of both frameworks and carry forward with more granular information.

The Basics


Bluntly speaking, Flutter and React Native are highly powerful and feature-rich open-source frameworks.

Both of these support the concept of one codebase for multiple operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows, and more) and ensure fast coding and bug fixing.

Here the high-level information for both solutions:

  • React Native was introduced back in 2015 by Facebook. We wrote a whole piece about React Native and how it compares to React JS not that long ago. React Native is a JavaScript open-source framework, primarily used for building native mobile applications. It makes it possible for developers to write code using their knowledge of JavaScript, and build production-ready mobile apps. React Native deploys a so-called ‘bridge’ that enables communication between the written code and the native platforms. So, it connects the JavaScript thread with the native thread.

  • Flutter comes from Google’s lab. The solution was launched back in 2018 and, since then, it has made a lot of developers fall in love with it fast. As we wrote in our previous blog post, Flutter combines ease of development with performance similar to native performance while maintaining visual consistency between platforms. Flutter’s programming language, Dart, was created with a purpose to replace JavaScript. It consists of two main components: SDK and framework.

Just by reading these summaries, you’ll notice that both Flutter and React Native are maintained and supported by two different tech giants. This, of course, means that different philosophies stand behind each solution:

  • The core reason behind creating Flutter was to enable developers to build beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop with a single codebase. Despite being a new kid on the block, Flutter ranks high. It has acquired 94.9 stars on Github and has fueled the creation of renowned apps like: Google Ads app, the Hamilton Broadway Musical app, Alibaba, eBay, Square, and more.

  • React Native is more mature and it has more users because JavaScript has been around for over 25 years. Today, React Native is supported by companies like Microsoft, Expo, Callstak, and Software Mansion. The framework helped build popular applications like: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Uber Eats, Walmarts, Tesla, and more.

But Which One is Better? Which One Should You Use for Your New Mobile App?


Even though Flutter and React Native share a lot of the same values, there are a couple of key differentiators to keep in mind when making your decision to go for either of these two frameworks:

  • Programming language: Flutter uses Dart and React Native uses JavaScript XML. Yes, both of these programming languages are based on the C-style type of syntax and, yes, they follow object-orientated principles. In a nutshell, they do almost the same. The keyword to focus on here is: almost.

  • Core programming difference: There’s an attention-worthy difference between these two frameworks when it comes to the core programming language. By nature, JavaScript is a dynamic language which means you can change the values of various data types. Dart is both dynamic and static, which allows it to have the best of both worlds.

Why is this good? For instance, A statically typed language is generally considered much safer since it forces you to declare and use the correct data type. For example, you can’t assign a number to a string; doing so would throw an error.

Static means you’re likely to experience fewer errors. It is possible to enforce more type safety and error checking with JavaScript if you opt to use TypeScript, which is a strict syntactical superset of JavaScript, instead.

  • Layout: Flutter uses widgets while Native React runs on JavaScript and JSX. The cool thing about Flutter’s widgets is they are pre-made and tested by Google. You don’t have to create your own widgets and struggle with incompatibility issues. Someone has already done all the heavy lifting and made sure it’s a plug-and-play solution.

With Native React, everything is built from scratch and compatibility can become an issue.

Both solutions use CSS Flexbox for building a layout. What’s really different here is how they implement it.

Final Thought

From a performance side of things, Flutter and React Native are pretty close together. Both solutions are open-sourced, well-maintained, and they use hot reloading so you can make changes and see them instantly.

So, having said that, it’s fair to say that there’s no clear winner here. Both Flutter and React have their pros and cons. Plainly speaking, the choice will boil down to your experience, goals, and budget for your project.

If you know how to write JavaScript (or have someone in-house that knows how to write it and has time for your project), then opting for React Native is a smart choice.

However, if you’re looking for better performance and stability and a more cohesive environment between ecosystems, you should definitely go with Flutter.

We at Share IT have been developing a lot of mobile apps with Flutter and we love it! If you’re interested in learning more about this framework and you need someone to help you bring your new mobile app to life - don’t hesitate to reach out!

We can make any type of mobile app with Flutter for you!