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Flutter vs. React Native for mobile app development: which framework to choose in 2023?


Kirill Karakhainko




May 30, 2023

Cross-platform development is the way to go if you want to build a single application operating on various operational systems faster without breaking the bank. This approach gives you the best of both worlds by tapping into iOS and Android audiences simultaneously.

Still, you may wonder: Which cross-platform technology to choose for app development? Although numerous technologies exist, Flutter and React Native are the undisputed leaders: in 2021, 42% of all cross-platform apps were built on Flutter, and 38% on React Native. 

But which is better, Flutter or React Native? The choice depends on your unique technical requirements and business goals.

At TechWings, we have rich experience building powerful applications with both frameworks and know all their ins and outs. We’ve created this Flutter vs. React Native comparison guide to help you make the most informed choice. 

So, Flutter or React Native? Let’s sort it out!

Understanding Flutter: specifics, pros & cons

Created by Google in 2017, Flutter is an open-source framework used to build applications for multiple platforms with a single codebase. On March 3, 2021, Google announced the launch of Flutter 2, which "enables developers to create beautiful, fast, and portable apps for any platform."

Flutter apps are written in Dart, a programming language with C-style syntax. Being a 100% cross-platform technology, Flutter supports Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web.

Flutter allows you to deliver mobile-like experiences on the web, meaning that you can create apps for Android, iOS, and browsers using the same codebase. What’s more, it has proved to be highly efficient for building progressive web apps, single-page applications, and browser-based versions of existing Flutter-powered apps.

Flutter’s software development kit comes with exclusive high-performing, customizable widgets. While these widgets make Flutter apps look and feel exceptionally good, you can also create a custom design with Flutter’s ready-to-use UI elements.

Businesses of all sizes use Flutter to build their Android and iOS apps. The most famous companies choosing Flutter for cross-platform app development include:

  • Google (Google Play, Google’s digital distribution service)

  • Alibaba Group (Xianyu, China’s largest second-hand marketplace)

  • eBay (eBay Motors, an app for buying and selling vehicles, parts, and accessories)

  • Nubank (the Nubank banking app, a solution for the largest independent digital bank outside Asia)

  • CrĂ©dit Agricole Poland (CA24 Mobile, a banking app)

  • BMW (My BMW app that allows users to locate their vehicles, lock and unlock the doors, record the vehicle's surroundings, and more)

  • Transport for London (London Tube Status, an app showing the status of all the London Underground lines)

  • NASA (NASA APOD, an app that displays NASA's Astronomical Picture of the Day)

Flutter pros

1. Efficient development

Flutter offers a Hot Reload feature, significantly accelerating the app development process. It enables engineers to modify the codebase quickly and easily and instantly see their changes in the application. Needless to say, designers find this feature particularly useful.

2. Single codebase, multiple platforms

Besides providing a robust development solution for iOS and Android, Flutter also supports the web, Windows, Linux, Google Fuchsia, and MacOS. Thanks to Flutter’s widgets and UI elements, you can enjoy the same app appearance on multiple platforms using a single codebase. 

3. Faster and more responsive applications

Flutter apps are renowned for performing exceptionally fast, without hanging while scrolling. This has become possible thanks to the Skia Graphics Library, which redraws the UI once a view swaps. In addition, Flutter utilizes a graphics processing unit, which ultimately makes the UI smoother by delivering 60 frames per second.

4. Rewarding UI/UX

Flutter boasts an extensive set of custom widgets, allowing for attractive designs and intuitive UIs. This makes for a dramatic difference between Flutter and React Native, as the latter doesn’t offer equal capabilities. In addition to customizing the existing widgets, you can also easily create your own.

Flutter cons

1. Smaller community

Because it was released two years later than React Native, which is quite a long period in today’s fast-paced digital environment, Flutter’s developer community is not as broad and established. Moreover, Dart isn’t as popular as JavaScript (used by React Native). This means less community support and more areas for growth. 

Still, the Flutter community is steadily expanding, and the framework is getting plenty of attention. At the moment, Flutter has over 150,000 stars on GitHub compared to React’s 110,000, which is certainly a promising sign.

2. Challenging code maintenance

Both Flutter and Dart are experiencing dynamic evolution, meaning that certain updates may hamper the functionality of your app. However, this challenge can be effectively tackled with some extra attention to your Flutter app upon the release of major updates.

3. Lack of libraries

While Flutter boasts impressive libraries and support, they’re still not as comprehensive as native development technologies. What we mean is that it’s not always possible to find the needed functionality in the existing Flutter libraries, obliging developers to build custom functionalities on their own. This can extend the development process.

Understanding React Native: specifics, pros & cons

Officially launched in March 2015 by Meta Platforms, Inc., React Native is an open-source mobile application framework for writing native-looking mobile apps for iOS and Android. React Native uses a combination of JavaScript and XML-esque markup, known as JSX.

This framework is based on React, Facebook’s JavaScript library for creating user interfaces — but instead of targeting browsers, it’s focused on mobile platforms. However, apps created with React Native aren’t web apps since this framework utilizes the same UI building blocks as standard iOS and Android apps.

Here’s the list of well-known companies that built their applications with React Native:

  • Tesla (Tesla App that provides access to the vehicle from anywhere)

  • Meta Platforms (Facebook and Instagram, the two most popular social media apps in the world)

  • Microsoft (Microsoft Teams, a digital workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file and app sharing, and Skype, an app offering video chat, messaging, and international calls)

  • Shopify Inc. (Shopify, an eCommerce app)

  • Pinterest, Inc. (Pinterest, an image-sharing and social media service)

  • Coinbase (the Coinbase app, a cryptocurrency exchange app)

  • PlayStation Mobile Inc. (PlayStation App for messaging between players)

  • Puma (PUMA, a shopping app)

React Native pros

1. Fast coding

Like Flutter, React Native offers the Hot Reload feature that accelerates development by allowing developers to contribute new code at runtime without stopping the app. Moreover, this feature retains the app’s state, eliminating the risk of losing it during a full reload. And that’s not all — the 0.61 version of React Native has been enhanced with the Fast Refresh feature, which unifies live and hot reloading for a more rewarding coding experience.

2. Single codebase, multiple platforms

React Native is cross-platform, meaning you can produce a single codebase for both Android and iOS apps. However, JavaScript also lets developers simultaneously create code to target platforms other than iOS and Android.

3. More mature than Flutter

With the official launch of the React Native project dating back to 2013 and its release in 2015, there has been enough time for React Native to grow and improve. For eight years, the team at Meta has been putting considerable effort into stabilizing the API and fixing issues, and they continue to enhance its framework, continually introducing exciting new features and capabilities.

4. Vibrant community

React Native boasts an immense developer community, which translates into tons of libraries and UI frameworks that help streamline the development process, making it faster and more efficient.

React Native cons

1. It’s not native

As with any other cross-platform solution, an app built with React Native won’t look and feel native. Instead, it will provide a close-to-native UI experience and performance. If we compare Flutter and React Native from this perspective, Flutter will win that battle since it lets you achieve a native feeling more easily. Moreover, a Flutter app will work faster and be smaller.

2. More vulnerable UI

React Native employs native components under the hood, meaning that your app components will be automatically upgraded after every UI update within operating systems. But this can adversely affect the app’s UI, calling for additional support. Luckily, this issue rarely occurs. Still, if we compare Flutter vs. React Native in this respect, it’s safe to say that Flutter’s UIs are more stable due to the framework’s capability to recreate native components independently.

4. Insufficient support for Android

Originally, React Native only supported iOS, with Android support added later. As a result, its Android support is not as strong as it should be. The good news is that this issue is currently being addressed.

3. Larger app size

Apps built on React Native should be able to run JavaScript code. Android doesn’t have this functionality, so apps must contain a library to support JavaScript code. As a result, the apps end up larger in size than native solutions for Android. And while iOS apps written in React Native don’t have this problem, they’re still typically bigger than native ones. Hopefully, the React Native team will fix this problem soon.

Flutter vs. React Native: the ultimate comparison


React Native




Supported platforms

Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web

Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows, UWP, and VR

Backed by


Meta Platforms, Inc.

Programming language



Year of release






Popularity (GitHub Stars, May 2023)

Around 154K

Around 110K

Top Apps & Brands

Xianyu (Alibaba Group), Google Play (Google), My BMW (BMW), eBay Motors (eBay), Nubank (Nubank), CA24 Mobile (Crédit Agricole Poland), NASA APOD (NASA), and others.

Facebook (Meta Platforms), Instagram (Meta Platforms), Pinterest (Pinterest, Inc.), Tesla App (Tesla), Coinbase (Coinbase), Shopify (Shopify Inc.), Microsoft Teams (Microsoft), Skype (Microsoft), and others.

Hot Reload



Code reusability

Up to 90%

Up to 90%





Flutter apps look equally good on the up-to-date OS and older versions and feel natural on iOS and Android.

Because of the shared codebase, iOS, and Android apps look and perform similarly. However, thanks to Material Design and Cupertino widgets, the apps can imitate the platform design since these widget sets conform to specific design languages, Google’s and Apple’s respectively.

Application components, such as buttons, look native.

React Native utilizes native components under the hood, meaning that your app’s components will be upgraded upon every OS UI update.

It creates a risk of your app’s UI getting broken; however, this rarely occurs.

For your React Native app to look near-identical regardless of the platform and OS version, like with Flutter, you might want to leverage third-party libraries that let you use Material Design components.


Faster than native development

Faster than native development; however, it might require additional optimization for each platform, which isn’t the case with widget-based Flutter

Developer Community

Smaller, but actively expanding

Large and mature

Let’s resolve your Flutter or React Native dilemma together

All things considered, the question of which is better, Flutter or React Native doesn’t have a definitive answer. The choice of the framework to build your app primarily depends on your specific needs and goals. 

If you need professional assistance in selecting the best tech stack for your mobile app development, feel free to contact us. We have built a great range of high-performing mobile apps using both frameworks and can provide valuable advice on which one will best meet your expectations with further app development.

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