Competing Frameworks: Alibaba Puts SDK Flutter to the Test

Setting the Stage for Competition

Flutter, Google’s open source SDK for high-quality native iOS and Android mobile interfaces, works with existing code to produce apps in record time. For testing, the Xianyu team compared it against a large-scale re-architecture of React Native (RN) designed for flexibility and better integration with native infrastructures in hybrid JavaScript/native apps.

  1. Successfully complete default login.
  2. On the dynamic page, click the search button and search for the keyword “Java”; browse three pages at normal speed, then return to page three after loading a fourth page.
  3. Click the “Trend” page tab and browse “Feeds” until reaching the bottom of the page. Click “Item” at the very end of the page. After entering “Item”, browse details and three pages of information, then return to the page for the My tab.
  4. View Feeds in “My” to the end. Click the search button in the upper right corner, and search the keyword “C”. After browsing three pages, wait for the fourth page to load.

Data Analysis: iOS

The following figures detail testing results for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 6S trials, respectively.

iPhone 5c 9.0.1

iPhone 6S 10.3.2

Findings

Tests indicate that Flutter’s performance on low-end and mid-range iOS models is better than RN’s. In terms of CPU usage, Flutter’s performance is slightly lower than RN’s on low-end models, but better on mid-range models.

Data Analysis: Android

The following figures detail testing results for the Xiaomi 2S and Samsung S8 trials, respectively.

Xiaomi 2S 5.0.2

Samsung S8 7.0

Findings

In terms of CPU usage, Flutter outperformed RN on both the high-end and low-end models, with an especially clear advantage in the low-end Xiaomi 2S. For Android models, smoothness indicators were added to the original FPS parameter, and Flutter’s smoothness performance significantly exceeded RN’s.

Crowning a Winner

Based on the above criteria, Flutter emerges as a clear winner in its contest with React Native in terms of both experience and test data. Because developer Car Guo has not invested in significant performance tuning for the testing apps, these offered a fairly objective basis for evaluations that indicate Flutter can offer a better user experience in cross-end development.

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