React Native vs. Kotlin: A Detailed Comparison Guide For Building Your Next Project

Both React Native and Kotlin are used for mobile app development. 32% of the software developers use React Native and 3%  use Kotlin multiplatform.  React Native has a matured ecosystem while Kotlin is a growing platform backed by Google. Even with such a vast gap in terms of usage, we consider both equally capable of building scalable mobile applications. 
However, the debate over choosing the best mobile technology will continue as more organizations prefer cross-platform frameworks for their business growth. Around 71% of mobile application developers focus on Android users. And that is why React Native and Kotlin have become the most popular technologies for Android app development. 
Knowing the differences and similarities between React Native and Kotlin will help you opt for the right technology for your upcoming mobile app development project. 

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a programming language released by JetBrains in 2011. It is an open-source framework and has great interoperability with Java. Many Android developers use Kotlin because it provides some special and unique advantages. After Google endorsed Kotlin, it became the official language of Android Studio. Kotlin thereafter supports multiple IDEs and tools. Moreover, developers are more interested in Koltin Multiplatform as it has been proven to be the best SDK for Android and iOS mobile app development. Netflix, VNWare, and Philips use it.


  • Concise syntax to reduce boilerplate code, making codes easy to understand and read.
  • Null safety to avoid null pointer exceptions
  • Interoperability with Java, allowing developers to use Java libraries and frameworks.
  • A large and strong community that is growing rapidly
  • Coroutines feature to manage asynchronous tasks with great efficiency.


  • Very safe and modern language
  • Complete cross-platform support
  • Easy and seamless debugging
  • Simpler and concise syntax for code readability
  • Java Interoperability
  • Robust community support
  • Highly compatible with Java libraries and frameworks.


  • It is a growing technology hence, new to the market
  • Has limited and restricted resources
  • Presently it is in the evolving phase
  • Compared to Java it is slower

What is React Native?

Created by Facebook in 2015, React Native is a cross-platform open-source mobile app framework. It uses JavaScript to develop native iOS, Android, web, and UWP mobile apps. Majorly, React Native is used to create cross-platform mobile apps for Android and iOS. With React Native you can easily share code between platforms without hassles. It can be used to build feature-rich UI through declarative components. Big tech giants like Uber, Facebook, Microsoft, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Bloomberg use React Native. 


  • It provides cross-platform app development support
  • It is a combination of React and JavaScript
  • Provides native-like performance and gives smoother experiences
  • The hot reloading feature allows developers to check the latest code changes and its effects without re-running the application
  • A large community that strives continuously to grow the framework
  • Has declarative UI to describe the needed UI
  • Can support native modules created in native languages like Java, Objective C, etc.


  • Uses React and JavaScript
  • Provides excellent community support
  • Has hot reloading features
  • It is a perfect choice for creating MVPs
  • It has ready-to-use libraries and modules
  • Reusable codes
  • Provides native-like user experiences


  • Sometimes it lags in performance
  • Has a few issues with memory management
  • Provides restricted support to Android and iOS
  • It has a JavaScript bridge for native platforms.

Advantages of React Native Over Kotlin

JavaScript Popularity more than Kotlin

React Native is written in JavaScript language. Being one of the most popular programming languages of all time, JavaScript is more popular among developers due to its abundant resources and large community support.

Saves Time as Compared to Kotlin

While building a cross-platform mobile application, React Native proves to be faster as compared to Kotlin. The reason is React Native can be used to build iOS and Android apps through a single codebase. Whereas, in Kotlin you need a separate codebase for Android and iOS.

Cost-efficient and Money Saver

React Native is more cost-effective and can save more time and money as compared to Kotlin. Developers can work with concentration on a single codebase to build a robust app. Native technologies are more complicated since they have codebases for different platforms. For instance, Swift is for iOS and Kotlin is for Android. Hence, you need to hire Kotlin developers separately to create Android apps, leading to an additional expense. On the other hand, React Native reduces development costs and focuses simply on JavaScript.

It is a Cross-platform

The biggest benefit of React Native over Kotlin is that it is a cross-platform app development framework. It can create a single app for multiple platforms through a single codebase. Using Kotlin needs a separate codebase for iOS and Android apps.

Better Hot Reloading Support

The power of JavaScript backs React Native to develop user interfaces having a hot reloading advantage. This feature helps them change codes and see them reflected in the app without reloading the app. If not this feature, developers will have to every time open the app from scratch and manually navigate the code changes. As a front-end developer, this can become very tedious and time-consuming. On the contrary, native languages still have issues with the hot reloading feature.

Has More Approachable Infrastructure

React Native is more approachable than Kotlin. Unlike React Native, Kotlin is typically used for Android app development. JavaScript on the contrary can be used for other platforms also. JavaScript is quite ubiquitous and hence React Native is equally approachable for web developers to build distinctive mobile applications for various platforms.

Has More Third Party Libraries

The JavaScript community is large and hence it is incompatible in terms of providing resources. For example, it has a huge collection of third-party libraries. React Native can use most of the JavaScript libraries like testing libraries, state management libraries, HTTP requests, and code formatting libraries to build web applications

It has a Smaller Learning Curve

React Native can be easily learned even by new mobile app developers as compared to Kotlin. As it has a strong JavaScript foundation, most of the engineers focus on learning React Native rather than learning the complete programming language. With Kotlin, developers need to learn Android app development and Kotlin programming language.

Advantages of Kotlin Over React Native

Kotlin Performs Better

React Native can provide native-like user experiences. However, Kotlin can provide actual native performances. Hence, with React Native you will find it difficult to get a real native performance. Moreover, one of its biggest truths is regarding the performance issue of ‘React Native Bridge’. This ‘bridge’ helps communicate JavaScript code with native UI components. The serialized JSON data gets passed back and forth over the bridge. Hence, the bridge hampers the performance of React Native quite often.

Kotlin is Statistically Typed

Kotlin has static typing that symbolizes nice programming and usage of the right types for creating data structures in applications. This leads to fewer typo errors. On the other hand, React supports TypeScript for type-checking, however, it is not built into JavaScript.

Kotlin has More Android Devices

As Android’s official programming language, Kotlin can perform better and has more support for Android devices. React Native on the other hand targets only Android phones and tablets. Kotlin can perform better on other platforms within Android devices.

Which One is Better: React Native or Kotlin? - Head-to-Head Comparison

Key Parameters React Native Kotlin
Programming Language
Open-source UI framework to build native apps with React
Statically typed and is used for building Android mobile applications
Components Library
Inclusive library
Limited library
Newly supported by Google
Hot Reload
Hot Reload
Not available
Why Pick this option?
A single Codebase allows writing everywhere
Java Interoperability
Cost of Development
GitHub Stars
79.7k GitHub Stars and 17.8k GitHub Forks
28.6k GitHub Stars and 3.33k GitHub Forks
Popular Apps
Facebook, Skype, and Instagram
Evernote, Slack, and Netflix.
It totally depends on the kind of project you have in order to decide which is better React Native or Kotlin. React Native can build iOS and Android applications with a single codebase. React Native can perform well and is the best solution to build cross-platform applications. You can hire React Native developer to develop robust cross-platform applications that can enhance your business potential. However, if you want to develop a solely Android mobile application, Kotlin is a better choice. Kotlin is an ideal match for native app development and has Java Interoperability.


Finding the right choice can be a challenging task. However, you need to work on and analyze numerous factors. Both React Native and Android are open-source and perform equally well. Kotlin makes more sense for fulfilling your core Android needs. You can hire Kotlin developers from Whitelotus Corporation as we have the best team that can help you from start to finish throughout the entire development process. We can help you decide which one is better for your project and help finalize the tech stack for your mobile app development.


React Native is a better choice for building cross-platform applications with the use of JavaScript. Kotlin is a primary programming language for native Android app development.
For a native experience in Android app development, Kotlin performs better as compared to React Native. React runs on JavaScript runtime and needs bridges to communicate with native hence increasing costs.
You can bridge and combine both technologies in a React Native application.


  • Sunil Chavda

    Sunil is a result-orientated Chief Technology Officer with over a decade of deep technical experience delivering solutions to startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises across the globe. Have led large-scale projects in mobile and web applications using technologies such as React Native, Flutter, Laravel, MEAN and MERN stack development.

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