Angular Vs React: A Complete Analysis

Angular is a complete structural framework that is used for developing dynamic web applications.Though there are many frameworks such as backbone, jquery etc. Angular js has remained the most popularly used framework. It is was created to overcome the limitations present in the existing technologies.The fundamental functionality of Angular js is to extend the vocabulary of HTML to express the applications components as accurately as possible. Angular js provides a complete client side solution for building dynamic web apps. It is used to ease the process of development by providing a greater level of abstraction.It is best suited for CRUD applications which forms the majority of web apps that are developed across the globe.

React.js is an open-source JavaScript library that was developed by Facebook for creating User Interface that could handle change in the underlying data over-time. It is essentially the View layer in MVC architecture(explained in detail later). Unlike Angular js, completely functional web applications cannot be built on react alone. It requires a combination of libraries including react in order to build complete web apps.

In recent times, a large number of web developers preferring to build their applications in react.js. The developers who still prefer angular js have great hopes for the upgraded version of angularjs which is angularjs 2. The beta version of this framework has already gathered some good reviews. A complete analysis of both angular and react would help developers to decide which one to choose for building their web apps.

Let's analyze some of the important features of angular js and react.


It is an open-source web development framework originally developed in 2009 and is now maintained by Google and a community of individuals and corporations. Angular js as defined by the official site is nothing but a structural framework for dynamic web apps. The main aim of angular.js was to simplify the development and testing of single page applications in the client side MVC (Model View Controller) architecture. Applications written in angular.js are cross browser compliant and Angular automatically handles the code suitable for each browser.

Some of the most prominent features of angular js are:

  • 2-way data binding: It is the system by which the changes made in the model gets automatically updated in the UI and vice versa
  • MVC(MODEL VIEW CONTROLLER): AngularJS incorporates the basic principles behind the original MVC software design pattern into how it builds client-side web applications where

Model – Model represents an object carrying data.

View – View represents the visualization of the data that model contains.

Controller – Controller acts on both model and view. It controls the data flow into model object and updates the view whenever data changes. It keeps view and model separate.

  • Dependency Injection: Dependency Injection (DI) is a feature that lets you request and obtain the dependencies rather than the tedious process of looking for them.
  • Directives: Directives are used to make custom widgets by creating custom HTML tags which in turn act as widgets


React is a JavaScript library that is used for building User Interfaces. It was initially developed by Facebook for creating the user interface of Facebook and Instagram. After being used in-house by the Facebook developers it was open-sourced in May 2013.

As mentioned on the Facebook GitHub page, react was built to solve one problem: building large applications with data that changes over time. It gives a template language and some function hooks to essentially render HTML. The unique property of react is its ability to update only the changed part when there is a change in the underlying data. This property makes it tremendously faster.

Some of the Key advantages of React.js are:

  • Efficiency: DOM operations are that needs to be done frequently is an expensive and time consuming process that reduces the efficiency of many of the existing JavaScript frameworks. React overcomes this obstacle in a unique way. It creates a virtual DOM. Thus all the changes that are to be made are considered way ahead of actually performing the changes. This change provides a drastic increase in the efficiency of DOM handling
  • SEO: Search engine optimization is one of the biggest challenges in most of JavaScript frameworks. This is yet another milestone achievement of react as it is very SEO friendly.
  • Simple to Learn: Learning and adopting the new system of react becomes a cakewalk due to the simple and straightforward APIs that eliminate the need to learn complex concepts to implement a solution.

Now that we have observed each of the competitors separately let's get down to the business of comparison

Angular vs React: Let the games Begin


The comparison of Angular.js and React.js as competitors is a flawed exercise as both of them are completely different from each other.

  • Angular.js is a complete framework that incorporates the complete MVC (Model View Controller) structure into the applications
  • React.js is only a java script library that is used to build user interface. Essentially it is only the V in the MVC structure.

The fundamental conflict arises from the fact that a completely functional application can be developed using Angular.js but it is not possible to the same using React.js alone. React.js would need the additional external support to build a completely functional web application.

Comparing a complete framework to a java script library would be like comparing apples to oranges. In order to make this a more fruitful endeavor lets make a small amendment. Let us compare angular.js and a complete set of libraries including react which would make the two competitors fall under the same category.

Mom Vs Wife: the million dollar question

For a beginner starting out in the world of web apps, angular js acts as a caring mother making most of the difficult decisions for us. The highly opinionated angular js 2 makes kick starting a project so easy in angular js. Whereas React.js behaves like a bickering wife who constantly quizzes you with a zillion choices and the decision making process becomes tedious thus leading to more difficulty in starting up.

There is a flip side to the same story as well. In case of complex applications the opinionated nature of angular js leads to loss of much needed flexibility whereas react wins hands down in this case by providing much more flexibility

Relationship & Friends with benefits

The year 2015 saw the rise of react.js as one of the most powerful java script libraries. Though react is still quite stable, the plethora of libraries on which react was dependent seems to be dwindling away. Thus deciding to build your app on react.js is like making friends with benefits agreement, there is no guaranteed future

On the other hand the angularjs2 is a next step evolution of a stable and well established framework and thus the dependency on external aid is minimal. The applications that you build on angular 2 will be like a long term relationship: with a higher life expectancy

The Hypocrite:

One of the major advantages of React is that it fails fast and states the obvious. Any small errors such as typos can be immediately identified as a compilation error whereas Angular js 2 will compile the typo like a true hypocrite and fail during run time. As trivial as this may seem this hypocrisy delays the development process.

First Love: JSX

The choice to go with JSX is one of the major advantages for react. The support provided by code completion is a priceless asset when finishing up the coding part. Whereas the angular 2 still comes with the string-based templates and thus has its own set of disadvantages: limited code completion support and run-time failures

A bad workman blames his tools:

Though JSX is a very good choice for react, tools support for the latest tools such as IDE's and linters will not be available from day1. Whereas the angular js does not require any tool support as it stores markup in a string or a separate HTML file

Size zero:

Just like a bunch of frivolous teenage beauties, the developer community too is worried about the perfect size. The size of the raw frame work and library are as follows

Angular js2 (beta version): 566k

React: 139 k

Though size does not make a very huge impact on the performance of the application, the use of frame-work makes the applications carry unnecessary baggage in terms of all the unused functionalities that come as a package with the framework.

And the Winner is:

The clash of titans in the world of web development is an epic battle that has been raging for a long time. The battle is about to get even more ferocious with the launch of angular2 full version which is expected to happen in mid 2016. At the end of the there is no clear winner. The choice between angular2 and react solely depends upon the nature of the application that is to be built.

We hope the comparison here helps you make a smarter decision on which one to use. Post your comments and queries in the comments section below and we will be glad to address them. Stay tuned for more amazing info from the world of web development.

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Apr 19, 2016
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