Angular vs React: Which Framework to Choose in 2023

When it comes to web development, choosing the right JavaScript framework can be a daunting task. The two most prominent frameworks, Angular and React, have been in an ongoing debate for years. As someone looking to build a web app in 2023, it’s essential to make an informed decision before starting the project. To aid in this process, this comprehensive guide takes a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of both Angular and React. It explores the features, performance, community support, and learning curve of each framework to help you choose the one that best fits the needs of your project.

A Brief History of Angular and React

First, let’s quickly recap how Angular and React came to be.

Angular was originally created in 2009 by Google as AngularJS. It provided declarative templating for web apps on top of regular JavaScript. This allowed developers to extend HTML with additional attributes and elements, making it easier to build complex UIs in the browser.

In 2016, Google released Angular 2, a complete rewrite of the framework. It introduced major changes like switching from JavaScript to TypeScript and replacing directives with components. Additional improvements continued with the release of Angular 4, 5, 6 and so on.

React was created in 2013 by Facebook developer Jordan Walke. It aimed to solve some of the performance problems Facebook was running into as their app grew. React introduced the concept of a “virtual DOM,” allowing views to efficiently update in response to data changes.

Unlike Angular, React focuses exclusively on the view layer. This means it can be incrementally adopted into an existing codebase more easily. The lightweight approach resonated with developers and React’s popularity exploded.

Now that we’ve covered a little history, let’s dive deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of each framework.

Key Differences Between Angular and React

Key Differences Between Angular and React

Angular and React have some fundamental differences in their design:

  • Type of Framework – Angular is a full-fledged MVC framework, while React is a library focused on the view layer.
  • Learning Curve – Angular has a steeper learning curve given its size and complexity. React is easier to pick up for beginners.
  • Project Scale – Angular works well for both small and large enterprise apps. React starts simpler but requires more tooling to scale up.
  • Mobile Support – Angular is well-suited for building progressive web apps and NativeScript apps. React Native enables building truly native iOS/Android apps.
  • Styling – Angular uses HTML and CSS stylesheets. React typically relies on CSS-in-JS solutions like Styled Components.
  • API/Docs – Angular APIs are more prescriptive while React leaves many choices up to you. Angular docs extensively cover best practices.
  • Community – React has a bigger community overall. But Angular garners strong enterprise support.

Let’s expand on some of these differences to understand how they impact real-world development.

Comparing Angular vs React Architecture

Angular and React have divergent approaches when it comes to architectural design:

Angular’s MVC Framework

Angular is a TypeScript-based framework following the model–view–controller (MVC) software design pattern. This provides separation of concerns between UI presentation, business logic, and data access.

The major building blocks are:

  • Models – Plain old JavaScript objects representing application data
  • Components – Views responsible for displaying UI and handling user interactions
  • Services – Provide cross-cutting business logic and connectivity to backends
  • Modules – Logically group components, services, etc into features
  • Directives – Extend and manipulate HTML with custom attributes and elements

Angular also includes powerful dependency injection, allowing different parts of an app to seamlessly obtain needed resources like services without tight coupling.

This level of structure can accelerate development on large enterprise applications. But it means you must adhere to Angular’s conventions versus having full control.

React’s Decoupled Approach

React focuses exclusively on the view layer. Its main thesis is that declarative UIs using components offer superior performance, modularity, and developer experience.

React applications are built out of reusable components that manage their own state. Components render UI declaratively based on the state using JSX, an HTML-like syntax.

The key principles are:

  • Unidirectional Data Flow – State flows down through components in a consistent way. Parents pass data to children via props.
  • Virtual DOM – React maintains a representation of the actual DOM in memory and synchronizes changes efficiently.
  • Explicit Mutations – State is only updated through setState() rather than direct mutation.

Because React is just the view, you have flexibility when integrating it into an app. Most React apps rely on additional libraries to handle routing, HTTP requests, and global state management.

Common choices include React Router, Axios, and Redux. But you can swap out libraries as new needs arise.


The rigid MVC structure of Angular lends itself well to “batteries-included” full-stack frameworks. But teams that want more control over their architecture tend to prefer React’s a la carte approach.

Neither is right or wrong. The optimal solution depends on your app’s needs and your team’s preferences.

Angular vs React: TypeScript and JSX

A key aspect Angular and React development is the role of TypeScript and JSX:

Angular’s TypeScript Focus

Angular is written in TypeScript and actively encourages its use.

TypeScript extends JavaScript by adding static type checking. This allows:

  • Detection of common bugs during compilation
  • Better tooling like autocompletion and refactoring
  • Additional structure for complex systems

For example, in TypeScript you can define an interface for a component:

interface User { name: string; age: number; }

And the compiler will warn if a component tries to access invalid properties.

While optional, TypeScript is ingrained in Angular. Things like dependency injection rely on typing information. So most teams find they need to embrace TypeScript to be productive.

JSX in React Apps

React uses JSX syntax to define component UIs declaratively:

<MyComponent> <h1>Hello World!</h1> </MyComponent>

This XML-like code compiles down to JavaScript function calls like React.createElement().

JSX provides a familiar syntax for describing UIs. HTML-like components are easier to work with than pure JavaScript.

Although React originated with JSX, both TypeScript and JSX can be used with either framework. So you’re not strictly limited to a single language.


TypeScript helps large Angular projects maintain stability as they scale. JSX enables intuitive component-based architecture in React. Neither is required, but most teams adopt them to benefit from what each framework was designed for.

Comparing Angular and React Performance

Performance is a vital consideration when choosing a framework. Let’s explore how Angular and React compare:

Angular’s Ahead-of-Time Compilation

Early versions of Angular suffered performance problems partly due to just-in-time compilation (JIT). Templates would compile on each load, introducing latency.

Modern Angular resolves this through ahead-of-time compilation (AOT). The CLI builds an optimized version of the app on deploy:

  • Templates are pre-compiled into JavaScript
  • Unused code is stripped out
  • Runtime checks are removed

The result is a smaller, faster loading app. Tests show AOT-compiled Angular rivals React’s initial load performance.

Angular also reduces UI lag through change detection algorithms that minimize unnecessary updates.

React’s Virtual DOM Differential Checking

React uses a virtual DOM – a JavaScript representation of the actual DOM. When components update their state, React performs a diff on the virtual DOM:

  • Identifies the minimal set of DOM manipulations needed
  • Selectively updates only modified parts of the actual DOM

This optimization means most state changes don’t require full re-renders.

Components also support shouldComponentUpdate() to customize re-rendering behavior.


Both Angular and React offer strong performance through efficient DOM rendering.

  • For initial load speed, AOT-compiled Angular is comparable to React
  • For UI responsiveness, React likely has a slight edge with fine-grained rendering control

Performance bottlenecks are more commonly from things like image assets, network requests, and complex state logic. Optimized code splitting can help in either framework.

Angular vs React: Development Experience

A framework’s development experience encompasses everything from project setup to debugging. Let’s see how DX compares between Angular and React:

Angular CLI Streamlines Development

The Angular CLI is a powerful development tool:

  • Generates project scaffolding
  • Provides commands like ng build and ng test
  • Runs local dev server with live reloading
  • Builds production binaries
  • Handles bundling and minification

This means you can start building features instantly without configuring build processes.

The CLI also enforces best practices like consistent project structure through generated artifacts like services, components, and modules.

React’s Flexible Tooling

React doesn’t dictate specific tooling. However, most projects will utilize:

  • create-react-app for bootstrapping
  • Webpack for bundling
  • Babel for JSX and ES6/7 transpilation
  • Jest for testing

Configuring these tools directly provides more control, but also more setup overhead.

On the plus side, you have flexibility to customize your project’s infrastructure. You can eject from create-react-app and tweak the Webpack config when needed.


  • Angular’s CLI lowers the barrier to entry for beginners. But teams may feel constrained over time.
  • React’s mix-and-match tooling enables finer-grained control. But you’ll need build expertise to handle configuration.

Again, there are valid trade-offs to consider based on your team’s preferences.

Debugging Experience

Debugging plays a big part in DX too.

  • Angular’s strong typing helps catch bugs during compilation.
  • React’s DevTools chrome extension provides useful component profiling information.

Both frameworks support sourcemap debugging for tracking down issues in bundled output.

Angular vs React for Forms and Data Binding

Handling data and forms is a large part of most business applications. How do the frameworks compare in these areas?

Data Binding in Angular

Angular uses two-way data binding between components and templates:

<input [(ngModel)]=”userName”> <p>Hello {{userName}}!</p>

  • ngModel binds the <input> to the component’s userName property
  • The <p> label updates automatically when userName changes

This streamlines development by eliminating boilerplate syncing code.

Unidirectional Data Flow in React

React emphasizes unidirectional data flow:

  • State is passed down to child components as props
  • Components trigger state updates in parents through callbacks

For example:

<TextInput value={userName} onChange={this.handleChange} /> <p>Hello {this.state.userName}!</p>

  • TextInput receives userName as a prop and calls onChange() when edited
  • Parent component updates userName in state, triggering re-render

Data always flows in a predictable way, making it easier to trace updates.


  • Two-way binding can quickly wire up forms and data in Angular
  • React’s explicit data flow keeps side effects localized

Two-way binding can make it harder to track data changes in large Angular apps. React requires more code but leads to greater predictability.

Comparing Angular and React Performance

Angular vs React: Community and Jobs

Given how widespread Angular and React are, community traction and job opportunities are important considerations.

Angular’s Enterprise-Backed Community

As a full Google-sponsored framework, Angular has broad adoption:

  • Over 1.5 million developers
  • Used by major companies like Google, Microsoft, AWS, and Forbes
  • Supported as a first-class Citizen by IDEs like VSCode and WebStorm

Resources are abundant:

  • Comprehensive official documentation
  • Active forums like /r/Angular and StackOverflow
  • Dozens of blogs, workshops, and courses

React’s Massive Open Source Community

As one of the most popular projects on GitHub, React has an enormous community:

  • 5+ million developers
  • Widely adopted by tech giants like Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb
  • Huge ecosystem of open source React libraries and tools

Learning resources are endless:

  • Official docs are exceptionally well-written
  • Many free and paid tutorials on YouTube, Egghead, Frontend Masters
  • Highly active StackOverflow and Reddit communities


Both frameworks have huge communities and abundant resources. Angular leans towards enterprise devs while React skews towards startups and tech companies. But either skills will provide great job opportunities.

When to Choose Angular vs React

We’ve covered many technical factors. But often the decision also comes down to team experience and project needs:

When Angular Works Well

Consider Angular if:

  • Your team is more familiar with TypeScript than JavaScript
  • You need to build a full-stack application with integrated backend
  • Cross-platform support on web, mobile, and desktop is important
  • You want prescriptive best practices baked into frameworks
  • You need high performance but prefer convention over configuration

Example projects well-suited to Angular:

  • Progressive web apps
  • NativeScript mobile apps
  • Full enterprise CRMs or CMSes
  • High-traffic media and ecommerce sites

When To Choose React

Prefer React if:

  • You want granular control over architecture and infrastructure
  • Your team has more experience with JavaScript than TypeScript
  • Initial iteration speed and modular code are bigger priorities than conventions
  • You’re building a single-page app that relies heavily on encapsulated state
  • You need to integrate React into an existing project incrementally

Good examples of React projects:

  • Customizable component libraries and design systems
  • Sophisticated single-page apps like chat, pipelines, dashboards
  • Prototypes that need quick iteration without boilerplate
  • Teams migrating legacy apps piece-by-piece to React

Balancing Tradeoffs

There are no blanket rules – weigh your team’s skills, experience with each framework, and project goals.

Often it comes down to preferring convention vs configuration tradeoffs. But you may be able to start with React and introduce Angular gradually over time, or vice versa.

Sample Angular vs React Code Comparison

Let’s compare what the same application might look like built in Angular vs React:


// product.model.ts export class Product { constructor( public id: number, public name: string, public price: number ) {} }

// product.service.ts import { Injectable } from ‘@angular/core’; @Injectable() export class ProductService { private products = [ new Product(1, “Basketball”, 29.99), // … ]; getProducts() { return this.products; } }

// product-list.component.ts import { Component } from ‘@angular/core’; @Component({ // metadata }) export class ProductListComponent { products = []; constructor(private productService: ProductService) { this.products = productService.getProducts(); } }

<!– product-list.component.html –> <ul> <li *ngFor=”let product of products”> {{ }} – {{ product.price }} </li> </ul>


// Product.js export default function Product({ id, name, price }) { return { id, name, price }; }

// ProductService.js export default class ProductService { products = [ Product(1, “Basketball”, 29.99), ]; getProducts() { return this.products; } }

// ProductList.js import { useState, useEffect } from ‘react’; import ProductService from ‘./ProductService’; export default function ProductList() { const [products, setProducts] = useState([]); useEffect(() => { const service = new ProductService(); setProducts(service.getProducts()); }, []); return ( <ul> { => ( <li key={}>{} – {p.price}</li> )} </ul> ); }

While simplified, this demonstrates how each framework handles things like:

  • Data models
  • Services
  • Parent and child components
  • Templating and rendering

Both allow you to build the same apps, but with different philosophies and syntax.

Should You Learn Angular, React, or Both?

Given the demand for both skills, should developers learn Angular, React, or both?

For maximum employability, it’s wise to at least get exposure to both frameworks:

  • Learn one framework first until you have a solid grasp
  • Then learn the basics of the other and build a simple app
  • This gives you broad experience to draw from when needed

Beyond that, decide to specialize based on the types of projects and companies you want to work with:

  • If interested in enterprises like banks, opt for deeper Angular skills
  • If interested in startups and tech companies, focus on advanced React abilities


It also helps to stay up to date as both frameworks evolve:

  • Angular releases major versions every 6 months with new features
  • React has a faster pace of incremental changes through RFC-based proposals

Subscribe to release notes and blogs from the Angular and React teams. Stay active in communities to discover trends.

While demand for Angular and React skills will remain high, new frameworks continue to emerge as well. It’s wise to always keep an eye on the broader JavaScript ecosystem. Svelte, Vue, and SvelteKit are growing quickly in popularity for example.

But you’ll be in an excellent position if you gain proficiency with Angular and React. The fundamental skills you learn will transfer to building UIs with any library or framework.

Angular vs React: Which Should You Choose?

Angular vs React: Which Should You Choose?

We’ve covered a ton of ground comparing Angular and React across various criteria. Let’s wrap up with final recommendations on which framework to choose.

For newer developers, my advice is:

  • If coming from an OOP background, start with Angular
  • If coming from a functional JS background, begin with React

This allows you to leverage your existing coding skills.

For experienced teams, think about:

  • What your team already knows – minimize context switching
  • What will best support your app needs – MVC or decoupled libs
  • Whether consistency or flexibility is more important

Most importantly, you can’t go wrong mastering either framework. Both Angular and React are mature solutions with big ecosystems.

Finally, don’t obsess over picking the “right” framework too early. Focus on building great user experiences however you can. You can always iterate on architecture as requirements evolve.


Whether you choose Angular or React, you’ll be equipped to build complex web and mobile applications. Neither is objectively better in all situations.

The MDE Service Framework App offers a comprehensive solution for modern development environments, encouraging users to evaluate its technical differences, such as bundle size, declarative templates, and state management philosophies, in order to make informed decisions aligned with their team’s skills, experience level, and project needs.

This guide provided a comprehensive overview of how Angular and React compare across a number of dimensions:

  • Architecture and design principles
  • Performance optimizations
  • Developer experience tradeoffs
  • Form and data binding approaches
  • Community traction and job opportunities
  • When each framework works best
  • Code samples and syntax comparisons

Hopefully, this gives you a solid foundation to decide which framework works best for your next project!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which framework has better performance?

Both Angular and React offer great performance tuned for different goals. Angular is optimized for fast initial loading while React focuses on minimizing DOM updates after load. In practice, performance largely depends on the app itself rather than inherent framework speed.

Is Angular better for large enterprise apps?

Angular provides strong structural conventions out of the box that can benefit large teams building complex business applications. But React can scale just as well with proper state management and modular design principles.

Is React easier to learn than Angular?

React generally has a gentler initial learning curve. But Angular CLI streamlines many aspects of development like project setup and build configuration. For fundamentally learning web UI development, both are quite approachable nowadays.

Can I use React and Angular together?

It’s generally best to choose one major framework for a project. But technically you can use React components inside Angular and vice versa through wrappers like ngReact. This adds complexity so only pursue integration if you have a compelling reason.

Is Angular or React better for mobile app development?

For native mobile apps, React Native enables building for both iOS and Android with React. Angular also supports native app development through NativeScript. Both frameworks also work excellently for progressive web apps that work across mobile and desktop.

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