Pros/Cons vs Onsen UI

Hey guys,

First and foremost, not looking to start a flamewar or a troublesome post, so if this type of post isn’t allowed I apologize. I’m just looking for some pros and cons/comparisons of Onsen UI and the Ionic Framework.

A few months ago I spotted Ionic, and was psyched to see a framework finally fill the gap that it does, but now I’ve also seen Onsen and I’m torn between the two.

Any tips that would help make an objective decision would be appreciated.


Hey there! Ha, dont worry, no flamewars will be started.

Speaking for myself, Onsen is pretty nice. They have some good components that are wrapped up as directives so that they are easy to use, just like ionic.

Where to two differ is services. While onsen is about making sure you have the ui covered, ionic is aiming to be your one-stop shop for all your mobile app needs. With new services, like Creator, we want you to handle be able to build your app, deploy it, and then have your other services in one place.

Onsen ins’t doing this, because it’s just not their end goal.

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Thanks for honest opinion. Personally I do not see myself as the target audience for a WYSIWYG editor – mainly because of the terrible code those types of editors tend to output (though I see clean code is touted as one of the features). But I understand your overall point in regards to surrounding services that can enhance a developers workflow. To that end, I believe: is Onsen’s “answer” to Ionics surrounding services, but I may be wrong about that.

My 3 biggest concerns when comparing Onsen and Ionic are:

  1. - The ability to theme my app like this, so easily, is a HUGE draw for someone like me who is “challenged” in the way of design.
  2. This one post reference Onsen as having better list performance out of the box than Ionic: Ionic List Performance
  3. Ionic is in beta, while Onsen apparently is not. Though this is definitely not the biggest deal in the world for me.

My largest draws to Ionic when compared against Onsen are:

  1. Community. Onsen defers support to Stack Overflow
  2. Ionic’s Showcase. Proves to me there are production apps using Ionic in successful ways
  3. Ionic’s Activity. Onsen seems to have 1 primary programmer on GitHub, while it seems Ionic has 3-4.

I’m posting all this here just as a reference for others, or to be proven wrong on any of these points. Currently I am leaning in favor with Ionic because I feel that it’s likely only a matter of time before this team closes the gap on any of the concerns I listed above.

Thanks again

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Nice comparison. I was evaluating between the two myself recently and settled on Ionic but the jury is still out.

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The guy found out that it was the ‘item’ CSS class he used that caused the performance issue.

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Still, the ‘item’ CSS class was an ionic class that the documentation indicates should be used, right?

They are not on the same planet.

Onsen has like 59 repos on Github, vs 1200 for ionic.

On Alexa, has global rank of 110,000, Ionic is 11,000.

Ionic also has significant funding.

In platform wars, dominant platform emerges and takes all. Don’t waste your time with no-name frameworks, stay with the most popular ones so you can at least google or stack overflow your issues. This forum is also far and away the most active among mobile frameworks.


Looking at Onsen, it just looks like a rip off from Ionic.

Y’know, both Ionic and Onsen look awfully like iOS…

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Ionic is better. Topic closed!

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Thank you for the additional statistics that cover the point of Ionic being a much more active framework

While I can appreciate your devotion to Ionic, I hope to reserve this thread for more objective and research driven answers.

Well, concerning the list performance…

  1. You only need to use list and item if you are willing to visually make a list, this is not the same as making a list as per definition. (Hope this answers your question about whether to use it like in the docs)
  2. The related topic is fairly old, we now have the ionic collection-repeat, which has addressed these performance issues.

Personally I’d go for ionic really. First of all, the default styles “out of the box” are pretty nice and are very suitable for making a decent app without spending much time on styling. This is a great power while making mockups and doens’t hurt when you want to apply styles later on. Second of all, ionic is customizable on virtually any part I’ve needed to so far. You can create or override angular directives, customize every bit of css you woul want, and override most of ionics default variables by using the sass files. Third of all, ionic is doing great on community management. Further, ionic is doing nightly builds with previews, and I must say they are pretty active on their development. Check the changlogs for that :wink:

Besides this all, ionic seems to have nice funding when you follow the media bout both drifty and ionic. Haven’t seen to much about the fundings on the website itself though (not sure if it actually belongs there though).

Seeing statistics as pointed out earlier by @hitmantb and yourself ( @david_ids ) only encourages my personal opinion :smile: