SQLite vs Realm

SQLite vs Realm: Which One Is The Best Database For Android Apps?

A database is a thing where you store your app data when you are developing a mobile application. The database you will build will be the factor that will either make your application successful or destroy it.

There are a lot of options for the database which you can use to build your android application. In this article, I will be discussing two of the most famous database for Android. These databases are Realm and SQLite. So, let’s see which one comes on top in SQLite vs Realm.

SQLite VS Realm: The Comparison

If you are a beginner in the Android developer field, you will be able to find a lot of good options. There are many good choices mainly if you want to store your data on a server. However, if you want to use your mobile device to store the data, then the options are limited. Among them, the best is the SQLite and Realm.    


Almost everyone have heard about SQLite. It was first introduced in 2000 by Richard Hipp and is an embedded database. SQLite is an open-source and free database. The primary objective behind SQLite was to be free of the server-client structure and to use any mobile device for the storing of all the app data. 

For this feature, over the last 20 years this has become the database most used by the developers. This is useful for those who do not require to store their data on any server. It is capable of supporting over 30 programming languages and the database is written in C. The majority of mobile apps use SQLite. 

However, besides these useful features, there is some drawbacks to it too. For which, another database called Realm was introduced as its solution. 


It is a database management system which is non-relational. This enables you to explain the relationships among objects. It is like any other object graph of your preferred language. And, it is mostly preferred for the development of mobile apps.

As opposed to SQLite, Realm is very young. The main purpose of its introduction was to solve the problems faced by the new developer while using SQLite. Due to this reason alone, it gained such a huge popularity. 

For understanding the reason behind its huge popularity, you first have to know about the problems a new developer would face while using SQLite.

The Problems With SQLite

If you are working on small projects, then SQLite will not a bad option. It will be able to meet all the requirements for the development of your app if it is not very complex. However, if it is a big and complex project, then you can face the following problems:

Scalability And Maintainance

It is important that the database you are using for your app should grow over time. Also, the requirement for writing more complex queries will also increase. It is in this phase where most of the new developers face problems. This is because they have very little knowledge about languages that are well structured. 


There are many security issues with SQLite due to some of its peculiarities and some of its structural issues. As you know that the data are stored in a single file. And, you can place this file anywhere in your directory hierarchy.

This process may seem very convenient at first, but it also poses some risks as well. With the help of any rogue process, anyone will be able to access the file and rewrite it. For this reason, you have to set up security measures at the file level. You have to be very careful in setting the permissions and be sure to keep it away from the webroot. 

There is also some other problem which occurs at the time of journaling. For keeping a rollback option, some temporary files of the journal are created. As per the standard rule, these files get deleted once a transaction is done. However, there are instances where these files do not get deleted. This leads to the data getting corrupted easily. 

However, if you are thinking of turning off the journaling, then it would be a bad idea as it would damage the database if any crash of the app occurs. But you can make your data encrypted before you insert them in your database. 


SQLite for experienced users are easy and they also face no difficulty in solving its problems. However, for a newcomer in the Android development business, the complexity of SQLite can be a real problem. 

For this reason, the latest solution is not SQL based, which has made it simpler and easier. This solution is Realm, and it was introduced in 2017.

The SQLite And Realm Difference

As soon as the Realm was introduced, the developers realized its benefits. So, let’s see what are the factors which put Realm ahead of SQLite

The Simplicity

The database of Realm is way simpler than SQLite. Realm’s database uses much fewer words and thus the length of the codes is not that long.     

It Is Faster

Realm is very fast in the Android development process. Sometimes it can become faster than a pure SQLite. 


This is always a huge factor for the tools we are using. The documentation in Realm is very effectively done. If you are having some questions, then you can use their official website to get further details.


You will be able o copy objects which are out of the instance of Realm because it is accessible to Realm. 

Extra Features

Since Realm is much newer than SQLite, it offers a good number of new features. These features are very good and is very useful to developers. Eg. you will have access to a fluent API, encryption support, and JSON support while making working on an Android project. You also get the feature of data change notification in Realm.


From the above SQLite vs Realm comparison, it is very much clear that Realm is the better database of the two. Realm is much easier and simpler as compared to SQLite. For this reason, it is much more appropriate for new developers. It also provides more security, which is one of the main concerns of the online world with the rise in cybercrimes. And moreover, it was introduced with the thought of solving the problems of SQLite in mind. So, Realm is the one you should go for.