Applitools vs Chromatic

Chromatic is a faster and simpler alternative to Applitools for testing UI components and component libraries.

Thinking of visual regression testing using Chromatic or one of the other Applitools competitors?

It can be time-consuming to scan each feature of every tool, so we gathered some handy info that’ll make it easier to decide which visual regression testing tool is right for you.

Read on for an overview of Chromatic and Applitools, including features, workflows, and pricing. We hope this helps you figure out the best testing solution for your project.

Chromatic is ideal for testing components

Modern view layers like React, Angular, and Vue help you divide complex UIs into simple components. Visual testing at the level of components makes it easier to scope tests and identify regressions. Chromatic is centered around organizing, managing, and visually testing components.

In comparison, Applitools and its competitors were originally built to visually test pages. Testing at the page-level in a componentized app results in a flood of false positives and painfully sorting through the test failures.

Chromatic was built from the ground up to work best with components. With Chromatic, every UI component in your app is tracked separately each commit so you can see how a component changes whenever you push code. Chromatic is in tune with how frontend developers build modern apps.

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You’ll also get the superpower of rewinding a component’s look and feel from previous commits. Go back in time to see the fully inspectable markup, JavaScript, and styling. No Git gymnastics required.

Chromatic is built for teams

It takes a team to build a full-featured app. Like you, we understand that complexity grows and communication muddies the larger the team and project. That’s why Chromatic was built for collaboration from the start.

App teams can review UI changes together in one place. Engineers, designers, and product managers can browse the component library online without needing to pull code, migrate, or maintain a dev environment. No more “this doesn’t work on my machine”.

Review with your team

Chromatic is perfect for Storybook

Storybook helps frontend teams ship components. Chromatic automates visual testing those components.

As maintainers and sponsors of Storybook, we understand how integral Storybook is to app teams. That’s why we’re dead set on building a tool to improve your Storybook workflow without adding extra work.

View your stories on Chromatic

Every story is a test

Chromatic tests map 1-to-1 with your stories. Whenever you update a story your tests are synced. This means visual tests are painless to keep up to date.

Your Storybook is uploaded automatically

Every time you push code, the components in your Storybook are uploaded to Chromatic. This means everyone on your team can participate in reviewing. No pulling code required.

No hassle branching and merging

Work on features together or separately. With branching and merging, you can make as many feature-branches as you need and seamlessly merge them back into production. It all happens behind the scenes, and just works. No configuration needed.

Choose versions of your components

Chromatic makes reproductions easy

Chromatic doesn’t just capture an image of each component, it’s a living re-creation of component’s DOM, styling, and assets. Whenever you’re reviewing changes, you see high-fidelity components that are fully inspectable. This makes it painless to reproduce and confirm component changes because you see exactly what your users see.

Chromatic has common-sense pricing

Everyone wins when you test UIs. Developers spend less effort fixing cryptic bugs. Users get pixel-perfect experiences. Designers and product people can ensure UI consistency without extra work. QA people don’t have to sink time into manual tests.

We believe UI testing should be ubiquitous and accessible. Chromatic’s pricing plans reflect that:

  • Customer-friendly rates scale with the usage
  • Tests run at maximum concurrency by default – no more waiting!
  • Unlimited collaborators, components, and projects
Price✅ $149/moNot revealed
Snapshots✅ 10,000Not revealed
Concurrency✅ Max5
Collaborators✅ Unlimited10
Branching & merging✅ YesNot supported
Inspectable code✅ YesNo
Component history✅ YesNo

Applitools doesn't reveal pricing on their site anymore. Last we checked in January 2018 it was $299 for 1,000 snapshots and 1 concurrent process.

Based on their January 2018 price, Chromatic can save you tens of thousands of dollars per year for equivalent usage. Not to mention all the work-saving benefits of hyper fast testing, no-hassle branching, painless merging, and intuitive collaboration.

Ready to try Chromatic?

Finding the right visual regression testing tool can be hard. We hope this guide makes it a bit clearer.

Trying Chromatic is easy, install the addon and setup your project in less than a minute. Sign up for your 30-day free trial now.