When comparing Affinity Photo vs Sketch, the Slant community recommends Affinity Photo for most people. In the question“What are the best graphic design programs?” Affinity Photo is ranked 1st while Sketch is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose Affinity Photo is:
Pay once, get updates forever.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Lifetime updates
Pay once, get updates forever.
Pro Interface will be familiar to those coming from Photoshop
The interface, especially the Photo persona, is laid out in way that's very similar to Photoshop - a panel for icons for tools on the left, a panel for information and settings on the right.
Pro Compatible with Photoshop PSD files
Affinity Photo can import and export .psd files.
Pro Great performance
Uses the GPU extensively for fast speed on any platform.
Pro Supports layer styles
Layer styles allow non-destructively applying effects to a layer.
Pro Personas allow separation of concerns
At a high level the interface is organized into broad groups of tools called Personas. Personas like Photo for in-depth image manipulation, Liquify for warping the image, Develop for basic RAW photo development and Export for exporting. Each persona displays only those tools that are needed for that task.
Pro Non-destructive adjustment layers
Extensive adjustment layers are non-destructive.
Pro Powerful effects
Dozens of visual effects available. All run extremely fast with live previews
Pro Runs faster than Photoshop's old code
Pro Very fast to learn
Takes about 20 mins, it's that easy.
Pro Powerful, cheap and lightweight
Pro Panorama creation
Pro HDR image editing
Pro RAW file editing
Pro Much more lightweight than photoshop
Pro Imports free images from Unsplash
Pro Decent functionality, 100% comparable with Photoshop
Pro Has an iPad app
Pro Very, very cheap for such an app
Pro Many tutorials
But still it does not actually matter which tutorial you're actually watching, Photoshop or Affinity's, they are pretty much the same.
Pro Supports Photoshop brushes, shapes, etc.
Pro The perfect combination of Photoshop and Lightroom - all in one
Pro Everything is well organized
Easy to find and use tools.
Pro Lots and lots of undo
Pro The easiest, even easier than photoshop
Pro Color correction
Pro Very modern and intuitive interface
Pro Growing decently fast
Pro Active community with a lot of resources
Sketch is hugely popular among designers so there are a lot of well maintained community resources for everything from iPhone frames to iOS/Android UI elements & icons.
Pro "Artboards" are great for working on multiple views simultaneously
Artboards let you easily work on multiple views side by side. Great for having a separate artboard on each page for the various responsive sizes.
Pro Vector based yet pixel aware
You can rescale assets without quality loss, easily export x2 assets for retina designs and design high quality icons & artwork. Being pixel aware lets you set a grid and snap objects to it as well as round to the nearest pixel edge to clean up your layers.
Pro Designed specifically for web and mobile UI design & workflows
Sketch is essentially a version of Photoshop built from the ground up to suit the workflow of web designers.
Pro Makes it easy to export assets
Sketch has a built in exporter that supports PDF, JPG and PNG.
Pro Clean UI
Reactive panels keep the UI for Sketch clean from the sort of clutter the panel system in Photoshop suffers from. The panels in Sketch change based on the object in question, saving you from having to have a multiple separate panels.
Pro Built-in grid system
You can set the square grid to whatever dimensions you like as well as set thicker lines every x blocks. You can also configure the color of the lines to make them as obvious or subtle as you wish and toggle the grid with a keyboard shortcut (crtl+g).
Pro Symbols and shared styles
Sketch lets you re-use the same design in multiple places, with changes synced throughout the various places it is used. You can also create text styles to sync typography changes.
Pro "Mirror" makes it really easy to test designs on multiple devices
Mirror lets you connect your iPhone to sketch and see how your current artboard looks on mobile. It's really useful as you can live check changes which lets you rapidly iterate mobile design.
Pro Easily align layers with smart guides
Holding down alt will show the smart guides that show the distances between any layer you hover over to nearby layers or the edges of the artboard. Very useful for checking your spacing or aligning layers.
Con Limited selection of plugins
Plugin support was only recently added to AP and not many plugins have been created for the program so far.
Con Can not import gimp or krita files
Free alternatives like GIMP (and Krita) are sort of "go to" apps you can always install and use for simple image editing or graphics on any computer. Affinity's support for Photoshop is great, but having support also for opening and editing GIMP and Krita files would make the versatility and use of this program absolutely superb.
Con No Linux version
Sketch is currently only available on Mac, which can make it hard to collaborate if you have teammates using Linux.
Con License based payment model
Sketch has recently decided to cease development of major version (2.0, 3.0, 4.0) with free updates in between, and has switched to a license based subscription model. A yearly license costs $99 and includes the latest version of the Sketch software, plus a year of free updates. After this license expires, you can renew for another year of updates - or continue to use the current software without updates.
Con No Windows support
Con Buggy releases and lack of quality assurance
The fast rate of change means new releases often break files and cause havoc. Duplicate symbols are really bad in the latest releases so you have to keep updating.
Con Very feeble raster tools
You have to go elsewhere if you want something more complex than basic vector masking of raster images.
Con Limited compatibility with Photoshop and Illustrator
Although it is possible to export certain Adobe file types in Sketch, compatibility is mostly hit and miss. For example, some elements seem a little offset in Adobe products.