Adaptive vs Responsive
The Web is responsive by nature. It does not need to adapt or respond to any devices until dev’s start changing it. Both adaptive and responsive designs are the same in that they are approaches to deal with the fact that sites are often viewed in different contexts/on different devices. Each of them happened to go about it in its own way.
The difference between these two design approaches goes deeper than the explanations above. Adaptive and responsive websites are different in their way of thinking. The concept of adaptive design is neither flexible, nor fluid. This approach needs specific points at which to adapt. The page is changing step-by-step, but not in a liquid way. Also, it can be difficult to adapt a site on all the sizes of the screen out there. However, there is a roundup of media queries available.
In contrast, responsive design comes with a different way of thinking. Its components are media queries, fluid grids, and flexible images. Responsive approach uses media queries to work within various viewing contexts rather than quarantining into device-specific, disparate experiences.
So the key words here are flexible and fluid. Responsive web design creates an optimized experience for any device. This philosophy challenges the developers to build websites that shift context in accordance with how a website is being viewed on a given occasion.
Related readings on Loonar Studios
Which is Better?
There is no single answer to this question. A designer chooses the best approach for the project at hand. This choice should be based on the types of devices that a future website should support. For example, if iPhone X is the only device that matters for you, there is no need to account for other devices. Adapting to iPhone X would be more efficient and easier. However, responsive web design is a great choice for improving a website against the possibility of new devices on the market.