In a talk at Google I/O 2013 (Writing Custom Views for Android), Romain Guy clarified the misunderstanding that caused everyone to start using RelativeLayouts for everything. A RelativeLayout always has to do two measure passes. Overall it is negligible as long as your view hierarchy is simple. But if your hierarchy is complex, doing an extra measure pass could potentially be fairly costly. Also if you nest RelativeLayouts, you get an exponential measurement algorithm.