Honestly, i do think your review is unfair, given that you have had zero experiences in creating a react(or RN) app before. Your comparison was like
A newbie in RN v/s an expert in Swift/Obj-C.
Not just you, but every expert developer who have had NIL experience in Nil, but is a Swift champion, would be bound to post the same review. So no wonder, i found the article to be biased.
Me on the other hand, is an expert in RS having done a couple of heavy weight React apps(for web), RN was my natural choice when it came to mobile apps (I have had only little experience in Swift/Java). Obviously, my dev experience was a breeze when using RN because i am already an expert in React. Of course, not everything is baked in like you said, but the React team is doing a great job in their weekly updates, and i am more than happy and satisfied to have chosen RN over Swift. I’ve had fair share of stumble blocks, but every issue was already posted by someone or the other on StackOverFlow/Github, so my development was fairly smooth.
They even have a proper stack/drawer navigator now(https://reactnavigation.org) / in the form of React Navigator. Perhaps it was not available during the time of writing this article. And anything thats not mentioned in the docs, is bound to be available in Github ~100%. Im just talking out of my experience with RN, and i would go for pure native development, only if the app in consideration is a game or anything that requires a high frame rate performance.