Google's open source Chromium project is the foundation on which the company built the Chrome browser. But it's not the only browser that makes use of the same code. Over the years, several Chrome competitors have finally decided to use the Chrome project as the core for their browsers.
There are a bunch of other options available on the Play Store (and off it). And they put up some great arguments about why you should consider switching to one of these options.
Let's briefly talk about the 'why' first. While additional features, like a native ad-blocker or customizations, are an obvious draw. Better privacy settings and the option to get out of Google's clutches are also significant reasons why you should switch to a different browser.
So, with that in mind, let's jump right in and take a look at the best Chromium browsers for Android.
The browser is packed to the brim with handy features, that add to the overall browsing experience. There's a native ad blocker, a customizable night mode, along with a couple of great privacy options. I miss using these features in Chrome.
The best part about using Kiwi is definitely the Chrome extension support. Adding an extension is as simple as heading to the Chrome Web Store, choosing an extension and tapping on Add to Chrome. And I can use almost all of my favorite extensions on my phone.
The Brave browser is another great option that brings some unique features to improve web browsing. Much like Kiwi, Brave packs in a native ad blocker, advanced privacy settings and a couple of customization options.
However, Brave's rewards feature sets it apart from the others. Though the browser comes with an ad blocker, it gives you the option to watch some ads in exchange for a crypto-based token.
You get rewards for watching ads on the browser and you can either choose to withdraw your rewards or use them to support creators on the internet. Since Brave is also available on Windows and iOS, it also gives you the option to sync your data between all your devices.
The browser also claims that it can help reduce your battery and data usage, but I wasn't able to check the authenticity of these claims during my testing.
Next up is the Yandex browser, which is perfect for those of you who want a bit more customization. It also packs in an ad blocker, along with advanced privacy settings that will keep your data protected from fraudulent pages and unsecured networks.
The browser also features a Reader Mode that removes all unnecessary UI elements from a website, leaving behind only relevant texts and images, which is perfect for reading.
Additionally, the browser has a turbo mode and a power saving mode, which claim to reduce your data and battery consumption while browsing.
What differentiates Yandex from other browsers on this list is its Zen mode which gives you access to a personalized feed on the home page. It's great for keeping up with trending news and offers a great browsing experience coupled with the reading mode.
Ecosia is a minimal Chromium-based browser that doesn't offer much in terms of additional features. The overall experience of using Ecosia is quite similar to what you'd get with Chrome. However, the browser serves a much greater purpose.
A part of the profits generated through searches on Ecosia goes towards reforestation efforts around the globe. Yes, that's right. The developers aim to plant a billion trees by 2020 through the project, and they've already crossed the 56 million mark.
It's a bit short of the goal, so I urge you to get the browser right away and do your part. The number of searches you make is displayed right under the search bar and it takes about 45 searches to plant a tree.
Rounding things off is Bromite, another great ad blocking browser that aims to provide a clutter-free experience with some handy privacy enhancement features that help it stand out.
The automatically removed click-tracking and AMP from the search results, includes support for custom proxy lists, has an always-incognito mode, and other anti-fingerprinting mitigations to keep you off the grid.
In short, Bromite is what you should have on your phone if you're really serious about privacy. The only downside is that the browser isn't available on the Play Store. So you won't get automatic updates like you would with other browsers on this list.
Chromium-based browsers have come a long way over the last couple of years. While they still cannot sync with your Google account, they offer pretty much everything that Chrome brings to the table and then some more.
These browsers have the potential to replace Chrome on your phone completely. So, go ahead, give them a shot and let us know in the comments which one you like the most.
Next up: Want a browser that opens up desktop sites on your phone? Check out our list of the best browsers to always open desktop sites on Android and iOS.
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