Brave vs. Chrome: Which Is the Best Browser on Android?

If you’re keen on having some semblance of privacy online, you are probably using or have at least heard about Brave. But is Brave good enough to be the daily driver on your phone? Can it hold its own against a mainstream browser like Google Chrome?

We’re going to compare the Android versions of the two browsers to help you decide which is best for you depending on your needs.


Is Brave or Chrome More Private?

The main distinguishing feature between Chrome and Brave is the latter’s privacy-focused approach. Brave comes with native tracking protection that allows you to block out any trackers and ads without installing a third-party app.

Chrome doesn’t have any privacy-focused native feature available. The best you can get is Incognito Mode, which barely offers any significant form of privacy other than clearing your cookies and browser history. You can still be tracked in Incognito Mode.

On Brave, you can toggle various advanced controls to make the browser’s tracking even more aggressive. However, this action may break some of the sites that you visit.

For even more privacy, Brave comes with a built-in VPN and firewall service meaning you won’t need an extra app for the same. It’s a paid plan, but you’re eligible for a 7-day trial, which should be enough time to decide whether the VPN service is worth your money.

While browsing on your phone, you have probably come across AMP (Accelerate Mobile Pages). Using AMP means you’re connecting directly to Google rather than the website you’re visiting—which compromises your privacy and security. If you don’t fancy this, Brave has a setting that allows you to disable AMP pages.

If privacy is a non-compromise for you, Brave would be the better choice as your mobile browser.

Chrome vs. Brave Performance

Both Google Chrome and Brave are Chromium-based browsers but which one offers the best performance? To come up with an unbiased comparison of the two browsers, we ran a benchmark test called Basemark Web 3.0.

Basemark Web 3.0 is a platform-independent service that tests how well a given browser handles modern web applications and features. We tested Brave with privacy shields up and AMP turned off. Below are the results—a higher number means better performance:

The results show that Brave is faster than Chrome on Android with a score of 250.97 against 217.56 on the Basemark Web 3.0 test. We conducted the tests on the same device with all other apps closed during the testing period.

Brave should be your go-to browser on Android if these numbers matter to you. However, it’s worth noting that the difference in performance is likely to be barely noticeable in real-world use.

Does Chrome or Brave Have a Better User Interface?

Despite being based on the same Chromium engine there are several differences to the interface that you’ll notice at a glance. One of them is the toolbar placement. On Brave, you have the option of setting the position of the toolbar at the bottom (which is great for one-handed use) or at the top. Chrome comes with the toolbar at the top without an option to reposition it.

Another major difference between the two browsers is the ability to force all the sites you visit into dark mode. Chrome doesn’t have this feature readily available yet unless you use Chrome Flags.

Brave comes with an experimental night mode that adds a black background to every site you visit regardless of the publisher’s setting. The feature works quite well and rarely messes up the appearance of sites that are in dark mode by default.

Tab functionality is generally the same on the two browsers apart from one unique feature on Brave tabs. You have the option of closing the browser completely when you shut down the last tab. You can toggle this feature on in the main Settings menu.

To access the mentioned user-interface settings on Brave, there’s a dedicated Appearance settings section that isn’t available on Chrome. This section offers a few features only available on Brave, and they include:

  • Show Brave Rewards icon in the address bar
  • Enable bottom toolbar
  • Enable “Night Mode”
  • Disable sharing hub
  • Enable tab group auto creation

Despite all these differences, there are some user interface similarities between the two browsers. One of them is the main settings menu, although Brave still has more options.

Brave has a better user interface given the extra customization options available in the Appearance section. Chrome doesn’t offer much in this department. But if you prefer simplicity, it would be the better option.

Does Either Browser Support Multiple-Device Syncing?

One of the biggest selling points of Chrome is the ability to seamlessly sync your data across different platforms. For instance, you can log into your Google account and access everything including your various passwords on multiple devices. For more secure syncing, you can create a passphrase that you’ll have to key into your paired devices.

Brave also allows you to sync your data with other devices as long as they are also running Brave. However, you must create a sync chain to make it work either by using a 24-word code or a QR Code.

In the past, Chrome was the go-to browser for multi-platform syncing but now almost every mainstream browser has this feature, including Brave.

But Chrome would be the more convenient choice of the two when it comes to syncing multiple devices. All you need to do is log into your Google account. For you to sync a new device with your Brave browser data you must have access to one of the already synced devices.

Google Chrome takes this round by a narrow margin, but you can still get your work done on multiple devices with Brave.

Does Chrome or Brave Offer a Feed?

Chrome features Google Discover, a feed on the browser’s homepage that recommends content and news depending on your browsing habits. Brave has its own equivalent, Brave News, but it allows you to choose specific mainstream publications (including MakeUseOf) to receive content from.

Google Discover limits your customization options to interest and browsing activity. For this reason, Brave News is the better feed because you have 100% control over the content recommendations you get.

Unique Features in Chrome and Brave

Brave has all the features available in Chrome plus a few more. For instance, since Brave markets itself with the absence of traditional ads, it has a different model to help publishers earn something from its users.

You can tip your favorite publisher by sending them BAT (Basic Attention Token). BAT is a crypto token that you earn by opting into Brave’s advertising platform. Brave ads are different from traditional ads. Apart from being unobtrusive, you get paid for viewing ads on Brave.

Background video playback is another unique feature you can enjoy with Brave. It allows you to play audio from YouTube videos when you switch to another app or lock your screen. It’s basically YouTube Premium for free if you include Brave’s ad-blocking feature.

Which Browser Should You Choose?

Most Android phones come with Google Chrome pre-installed, so you have to download Brave from the Play Store if you’re sold on it. Brave is significantly newer than Chrome, but the developer has been able to catch up to Google’s standards. If you’re a privacy-focused user, installing Brave and making it your daily driver is a no-brainer.

In general, Brave is the better browser with all the extra features it offers and slightly higher performance on Android phones. But Google Chrome would still be a worthy competitor if the privacy concerns were absent.

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