If you use Google Chrome, did you ever stop and wonder how it came into existence? Well if you haven’t, the answer is, Chromium. Not the element but the open source project sure was named after it.
Chrome vs Chromium
Chromium is an open Source Project developed by Google while Chrome is built upon Chromium. In simple words, the biggest difference between the two browsers is that Chromium is Chrome without the proprietary stuff like video codecs, DRM management, a PDF reader etc. However, since Chromium is open sourced, it’s used by developers to make several new browsers that although look like Google Chrome, offer additional functionality like Ad block, background audio, night mode etc.
If you are looking for web browsers that are as snappy as Google Chrome but at the same time are open source. Here are the best Chromium browsers for Android, you need to try.
Best Chromium Browsers for Android
Brave is one of the most popular browsers for Android right now. Rightly so, it delivers an upscaled performance and secure browsing. It comes with all the perks of Chromium and an added ad blocking feature.
Unlike many other browsers which offer ad blocking, Brave blocks ads before loading the webpage which in turn reduces loading time and faster web experience. You get the time saved by using adblocker in seconds which is a cool feature that lets you visualize the usage of this browser. You don’t get to sync your personalized bookmarks, history or passwords using the Google account or any account for that matter. Brave takes privacy very seriously and offers fingerprinting protection from websites, protection from trackers and pushes HTTPS whenever possible.
Pros: Fast and efficient ad blocker
Cons: No sync feature available
Availability – Brave is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS
Download Brave Browser
2. Kiwi Browser
Finding a web browser with all the desired features is hard. Putting too many features in the web browser results in cluttered web experience and too little forces you to keep multiple browsers. Kiwi browser has all the necessary features which we look for in a web browser.
You get an inbuilt night mode and an option to bring down search bar to the bottom. Night mode is an interesting feature which lets you adjust screen brightness and contrast to strain your eyes less during long reading sessions in the low light environment. Adblocker is efficient in blocking all the ads and leaves you with blank spaces where ads were to appear. You can see the blocked ads and tracker count by pressing the options button. The browser supports multiple languages and translates the page in real time.
Unlike other Chromium-based Ad blockers, Kiwi browser also supports background playback, meaning you can listen to YouTube videos in the background. Background playback works like this, you open your streaming website in a tab and play your content, then when you open the second tab it might pause but don’t worry just scroll down the notification panel you’ll see the tab as a notification bar with the pause/play button, pressing that would resume the content and you can go back to browsing.
Pros: Inbuilt adblocker, background playback, night mode
Cons: You can’t sync your Google account
Availability: Kiwi browser is only available as an Android app now
Download Kiwi Browser
3. Iron Browser
Often developers skip privacy features while offering fast web browsers. Iron Browser kept that in mind and made a browser with updated privacy features and fast web experience.
You can connect your web browser with a google account which lets you sync your bookmarks, history, and passwords. Even though it doesn’t have an inbuilt adblocker, it does offer an option ‘ Do not Track’ that is a very thoughtful feature. Data saver as an option is available if you browse on your mobile data often. You can control all the website components and permissions just like in Chrome.
Pros: you can sync with any Google account and get your bookmarks on this browser.
cons: It doesn’t have an Adblocker yet.
Availability: Iron Browser is available for Android, Windows, OSX, and Linux.
Download Iron Browser
Bromite is the Chromium cousin with superpowers. It comes with update privacy features and an inbuilt ad blocker.
It is the cleanest chromium based browser, with most of its original features kept same it performs with no problems. The ad blocker is one tap away in the options menu and does its job religiously. It also supports third-party payment apps and can be integrated with this browser. You can turn on ‘ auto-fill forms’ for easier input of redundant data like addresses and cards. You can manipulate the webpage layout by configuring the text scaling, simplified view and enabling force zoom. The only thing this browser lack is the lack of google account sync.
If you don’t like AMP (accelerated mobile pages) results in Google search then Bromite is for you. It removes that from search results. Like Kiwi browser, Bromite also allows playing videos in the background which is a decent feature for anyone who loves YouTube but dread it playing on mobile (for famously pausing videos whenever the tab is switched despite serious criticism from the community).
Pros: Supports ad blocker, remove amp pages, background playback
Cons: Doesn’t support sync.
Availability: It is supported on Android for now.
Download Bromite Browser
5. Ecosia Browser
We are all moving toward the future and need to take care of our environment. Ecosia is a search engine that donates all of its ad profits towards planting trees. Talk about a corporation doing good for the environment!
The web browser is built around Chromium and uses the default search engine Ecosia to search all of your web queries. The web browser is built for easy and fast browsing. You see a counter on the home page that displays the number of plants planted which is a good reassurance that you’re a part of something nice. The whole point is making money through ads and using profits to plant trees, it would render it pointless to add an ad blocker to the browser.
The web browser also features an autofill and supports third-party payments app support through which you can control the browser’s control over the notifications. Text scaling and force zoom can be turned on by tapping into the accessibility option in the settings menu. When supported, the simplified view makes the page mobile friendly and easier to read.
Pros: Environment-friendly and the browser is fast and minimalistic.
Cons: This browser has a jittery scrolling and gets stuck sometimes.
Availability: It is only available for Android now.
Download Ecosia Browser
6. Yu Browser
Based on the custom browser developed for Snapdragon processor and Yu promises up to 40% faster browsing than Chrome. It is obviously a figure generated under test conditions but nevertheless impressing. It has the same layout as Chrome which performs just like the original Chromium.
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With features like night mode, power saving mode, and background audio, Yu browser brings a better web browsing experience to the user. It also has a few privacy features which make the browsing a lot more convenient if not more secure. It does not allow screen observing apps to secretly observe and capture your current screen however it supports XSS defender which prevents any cross-scripting attacks.
Night mode allows you to change the layout of the webpage and makes reading in low light or night a lot less straining. It doesn’t have an option to sign in to sync bookmarks and passwords.
Pros: inbuilt with many privacy and security features, faster browsing on Snapdragon processor
Cons: it does not have an option to sync.
Availability: Yu is available for Android.
Download Yu Browser
Yandex is a freeware app developed by a Russian corporation Yandex. It is based on Chromium and powered by the Blink Engine.
The layout is a little bit different from Chromium and has the default search bar in the bottom which unfortunately cannot be changed like in Kiwi browser. You can stop your passwords from being stolen from your browser by using this advanced feature. If you’ve used Chrome, you’d know that Chrome saves all your passwords in an easy to view text format which can be snooped by anyone with access to your phone. It prevents that through implementing a pin or a fingerprint lock on the password manager that stops any unauthorized access unless they know your pin. You set a master password to keep all of your passwords safe.
You can log in and sync your bookmarks, history, and passwords with Tableau account. Yandex offers a turbo mode that essentially speeds up your browsing speeds by compressing the web pages and disabling ads. The adblocker blocks most ads especially the annoying ones. Adblock Plus is also supported as an extension but it’s in the testing phase but you can expect a stable release soon.
Extensions are in beta testing right now and only three extensions are supported as of yet, Pocket, LastPass, and Evernote.
Pros: you can sync with Tableau, you get turbo mode for faster browsing.
Cons: Adblocker isn’t stable in this version.
Availability: It’s available on Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, and Linux.
Download Yandex Browser
Final Thoughts: Best Chromium Browsers for Android
We listed a few web browsers that were based on Chromium but had additional features that set them apart from the open source Parent project. While Iron browser lets you log in with a google account and sync bookmarks, brave browser and Kiwi has an inbuilt adblocker that saves user’s time and data. You can leave tabs open in the background and continue to do your work with bromite and Yu Browsers. Ecosia is fast and saves the environment and Yandex is best for people looking for a fast browser.
Also Read: Best Open Source Browsers for Android