So, I've been researching on what the newest browser world looks like, since it's been at least 10 years, if not more, since I last really took a hard look at my main web browser choice. However, after reading through much review sites, I feel justified in sticking with good ol' trustworthy Firefox.
First: Despite many, many people citing Chrome as their top browser, I find it suspiciously biased that no one is willing to point out Chrome's rather problematic privacy invasions. The most I've seen touched on is that people acknowledge that Chrome collects user data and that it's used for more streamlined "optimized" browsing and that Google, who owns Chrome, sustains itself on user information, thus is incentivized to collect the data. Yet, tech websites would bend over backwards justifying that it's okay, because you can opt out all of those invasive features, so your privacy isn't really being violated. If you know what options to turn off.
Contrast that with Firefox's opt-in policy instead. Instead of making the user go out of their way to turn off all the data they don't want to share, they instead offer to turn everything off and allow the user to turn ON the data they are willing to share. So if you're not sure if you want to share something? No sharing until you're sure. This is a much more respectful way of treating user privacy and I'm kind of offended that more web browsers don't take this as the default policy.
Then again, since Mozilla is a non-profit organization and Google is a for profit company, that probably explains why one group is more concerned with personal privacy.
Second: Of the alternate options, it seems like they are either based off of the Mozilla Firefox code or Chromium (which is the basis for but not equivalent to Chrome). Which means, all I'm really doing is changing the dressing and keeping the same salad. Maybe dressing is important to people, but for me, there doesn't seem to be any real fundamental change if the basic framework continues to be the same.
Third: From what I can tell, the biggest reason people use Chrome is because it natively interfaces with all the other google things, like drive, documents, photos, etc. However, since I rarely if ever use any of those services (I still process my words in MS Office, use encrypted Proton Mail account as my main account ever since my gmail fucked up my login somehow, and back up my data with JettaCloud instead of Google's cloud drive), well... I really only ever use the google search engine now-a-days, so...yeah. The integration aspect of Chrome doesn't really do it for me.
Finally: On my phone, I've actually disabled Chrome and native Android browser and swapped over to Opera Mini. Not only does Opera Mini give better compression and privacy, it also has a free VPN service to better protect your identity in this phishing/ID stealing world. It's also small enough that it runs fairly smoothly and apparently doesn't drain nearly as much resources as Chrome, which is notorious for running constantly in the background so as to be able to start up faster. And since I only really use my phone for calls, GPS, and messaging (all of which are achieved outside of the browser in their own separate apps), again, the integration Chrome offers me just isn't all that attractive.
Which means, after a decade and a half, the best browsing experience, for the privacy aware at least, remains Firefox. Huh. Who'da thunk?