Most Android phones are going to come from the factory with Google Chrome installed... which is yuck.
But you don't need to worry too much; on most Android phones, you can uninstall Google Chrome and replace it with a privacy-respecting alternative.
You should be aware that not all browsers listed here are 100 % free or readily found in the Google Play Store.
Additionally, the browsers listed here are not put in any particular order. Each browser has its own pros, cons, and special use cases.
Go to iOS Version
Regular Firefox Quantum (not necessarily Firefox Focus in this case) is a solid Google Chrome alternative on Android.
The real power of Firefox on Android comes from the ability to download extensions, like the desktop version.
The number of extensions available for Firefox on Android aren't nearly as extensive as what you can find in the library for the desktop version.
However, the fact that you can even install privacy extensions such as uBlock, is a definite plus.
Privacy extensions are what really turn Firefox into a privacy-browser powerhouse on the Android platform.
(However, you should keep in mind that more add-ons equal more "bloat," which can slowdown or hamper your overall browsing experience.)
(For the record, Firefox on iOS has zero extension compatibility.)
Bromite is a free, open-source, chromium fork.
Bromite is a true privacy-focused browser that has a lot of good things going for it.
First, it's important to understand that while Chromium was created by Google, it is open-source and can be "de-googled."
This is precisely what Bromite does; it disables many of the features found in base Chromium that can easily compromise user privacy.
I think the best feature of Bromite is the built-in ad blocking engine.
It doesn't just block ad trackers (which can block the ads themselves, but not always), but it has full ad-blocking capability as well. Bromite can use blocking lists compiled by the likes of uBlock Origin and EasyList.
You can also add your own filters as well. However, the process isn't that easy for some users.
Additionally, Bromite scrambles your user-agent string, making it harder for websites and web apps to identify your device and any special characteristics it may have (think: screen resolution, make, model, version of software running, etc).
Along a similar vein, Bromite will strip "smart search" by default, allowing you to search in private. On the web, it will also disable AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and click-tracking.
This helps prevent the likes of Google, Facebook, and other websites from creating a shadow profile of you based on your click history.
Bromite supports Always on Incognito, where it won't store your browsing history or cookies between browsing sessions.
(It also goes a step further by supporting the configuration of proxies.)
Not to mention that since it disables many privacy sensitive features by default and blocks a ton of trackers (and ads as a whole), it's wicked fast.
You won't be able to find Bromite on the Play store, but it's available on Bromite's website and the open-source F-Droid repository.
Download Bromite (APK)
Download Bromite (F-Droid)
Privacy Browser (by Stoutner) is another open-source privacy browser available for Android.
Privacy Browser aims to minimize the amount of information sent to the websites you visit while also minimizing the amount of information stored on your device.
That's pretty neat because it puts you in control over what level of permissions you give a website when visiting.
Privacy Browser is reliant on Android's WebView to function, so it's doubly important to stay on top of updates to get the most out of this browser.
Note: While it is a privacy browser, the "free" version of this browser has a banner ad across the bottom of the screen.
The presence of an ad might be a concern for some users because display ads can be insanely aggressive when invading your privacy.
This doesn't seem to be the case with Privacy Browser, because it doesn't collect any user information.
Alternatively, there is the standard version of Privacy Browser. This is the "paid" version of the app.
The paid version doesn't offer any additional features, but it does remove the bottom banner ad.
It costs exactly $1.00 to download from the Google Play Store.
(If you're going to use this browser, I highly suggest spending the $1.00)
Download Privacy Browser
DuckDuckGo's search engine is one of the most popular privacy search engines used among the online privacy-conscious community.
But did you know that the company also has a browser?
(If you've read the iOS version of this post, you'll know that we included the DuckDuckGo mobile browser there too.)
To start, the browser is only available for mobile platforms; specifically, only Android and iOS.
The DuckDuckGo mobile browser has a number of privacy and security features. Most of these privacy and security features are consolidated into what the browser calls "Privacy Upgrades."
"Privacy Upgrades" include HTTPS everywhere and ad tracker blocking.
You don't get to pick and choose what trackers the browser blocks, but you do get a wealth of information about the trackers DDG mobile browser found and successfully blocked.
Another key feature this browser has is the "fire button."
The Fire button deletes all your browsing history and stored cookies in a single tap.
You have the option of whitelisting the websites you don't want purged too.
In addition to the privacy features, the mobile browser is streamlined and quick. It features some good appearance customization options that bring a small but refreshing touch as well.
On Android, you have numerous options for browsers; even of the privacy-focused variety.
Even of the privacy-focused variety, some browsers not found on this list will do very little for your privacy.
In fact, untrustworthy browsers can harm your privacy by silently feeding sensitive information back to the developer or some remote web server.
Be aware that true privacy browsers, such as the ones found here, give you more than just "inprivate browsing."
They also give you more than just a mere illusion of privacy, which can be equally as dangerous as outright invading your online privacy.
Any browser on this list gives you more control over what information you share - unknowingly and knowingly - with the websites that you visit.
With that in mind, stay safe out there!