More anecdata: Switched to Brave from Firefox after they rolled out their buttons-as-tabs UI. Never used Chrome so can not compare it with that but I can:
- attest to the snappiness. It might very well be imagination with me as well but it feels slightly snappier than Firefox on macOS.
- attest to not destroying laptops. Video calls on Firefox usually had my fans spinning on maximum. They do not even bother to spin up with Brave. (That is likely a Chromium thing in general.)
- not attest to any problems with ad management. Brave has not broken any page functionality for me ever.
They admittedly employ some dark patterns. After the most recent upgrade, for example, a crypto wallet icon appeared on the UI which I had not asked for. After some googling I found a setting to turn it off. That's a level of annoyance I can still live with and it's the price I am willing to pay for a browser that comes with pretty much everything I could wish for: sane design, all basic features, configurable content blocker, open-source development, built-in torrent client, Tor mode. And most importantly, it generally gets out of your way. That is the best compliment I can make for any software.
FWIW brave on mobile allows me to navigate websites without half the screen blocked by ads. Pages seem to load faster, battery life isn't randomly drained and helps avoid a lot of dark patterns found commonly on "news" websites.
Sure I guess some combination of pihole + vpn could also work, but using Brave is a lot less hassles.
Brave has "brave sync" - it's exactly the same as chrome sync except instead of an account you generate a sync code and enter it in your devices and they stay in sync, this includes passwords. I took a quick look at Lockwise and it appears that's sorta the jist of it, you can keep passwords syncs across devices easily?