Kottonballs Vivaldi checking sites against a list of sites managed by Google (I don't like the call home to the evil mothership)
I believe you are misinterpreting this feature. They are basically checking the website you want to load against a list--it's not "calling home" to anywhere.
Google Phishing and Malware Protection
The Safe Browsing API by Google, which is enabled by default, checks the site you are visiting against a master blacklist of known suspected phishing and malware sites before loading the website. If the site is on the blacklist instead of loading the site you’ll be shown a warning message and encouraged to return to the previous website.
To protect your privacy, instead of sending a list of websites you’ve visited to the service provider, Vivaldi is given a file which describes every URL that is known to be malicious, using an approximation method.
They don't send anything to Google, this feature doesn't require telemetry of any kind. It's also as simple as unticking a check box if you want to disable it.
Brave has had some security snafus in times past. Remember a couple years ago when they were sending .onion domains to normal DNS resolvers, for months? https://www.coindesk.com/tech/2021/02/22/brave-browser-was-exposing-addresses-in-tor-mode-for-months/ Oops!
I also dislike how they have embraced the ad model, adding their own ads right into other people's web sites while you browse. On the other hand I appreciate that they need to monetize, but still--I don't like it.
I do like the Vivaldi browser. It has so many features and can be so deeply customized. I dislike how they are still not fully open source, even though they have been hinting that they plan on going open source for years. What's behind the curtain?