Unexpected DNS queries when opening Brave (and variations)

Hi guys !

When I open Brave, it’s a perfectly blank new page, and as far as I know Brave is degoogled.

That’s why I was surprised to see ‘www.gstatic.com’ and ‘mtalk.google.com’ in my logs when opening Brave. Why is it the case ?

I have no extensions installed and built-in extensions are disabled

I also wanted to talk about ‘variations.brave.com’, I’m aware of its usefulness for devs but why is it a thing on stable versions and not in Beta/Nightly only, since it’s used to push ‘experimental’/new features (if my understanding is good) and why can’t we opt-out ?