ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Opera Mini for Android Review: Pros and Cons

Updated on October 15, 2012
Opera Mini Logo
Opera Mini Logo | Source

UPDATE: As the 7.5 version has just came out, I have updated the Features section. New features are designated with "NEW"

If you have my previous hub about the cheapest unlimited data plan for smartphones, you will know that I bough the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit. I chose this phone because it was inexpensive (compared to the other choices), ran Gingerbread, and had a good developer community. However, the small price tag meant that the phone had rather old hardware: 512 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz processor. While this is OK for the OS and running one app at a time, that's not how I use my phone. I apply several tweaks, install custom ROMs, and I like to listen to music while browsing the web and having several open applications in the background. Unfortunately, Chrome, which is my favorite Android web browser, requires too much system resources for this to be plausible. This led me on a quest to find the least resource-intensive browser available for Android, and after testing quite a few different browsers Opera Mini came out on top.

What mobile Web browser do you use?

See results

Features

Although Opera Mini is a very small application it still has quite a few features. Here they are:

  • NEW: Smart Page. It automatically updates with posts from your social networks, as well as news from the RSS feeds of your most visited sites. it is positioned in a different tab of the new tab page.
  • Speed Dial/Start Page: basically the same as the New Tab page in Chrome. It's a page of icons with previews for your most visited/manually added sites.
  • Bookmarks: Standard bookmarks list., but with an added bonus of an RSS reader, which I found pretty neat.
  • History: Just a list of your most recently visited sites.
  • Saved Pages: You can download webpages for offline viewing later.
  • Downloads: It has its own separate downloads folder/viewer.
  • Share: Allows you to share a webpage, using Android's default sharing mechanism.
  • Unlimited tabs: You can have as many tabs open as you'd like, viewable by tapping the tabs icon on the bottom bar which brings up a small sliding box with all of your tabs in it.
  • Google search: A box positioned next to the address bar.
  • Page compression: Compresses sites so you don't have to load as much, supposedly increasing load times and decreasing data used
  • "What did you click" thing: I'm not sure what the real term is, but it's that feature that zooms in when your finger touches multiple links at once and it's unsure which one you meant to go to. In Chrome it makes a small zoomed-in box with the area, in this browser it zooms in and highlights the different links you may have wanted to click.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Speed Dial/Start Page with Google, Facebook, and HubPages addedHistorySaved PagesDownloadsTab Display
Speed Dial/Start Page with Google, Facebook, and HubPages added
Speed Dial/Start Page with Google, Facebook, and HubPages added
History
History
Saved Pages
Saved Pages
Downloads
Downloads
Tab Display
Tab Display

Page Load Comparisons

Wi-Fi test
Wi-Fi test | Source
Cellular network test
Cellular network test | Source

Pros

  • Speed. This is the best and most obvious feature. It is also the reason I chose this browser. Everything is just FAST. Opening the application is instant. Webpages load quick. Zooming in and out reflows quickly. The interface is fluid and responsive. And it works great even in low-RAM environments.
  • Page compression. Yes, it really works. Pages load so much faster when I'm in an area with little signal (or while on EDGE) and the built in Data Usage comparison does show 80%+ savings.
  • Small file size. The app takes up less then a MB of space, which is GREAT because my phone doesn't have very much internal memory.
  • Easily accessible history. This may sound strange, but many browsers, including Chrome, are starting to phase out or hide history. And since I'm very forgetful, viewing my history to go back to a page I visited awhile ago is really useful.
  • Easy tab management. With Chrome, you have to tap a button for it to zoom out, and show you an odd (but good-looking) playing card-like tab list. With Opera Mini you just tap a button and a small tray instantly pops up at the bottom with previews of each site.

Cons

  • No HTML5 or Flash support. This is going to be the biggest drawback for most people. It isn't too bad though because clicking on a YouTube video just loads it in the YouTube app and the browser is only a tap of the back button away.
  • Some pages load very scaled-down versions of their websites. This isn't an issue with the browser itself, it loads full Desktop webpages beautifully. It's just that some places, Namely Google, see that you're on an Opera browser from a mobile device, and assume you're using some sort of flip phone from the early 2000s.

Anyway, hope you liked my first review-like Hub and felt it was informative. I'm a bit strained for time right now but I may come back and add more later. I chose a Pros/Cons style because I feel it's easy to get the information you want quickly.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)