Opera Mini is a great choice for those whose cell phones are unable to run a true web browser, but it may not be the best replacement for smartphone and PDA users who can run Internet Explorer or Opera Mobile.
It does have a sleek interface for zooming in and out of web pages, and Opera Mobile users might hope to see the same interface transferred to the next version of that browser, but overall usability is poor in comparison to the other browsers.
Opera Mini 4.0 - Pros and Cons
- Can run on cell phones that don't support a full browser so long as they support JavaME
- Great interface for scanning pages and zooming in and out
- Good performance in bringing up web pages
- Some usability issues
- Pages can time out quickly if they take too long to process
Guide Review - Opera Mini 4.0
Opera Mini is a java application that provides browser support for cell phones that are unable to use a true web browser. Unlike traditional browsers, web pages are first filtered through the Opera servers where they are compressed and optimized for display on a mobile device.
This means web pages will sometimes load faster than on traditional browsers, and since they are optimized for the smaller display, they will often look better.
The overall usability does not stand up to the traditional browsers, with features like bookmarks and moving backward and forward being a little more awkward. But where the Opera Mini really shines is displaying and navigating through the page. Because pages are optimized for the mobile screen, they will sometimes come out looking better than in other browsers, and the interface for moving around the page and zooming in and out of areas is much better than Internet Explorer and Opera Mobile.
Opera Mini does have some issues when visiting secured pages like PayPal. The low-memory version lacks any security for these pages, and the high-memory version de-encrypts the pages at the Opera servers and re-encrypts them when sending them to the client, which isn't optimal for security.
But, for users who cannot use Opera Mobile and Internet Explorer, Opera Mini is a great way to get onto the web. And even users of Opera Mobile and Internet Explorer might find Mini's page navigation good enough to use the browser in conjunction with their other browser.