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Wednesday 20 June 2007

Hands on with opera mini 4

Opera has released a new beta version of its latest incarnation of the opera mini browser ..also known as "dimension". For all those who'd like to check it out ...you can surf to mini.opera.com from your handset .. But how does this latest incarnation of the worlds most used mobile browser match up to the Nokia browser present in the Nseries devices ? Lets find out ...




For starters ...Installation was pretty smooth ..It detected my device and the download was over in a couple of seconds. The only problem i noticed ...And i dont know if its Particular to me..is that if you choose a wi-fi access point as the access point during the first run when opera tries to determine the internet connectivity...it just fails !! I tried it about 5-6 times ....and then ..i finally used my GPRS access point and it completed successfully. But the funny bit is ..thereafter..i used my Wi-fi point for surfing ... and it works great !!




Coming to the usability bit ....opera mini 4 feels much smoother than the older version and has a more nokia browser feel to it ...You have options of actually fitting the page to the width of the screen ..or showing the full page in a minimized fashion.The page downloading is smooth and quick. And the interface is pretty zippy.




How does this compare to the nokia browser in the n series devices ?? Well..my verdict would be ...The nokia browser is much better...!! But then ..thats not what opera mini is aiming at. They're aiming at a much greater audience and want their browser to be the staple web browser for every handset..not just nokia.And keep in mind ...this is just a beta ...So features like RSS feeds are still to be incorporated.Another great feature ..and this has been opera mini's major selling point ...unlike the nokia browser which downloads the original page and then customizes it to fit your display ...in the opera mini browser pages are already stripped of incompatible objects and are streamlined by opera servers before getting downloaded to your device...So You save a lot on GPRS costs if you have a limited or pay as you go data plan.



Opera definitely has a winner with this one !! Agreed that most nokia users (like me ) will still prefer the default nokia browser in the Nseries devices , but those with non symbian handsets and pay as you go data plans will really find opera mini 4 to be a godsend.It will be interesting to see how this new version of the worlds favourite mobile browser develops. But for now ...I guess i'll stick to my Nokia Web browser.

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