Default S60 browser on Nokia’s most phones are not so impressive (sucks). As alternative there are some 3rd party browser applications available (e.g. Opera, skyfire and few more…), which are far better than the default browser. In this post I am going to tell about why I choose to use Opera mobile and Opera mini together on my mobile.
Opera have few different versions for different platforms and devices. Opera Mobile is designed to run on specific mobile OS e.g. Symbian, iOS, Android etc. and Opera Mini is designed for Java platform, so it can run on most devices. Opera Mini & Mobile, both versions now became very similar in features and functionalities. Both gives almost desktop like browser experience on smaller screen, both have some shortcut keys for easy page navigation, easy access to speed dial, bookmarks, history and downloads. The downloader has ability to pause/resume download. The current versions (Opera Mobile 10.1 & Opera Mini 5.1) have tab browsing, Opera Mini have a feed reader; all this makes the browsing experience more pleasant using Opera.
So If those two versions works almost same why I installed and using both versions on my mobile?
Well, they work almost same but there little difference in backend technology and performance, as you can see in this post “Opera Mini vs Opera Mobile on the E72”.
Opera mini uses opera render and compression server before displaying pages into browser so pages load pretty fast and uses less data (bandwidth). So when I am using limited/chargeable data plan opera mini help to save some data costs. Sometimes when I test some webpages running on local server, opera render and compression server works as proxy server and I able to access local webserver as outsider while sitting inside local network. There are some downsides of using opera mini, it doesn’t display complex pages exactly as it is, as you can see in this image below.
WordPress site on Opera Mini (left), on Opera Mobile (right)
Interactive pages (auto reload, scripts) don’t work properly sometimes. There is an issue with QWERTY keyboard, while entering text directly into webpage or address bar or search bar; additional symbol menu doesn’t show up while pressing Chr key, CAPS lock and Num lock doesn’t work, so when need to enter lots of capital or numeric characters you have to hold down Shift or Fn key continuously. Although opera mini still have that option “edit in full screen” like earlier versions, it opens up phones default text editing interface. And the copy/paste functionality doesn’t work properly.
Opera Mobile displays the webpages almost similar like desktop browsers including complex pages and uses more data and system resource. It’s slower than Mini. Although there is an option called “Turbo Mode”, it compress webpage to minimize data usage but I didn’t find is useful. I don’t think Turbo mode uses opera compression server to compress requested page, it just scaled down image’s quality on webpage and due to this compression process pages take more time to load. Less complex Interactive pages (auto reload, scripts) work well most times. Phone’s QWERTY keyboard works properly with opera mobile. Opera mobile gives much richer experience than Mini in some cases and sometime I need to access my local network devices (e.g. Router, NAS, Bit torrent remote, Printer, Media server) management pages using mobile, then I use Opera mobile. Opera Mini can’t access those offline (without internet) network pages since it uses online opera server.
Opera Mini and Mobile fulfill each other’s deficiency so I prefer to use both versions on my mobile. Hoping someday they will make a version which will overcome deficiencies of this two versions and installing one version will do the job. There is a big disappointment Opera (mini & mobile) doesn’t have flash support yet, I hope they will enable flash support in there further release.