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Opera Mini 5 browser: Super Speedy, but a Little Rough Around the Edges


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  1. DgDeBx

    DgDeBx Member This Topic's Starter

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    Opera Mini 5 Review
    The Norwegian company’s power-play for Android browser supremacy.

    One of the greatest aspects of Android is its openness, including the ability to use a wide variety of browsers. Opera recently released a new browser alternative for Android users, Opera Mini 5. This application features many advantages over the stock Android browser, including a considerable increase in speed and an easy-to-use UI.

    When you open Opera Mini 5, you are taken to their Start Page, which features a Speed Dial similar to the one found on the desktop version of Opera. There are nine customizable squares which fill with a snapshot of any site and become a link to that site. This is an easy way to get to the sites you visit most often. (If you close the browser with a website open, you will be taken to this page upon reopening the browser, not the Start Page.) A top bar features separate address and search fields, while a navigation bar along the bottom features back, forward, refresh/stop (depending on whether the page is loading or not), tab and settings icons. Opera Mini 5 features a great visual tabbed browsing system. A tab icon on the menu bar displays the number of open tabs, and by pressing it the user is shown a preview of each open tab. Pressing on any preview will open that tab. While browsing you can long press to select text, open or save an image, or open a link in a new tab. Unfortunately, pinch-to-zoom is not supported, although double-tapping works quite well. Opera Mini 5 supports all of the basic features you would expect from a browser, including find in page, bookmarks, and history. Opera includes a few extra features in the browser such as Saved Pages, which will store any page for offline viewing, and a download manager. Also included is Opera Link, which allows desktop synchronization of bookmarks, Speed Dials and custom search engines.

    Opera Mini 5 is noticeably faster than the stock Android browser. The browser sends information to Opera’s servers, which compress web pages by up to 90% in order to decrease site loading times. Engadget tested Opera Mini 5 versus the stock Android browser on a Motorola Droid and Opera was the clear winner: Opera Mini 5 loaded engadget.com in just 27 seconds, compared to 42 seconds for the stock browser. Of course, this speed does come with a reduced quality of webpages. While using the browser, I often noticed that some aspects of the page did not render correctly, and text and images were sometimes crammed together or spaced incorrectly. Scrolling is also not as smooth as on other browsers. In addition, while scrolling vertically, the browser has a tendency to scroll slightly horizontally and vice versa, which can be an annoyance when trying to align zoomed text within the screen for easy reading.

    Pros
    -Considerably faster than other browsers
    -Simple and intuitive user interface
    -Opera link provides desktop synchronization for Opera users

    Needs Improvement
    -Does not render pages as acccurately as other browsers
    -does not support pinch-to-zoom

    Final Verdict
    The speed of Opera Mini 5, along with its easy-to-use interface, make it well worth a try as an alternative to other Android browsers.

    Screenshots
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