Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Review: Opera Mini 4.1 Rocks

If you have been following my blog, you'll knw that I've been excited about the world of mobile internet. Unfortuantely the mobile internet story in India isOpera pretty poor due to the bad data services provided my the mobile operators. This problems are of every kind: high cost, slow data speeds, low signal on GPRS. CDMA (from both Tata Indicom & Reliance) does provide "ok" data services, but the available handsets choices are pretty bleak!

But for any internet experience, the browser plays a major role. I've been a fan of Opera Mini and have been using it all the while. Its runs on a wide range of handsets and with their latest release, I was excited to try it out. I downloaded Opera Mini 4.1 on my k750i, 2 weeks back and have been running it for some time now. Opera Mini 4.1 introduces the following new features:

  • Opera Mini 4.1 is up to 50% faster than Opera Mini 4.0
  • The new Opera Mini will automatically suggest URL completions, making address input easy and intuitive
  • Web pages can be saved for later off-line viewing
  • Opera Mini 4.1 gives you quick access to the word or phrase you want in Web pages
  • Images, ringtones and other content can be downloaded without leaving Opera Mini.

Opera Mini does bring the full web experience to the mobile phone and makes it usable on the cellphone. The image compression and quick rendering of pages are perfect for low-bandwidth GPRS that I suffer from. I have observed considerable speed improvements in 4.1 compared to 4.0. This blog would take about 26sec to load on Opera Mini 4.0 and now loads in 18sec with the Opera Mini 4.1. That's not exactly 50% faster, but still its quite fast!!

Another feature that I have really found useful and is my favorite on the desktop Opera is the suggest URL. I generally forget the exact URL of the page I visited, but remember some part of it.I just need to type that word I remember and Opera Mini suggests me the URLs with that word. Firefox 3 will be adding a similar feature for the desktop and Opera already has it on the desktop and now adds it to the Mini. Offline viewing is also excellent and very useful when your GPRS connection is poor.

I have been very satisfied by this release of Opera Mini. Anyone who wants to try the mobile web browsing experience should start with Opera Mini. It does have those zooming, full CSS and JavaScript working to show the webpages as it would look on the desktop. Download it from here. Opera Mini 4.1 completely rocks!!

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