Opera Mini is a mobile web browser designed to help you browse the web in comfort and at high speeds on your phone.
Version 7 of the pint-sized program has borrowed much more from its desktop-based big brother, so if you enjoy using Opera on your PC or Mac then you can now look forward to a similarly smooth ride on your mobile with Opera Mini.
The user interface in Opera Mini 7 is more usable than ever. The hub of the app is the Speed Dial feature, where you can set one-click shortcuts for up to nine of your favorite sites. Just like in the desktop version, these display thumbnail previews of the sites to make things as clear and simple as possible.
Opera Mini utilizes a tab-based interface, meaning that you can load multiple pages at once simply by clicking on the plus arrow in the top right-hand corner. Opera Mini includes the ability to open links in the background, just by holding down a link and selecting 'Open in new tab'.
Navigating with Opera Mini
Other navigational aids include an auto-complete feature in the address bar, and a built-in search bar. Unfortunately this search bar only supports Google and is not customizable with other search engines.
Viewing pages in Opera Mini 7 is a delight. As with the previous version, you can opt to view the whole web page on screen or simply tap to zoom in to a particular area. The latest version finally adds support for pinch-to-zoom, provided you have a multi-touch device that supports this feature. If not, you can zoom incrementally.
For those who love to tinker around with stuff, Opera Mini 6 is sure to please because the program is simply rammed with options. You can alter image quality, font size, and screen orientation, and there is a wealth of privacy settings too. As you'd expect, there's support for bookmarks and browser history, too. Opera Mini 7 also includes support for sharing links via Facebook, Twitter or email.
Unlike the latest desktop version, Opera Mini doesn't support extensions. This is a shame, because it would be great if developers could add functionality to the browser through third party plug-ins, as they can with Firefox Mobile.
Load times in Opera Mini are as impressive as ever thanks to Opera's unique server-side rendering technology. It compresses images and graphical elements before delivering them to you. This makes pages quicker to load, and is ideal for those who pay for data by the KB. If you want a more all-singing, all-dancing web experience then try Opera Mobile instead, which doesn't compress pages like Opera Mini, and which supports HTML 5.
Opera Mini 7 is one of the leanest mobile browsers around, delivering pages quickly but not skimping on features.