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Opera Mini is a mobile web browser designed to help you browse the web in comfort and at high speeds on your phone.

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.

Key features of Opera Mini

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 8 is a delight. You can opt to view the whole web page on-screen or simply tap to zoom in to a particular area. The app supports 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 8 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 8 also has support for sharing links via Facebook, Twitter or email.

Unlike the 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.

Easy to use

The user interface in Opera Mini is more usable than ever. The hub of the app is the Speed Dial feature, whereby 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. It includes the ability to open links in the background, just by holding down a link and selecting 'Open in new tab'.

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.

What's new in Opera Mini 8

Opera Mini 8 comes with a completely redesigned user interface, designed to make the browsing process more comfortable and bring it in line more with other Opera products. The new design is minimalistic and feels a lot cooler, and the start page has been improved too.

Other neat additions to Opera Mini include a private mode, where you can open tabs that won't be tracked, improved data savings, and a night mode that uses darker colors to reduce glare.
 

Conclusion

Opera Mini 8 is one of the leanest mobile browsers around, delivering pages quickly but not skimping on features.

Pros
  • Fast performance
  • Speed Dial feature
  • Simple-to-use tabbed browsing interface
  • Lots of options
  • Address bar autocomplete
  • Background page loading
Cons
  • Doesn't support extensions
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