Opera Mini Browser received a huge update recently that seemed to change everything about the browser. The UI saw a significant revamp and more features were added such as gesture controls, new omnibar support, and even some data compression and data saving features were implemented. With all these changes, we figured it was worth taking a quick look! It might as well be a whole new browser so we wanted to take a closer quick look.
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Opera Mini’s new design is both clean and functional although it does take a moment to get used to. The omnibar is at the top along with a plus symbol for adding bookmarks. The bottom houses the menu button (which is just the Opera logo), tab controls, a button to take you to the Speed Dial feature, and back and forward buttons.
Inside the menu, you’ll see your data savings but more on that in a minute. Below that you’ll see four buttons for history, find-in-page functionality, a share button, and a button to close the tab. You can also access your downloads and the app settings below that.
In the settings you’ll be able to change the app layout depending on your preferences, determine new tab behaviors, change text size, access full screen features, and some advanced features like cookies, text wrap, protocol, and network test to see if you have a functioning connection. For power users, and others that like to have more control over their browsing experience, these features are a boon for control and functionality.
Overall, I found the experience to be quite nice and refreshing, as Opera puts a lot of controls in a relatively small amount of space and made them large and noticeable enough to find easily. That’s something that other browsers could definitely learn from.
Along with the app comes a data compression feature that attempts to minimize how much data you use when you browse the web. In many cases, it’s highly functional and we managed to use about 10% of the data we would have using other browsers. If you’re one to want to conserve data consumption on mobile, or for other reasons, this is something to definitely take note of.
Opera’s data compression system is very aggressive which should help those who live in areas with slower network connections. The compression will also almost certainly help those on capped data plans to save more data.
The Speed Dial feature has been present in Opera’s main browser for a while and Opera Mini is no different. The Speed Dial allows you to set up sites you go to frequently so you can get there very quickly. You can also find your bookmarks, sites you saved for offline reading, and even a somewhat customizable news feed to keep you caught up on whatever kind of news you enjoy.
During our testing, we visited 50 websites in total and all 50 of them loaded relatively quickly. A few had some graphical and text formatting errors that are likely a result of Opera’s data compression but at no point did the websites cease to function as they should. A few larger websites may load more slowly than expected but there were very few instances where it was so slow that it was annoying.
Also included in the latest update is private tabs similar to Google’s incognito mode. You can also swipe to close tabs, swipe to delete bookmarks, and swipe up to search.
- The new UI revamp is clean and functional.
- Dedicated tablet layout and two phone layouts that you can switch between.
- Data compression saves you a lot of data.
- Bookmarks can be synced across devices including computers.
- Speed Dial is as useful as ever.
- New private tab lets you browse without saving cookies or web history.
- Occasional graphical glitches on websites, likely from data compression.
- likely from data compression.
- Some sites may load slowly.
- There doesn’t appear to be a way to turn data compression off.
Overall, this is a positive update for Opera Mini. It brings a lot of the features and looks from Opera’s full fledged browser and the performance is still very good. The data compression is fantastic and very helpful for those with limited data plans and connections. With the new features and looks, Opera Mini is now brought up to date with current browser options which is only a good thing. If you want to check it out, click the button!