Android Only: Choose Between Opera Mini and Opera Mobile
Article by George Norman
On 09 Nov 2010
The big news for users who have an Android-powered mobile device is that Opera released Opera Mobile 10.1 Beta for Android. The browser comes with a big bag of goodies meant to entice Android users to get the browser. The browser comes with Speed Dial, Opera Presto Engine, Opera Turbo, Password Manager, geolocation support, fluid panning and scrolling, the ability to sync bookmarks, and so on.

The thing is that Norwegian developer Opera Software already has another android browser out there – Opera Mini 5.1 for Android. If you haven’t used an Opera browser on your Android-powered device, do you know how to choose between the two browser versions? If you let me try to clear things up for you.


The main difference between Opera Mini and Opera Mobile is the Presto browser engine. The Presto browser engine in Opera Mobile 10 is installed directly on your mobile device, making Opera Mobile a standalone HTML browser. In Opera Mini, the Presto browser engine is located on a server – Opera Mini is in fact a Java-based proxy browser that delivers web pages via Opera's servers. For this reason Opera Mini is smaller than Opera Mobile and it can be installed on more basic phones.

Opera Mini moves a bit faster than Opera Mobile, but text and image resolution isn’t all that great. Opera Mobile may be a bit slower, but it renders text and images more clearly than Opera Mini. Speaking of speed, you can always turn on Opera Turbo in Opera Mobile and traffic to your phone will be redirected through Opera’s servers; data will be compressed by up to 80% and you will see a speed increase.

Another important difference is that Opera Mobile acts like your desktop browser, while Opera Mini acts more like a mobile browser. Opera Mobile will load the regular version of a site, while Opera Mini will load the mobile-optimized version of the same site, and we all know that mobile versions are lighter in content and imagery.

From a visual point of view, there is no difference between Opera Mini and Opera Mobile. The user interface is the same because Opera, as CEO Jon von Tetzchner explained, is unifying its products “so that users get the same experience, no matter the device or which particular Opera browser they are using.”

You cand download Opera Mini 5.1 for Android or Opera Mobile 10.1 Beta for Android to your PC here.

Tags: Opera Software, Opera Mobile, Opera Mobile 10.1 Beta for Android, Opera Mini, Opera Mini 5.1 for Android
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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