Learn to Choose: Opera Mobile 10 vs. Opera Mini 5
Article by George Norman
On 04 Jan 2010
Opera Software is in the business of making browsers. For the desktop user there’s Opera 10.10 – which comes with goodies such as Opera Turbo and Opera Unite. For the user who is always on the go, Opera software provides two mobile versions of its browser: Opera Mobile 10 and Opera Mini 5. But which one should you choose?

Both software versions are very much alike. They both use the Opera Presto browser engine, both provide pretty much the same features (like tabbed browsing, Speed Dial, password manager, and so on), and both look pretty much the same. 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.”

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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. In Opera Mini, the Presto browser engine is located on a server. This means Opera Mini can be installed on more basic phones – it also means Opera Mini is smaller than Opera Mobile.

“When you enter a Web address in Opera Mobile, the Web page is fetched directly from the Web server to your phone. However, the Opera Mini client sends a request to the Opera Mini server, which downloads the page from the Internet. The server then transcodes the page before it is forwarded to the client in a lightweight mark-up language designed specifically for this purpose,” explained Opera’s Dag Olav Norem.

There are other things that set Opera Mobile and Opera Unite apart. Like these ones:
  • Opera Mobile will act just like your desktop browser, meaning it will correctly render any webpage. Opera Unite may have problems with some pages, especially more complex ones.
  • Opera Mini is faster than Opera Mobile because it uses less CPU and downloads less content.
  • Opera Mini works on pretty much every mobile device. Opera Mobile only works on Windows Mobile and Symbian/S60 phones.

“Which product is best for you depends on your personal preferences and the sites you browse. Many advanced users will have both browsers installed and alternate depending on the situation. For example, they will use Opera Mobile when on Wi-Fi, Opera Mini when on a cellular network,” added Dag Olav Norem.



Tags: Opera Software, Opera Mobile, Opera Mini
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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