April 12, 2010
Opera Mini For iPhone Review

Ok, so I've only spent about 30 seconds with it, but I have a few thoughts and comments. tl;dr - it's mostly good.

  1. The app and controls aren't "pure" iPhone, they are a bit out of place from the expected widgets from the rest of the iPhone, but they feel very very fast, no lag at all on my 3G.
  2. Pages load very fast. I'm sure this is because all your data is being sent to norway, compressed, and sent back, but when a page like say, http://ufies.org loads in about 3 seconds on the iPhone, that impresses me.
  3. Likewise, new tabs open fast and there doesn't seem to be that slight lag that I've gotten previously.
  4. Sadly it's not all wine and roses. Pages viewed "full" show (in the case of this page, and the NYT page just appears as lines with the default 'text = small' setting (and for that matter medium and large as well). This is a contrast to Safari which you can view the page fairly nicely from the 'full page' view.
  5. The zoom mode is more of a 'zoomed in' and 'zoomed out' setting, not the gradual "real" zoom from safari. This means that you go from the full page, text is just lines view, directly to the zoomed in to a section of the page mode, with nothing really in between. Even slowly pinching to zoom or out will "jump" from one extreme to another. A bit disconcerting when you're used to safari.
  6. Scrolling around on the page is similarly just not quite as smooth as safari.

  7. There seems to be a built in system to automatically purge web pages from memory when it starts getting too full. Not sure if this is good or bad though. For my 3G it seems to be able to keep two tabs in memory before the others are cleared.
  8. Availability of a few neat extras, like Opera Link (syncing bookmarks, etc across different browsers), and Mobile view (auto reformatting to a single column) are nice to have.

So that's it, good and bad. I'm not convinced enough to put it in my iPhone dock to replace Mobile Safari, but I will give it equal time over the next few days.
Daring Fireball has a similar review.

Posted by Arcterex at April 12, 2010 09:03 PM