Opera Mini has been around for a long time — since 2006 in fact — but in its seventh iteration the browser has shed some of its “minor league” appeal and has moved up to the same hardware-accelerated club as its bigger brother, Opera Mobile.
The new release is for Android and Symbian devices, though the former’s install base in Canada is far larger than the latter. In tow is OpenGLES hardware acceleration to provide clean, smooth and spritely page loads, compressed up to 90% from traditional Android browsers. Opera mini achieves this by doing all the legwork on their servers, spitting out a webpage in real-time that appears to the user to be almost exactly the same.
They have improved tab management and increased the Speed Dial number from nine to infinity, which is nice if you’re a visual bookmarker.
Mainly, Opera mini is for users who want to save on their data bill (especially when roaming) without sacrificing their browsing experience.