Reading recently that the Opera web browser has been released for the iPad, iPhone & Touch, I decided to give it a whirl myself on all of my tablets & phones. This means the iPad, iPhone, including Android on my Viewsonic G tablet running Cyanogen Mod 7 (CM7).
On all devices I was impressed with the speed of the browser, especially on sites with many images and AJAX source.
The settings menu has some interesting features including the ability to render images in a lower quality which makes for an even faster browsing experience. The Mobile View setting needs some tweaking as it seems to make absolutely no difference at all in how pages are rendered. Case in point, I turned off “Mobile view”, fully closed the Opera browser, reopened and entered news.google.com in the address bar and noticed no change with the page still appearing in mobile view.
Mobile web browsing is generally a lousy experience and because the mobile mode makes litte or no difference this is the biggest fault I can find with Opera on both iOS and Android. Luckily, most sites offer a view in desktop option at the bottom of their pages and selected and reloaded again you will find that Opera truly shines.
Opera Mobile on my Android tablet generally seems to be a slightly faster and a better experience overall than the iOS version, especially in regards to its better handling and support of video. (For an example of this browse to guardian.co.uk and select an article with video content. Sorry iOS users.) One downside using Opera on Android is that fonts seem “rougher around the edges” than the iOS version of the browser.
Verdict: Get Opera Mobile for Android from the Android Market here, and Opera Mini for the iPad and iPhone here. If you have an another type of mobile, open this link using your phones browser — you may be in luck as Opera supports many devices.
Disclaimer: I am not associated or employed by any company producing software reviewed on this site.