The browser war has always been two-sided. Internet Explorer vs. Netscape. Internet Explorer vs. Firefox. It's pretty easy to forget that there are other When it comes to browsing the web when on the move, Opera is the browser to turn toplayers in the game. And when it comes to browsing the web when on the move, Opera is the browser to turn to.
A couple of weeks ago I replaced the bundled web browser on my cellphone (a Motorola V2 RAZR) with Opera Mini, and I'm very impressed by how much easier it is to use compared to the bundle that I previously suffered with.
Opera Mini puts everything that I expect from a browser into a small, easy to use package. I love the customizable home page, I find the bookmarks feature a joy to use and navigating to pages previously visited is a snap. It's also noticeably faster than the default browser on my cellphone, both to load up and display a requested page. It makes far better use of screen real estate and web page graphics are crisper and it's far more sensible about scaling images. The Opera Mini interface also makes a lot of sense. Typing in URLs and managing options (even with the less than ergonomic keypads on a cellphone) is, rather unbelievably, quite a pleasant experience.
To be honest, the web looks pretty good when viewed with using Opera Mini. It has to work to a pretty small screen size but it nonetheless does a good job. Here's how this blog looks (using the Opera Mini simulator):
Opera Mini, just like it's bigger brother, is free to download and use. You have a number of download options, ranging from SMS download, direct download to the cellphone or installation from a PC. The only potential downside as I see it is that Opera Mini is not supported on the Verizon Wireless network.
To use Opera Mini you need a cellphone that can run Java mobile applications and, obviously, connect to the Internet. Opera has a list of officially supported cellphones here.