Opera and Opera Mini: A mobile browser truly made for Africa

From the olden days on Nokia’s Symbian OS — and now on Android — Opera and Opera Mini is a browser that will get you where you’re going as fast as possible and using as little data as possible. Unlike other mobile browser makers, Opera has two versions of its browser. Opera and Opera Mini look and work similarly, but the underlying software targets two very different types of users. So why do I always recommend this browser among others within a blink of an eye?

Let’s dive deep and see what Opera can do for you. Both Opera browsers have most of the same buttons you expect from every other Android browser, and in just about the same places too. Among other features, you are able to sync with Opera for the Desktop, switch between search engines and it looks beautiful on phones and tablets alike. Opera has a Speed Dial that acts as a pin board for your frequently traveled or bookmarked websites, you can access tabs and flip back and forth between tasks at will, and you can open private tabs for those sites you don’t want to be tracked on. So what’s the difference between Opera and Opera mini? The devil is in the details, it is how websites behave when you navigate to them, which is a much bigger deal than you may imagine.

Opera and Opera Mini1

Complete browsing experience with Turbo Mode

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Opera browser for Android offers a great and complete experience, with things like your browser history and Discover page sitting on either side of the Speed Dial homepage, and can be accessed with a quick swipe in whichever direction. I love the discover page, as it works as some new aggregator just like Feedly or Flipboard. Generally it’s a fast, intuitive interface that places just about everything a single tap or flick away from the home screen.

For the speed lovers this is where things get interesting –just on its own — without anything extra enabled, Opera is plenty fast. For those who want speed and the same time save on data, you can activate Opera Turbo. With this mode enabled, Opera Browser passes all of your connection information through an Opera server before passing it along to your smartphone or tablet. This enables the server to¬† optimize the images and compresses whatever it can to deliver a smaller overall site to your device. As you might expect, smaller images means less loading time for the same website, which makes navigating from page to page faster with less data consumed. For example our website home page is already optimized for images (currently at 66KB in size) but Opera manages to squeeze more performance and boast it up by 17% as shown above But for an article that has a lot of images, and heavy Opera mini was able to reduce it by half 3.1 MB to 1.5 MB as shown below.

Opera and Opera Mini2

It’s a browser truly made for Africa

Opera Mini exists for users who know they are going to be in areas with connections  that are either unstable or very slow, something which is very common here in Africa and based on that information works to crunch images and remove as much as possible to get you the content on the page as efficiently as possible. We love using as less data as possible, but able to access the same sites, which means some sites are going to look a little broken and others will be nothing but text. You can see how much data is saved through the same readout used in Opera Turbo, but this service is on by default in Opera Mini and is one of the biggest reasons this version of the browser exists.

So there you are, meet the browser that is a must on everyone’s phone and I highly recommend. Opera’s browser platform is simple, straightforward, and it works. There’s no way to refute the data savings and performance benefits of the software being used here, which separates Opera from the other Desktop/Mobile combinations. If you have never tried it out, you can download it from the links below.


Download: Opera Browser for Android (free) Download: Opera Mini web browser (free)