Time flies when you’re having fun – or in the case of Opera Mini, when you’re saving data. Opera Mini was introduced back in 2005 and locally many started their relationship with the browser 4 years later when Econet introduced 3G and browsing on mobile phones became a thing.
My first interaction with the browser which had over 300 million active users at one point started in 2011 – the days when 10MB cost a $1 and you had to make those MBs last as long possible. Good ol’ times!
Fast forward 9 years later and Opera has now released v50 of their Mini browser. Whilst I’m no longer a huge fan of the browser I still understand why it is such a big part of many people’s browsing experience to this day.
The headline feature of version 50 of Opera Mini is the redesigned interface. It no longer looks blocky and utilitarian – with those hard edges of old replaced by sleek curves and a more modern looking UI.
Outside of the new interface I didn’t see any new features. The main draw of the Opera Mini browser is still that it uses less data and less computing power than competing browsers. This means if you have a low-end browser or you want to limit your data consumption significantly – Opera Mini is probably still your best bet.
The ads are still here – Opera needs to make money somehow. This takes away from the simplicity of the no-frills browser we had years ago. What’s more irritating is the kind of ads suggested at times. My first time opening the browser I was greeted with an ad of scantily dressed women. Some people have kids with smartphones and might not want to expose them to such content. It doesn’t appear Opera is too concerned with that…