I remember taking a look at the standard Opera browser for Android some years ago. It had failed to impress me. Despite having been one of the first browsers to feature data savings, the lack of bookmarks and the general icy feel that i got from it, convinced me to put it aside in favor of a more traditional browser.
Has anything changed?
Separating it from Opera Mini, Opera Browser - Latest News (as it is now called) still works like a news aggregator. Ten categories of news are being updated in real time. When opening a story, Opera will go into reader mode. As Opera's interface is genuinely uncluttered, the reader mode will make you feel like you are actually reading a newspaper. I'm kidding of course. Coming back from the article will display a row of related articles.
So Opera is all fine and dandy for reading news and exploring different stories. But how does it compare to a modern mobile browser?
Standard features seem to be present. We have private browsing, we have bookmarks (shocking, I know), we can save pages for offline viewing and we also have the well known speed dial.
With Data Savings enabled, Opera can block ads (a feature that is ever more present by default in mobile browsers) and can compress picture and photo quality before displaying them.
With the help of the Opera account, you can sync tabs and bookmarks between different devices. Well, with Chrome's unified account and Firefox Sync, they couldn't have just ignored this topic. More and more people seem to access the net from multiple sources these days. Having synchronized browsers on all the devices has become quite important.
After the first glance, I checked back with the Play Store to confirm that there was no mentioning of Opera having been designed for tablets. It certainly looks to have been so. But I then discovered that there are tablet and phone modes, and you can can easily switch between them if ever the need arises. That's a quite a nice move made by Opera and I don't quite understand why this isn't featured on its store page.
- Developed news feed (including related stories based on your picks)
- Adaptable interface (chose between phone and tablet for the one that best fits your screen)
- Incognito mode
- Data savings (including video compression)
- Ad blocker
- Account sync
I honestly still am not impressed with the standard Opera browser for android, even if it brings in the "Latest News". I like to receive my news from my preferred sources, and so, I'd still go for Opera Mini. However, I can see why this might be a great choice for others. Receiving news at your doorstep (almost literally so) is something that many enjoy. This and having a decent amount of good features make Opera Browser - Latest News a worthy candidate for your default browser.