Up until a few years ago, when smartphone diversity was ruled by more than operating systems, Opera Mini was the most popular web browser in the world. This was the browser smartphone buyers expected to see installed on their new devices because of numerous innovative features such as page compression and data saving function that strongly appealed to users who were mindful of their mobile data plans. In 2021, Opera Mini is not as relevant as it used to be, but it still delivers impressive performance.
If substantial data savings, speed, and a lightweight memory footprint is what you expect from a mobile browser, you can't go wrong with Opera Mini. When you are stuck in a place where slow connections prevail, this browser will not let you down, but you may not always get full page functionality. What you get with Opera Mini is a constant connection to servers managed by the company that develops and distributes the browser app; this means that you browse versions of websites compressed and rendered through cloud acceleration.
Despite not being a full-featured browser, Opera Mini provides many useful features you would expect from an application developed for modern mobile devices. Dark mode, private browsing, a streamlined video player, customization, a news reader, offline mode, and a speed dial home page are the features that stand out; moreover, the user interface truly enables you to operate the browser with one hand.
The compressed page technology pioneered by Opera Mini is its major drawback these days. When you try to access web application platforms such as YouTube or Google Maps, for example, data compression will fail to provide full browsing experience. Nonetheless, Opera Mini is always good to have as a backup mobile browser for whenever your date plan runs low or you can't connect to a fast wireless network.