Opera Mobile 10.1 beta now available for HTC EVO 4G

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Move over, Firefox 4 for Android. Another well known desktop-based browser optimized for the small screen is here.

Right on schedule, Opera Mobile 10.1 is now up for grabs in Android Market and it's bringing tabbed browsing, speed dial, single-tap zoom, long press shortcuts, Opera Turbo, Opera Link (synchronization with computer), and a built-in Google search bar along with it. The app itself is about 20MB in size but thankfully, it can be moved to the EVO's SD card with no problem.

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I played with Opera Mobile 10.1 on my EVO for about an hour last night and while I used to love the browser on Windows Mobile devices, I won't be using it on Android.

Some of the features are nice (I especially like speed dial and the Google search bar), but . . .

  • Toolbars at top and bottom waste space. There's a full screen option in the settings to get rid of them (tapping the Menu button will bring them back at will), but it's disabled by default.
  • Tapping the Menu button displays the URL/search bar rather than the expected browser's settings. The settings must be accessed using the bottom toolbar.
  • Rendering is slower than the stock browser without Opera Turbo enabled. Turbo degrades image quality because of the compression.
  • Pages cannot be pinch- or tap-zoomed when viewed in landscape mode.
  • No Flash or plug-ins.
  • Speed dial (Start Page) requires too many taps to access. If you're browsing in full screen, you need to tap Menu -> wrench icon -> Start Page -> then your desired bookmark. You can access bookmarks by tapping Menu -> wrench icon -> Bookmarks, but then what's the point of the Start Page?
  • The user interface lacks polish. It still has a Windows Mobile feel to it to me.

Back to where you were, Firefox 4. Opera Mobile 10.1 isn't quite ready to take you on yet.

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Have you tried Opera Mobile on your EVO yet? What do you think of it?

Thanks, lpopbkay!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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