March 18, 2008

Nokia S60 Browser vs. Opera Mini 4

Ever since I got my Nokia N95-3, I have been relying pretty heavily on the default Nokia browser for most of my internet usage. Largely because for mobile applications, I tend to rely on default applications thinking its probably better in the sense that it being more reliable, and “the way” manufacturer intended. In addition, I also knew that Nokia’s broswer was based on the popular Opera Mini technology, therefore, I didn’t think it was necessary for me to make any switch.

A while ago, I blogged about OperaMini 4 being available and I installed it back then. I haven’t actually played with it in full extent until recently. I was fine with what the Nokia Browser can do (although I admit the shortcuts on keypad is still abit confusing and hard to remember), what drove me to OperaMini was the inability of displaying higher-resolution graphics within the default Nokia Browser. (See 1st sample below)

The more I tried to use web services like the PicasaWeb or just browsing blogs like Engadget on my handset, the more I noticed Nokia Brwoser’s inability to render the images. So I decided to test out Opera Mini in full which had no problem what-so-ever. I also found the following advantages over default Nokia Browser:

• Opera Mini makes Zoom in and out easier by using the right button beneath the LCD (whereas in Nokia Browser, you have to press keypad 8, should you remember)
• Opera Mini’s transition to go “BACK” is much faster. It just goes back to the last page without having to reload. (whereas in Nokia Browser, while it gives you a preview window for the previous screens, it takes more time to reload them)
• Opera Mini’s basic layout and usage for the numeric keypad makes more sense: 2 is up, 8 is down, 4 is left, 6 is right.
• Opera Mini gives you the short-key command on the bottom of the screen when you go through the default menu.
• Opera Mini has a smoother, web2.0 like transition going forward or backwards in between screens

Overall, I like Opera Mini compared to the Nokia Browser. Chances are, I will still rely on the Nokia Browser most of the times just because it’s the default program and will launch more frequently by default (from email or SMS links). However, to truly enjoy my mobile internet experience, I will choose Opera Mini any day.

PS – I do have one little problem with Opera Mini. For whatever reason, when I try to go to Google.com, it defaults to Google Norway (Google.no). I can’t figure out how to change the default back to the US. So it kind of renders a big portion of my user experience useless…

Recently Reviewed: TeaShark Mobile Browser on Nokia N95-3

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