Opera Mini iPhone Web Browser review

Last week Apple approved the Opera mini iPhone browser and it almost instantly shot up to become the most downloaded free app on the appstore around the world. Unfortunately for Opera however, the default Safari browser on the iPhones has set a really high standard for mobile web browsing. So how does the Opera Mini fair?

Below is our review of the Opera Mini, Let’s start with the Pros:


  1. Quick: The Opera Mini is definitely faster to browse the web, thanks to its compression style the page is loaded and rendered on the server before being sent to your smartphone significantly reducing the load time.
  2. Home Screen design: The home screen design is quite neat with quick links to your favorite websites. Just tap and go.
  3. Tabs: The built in tab feature is a practical way of keeping track of your open tabs. However the slider does get cluttered if there are too many tabs open and might be confusing to use. But overall it is a quite handy feature to have.
  4. Find text on page: This is a crowd pleaser, you can search for text on the page the same way you would on your PC browser which is extremely helpful if you are browsing a page with heavy content.
  5. Full screen mode: By changing the settings of the browser you can hide the lower tab bar to free up some very important browsing real estate providing you with more content on the screen.


  1. No Arabic support: Unfortunately, this is a  deal breaker especially for users who consume Arabic content. All the text is broken up and not readable. However this must be something that Opera are considering and we look forward to see this bug fixed in the upcoming round of updates.
  2. Formatting and Styling issues: In comparison with the Safari browser some webpages are not displayed as nicely or as crisp, a prime example would be checking your email a quick look at your gmail account using the Opera Mini and you will know what we are talking about. Also on more than one occasion, the page requires to be refreshed for some odd reason some of the content does not show up.
  3. Form filling, text editing: Filling in your name and password to access different sites is far better with the Safari browser where the next and previous buttons, which really make it considerably faster and less problematic are not found on the Opera Mini browser. Also the copy and paste tool is somewhat awkward and does require getting used to.

All in All the Opera Mini is worth downloading because if you are a power user and need to view information quickly this is the browser for you. But don’t count on it killing the Safari browser for the iPhone anytime soon, at least not until they support Arabic.

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Having worked with top digital agencies and companies in the MENA region for the past number of years I'm now looking now to venture on my own with small side projects in online, SaaS products. Things I like include: gaming, sports, technology, social media, start ups, funny things and reading about new bright ideas.