A Comparison of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini

How Opera Mobile Compares to Opera Mini as a Mobile Browser

If you're a fan of the Opera web browser and would like the same functionality on your phone or mobile device, you have a choice between Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. Which is the right one for you?

Opera Mobile is designed for smartphones, tablets, and PDAs. It is a strong browser with plenty of features and supports secure websites. Opera Mini is a pared down version of the Opera Mobile browser, but it does have some advantages over Opera Mobile, and some users prefer it.

Opera Touch vs Opera Mini
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Opera Mobile
  • More fully featured than Mini.

  • Slower performance but more secure.

  • User-friendly.

Opera Mini
  • Pared down version of Opera Mobile.

  • Compressed pages make for faster performance.

  • Not ideal for secured sites.

Performance: Mini Means Speed

Opera Mobile
  • Consumes more hard drive space.

  • Includes option to save data via compressed technology but is not on by default.

Opera Mini
  • Compressed pages improves performance by saving data, which can make some web pages load faster than on other web browsers.

Opera Mini works by sending a request to the Opera Servers which, in turn, downloads the page, compresses it, and sends it back to the browser. Because the pages are being compressed before they are transmitted, this can lead to increased performance, which makes some web pages load faster than on other web browsers.

Along with compressing the pages, the Opera Servers also optimize them for display on mobile screens. This means that some pages will look better on the Opera Mini browser than on the Opera Mobile or other full-fledged web browsers.

Interface: Opera Mobile Is More User-Friendly

Opera Mobile
  • More complicated but detailed zoom function.

Opera Mini
  • Somewhat more cluttered interface.

Opera Mobile makes navigating the web easy with an interface that features standards from desktop browsers like buttons for going back one site or forward one site and a refresh button, though we wouldn't mind seeing the refresh button replaced with a favorites button. Favorites are accessed through the action menu, which also allows you to bookmark a page, go to your homepage, and go to the top of the current page. Opera Mobile also allows you to open multiple windows, so you can flip back and forth between pages.

While viewing a page, you can use the menu to zoom into a page up to 200% or zoom out until the page is 25% of its original size, which is enough that most pages will fit as much content on your mobile screen as they would on your desktop screen, though text becomes unreadable at that size.

While Opera Mobile browser has options for zooming, the Opera Mini has a simpler interface. There are only two phases—regular and zoomed in—but you are able to toggle between them with a simple tap, which makes it much easier to use.

Security: Mobile Better for Secured Sites

Opera Mobile
  • Better choice for secured websites and data.

Opera Mini
  • Encryption tech makes Mini less suited for secure websites.

Opera Mobile supports secured web pages, whereas Opera Mini isn't the best browser for secure sites. The high memory version of Opera Mini will support encrypted pages, but because all websites are loaded through the Opera servers, the page will be decrypted and then re-encrypted. Opera Mini will load encrypted pages, but they will be decrypted.

Final Verdict: Choose Your Preference

Opera Mobile or Opera Mini? Ultimately, the choice comes down to preference. If you go to secured sites on a regular basis or really like the ability to open multiple windows in your browser, Opera Mobile might be the best choice. On the other hand, Opera Mini's easy zooming features make browsing non-mobile websites a breeze. If you don't need the multiple windows and don't go to many secured websites, Opera Mini might be better for you.

Finally, like many others, you can decide not to choose at all. Many people like having both the Opera Mobile and Opera Mini browsers installed on their mobile device. Simply put, Opera Mobile is good for doing some tasks, while Opera Mini is good for others, so the best of both worlds is to install both.