Hands-on with Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta

Hands-on with Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta
We’ve been looking forward to Opera Mobile 9.5’s release since we first saw it back in February, in an official video demonstration. Similar to the current best mobile browser (Safari), Opera looked revolutionary for Windows Mobile application. A few days later, we were able to test it during the MWC 2008 show and although it was a very early version, it left us with positive feelings.

In the beginning of June, the first device to use it (the HTC Touch Diamond) was released on the market. Later on, a few others came out (HTC Advantage X7510, Samsung OMNIA) but until today, the majority of WM devices were not able to use it officially. Now, that has changed and Opera offers the first Beta for download from its site, allowing everyone to test their product. Well, not exactly everyone since the current version is for Windows Mobile smartphones with touchscreens only. However, a variant for Symbian UIQ phones is also expected in the future.

This version is very similar to the previous ones (found on the HTC phones) and we like it just as well. Clicking to enter an URL address, there is now a field for fast Google search. The moment you start typing, similar results will pop up from the browser history. By default, the pages render as on a computer (in the settings you can choose Mobile View option); they appear zoomed out enough to make most of their contents visible (even in large pages such as ours). After you decide which part to see, double tap on it and the browser will show it in real size. As the text shrinks, you will not have to scroll horizontally in order to read one of our reviews, for example. Pages almost always visualize correctly and it is rare that an object is on top of another one. The operating speed depends on the device in use, but even with our old HTC Wizard with TI processor at 200 MHz and modified WM6.1 OS, browsing a page is a pleasure, compared to doing it with IE. If you are utilizing a device that is not powerful enough, you may have to clear the RAM memory. In our case, after loading PhoneArena’s homepage, Opera asked us to do it. If you open a few pages simultaneously (in tabs), you will need even more free RAM. However, don’t be scared, because with a contemporary smartphone such as the i-mate 6150, we opened our site, YouTube and CNN in three tabs and experienced no problems.



Talking about YouTube, we must note one of Opera’s biggest drawbacks – it cannot visualize flash videos. In the new version of Safari, available in the iPhone 3G, at least YouTube videos are recognized and are opened in a separate application. We hope that Opera will fix this mistake and add the option to preview any flash object in the browser. However, even after this remark, Opera Mobile 9.5 is an excellent browser and it is definitely worth downloading (link to Opera site) if you have a WM Professional device and care for using mobile Internet.

Don't forget to tell us if you like it or not, and check out our gallery for more images.

Opera Mobile 9.5 Interface Demo:


FEATURED VIDEO

14 Comments

1. unregistered

Can it be used with non WinMo phones like the Instinct or Dare

3. unregistered

unfortunately no

2. OscarTheGrouch unregistered

I installed it on my Windows Mobile HTC Kaiser II. It works pretty well!

4. unregistered

Installed in on my Touch Cruisse and works well. Noticed that he doesn't remember settings like landscape, zoom level (when zoomed in) etc.

5. unregistered

slow..but then i have an iphone.

6. unregistered

slow if u you use slow phone... no problem with diamond imo

7. unregistered

yes and it depends if you use 2g or 3g or wifi (and what wifi)

8. unregistered

Installed on my VZW XV6900. This browser is way better than p.i.e. Keep in mind also that this is the first beta release so they will come out with updates and newer versions up until the final product comes out.

9. omegaman888

Posts: 6; Member since: Jun 25, 2008

this browser works really well, even without the flash support... it works really well on my htc 8525 with wm6

10. unregistered

i installed it on the samsung i760 with the new windows mobile 6.1 upgrade and Im loving both of them but with the opera u cant use it but for a couple of minutes and a couple of sites and its showing too low on memory!!!!

11. gylman unregistered

Pretty slick interface. Ran well on my HX4700 with true VGA hack installed (ozVGA). Did not render some pages well. Certainly an improvement over IE or previous Opera versions.

12. unregistered

on xv6900 it works extremely well. much happier than experience with pie. just needs some flash support for youtube. it would be nice if it would link in to my htc stream player for youtube but no luck....yet

13. VZW unregistered

This browser is absolutely ridiculous. I have not seen a better browser on a WinMo device ever! However please be aware that if you install this on a Verizon Wireless XV6900 (Touch) and you run it, it WILL turn your text, picture and email alert sounds OFF! You can go back and turn them on but once you load Opera Mobile 9.5 it will set them back to OFF. I tried it on 3 different XV6900's and it is the same with all of them. I am most upset about that and have uninstalled the application and am putting my XV6900 on craigslist.

14. unregistered

this is with all phones right now. keep in mind it is a beta. they are working on it. the browser itself is sick. way better than pie.

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