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Opera Mobile 11 Hands-on

Opera Mobile 11 Hands-on

Opera kept the latest version of its Opera Mobile browser for one of the biggest events in the industry – CTIA Wireless 2011. But does it bring any substantial new features? We took some time to figure out what's changed in the latest 11th version of the browser and used one of the most powerful devices around – the LG Optimus 2X and the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab to test its Flash performance and improved speeds.

The first thing you notice when you fire up the browser is the slight polish of the interface including the removal of the Opera title bar freeing up space. But you'll also see the iconic huge red “O” which will take you to the settings menu. And in terms of settings, Opera is one of the richest browsers out there most notably with its Opera Turbo mode, compressing webpages by up to 80% - now that's what we call a real speed boost! One welcome addition to settings is the share button allowing you to share pages to your social networks of choice in just two taps. Nicely done!

Pinch-to-zoom is also present and works flawlessly. When you go for an up-close look it also wraps the text around the page for your reading comfort. Opera claims that scrolling, panning and zooming have all improved, and while we didn't go for a direct test, we could indeed notice their unflawed performance. Adobe Flash is also supported and it worked just fine, but don't expect wonders – heavy banners or videos will slow down your browsing significantly.

In its tablet version, Opera Mobile 11 is even more convenient with the menu bar located in the upper part of the screen, unlike the bottom menu stripe on phones. You also get quick access via a pop-up to your tabs – an elegant solution, we should admit. Support for platforms includes Android, Symbian, Windows Phone 7, MeeGo and Maemo, so if you have one of these on your device why don't you check out our quick hands-on video and grab the browser from the Android Market – it's a free download after all.

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