Opera Mobile now available – Verdict: stick with the HTC version




After a long wait and much anticipation, Opera Mobile 9.5 beta has finally hit the download chutes of the internet. And of course its good – its after all the best mobile browser on the internet. However, for some reason, the version Opera has released is worse in many ways than the one tweaked by HTC as found on the HTC Touch Diamond.



Firstly, one of the great features of Opera was how it preserved page lay-out in full screen mode but when one zoomed in would re-format columns of text so one could read it easily without horizontal scrolling.

The official beta unfortunately does the formatting of the text columns even in zoomed out view, leading to a distortion of the layout the author of the web page intended, and of course making navigation more difficult.











Secondly, the handling of multiple tabs have taken a step backwards. While in the old version it was a 2 step process to close a tab, in the new version you have to take 3 steps: Menu>Tabs>Close tab and the process is less intuitive, as its less clear which tab you are closing.











Thirdly, the new default font is Courier, which I simply hate. It turned my against Netfront until I found out how to change it. I have not found out how to do it in Opera 9.5 beta yet.











Lastly, while HTC’s Opera Mobile can handle flash plug-ins, the official beta can not.

Of course, the Official beta scores even better than the leaked one on the Acid 3 test, scoring 76/100, and has some nice features such as importing PIE favourites. Overall however my experience with the HTC version is much better than the official beta, and I know which one I will be sticking with.

The official version is available for download here, but otherwise, Google is your friend.