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Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta - Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta

By Jonathan Bray



Our Score:


Those lucky enough to own smartphones with VGA screens, such as the one on the Touch Diamond, will be able to read a lot of the text in fully zoomed out mode. Navigating around pages is just as good as it is on the iPhone, though this will inevitably depend on the processing power of your phone. A flick of the finger sees pages scroll smoothly up, down, left and right, and continues once your finger leaves the screen, slowing gradually to a stop.

One disappointment here is that Opera Mobile 9.5 doesn't build in by default direct and finer adjustments of the zoom level. On the iPhone you simply pinch your fingers one way or the other. But, as with the Touch Diamond, there's clearly some way of working with Opera's API to add this sort of feature through hardware controls.

Another big change to Opera Mobile 9.5 is its user interface. Previously a fiddly affair only usable with a stylus or buttons, 9.5 is now equipped with a fully finger-friendly interface that makes intelligent use of the, typically small, smartphone screens it's designed to run on.

Its most important feature is that it runs in full screen mode automatically. The only control you see on screen while browsing, in fact, is a small, transparent tab in the bottom right hand corner. Tap this with a finger or thumb and up pops a series of shortcuts along the bottom of the screen, accompanied by an address bar at the top.

The shortcut buttons - which enable you to quickly access Back, Favourites, Tabs, Home and a pop-up menu - are also finger-friendly. Likewise, the address bar is intelligently designed: tap it once and a Google search box pops up immediately below it, ready for search terms to be entered.

Other features, such as the History and Tabs, are just as intuitive to use and are again accessible without recourse to the button panel or stylus. In fact the whole browser is a doddle to use with your fingers - only the advanced settings screen is remotely fiddly.

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August 11, 2008, 12:47 pm

Page 3 you mention that you can't save images with Opera Mini - this is incorrect, you just need to hover the cursor over the picture and press 1 on the keypad, then select "open image" on the pop-up menu, then "save". I've done it loads of times! Granted it's probably a lot more convoluted than Mobile 9.5, but still possible!


August 11, 2008, 3:46 pm

You also mention that you cannot save images in mobilesafari. While you can't save files (without a jailbreak anyway), you can save images normally, just hold down your finger on the image then press "save image". It will be downloaded to your pictures app.

(Note, on 2.0 firmware only)


August 11, 2008, 3:50 pm

You state that there is no way to have an intermediate zoom facility built in to Opera 9.5. Well, I don't know if there is with other handsets but for the HTC Diamond, you can rotate around the 'action' button to zoom in at different levels. Admittedly, this isn't as slick as the iphone method.

Andy Vandervell

August 11, 2008, 4:16 pm

@helicon2: That is covered in the review - "But, as with the Touch Diamond, there's clearly some way of working with Opera's API to add this sort of feature through hardware controls." - comments always welcome mind. ;)

Oliver Levett

August 12, 2008, 1:22 pm

I've been using this since the very first builds leaked from Diamond devices, which came out a long time ago! Very little has changed, and the Official beta builds appear to get the "Out of Memory" error far more frequently than older (Diamond) builds.

One of your "issues" with Opera Mobile 9.5 appears to be the lack of zoom, but pinching motions do not work on WM as there is no OS support (although WM7 may have multi-touch support).

Was speed on the VGA screen any slower than on a QVGA screen?

Hans Gruber

August 12, 2008, 8:15 pm

It is available for Symbian S60 users, though it's free only as a 30 day trial. You can buy it they say. I'm using it on a Nokia phone and it's a lot more responsive and versatile than Opera Mini. I can watch web-embedded video content from the Beeb now though it downloads for playback with Realplayer.

The BBC Iplayer site reports Javascript error, saying it needs to be enabled (which it is). With Opera Mini it just says either the browser or user's region is incompatible with the content (ie - user not based in UK).

Need to explore the Java issue. It'd be great to get Iplayer content working I think. Even if the screen size makes it impractical to watch properly, it'd be fun to tinker.

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