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Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta - Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta

By Jonathan Bray



Our Score:


While matching Mobile Safari for ease of use, Opera 9.5 also adds in a few handy extras of its own. You can select, copy and paste text, for instance - something you can't do on the iPhone at all without the help of third party apps. You can also download and save images and files, neither of which can be achieved with Mobile Safari or, for that matter, Opera's own (and otherwise excellent) Opera Mini.

Rendering speed is excellent, too. Using my home broadband connection to ensure the mobile connection wasn't a bottleneck, even the most complicated pages were rendered in their entirety in around 30 seconds - the BBC homepage took 29 seconds, Dabs.com took 32 seconds and the TrustedReviews front page, 38 seconds.

Troublesome websites are despatched capably, though it's not perfect. TrustedReviews' homepage doesn't display correctly, for instance, but other form-based websites that don't appear quite right on the iPhone do appear reliably here. Moreover, in the week or so I've been testing the browser I can count serious layout problems on the fingers of, well, one finger. It's really that good.

Being a beta, you're bound to come across the occasional glitch or two, though. Though the browser worked perfectly on the HTC TyTN II, when using it with the VGA screened E TEN Glofiish M800 it threw up continuous 'Out of memory' messages. There is a workaround you can employ, which involves adding an extra line to an obscure ini file, but I couldn't get this to work on this particular handset.

Another issue is that, though other versions of Opera Mobile work with Flash, this isn't the case right now with 9.5. Try and view Flash applications such as BBC's iPlayer and you'll be prompted with a message saying you don't have the right plug-in installed. On some handsets it has been reported that the phone's notification sounds were turned off on installation. I experienced no such problems during testing, however, and the problem has apparently been resolved in the latest 9.51b1 release.


While Opera Mobile isn't the revolution that Mobile Safari was last year, and isn't 100% perfect right now, it is well worth downloading, not least because at the moment it is completely free.

But, even if in time Opera ends up charging for it, as it does with earlier versions, I think it will be well worth paying the money. It's a brilliant mobile web browser and allows those who just don't have the option of buying an iPhone (or who just don't want to) experience the web in all its glory in miniature.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Usability 8
  • Features 8
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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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