Well, that was fast. Just last week we speculated that Opera Software would release the final versions of their latest beta Web browsers in time for the CTIA cell phone conference in late March. Instead, Opera released them a week earlier than we predicted. Tuesday morning, Opera turned its Mini 5 beta 2 and Mobile 10 beta into the company's latest stable versions of its mobile Web browsers.
For those who have been following along, the newly finalized Opera Mobile 10 and Opera Mini 5 hew close to the beta versions. They don't receive any new features, though there are some fixed bugs and the app now supports more than 100 languages.
If you're new to browsing with Opera software, Opera Mini's proxy browser works on phones running Java, including BlackBerry. However, Opera Mini 5 remains in beta for Android and Windows Mobile phones. The company's standalone Web browser, Opera Mobile, works on Symbian Series 60 phones and Windows Mobile phones.
The change from yesterday's stable Opera Mini 4.2 to today's Opera Mini 5 is dramatic, and centers on a cleaner, updated interface governed by Opera's speed dial thumbnails, faster browsing speeds, and more advanced features such as support for tabbed browsing and a password manager (see our initial hands-on look for more detail). Opera Mobile 10 looks nearly identical to the earlier Opera Mobile 9.6. Since it already had tabs and a password manager, the interface and performance changes are its claim to fame. While some features, like the bookmark-syncing Opera Link, were temporarily unavailable during the first beta rounds, but now they're back in the final version.
Stay tuned for a video update of Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10. In the meantime, here's an oven-fresh hands-on look at Opera Mini 5 beta for Android, which is nearly identical to the Mini and Mobile versions being released today.
Opera Mini 5 beta for Android
You can download the latest Opera browser for your phone by visiting m.opera.com. As usual, tell us what you think of the app in the comments.
Overall, we're fans of the improved interface and functionality, which makes Opera our go-to mobile browser on many phones. However, it sees competition from Skyfire's mobile Web browser for Symbian and Windows phones as well as browsers like Xscope and Dolphin browser for Android. Although Firefox Mobile only works on Nokia's Maemo platform at the moment, it's also under development for Windows Mobile.
Opera has won this round, but we don't see competition over mobile browsers letting up anytime soon.