In mid-September, Opera surprised us with a redesigned Opera Mini beta browser for Java phones, including BlackBerry. It had tabbed browsing, a first for Opera Mini, and Speed Dial, a carryover interface from Opera desktop browser (Windows|Mac) that you encounter each time you start the browser or open a new tab. Two things it didn't have: a download manager and Opera Link, the account-based tool that syncs bookmarks, Speed Dial options, and browsing history among your Opera browsers. With it, Web surfers can quickly get to favorite sites on their desktops, laptops, and smartphones.
On Wednesday, both Opera Mini 5 beta and the similar Opera Mobile 10 beta that followed it for Symbian Series 60 and Windows phones get an update that includes both Opera Link and a download manager.
These new beta builds aren't the first adjustment Opera has made to the redesigned betas. A previous tweak partially resolved a problem where Opera's mobile browsers weren't inputting the font style needed to render several Asian languages.
Plenty of other known issues still exist, including the browsers' tendency on Symbian phones to pop open a virtual onscreen keyboard when you flip the phone into landscape mode and start typing away on the phone's physical QWERTY, and the lack of support for non-touch-screen Windows phones. Opera provides a full list of known issues for Opera Mobile 10 beta here. I've also noticed that Opera Mini 5 beta rarely loads a page I've linked to from some other application on the BlackBerry I've been testing with. You may encounter the occasional bug as well in this not-quite-set beta release. If you find others, share them in the comments.
If you're curious how Opera Mini 5 beta and Opera Mobile 10 beta look and work, you can cash in on some instant gratification with this video. If you don't have a Symbian phone, don't let the fact that Opera is modeled on one in this video bother you--the builds are exceedingly similar for Java, Symbian, and Windows phones.
You can try the free cell phone browsers for yourself by pointing the mobile browser on your Java-based cell phone to http://m.opera.com/mini/next/. Download Opera Mobile 10 beta 2 for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 phones by navigating to http://www.opera.com/mobile/download/.