Opera Browser for Pocket PC

Many of you might use the Opera Browser on the desktop PC. This review will show some features of the version 8.65 for Windows Mobile Devices.

Test system:
Dell Axim x51v

  • 624 MHz Intel XScale PXA 270 processor
  • 64 MB RAM
  • 256 MB ROM
  • Windows Mobile 6 Classic
  • VGA Screen

page layouts
The Opera browser for Pocket PC can display web pages in two different modes: desktop mode and fit to screen mode.
 Opera Mobile review   Part 1: Looking at the browser

In desktop mode, the web browser doesn’t change anything at the web site and the layout should be the same as on a desktop computer. Anyway, there are many pages which can’t be displayed, because the mobile browser’s CSS support isn’t by far as advanced as on a desktop.
The second display mode is called “Fit to screen”, and I would recommend this one for most of the sites. The browser resizes every site to fit to the screen of a Pocket PC, so that you only have to scroll up and down, but not left and right.

In every of these modes, it’s possible to zoom in and out in a range from 25% to 200 % zoom, as well as disable image loading for a lower traffic consumption. There is a full screen mode too, which hides the upper windows bar and the menu bar to have more room to display the webpage. The display can be rotated right out of the browser, just tap “Menu” –> “Display” –> “Landscape” to toggle between landscape and portrait mode. I have no idea if this works only for the WM5/WM6 version or for the WM 2003 version too. If you are owner of a WM2003 device, please try it out and post the result as a comment! ;-)

browser compatibility
For this, I visited http://aadmm.de and tried several things. According to this page, Opera handles CSS 1, 2.1 without problems (the basic things), but I wasn’t sure at CSS 3. Opera had trouble with JavaScript on a site, which could be handled without problems in PIE. Anyway, except the flash player, opera can not handle any other plug-ins like QuickTime, RealPlayer or Java (as far as I know). The flash player plug-in can be downloaded at the Adobe Homepage. After installing it, make sure “Enable Plug-Ins” under “Menu” –> “Tools” –> “Settings” –> “Misc.” is checked and restart the browser to enable the Flash Player. Opera Browser can even handle YouTube if you install it and set “Identify as” to “Desktop computer” – but don’t expect too much, it runs very slow and by far not every video is loading:
 Opera Mobile review   Part 1: Looking at the browser

MyVideo doesn’t work at all. Compared to the Pocket Internet Explorer, Opera can display many sites correctly where the PIE failed, especially if CSS is used. Some pages, like Google Mail (the desktop PC HTML version) look ugly and become unusable because of text overlapping and other things (in both Opera and PIE).
 Opera Mobile review   Part 1: Looking at the browser (Opera Mobile) Opera Mobile review   Part 1: Looking at the browser(Internet Explorer Mobile)

Downloads are handled different than in the PIE. When a download is started, the Opera download manager will open up where you can get an overview over the current downloads. You have the possibility to stop, resume or delete them. The download manager can be find under “Menu” –> “Tools” –> “Show Downloads”
 Opera Mobile review   Part 1: Looking at the browser  Opera Mobile review   Part 1: Looking at the browser

An other interesting feature is the Favorite importer, which can be accessed under “Menu” –> “Tools” –> “Manage Bookmarks” –> “Menu” –> “Import IE Favorites”

Please tune in soon for Part 2 of the review – it will look at resource consumption, tabbed browsing and a variety of other fun topics!

Related posts:

  1. Opera Mobile review – Part 2: tabbed browsing and resource consumption
  2. Opera posts teaser for new mobile web browser – what could it be?
  3. Best netbook browser? Opera!
  4. Opera 9.5 – beta drops on the 15th
  5. Beta 2 of Opera Mobile 10 released

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