Home Opera 5.1 for Android Outpaces Safari in Side-by-Side Comparison [VIDEO]

Opera 5.1 for Android Outpaces Safari in Side-by-Side Comparison [VIDEO]

Back in April when Opera Mini was released into the AppStore, as an iPhone user I naturally downloaded it and checked it out. Yes, some pages loaded faster, but navigating was choppy and there was no way to make it the default browser. These days I am lucky enough to have both an iPhone and an Android device – the latter of which saw an updated version of Opera hit the market today. So how does the new Opera mobile browser stack up to the competition and its predecessor? Check out the following video with a side-by-side comparison to find out.

As you can see from the video (and the title of this article), the newest version of Opera is pretty quick. When placed side-by-side with an iPhone 4, an HTC Desire running the latest Opera browser has no trouble outpacing Safari. In some cases the difference is minor, but with full pages, Opera loads several seconds faster. Opera has also improved on the browser’s ability to zoom and scroll – both of which happen much faster and more smoothly.

Opera 5.0 on the iPhone looks broken and choppy when placed next to its 5.1 counterpart on the Android. Tabbed browsing is much more enjoyable on 5.1 and the ability to let pages load in a new tab in the background – something Safari won’t do – is a nice way to be more efficient.

One of the downsides to Opera Mini is that is doesn’t support Flash the way the default Android browser does. When I tested a few Flash features that work in the default browser, Opera was unable to play them. The lack of Flash could be a deal-breaker for some Android users, but regular browsing is much faster than the default browser, which could bridge some of that gap.

As an iPhone user, the future of Opera on the platform seems exciting if the company can bring the speed and snappiness over from Android. The only problem is Apple won’t allow users to change the default browser, so clicking links in emails or apps won’t automatically launch Opera – a feature Android, on the other hand, does provide.

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