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Opera Mini 5.1: It’s not over until the Android sings

The latest version of Opera Mini 5 has arrived on the Android Market and is free to download.

The Speed Dial home page – which gives you fast one-click access to your favourite sites – allows you to fully customise each of the links by long-clicking on each shortcut and waiting for the menu to pop up. This allows you to replace the six default shortcuts with your own favourites, something which you couldn’t do in the beta.

Tabbed browsing is a lot slicker this time round – we found that we could easily surf on up to 7 pages with no major slowdown. Even in low signal areas where you get just a couple of bars of GPRS Opera Mini 5.1 would still dutifully power through web pages, albeit at a slower rate than over 3G or Wi-Fi but still pretty fast.

If you have an Opera Link account and you’re using Opera as your desktop browser you can also synchronise your bookmarks, your Speed Dial favourites and custom search data with your Android phone.

We tested Opera Mini 5.1 out on our Nexus One running Froyo and found that it was about as fast as the native browser. Bear in mind that this was a quick side by side comparison and not a thorough benchmarking test – at a glance neither browser appears to be noticeably faster than the other.

For all it’s slickness we did find that certain web pages didn’t display properly in Opera Mini 5.1; links and images on Recombu favourite howtobearetronaut.com were all crowded together on one side of the screen, for example. Hopefully this will be ironed out in when, we presume, Opera Mini 5.2 gets released.

Opera Mini 5.1 is available to download now from the Android Market for free.

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