Way back in 2009, when I had just acquired my first true mobile phone – the Nokia Xpress Music 5130c-2, I was among the happiest people on earth. I was using MTN then and internet bundle was an issue as it was pretty much expensive. That phone was what we now refer to as a “feature phone”. It lacked a mind to be smart.
The phone also runs on Java and any application that had to be installed had to be a java application. We used to browse through the then popular waptrick.com just to find some useful applications or games to download and play.
Opera Mini browser during those days was my best browser and I remember personally installing and recommending it for a lot of people back then. We used Opera mini for basically everything – news, Facebook, wallpaper search and the likes. On a feature phone like the Xpress Music, Opera Mini was the best because it loaded pages very fast in a city where 3G access was very limited even on MTN at the time. Opera mini also did not use a lot of data bundle and this made it a browser favourite for a lot of people. Honestly, I can’t think of any other browser around the time that posed any threat to Opera Mini – maybe UC Browser.
Fast Forward to 2017, where the standard is a smartphone with at least 3G internet access and huge data plans. Is Opera Mini really useful now? My answer – NO!
When I had my first true smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy S4, Opera Mini browser was one of the first applications I downloaded from the then Android Store. After all, I had a relationship with the browser that has had my back for all these years. However, with each passing day, I became more and more disappointed in the application – it had not changed much. All Opera Mini knew was speed, sacrificing other very relevant functionalities.
It’s very surprising that a lot of Ghanaians still use the Opera Mini Browser
If you are using Opera Mini, you are definitely using it because of one or both of these reasons – speed and data savings. I stopped using Opera Mini because a fast browser that does not deliver quality does not quite make the cut for me. I discovered an old acquaintance – UC Browser. This browser delivered almost the same speed as Opera Mini as well as better functionality. I was able to do almost all that I wanted to do on any website of my choice. Personally, I think Opera Mini is not for your smartphone. There’s a reason why there is a real Opera Browser on the Play Store (without the mini).
Anytime I spoke about how bad Opera Mini was, people always asked me which browsers I would recommend. Well, on your mobile device, 3 browsers are enough – the phone’s inbuilt browser, Chrome and UC Browser. Just these 3 will be good enough for you. After all, if you have been able to stay in a relationship with Opera Mini, then you can love any other browser.
The writer, Shepherd Yaw Morttey is a blogger on Mfidie.com – Ghana’s Biggest Relevant Technology Blog.
This piece was previously published on Hausa Television.