Opera Mobile Classic provides a reliable, feature-filled alternative to the built-in Android web browser.
Packed with features
Essentially, Opera Mobile Classic looks and feels like Opera Mini for Android, retaining the same user interface and offering all the great features of that program. The app has been superseded by the more recent Opera Browser for Android, which features a fresher user interface which may appeal to certain people.
The main difference between the two browsers is the way web pages are rendered by the software. Opera Mini serves compressed versions of pages from the Opera servers in order to speed up loading times. Opera Mobile Classic on the other hand, renders the full HTML of the page, making it slower to load pages, but significantly improving the quality of images and other multimedia elements on the page. The Turbo option within Opera Mobile Classic lets you switch to the compressed page mode if you want to speed things up.
Features of Opera Mobile Classic include bookmarks, download manager, mobile or desktop views, and a Google search bar (unfortunately you can't change this to another search engine, though). The Opera Link feature in Opera Mobile Classic allows you to sync your bookmarks, start page, history, etc. with your desktop version of Opera.
The latest version of Opera Mobile Classic for Android now supports Flash content, as well as HTML 5 audio and video, making it great for enjoying interactive rich web content.
It would be neat if, like Firefox, Opera Mobile Classic included support for add-ons. The ability for third party developers to extend the functionalities of the app would be a very welcome one.
Touch that dial
You get a very comfortable user interface, with a Speed Dial feature, whereby you can set one-click shortcuts for up to nine of your favorite sites. Support for tabs means you can have several pages running and once, flicking between them using an elegant thumbnail preview bar.
Viewing and moving around pages with Opera Mobile Classic is a delight. You can pinch to zoom into an area of the page, then instantly snap back to full screen view with the touch of a button.
Unfortunately, I did experience several crashes testing the latest version of Opera Mobile Classic (12.1). Let's hope that these get ironed out in the next update to the app.
Worth a try
Opera Mobile Classic isn't the quickest of Android web browsers, but its slick interface design and useful features make it well worth a try.