Showdown: Best Mobile Internet Browser (Opera Mini vs. SkyFire)

0 mbrowser intro   Showdown: Best Mobile Internet Browser (Opera Mini vs. SkyFire)Do you browse the web on your mobile device? As cell phones get faster connection speeds, processors, bigger screens and better applications, it’s getting easier and easier to go online with them. Add in the fact that most websites have a mobile version now and it makes this an even simpler process.

Today, we’re going to decide which mobile Internet browsers is the best out there. After much research, I have narrowed it down to the top two, the Opera Mini and SkyFire browsers. If you’re tired of your mobile device’s stock browser, these are more than capable alternatives.


In this article, I am going to cover what these mobile Internet browsers have to offer, detailing their key features, supported operating systems, and whatever else I can find to be useful for all of your mobile browsing needs.

[Note]: Last year, Jeffry gave us 5 Mini Browsers For Mobile Phones, so mobile browsing has been a viable topic for some time now. If you really want to explore the past, check out Aibek’s Browsing Web on your Mobile Phone article from April of 2008. Mobile devices have changed dramatically since this time, so let’s explore what’s changed in mobile browsing.

Opera Mini

1 mbrowser operamini   Showdown: Best Mobile Internet Browser (Opera Mini vs. SkyFire)

Supports

  • BlackBerry
  • iPhone/iPod/iPad
  • Windows Mobile
  • Android
  • Java phones

The Opera Mini browser, which we covered back in May, is easily one of the best alternatives out there. It supports almost every mobile device you can think of, including everything made by Blackberry, Apple, Google, and Windows. It is one of the better mobile browsers in general and it has some great features.

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The browser supports tabs, synchronization of bookmarks, speed dials, integrated search engines, saved pages for offline viewing, and password management. Also,¬†Opera Mini uses only a tenth of the bandwidth of other browsers, compressing webpages by up to 90%. This can save you time and money, especially if you’re on a per-usage mobile data plan.

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As you can see, the Opera Mini has a very simplistic layout with a lot of added functionality. If your mobile device is touch screen, you can take advantage of scrolling and zooming features as well. This is very useful if you like to have multiple tabs open at one time.

You can view all of Opera Mini’s (and Opera Mobile’s) features here.

To download Opera Mini, use your phone’s default browser to visit m.opera.com. You can find more options here.

SkyFire

4 mbrowser skyfire   Showdown: Best Mobile Internet Browser (Opera Mini vs. SkyFire)

Supports

  • Android
  • Windows Mobile
  • Nokia/Symbian (Series 60)

The SkyFire mobile Internet browser has come a long way since we first covered it back in December 2008. It supports bookmarks, pinch-to-zoom, and visual multi-tab browsing, for starters. Tabbed scrolling is very similar to the Safari browser on the iPhone, and you can scroll between up to 8 screens.

With its new SkyBar (SkyFire 2.0), the browser will catch flash videos on a given page, giving you the option to watch them in full screen. That’s right,¬†SkyFire plays flash web video.

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If that’s not enough to interest you, SkyFire enables you to see related videos, trends, tweets, and images linked to the pages you’re viewing. There is a built-in option that allows you to toggle between a website’s mobile site and the regular, full site. You can also share articles on Facebook and Twitter with this browser.

To see some of the features of SkyFire 2.0 for Android, check out this video:

To download SkyFire, select your device and follow the instructions here.

Conclusion

This article was originally going to be about the top 5 or 10 mobile Internet browsers out there, but other browsers simply couldn’t match up to these two juggernauts. The default mobile browsers that come with our cell phones, like Safari and IE, are good but not supported by other devices (for obvious reasons).

If I had to pick a winner, I would go with the Opera Mini browser here, although SkyFire has taken huge strides and is getting better all the time. It will be interesting to see which mobile browser tops my list once all the other big names (like Firefox) start catching up and are supported by more and more devices.

What is your favorite mobile browser? Do you have any opinion you would like to share? Leave a comment below and get the debate started!

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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10 Comments -

0 votes

simon

Dolphin HD is by far my favuorite choice for android. More screen real estate without losing tabs and tab previews, capable of add-ons [Bookmarks2SD (useful if you're a rom junkie like me)]. Pinch and zoom and most other features you come to expect these days, i’d recommend it, especially since with froyo it has flash capabilities.

0 votes

Menah Bedou

Sorry, but Dolphin HD sucks.

0 votes

Steve Campbell

I’ve heard some good things about that browser. Thanks for sharing, Simon.

0 votes

Anonymous

Opera Mini is a java based browser and so can’t be supported on iDevices because there is no Java platform for them. I think you are talking about Opera Mobile, which is a different beast than Opera Mini.

0 votes

frozenreality

I like the option to view flash video of skyfire, even though flash is supported on 2.1 if you can find the plug-in it doesn’t play flash video out of the box (evo 4G), it will give all type of errors, but after I read this article, I tried it,(skyfire) and finally I can watch videos from streaming video sites other than youtube is not perfect some video sites don’t work but there is a high number of websites that work

0 votes

Steve Campbell

Thanks for testing it for me! When 2.2 comes out, I’m sure you’ll be able to view videos on most sites, regardless of what browser you use. Can’t wait for that.

0 votes

William Brand

2.2 is already out for many rooted users, and I think it’s out officially for the Nexus One :)

0 votes

frozenreality

I am waiting for 2.2 as well, I hope they guys on HTC hurry up with that update, everyone talks about it.

0 votes

hyperParanoid

I might be mistaken, and I haven’t tried the latest Opera Mini on my WM6.1. I instantly downloaded Skyfire but took a few seconds to peek through the license agreement. Through it I learned that Skyfire is a *client*, and their servers actually do the rendering, so (add privacy implications if you care here). I would not consider Skyfire a browser. Is OperaMini different?

0 votes

skykid

I prefer Opera Mini as well even if SkyFire works better with video.