Opera was one of the pioneers of the web browsers market. For the past few years, the company’s browsers were fierce rivals of Firefox and Google Chrome on Android, iOS and desktop operating systems.
Opera continues to roll out browsers in classic fashion, addressing most smartphone users.
A new browser
Recently, the company released the new Opera Touch browser which is aimed towards fixing the hassles of current mobile browsers. As phones are getting taller and taller, Opera Touch pushed all the relevant buttons and options at the bottom.
The default browser is decent for daily usage, but Opera Mini is especially useful for those with low storage space as well as data and is opting for a light browsing experience.
Here are some main differences between the two apps:
Opera Touch takes about 7.5MB while Opera Mini uses less than 8.8MB of data. Keep in mind that size may differ based on every phone.
Here is where differences really start to get desirable: Opera Mini has a simple layout, having major options at the bottom of the browser. The home tab is stuffed with useless news tabs (which can be disabled from the Settings menu).
There are options for ad blocker and data savings at the bottom. The recent tabs menu follows card-style UI which resembles Android-style multitasking menu.
Opera Touch has a more refined UI for one-handed usage. Regardless of screen size, users won’t need to stretch their fingers around the screen to access the browser’s features.
All the functions are located at the bottom in the remote – like UI. Opera Touch is based on finger swipes and is overall smoother than Opera Mini and attention to detail is greater.
As expected from an Opera browser, both Opera Mini and Touch have plenty of useful functions. Firstly, both of them support ad-blocking functionality. Opera Mini features a data saving option, which is useful if you are low on mobile data. There is also an option to change the default Red theme in the settings menu. The Night theme is also available for those who are browsing the web in the dark.
Apart from, the special UI, Opera Touch also consists of cryptocurrency mining protection, pop-up blockers and various search engines to choose from, featuring one of the biggest lists available on a regular browser.
Users can send links to connected computers thanks to My Flow functionality. Unfortunately, there is no reader mode available for any of the two apps.
Both browsers support the dark theme. There is no way to automatically enable them in the evening time, but this feature might be added in future updates.
There are multitasking cards worth noting and each of the two apps has a unique take on it.
Opera mini keeps it simple by implementing a bottom bar UI and a horizontal card style menu. The main issue with this is the fact that users can only see a single tab at a time. It’s truly a waste of space and provokes unnecessary scrolling of tabs. At first, this might not seem a great deal-breaker, but after keeping a few tabs open, switching between them becomes a bit of a hassle.
Opera Touch is very great at multitasking. Users can swipe up on the bottom button, and access of all the tabs is done with a simple gesture. However, users can’t see the content of the opened tab.
Data usage and speed
Loading speeds of web pages are quick for both browsers. Opera Mini tends to be just a bit faster than the Touch alternative.
Opera Mini has lower data usage, which is not a big surprise, as low data usage is one of the core selling points of the browser.
What browser should users choose
Those who want to keep their options within reach should go for Opera Touch. The main reason to go for Opera Mini is the way it saves data. This is a big concern for people who don’t have generous data plans.
Sara Liard is a seasoned journalist with 15 years experience as a reporter. While studying journalism at The Art Institute of California, Sacramento, Sara wrote her thesis political corruption at the municipal level. As a contributor to Swerd Media Sarah mostly covers politics.