Opera Mini 4 Beta Released

Opera Mini, the popular mobile browser saving users from the generally horrid proprietary browsers included on most phones, has hit version 4 and the beta is touting some great features. Most notably, the new zoom feature which allows you to see sites in their full form and then zooming in on certain sections to read them more closely. Combine that with CSS support and Opera Mini 4 beta turns out to be a great browser.

Opera Mini 4 beta also features a new zoom, based on the original Opera feature introduced for Nintendo Wii. When zooming, Opera Mini dives into the page and then snaps to the content so scrolling is smooth while accessing the desired content immediately. Like all Opera products, Opera Mini 4 beta is built for speed. It is more than twice as fast as any other mobile browser.

In fact, these new Opera Mini features overlap with some of what the iPhone's Safari browser can do. Perhaps Opera was aiming at bridging the gap between regular phones and iPhones. Actually, Opera seems to be jabbing at the iPhone quite a bit - check out this Opera Mini vs iPhone video. To try out Opera Mini 4 beta for yourself and see videos of it in action, head over to operamini.com/beta.

Update: After testing it out on my BlackBerry, I'm not exactly sure what "CSS support" means. I've tested more than a few websites with Opera Mini 4 beta and not many of them looked like they should have. I'm not talking about the limitations of the screen - the sites just looked messed up.