Apple has never been too fond of third party developers reproducing iPhone’s built-in features. But surprise, they approved the Opera Mini in App Store. But after some testing, we can now see why Apple made the move.
Instead of the double-tap zooming we are so used to on the iPhone, Opera Mini chose to confuse us with its single-tap zooming.
Poor Readability Due to Poor Zooming
Opera Mini has only two zoom states: zoomed in and zoomed out. It has no pinch-zooming like Safari. To make matters worse, the smaller fonts in the zoomed out state are mostly illegible.
Bad HTML Rendering
Opera Mini sacrifices rendering accuracy for speed. At times it's just minor annoyance, but sometimes things don't show up at all...
Horribly Small Checkboxes
If you've tried Gmail on Opera Mini, you would've noticed that the checkboxes are so small and so frustratingly hard to click.
AJAX is Slow
Opera Mini uses its own servers to act as "middleman" to compress and speed up webpages. But for AJAX content, it becomes a burden, slowing AJAX down unnecessarily.
Safari resides in iPhone's system memory after the first run after a reboot. This allows the browser to launch almost instantly in subsequent runs. This makes Opera Mini look like it's crawling. The difference is even more pronounced if you often switch out of your browser to answer SMS or instant messages.
Finally, Opera Mini's speed advantage is questionable when you are on 3G or Wi-Fi. Opera Mini is undeniably faster when on GPRS, but when your connection is fast and webpages are using AJAX extensively, Opera often ends up slower.