New Opera Mini browser is the (second) best thing in mobile web

Long before the Apple iPhone appeared on the scene, one mobile browser stood head and shoulders above the rest: the brilliant Opera Mini.Fortunately,

Long before the Apple iPhone appeared on the scene, one mobile browser stood head and shoulders above the rest: the brilliant Opera Mini.

Fortunately, Opera is still going strong, and today sees the release of version 4.1 beta. Available for free download from the http://www.operamini.com/beta/ site, this excellent Java-powered browser is available for a huge range of handsets - not just your all-singing smartphones.

The new version includes a 50% speed bump, made possible by the fact that the friendly Norwegians behind Opera actually compress web pages before squirting them out to your phone.

Other notable updates inclue the ability to upload and download files direct from the browser, and iPhone-trumping features like text search and page saving for offline viewing.Like previous versions of Opera, 4.1 features bookmark synching, landscape browsing and CSS support for excellent page rendering.

It's top-class stuff that's a real match for Nokia's Series 60 browser and far better than anything else out there (iPhone Safari excepted).

I'm going to dig out a non Apple-brand phone to give it a try. I suggest you do the same.