Many cell phones come with preinstalled WAP browsers that (to be diplomatic) fall short of the mark when surfing the Web. Opera aims to change that with Opera Mini 2.0, a Java-based mobile Web browser. According to Opera, you can use it on just about any phone that has been made in the past five years, provided you have an appropriate data plan.
There are two ways to get Opera Mini 2.0: Either go to http://mini.opera.com from your phone's WAP browser, where you can click a link to download it, or send an SMS message to 96077. In the latter case you'll receive a text message back with the tiny applet attached. Once you download and install Opera Mini 2.0 and place a check mark in the end-user license agreement box, you're all set to go. For this review I tested Opera Mini 2.0 on a Motorola RAZR V3.
Compared with the RAZR's built-in WAP browser, surfing the Web with Opera was a dream. Sites that wouldn't open at all with the WAP browser, or would open to display only part of the page, worked beautifully under Opera Mini. The formatting wouldn't always impress a Web designer, but I was able to see all the important text and links in nearly all test cases. I read news, caught up on blogs, and ran Google and Wikipedia searches without a hitch. On some pages (such as The New York Times), I had to scroll through a site's navigation bar before getting to the main text, which was inconvenient.