Opera has been talking up its new browser entry into the Android world for a few months now, with a beta version hitting the scene back in March. That beta has now graduated into a final release, which just landed in the Play Store this morning. The overall appearance and functionality seems to be largely unchanged from the beta, so users who have been testing out the browser should feel right at home with the first stable offering (which is a completely new listing in the Play Store, not an update to the beta).

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This is a much-needed leap for Opera, as it forgoes the Presto rendering engine in lieu of Webkit  (a la Chrome), which is arguably much faster. As with the beta, Opera Browser also features other time-saving features, such as Off-Road Mode, which utilizes the compression technology from Opera Mini to use less bandwidth and provide a speed boost in less-than-perfect coverage areas.

Naturally, it packs other popular Opera features – like the Speed Dial new tab page – along with a new Discover option that curates some of the hottest content on the web for your consumption.

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While I won't personally be ditching Chrome (Beta) as my primary browser anytime soon, Opera will definitely have a permanent residence on my phones for those times when network coverage isn't quite what it needs to be. It's a free download in the Play Store, so it's worth checking out at the very least.

It's worth noting that the browser isn't available on tablets at the moment, which is likely just a mistakes in the listing's manifest file since the beta version was tablet-compatible and there are clearly screenshots from a Nexus 7 in the Play Store. We expect Opera will update accordingly shortly.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • J

    Try Sleiphir. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.fenrir.android.sleipnir

    I dumped Firefox, Chrome and Opera for it.

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

      The bad about Sleipnir is it uses the built-in outdated WebKit version from Android, I haven't even considered testing it because of that.

  • kreggy

    It doesn't work on the Nexus 10. ;_;

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      "It's worth noting that the browser isn't available on tablets at the moment, which is likely just a mistakes in the listing's manifest file since the beta version was tablet-compatible and there are clearly screenshots from a Nexus 7 in the Play Store. We expect Opera will update accordingly shortly."

      • silaslenz

        From their blog post: "Note that we don't have an Opera 14 build ready for tablets yet: we're still working on various tablet-specific UI optimizations, and this will be released later on."

        • Matthew Fry

          Well that's cool at least.

      • yahyoh

        It's worth noting because its not that smooth

        GOD bless AOSP browser and Dolphin

  • mtmjr90

    Any particular reason you prefer Opera to enabling Chrome Beta's data compression proxy (via chrome://flags)?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      I like the fact that Opera has a toggle, as compression isn't something I'd want on 100% of the time.

      • mtmjr90

        Ah, makes sense. Though I do wonder how the two compare performance and bandwidth wise.

        • Paul_Werner

          That'd be nice to see in a browser comparison. I'm sure others would like to weigh options based on performance and bandwidth

      • RitishOemraw

        But In chrome settings you can also turn it on or off.....or is it buried to deep for your liking?

  • Martin

    I'm finding Chrome increasingly unstable and slow. Will give Opera another go now.

    I wonder if I'm the only person to have problems with Chrome? Seems for most people it is their go to browser.

    • GraveUypo

      i don't like it much on android. prefer both dolphin and firefox to that.

    • Angelo Allegra

      I don't like Chrome either. Dolphin with Dolphin Jetpack here.
      But I'll try this Opera... I wonder if Flash works with it.

    • Herman

      Chrome works perfectly fine on my Nexus 7.
      It does not, however, work very well on my Xperia S.
      My guess is that you need high-end hardware to run Chrome well.

      Just entering text on a site on my Xperia S is weird on Google Chrome. It duplicates words for no reason.

      That's why I use two different browsers. Chrome on my Nexus 7 and Opera (for now) on my Xperia S...

    • Matthew Fry

      Chrome Beta runs better than the release version.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    Is FF still the only big "name" launcher that works with Flash?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jay.uhdinger Jay Uhdinger

      Try boat browser.

  • Piterson Massenat Desir

    I did my own browser test. not on a bunch of numbers but rather usability for the average user. Found that dolphin and one browser are really feature rich but Jesus they are slow! chrome i like but it's also slow. I tried chrome beta but it's slow after some time. Only firefox has remained pretty quick but it lacks certain features and its one of the few browsers that still support flash. but at the end you make the call. Download a bunch of browsers and use them as you would use a browser normally. Firefox has been there for my need. opera is also really good. Boat browser i've heard is also smooth but i got bored of it and didnt include it in my self test

  • troph

    Firefox is great with adblock add-on (for non root, otherwise just use use root adblock plus app)

  • Jack

    this used to be my number 1 browser until they blocked flash and I would use again in a second if they lifted this, whats the point in a browser which doesnt offer a full internet experience?. Pointless. Boat or Naked Browser all the way now.

    • Jack

      Gave it a try but quickly went back to 12.1. The speed dial is now annoying and looks worse. The swipe for history or news is very cool tho. Switching between tabs was Operas biggest strength, now it is clunky and slow. This update has ruined Operas biggest strength, it's intuitiveness, rethink needed before this gets lost. Its far too similar to other poorer browsers now.

    • Angelo Allegra

      So Flash is blocked on Opera now? I may pass on it, then.

  • Mystery Man

    much better than chrome

  • Mehmet Fatih

    hey guys, I sometimes need to run a website on my device as a desktop. Not all the websites have the option to run the site as desktop edition, can you suggest me an app/browser that can open websites as desktop? thanks.

  • Jeremy Wielopolski

    This sucks. What the hell happened to my my bookmarks? No flash? I personally like having the toolbar visible all the time, not this disappearing stuff. I'm kicking myself for upgrading.

    • Jack

      You can go back to previous version in the menu. I did. The old version is better.

      • Jeremy Wielopolski

        Awesome. Thanks for the heads up. Probably would have found that myself if I had read the FAQs, but why would I do a silly thing like read when I can just install, get a quick glance, and assume the worst? :+/

  • http://twitter.com/Pascalwb Pascal

    It's just bad. luckily I have backup of classic Opera mobile.
    Rendering is bad, slow. Text wrap isn't working, it's laggy and don't work properly. It renders every time after zooming. Changing tabs is slow.
    Oh why they changed engine, Opera had best scrolling, zooming and text wraping.
    Opera was different, now it's like any other browser but more laggy.

  • horrified

    I hate this version I don't know how it replaced the version im used to it has no bar showing download progress a complete disaster.

  • Horror

    I loved this browser as it was, the new version destroys it's former ease of use and compounds this with the loss of many useful preferenes. What a shame

  • whoodoo

    Opera belongs in the play store because It's become a toy by tots for tots. O-20 now out and it's a disaster. Worthless, unusable and a waste of time.