When Opera launched Opera Mini 5 beta for Windows Mobile last month, the browser was only officially made available for devices running Windows Mobile 5 and 6. That’s hardly surprising. I can’t remember the last time I saw a new application released that was compatible with Windows Mobile 2003. But you know what? It turns out Opera Mini 5 is compatible with older versions of the operating system — it’s just that the installer file wasn’t designed to work with them.
But Smartphone Magazine’s Werner Ruotsalainen repackaged the CAB installer so that it works perfectly on devices running Windows Mobile 2003 and 2003SE. And it runs beautifully on my aging Dell Axim X50v PDA.
The Dell Axim has a speedy 624MHz Intel XScale processor and a nice big 640 x 480 pixel VGA display. It would be ideal for surfing the web if it weren’t hampered by an aging version of Pocket Internet Explorer. Opera Mini 5 provides all of the features we’ve come to expect from a modern web browser including full page views, double-tap to zoom, browser tabs, and a start page with shortcuts to your most frequently visited sites.
If you have an old Windows Mobile device lying around, you should really give Werner’s repackaged Opera Mini 5 installer a try.
Because Opera actually compresses pictures and other data remotely, the browser offers fairly zippy page load times even on devices with slower processors. It also features Opera Link, which lets you synchronize your bookmarks and other data with the desktop version of the Opera’s browser.
You can check out my hands-on video with Opera Mini 5 beta on my Dell Axim X50v after the break.