I’m typing this from the new Opera Mini browser for the iPhone that was just released today. It definitely is fast. It gets that speed by doing the rendering on a outside server and then sending a compressed picture with an image map of some sort to allow you to still click on things. For simply viewing the news, it works great. I also really like the tab implementation. But, it will not come close to replacing Safari quite yet for a few reasons. For starters, the autocorrect for textboxes like this is not working. It also defaults to the mobile versions of some webpages, and I can’t figure out how to stop that. For websites that do load the full version, Opera Mini displays a scaled back version that allows you to see in general what the site’s layout is but is too blurry or zoomed out to actually read any of the text in that mode. The pinch-to-zoom feature is also broken. There is no granulation in the zoom. Also, the formatting for some sites is broken.
However, this is the very first version and some of these complaints can be fixed. It would be great if you were stuck with EDGE, but it just isn’t astheticallly pleasing enough to replace Safari.
Update: The above post was typed in Opera Mini but then it got deleted when I clicked the “Save Draft” button. Fortunately, I had saved it to clipboard. So, there are still a lot of bugs. Moral of the story is to make sure to save whatever long post or comment you type in case it gets lost.