YouTube video courtesy of opereasoftware
The old common wisdom (or least what I used to tell people) was: Opera Mobile is a reasonable alternative to the awful Internet Explorer mobile browser that ships with Windows Mobile phones. Unfortunately, it costs money. Opera Mini is free but needs Java and looks terrible on a Windows Mobile phone. I don’t know if Opera Mobile will still require a fee after it exits from its testing phase. Opera Mini is still free. However, as of Opera Mini 5 beta, it no longer needs Java on a Windows Mobile phone. It is now a native app and doesn’t look terrible anymore.
Opera Mini 5 beta takes a long time to start up on an HTC Touch Pro2. However, once it gets started, it does a good job of rendering non-mobile friendly websites and zooming into areas to make them readable on the relatively small (compared to a desktop) TP2 screen. It is definitely something to consider using instead of Internet Explorer mobile. And, it may, in fact, be as good as Skyfire and perhaps a bit faster than Opera Mobile 10 beta (and maybe just a bit faster than it too).
It was a nice surprise to see the once clunkly Opera Mini run as a native app on my Windows Mobile phone.