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P800 smartphone to be first to run mobile Opera

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Sony Ericsson's P800 smartphone is to be the first handset to run Opera's Symbian OS mobile browser. The browser will be available for free download for the P800 here, from Monday.

Mobile Opera uses Small Screen Rendering technology, which reformats the page contents into a "one dimensional" form. This is explained in a little more detail here, but from the user's point of view it gives you the page contents in a long scrolling column, and on a decent-sized colour screen like those on the P800 or the Nokia 7650 it looks quite reasonable.

El Reg remains mildly sceptical, because although we've seen the demo we haven't seen it in live action yet; it looks promising, we'd like it to work, but we'll believe it when we see it. And, come to think of it, Opera should surely now be in a position to comp us that 7650 implementation we've been nagging them for.

We do not anticipate many being killed in the download rush following Monday's grand unveiling. Eval units of the P800 are starting to trickle out, and it'll be on general release soon, but the current user base consists largely of techies, journalists and special friends of Sony-Ericsson. Ace Register reporter Andrew Orlowski is one of these, but we fear he may not be for long, if he continues using it in public places without figuring out a) How to set an acceptable ringtone and b) How to turn the darn thing down. More on the P800 and Opera RSN, provided he does. ®

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