Thanks to Yomi for introducing me to Bolt. No; not Usain Bolt, the 100m & 200m World record holder. Neither is it Bolt the dog from the animated movie of the same title. It’s Bolt the mobile browser. I was quite impressed by its features and quickly decided to download, give it a test run and see how it compares to Opera Mini.
The Startpage is quite eye-catching. It is much better looking than the Opera Mini with its 3 tabs (History, Favourites & Feeds) allowing quick access. The arrow pointer feature, which is missing in Opera mini, is quite useful when clicking away. I however found out that you cannot edit the Favourites but can only add to them.
The Full PC style browsing is unique and one can appreciate web pages in all their glory when browsing on a mobile phone. I found the text quite small when reading but there is an option in Settings where you can adjust the font size to suit your viewing. One thing I found disappointing was the absence o the ability to prevent the browser from loading images. Images are loaded as a default. I guess this may be due to the Full PC style browsing.
As regards speed, I cannot quantitatively assess the speed but I must say its comparable to Opera Mini, though I think the Mini is faster. I won’t contest the data compression technology that Bolt claims to use to deliver web pages but another missing feature is the ability to determine how many kb each page you loaded was. On Opera Mini, one was able to see that detail at the bottom of the screen and there is also a Page Information feature under Tools in Opera Mini.
Lastly, there is a bar at the top of the screen in the Bolt Browser that displays progress by percentage when loading web pages. However, I noticed occasionally that it got stuck at 20% before then rapidly completing. I don’t know if it’s due to the network connection or related to the browser itself.
All in all, for a browser in Beta phase it has shown it can provide competition. I give it a thumbs-up!