Why would a Samsung Galaxy S9 owner want Opera Mini as their browser?

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It was the morning of May 1st, 2019. I was browsing through Facebook when I ran into an advert of Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9. And it took me aback.

I thought that it was a very odd thing to be advertising opera mini for Samsung Galaxy S9 plus. So, I took a screenshot and had a teaser published on MobilityArena’s social media handles. The teaser said:

We are not sure why a Samsung Galaxy S9 owner would want to use Opera Mini as their browser. 🤷🏽‍♂️ Any ideas?

opera mini for Samsung Galaxy S9 plus
Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9


I was expecting to see some interesting responses… Well, we did get some. For example, someone asked, “What is wrong with using Opera Mini as a browser?”

Wrong response. It does not address the question.

Another respondent said, “For us in Nigeria, it can only help in saving data, otherwise there are better browsers.”

Valid point about Opera Mini, but again, the response fails to address the question.

Why Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9 is an odd thing

This teaser is an exercise to test and stimulate critical thinking. Let’s look at it in a detailed manner to bring to light the message embedded in it.

The first pole on which our teaser rests is that Opera Mini is a mobile browser designed to help users on a budget cut down their web browsing expenses and speed up browsing. That is the crux of Opera Mini. As such, it strips web pages of content like javascript, as well as compresses HTML and images.

The second pole is the fact that Samsung Galaxy S9 is a premium smartphone, one of the most expensive in the market. You will spend over N200,000 to purchase a new one and a little under that to buy a used one. Either way, it is an expensive device.

samsung galaxy s9 plus
Is an Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9 advert a compelling offer?

Do you see the contrast already? Opera Mini is designed for people on a budget while Galaxy S9 is a smartphone that you have to spend a lot of money on. The argument is that if you can afford an S9, you can afford a robust Internet data plan and so do not need Opera Mini’s cost-saving feature.

A Samsung S9 owner is also a person who would prefer to see web pages in their full glory on a regular web browser, instead of the stripped down, less elegant pages delivered by Opera Mini after compressing them. For example, interactive web pages rely on JavaScript do not work properly on Opera Mini.

Opera Mini’s compression level is up to 90% and so also makes web browsing faster. Someone might argue that a premium smartphone user might want it for its faster speeds. But premium smartphone owners are also less likely to need it for that because they can afford 4G Internet connections and also often have access to WiFi at work and at home.

In summary, users of entry-level smartphones are the demographic that need and appreciate Opera Mini. Which is why you will find it pre-installed on budget smartphones. Premium smartphone users will find Opera Mini more of an annoyance on their devices.

Now, you get the spirit behind the question, “Why would a Samsung Galaxy S9 owner want Opera Mini as their browser?” Why is Opera advertising Opera Mini to premium smartphone users who are the exact opposite demography of those who need it?

That would be like advertising a freezer (or ice) to a person living in the Arctic Circle, where the weather is frozen all year round. They do not need one. They need a warmer or a heater.

Opera Mini browser

The Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9 advert

I understand that the Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9 advert that I saw was an automated thing that customises an ad template that modifies the name of the device based on the user agent of the device in use. In my case, I was using a Galaxy S9 Plus when I saw the ad. When I use a different phone, the advert mentions the name of that phone instead.

And it isn’t only Opera Software that uses that technique. I have seen a similar pattern with digital ads by other advertisers. These ads need to get smarter and be displayed to only users who are likely to be interested in the product being advertised.

So, once again, why would anyone want Opera Mini for Samsung Galaxy S9? I have no idea.

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