Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch gets a teeny-tiny web browser

Opera Mini on the Gear S. Image: Opera

Opera Mini on the Gear S. Image: Opera

There are lots of things we shouldn’t use a smartwatch for — such as gaming or browsing the web — but we do it anyway because we can. And it’s pretty neat. Bringing a web browser to Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch sounds like a silly idea, then, but Opera went ahead and did it because it knew we’d use it anyway.

Opera Mini is the first teeny-tiny web browser built for the Gear S, and it allows you to visit your favorite sites on the go without pulling your smartphone or tablet out of your bag. While it may not be ideal for reading lengthy articles, it could be useful for quickly checking sports scores or transit times.

It’s essentially just like the Opera Mini browser for Android, so you get many of the same features — including private browsing (yes, you can look at nudie pictures on your wrist if you really have to) and Opera’s trademark data compression feature, which shrinks pages right down so that they don’t take up so much bandwidth.

Because the Gear S is Samsung’s first smartwatch with 3G connectivity built-in, you don’t even need to be connected to your smartphone to use the Opera Mini browser. So if the battery dies on your Galaxy S5, you can still check out the latest posts on Cult of Android.

Opera Mini for the Gear S will be available to download for free from the Samsung Apps store when the Gear S goes on sale this month.