Once a part of Opera’s web browser, with the switch over from their self-created Presto engine to Chrome’s Blink, Opera and its mail suite are now their own entities. If you’re familiar with Mozilla Thunderbird — arguably the most popular desktop email application across Windows, OS X, and Linux — then you’ll feel right at home with Opera’s now-separate mail client, fittingly named Opera Mail.
Unlike Thunderbird, however, Opera Mail has a sleek and modern design that leaves room for plenty of customization. Elements on the sidebar can be adjusted, hidden, or added, and the mail view itself can be expanded or contracted at will, with options for two or three panes. When new messages arrive, a pop up informs you without lingering too long on the desktop, and for OS X, there is a small number badge in the corner of the dock icon, much like the built-in Mail.app.
Setting up your email is easy, too. Again, if you have any familiarity with Mozilla’s Thunderbird client, then you’ll see the similarity between the two where this is concerned. With only three steps (name and email, password, and choosing between IMAP and POP3), your accounts will be up and running within moments. The entire program is light on resources, as well, no matter how many email accounts you add.
As with many good programs, there are a few drawbacks. One is forgotten passwords for certain email accounts. This occurs every one or two weeks, and while that isn’t too horrible, it does become a nuisance especially if you have more than one email to track. I’ve noticed this occurs more on Windows than it does on OS X.
Another con is unsent emails, as I’ve recently discovered a few days ago when trying to send myself a message with some important documents attached. The email sat in the outbox for hours, while the bar at the bottom read “sending messages”. Annoyed, I cancelled everything and removed it from the outbox. After the fact I realized that it was hindered by the rather large attachments (as one was a zip file weighing in at a hefty 53MB). Other messages with much smaller attachments, or none at all, sent swiftly and quietly.
The last, and perhaps most pervasive, is the automatic signature that Opera Mail tacks on to any message you write from the client. It took me a short time to find and change this. It can be removed or replaced by going to “Compose”, clicking on the grey settings cog, then to “Signatures” and deleting the predefined text. This can be applied to all email accounts with a simple check box within those settings, as well.
It’s still evident that Opera is working to get its mail client back on track. Despite the hiccups along the way, Opera Mail proves to be a solid and functional desktop email application. With good looks and a solid base, it’s secured its permanent spot as my email aggregator of choice.
You can download Opera Mail from their official website here.