I had heard of Opera since the days of JAR applications but never did get around to installing it. Then came Samsung's badaOS (anyone remember that?), still no Opera for me. By this time, Android has started gaining traction and it sped up, so did Google with their Google Chrome. Chrome has monopolized the market of browsers for so long and will continue to do so.
In the midst of all this, they were caught selling data like hot cakes. Some users like me decided it was time to bid adieu to Chrome and the entire Google Ecosystem. It was also a lesson learnt not to to trust your entire data with any internet corporation no matter how much privacy centric they are.
I decided to switch browsers mainly because Chrome lacks any good featureset and it just became a 'habit'. I tried Firefox, not very accessible UI although it's very good in things like extension support and some privacy centric features. Samsung Browser, Good but the ad block isn't built in and the ad block extension app needs to be running in the background for it to work. Also, decent UI, nothing great. Vivaldi, again very good UI but dark mode is broken and shows weird artifacts plus has bugs. Tried other small browsers but none were upto the mark. Finally tried Opera and I haven't looked back.
Opera has everything I want. Good dark mode, very accessible UI and very good UX, lots of options and even has a little theming section. In built adblocker plus VPN. A very convincing package.
However, nothing comes free. Opera comes with its own set of issues. If I scroll too fast, the scrolling is janky. It's not as smooth as other browsers. Sometimes, the long tap to copy menu breaks and doesn't show up when I have to copy a link/text.
However, I'd give Opera a chance to sort itself out. The only browser that comes close is Firefox only because of its extensions support