Opera Max, which started its life as Opera Data Max, has been dead for a while now. Not for so long, actually. It’s been just half a year since the sad news started filtering in that Opera was discontinuing the service that I had once waxed lyrical about and many, myself included, were heartbroken.
Opera Max, for those not in the know, combined VPN features to enhance privacy with those that most users actually installed it for: data management.
So good was it at the latter task, data management, that Samsung often included it on most of its low-cost Galaxy smartphones in its J series that were being made available in markets like Kenya, India and others. Naturally, the death of the app meant that Samsung would have to find something else to work with if it was to market its budget devices as being ones that take into account the budget user’s concerns of not using up more cellular data than they intend to.
As such, Samsung just went back and gave Opera Max a new lease of life, complete with a new name: Samsung Max.
Samsung Max, to anyone who used Opera Max, is not any different. It is Opera Max but with a fresh coat of paint that marries into Samsung design and a new feature that doesn’t bring much to the table called Premium mode. The VPN feature, which made me refer to Opera Max as “the Swiss army knife of data managers” is, however, missing, a standout omission. Instead, users get a DNS masking service (see explanation by Samsung below). While we may never know why, my best guess is that this has to do with some of the agreements that Samsung had to enter into with the Opera team since Opera already runs a very popular VPN app, Opera VPN, and would want all of us to use it instead of going to someone else for the same.
This is how Samsung describes the functionality of the two main features of Samsung Max:
- Data Saving Mode – Data Saving Mode makes your data plan work harder and go further. In some cases, it can even be used to help you save money on your mobile data plan over time. The feature offers smart advice on which applications are consuming the most data, and constantly scans for data saving opportunities. When possible, it can even actively compress images, videos, music files, and webpages in your apps and browser. Users can also manage data permissions for specific apps and enjoy peace of mind with automatic background data usage blocked for all apps, tailoring data consumption to meet each user’s needs.
- Privacy Protection Mode – Open, untrusted, and unknown Wi-Fi hotspots are secured and protected with one-tap encryption, tracker blocking and a DNS (Domain Name System) masking service. These three features also offer privacy benefits on mobile networks, which enables Samsung Max to offer privacy protection on Mobile or Wi-Fi across all of your apps. This allows users to more securely access the internet from whichever connection is available, helping users stay connected on the go.
The newly-added Premium mode, when enabled, promises to give the user even more features like app management and fewer ads inside the app. The irony here is that when enabled, Premium mode will actually have ads running on your Android phone’s lock screen when it is charging and connected to the internet. I don’t know about you but I’d rather endure the in-app ads for the one minute or two when I launch the app to turn on privacy protection and data saving than staring at an Uber banner for the two days (no typo 🙂 ) that it takes to charge up my Mi A1 when I have no fast-charging cable and accompanying wall brick with me.
Samsung Max is available on the Google Play Store. In case you are not able to get it from there due to location and device restrictions (Samsung says that the app will be available on Galaxy A and Galaxy J series devices in India, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam), APK Mirror, as always, has you sorted.