Forget regular dark mode – Opera for Android is going 'super dark'

(Image credit: Opera)

Opera for Android was one of the first browsers to provide the option of surfing in dark mode (Chrome dark mode was relatively late to the party), and now it's gone a step further by making its nocturnal settings fully customizable to make night-time use more comfortable.

While many apps offer a 'dark mode' that simply swaps white for shades of black and gray, the new Opera lets you choose exactly how dark the browser should look, and change the color temperature to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the screen. Both of theses settings are easily adjusted using a pair of sliders in the settings menu.

If a website has its own dark mode (like Twitter, for example), Opera will detect and use it automatically when you're browsing. For sites that don't, Opera can 'force' a kind of dark mode by applying CSS changes if you check the box marked 'Dark web pages'.

The new black

Making the browser and web pages pleasantly dark is little use if you're dazzled by a flash of light whenever you open the keyboard, so Opera's designers have also given you the option of switching to a dimmer version. It's good to see that this is optional and not enabled by default, as it could make text entry difficult for users who struggle with reading low contrast text.

Enabling all the possible options and dialling the brightness right down will result a look Opera calls 'super dark'.

Once you've finished designing your personal dark mode, you can activate it manually, set times when it should be enabled, or have the browser switch automatically based on sunrise and sunset times where you are.

It's not the first time Opera has experimented with different takes on the usual dark/light interface choice. Earlier this year, the browser gained four more colorful new settings: red, green, purple and blue. It's always good to see developers giving users more choice, and hopefully other developers will consider offering more flexible options in future too.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)