Opera Software has announced a new version of its Opera Mini browser, aimed squarely at the low-end mobile phone fraternity.

Founded in 1994, the Norwegian company, which claims somewhere north of 300 million users globally for its family of mobile and desktop browsers, is introducing Opera Mini 4.5, which it says will be aimed at even “the most basic of phones” – the only prerequisite is that it’s capable of running a Java game.

To access the new browser, visit m.opera.com from your existing browser and you’ll be redirected to the version of Opera that best suits your device. Opera Mini 4.5 features a download manager to control any content your installing on your mobile, and privacy mode which ‘forgets’ any data (including passwords) that may be entered into the browser.

While Opera Mini is available via native apps for Android and iOS in their respective app stores, the company also targets a myriad of other devices around the world, including Windows Phone and BlackBerry. By going for low-end devices, however, Opera is clearly looking to gain ground in emerging markets. Indeed, this doesn’t come as the biggest of surprises, given that last month Opera partnered with seven Indian mobile manufacturers to get Opera Mini pre-installed on Android devices. But for those without smartphones, Opera Mini 4.5 should find itself an even bigger market.

Also, Opera recently introduced Opera Web Pass, a service aimed at making mobile Internet packages more straightforward for phone owners and inexperienced Web users in emerging markets. Sidestepping the traditional approach of selling mobile data to prepay customers, Web Pass lets ‘pay-as-you-go’ customer get the net on their device through customisable packages — such as Facebook-, Google+-only usage — which are bought via Opera Mini.

“Getting online is a must in the modern world, and the kind of equipment you choose to use should not stand in the way of having a first-class browsing experience,” says Christian Uribe, Opera Mini Product Manager.

“That’s why we introduced some of the best-loved features from the advanced series of Opera browsers for basic phones,” he continues. “Having an excellent download manager is just as important for the students downloading class work to their phones as it is for business people with more advanced phones.”

If your handset is a little better than ‘basic’, you’ll be directed to download Opera Mini 7.5 instead, which is a more advanced version of the browser.

Opera Mini