Prestigious international affairs and business news weekly The Economist, has quietly dropped the pay wall on their mobile edition. The mobile site which used to cost $7.95 a month is now completely free.
The Economist Mobile includes a selection of articles from the paper's main on-line site and the print edition. There are typically around 50 articles on the mobile site divided into News, Politics, Leaders, Business, Science and Technology and Business Travel sections. Most articles include single mobile sized image.
The site's design and layout is generally pretty usable in phone browsers. Page size is under 20 KB and scrolling is minimized by the hierarchical menu structure and giving each article its own page.
One quirk I noticed is that when visiting the site with Opera Mini, it's displayed in a mobile emulator frame (a Nokia 6600!) which makes it rather difficult to use. Opera Mini is apparently being detected as a desktop browser. I was able to override the emulator and view the site normally by using a sightly different URL, m.economist.com/h/
There is no forced redirection to the mobile site so users of full-web mobile browsers like Opera Mini and Bolt can also view the full Economist.com site without much difficultly.
Filed in: Wap Review Directory - Business/News
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 3 "Fair"
Mobile Link: m.economist.com