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Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3
Updated Sep 16, 2022 at 04:19 pm
Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small Picture
7.3
Office/Multimedia
8.7
Video Games (FPS)
6.1
Video Games (MMO)
6.7
Travel
Connectivity Wireless
Type
Standard

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small is an ultra-lightweight, wireless gaming mouse. It's a continuation of the Finalmouse Starlight-12 lineup, so it has the signature magnesium alloy shell with a honeycomb design to keep the weight very light. At 44.5g, it's one of the lightest mice we've ever tested, and it features newer Kailh 8.0 switches and some minor adjustments to the manufacturing process to address quality control concerns in previous Starlight-12 models. Its small, symmetrical shape is well-suited for small and medium hands using any grip type. Performance-wise, it uses Finalmouse’s proprietary Finalsensor. It has excellent click latency, a very low minimum lift-off distance, and four CPI presets. However, there's no companion software, so you can't adjust the sensor settings or reprogram any buttons.

Note: Finalmouse releases its mice in drops, meaning they're only available until stock runs out. At the time of publishing, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom drop is over, and all units were sold. Currently, you can only purchase them from third-party resellers, which is how we had to buy our unit.

Our Verdict

7.3 Office/Multimedia

The small Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom is a decent mouse for office use. Although its scroll wheel can't unlock for a free-scrolling mode, and it doesn't have L/R wheel tilts for horizontal navigation, it does feel very well-built and comfortable. It's also fully compatible with both Windows and macOS. It connects with its USB receiver, but it doesn't support a Bluetooth connection, and there's no companion software to reprogram buttons.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Feels very well-built and sturdy.
  • Fully compatible with both Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • No companion software to reprogram buttons.
  • Not Bluetooth compatible.
  • Too small for large and extra-large hands to use comfortably.
8.7 Video Games (FPS)

The small Finalmouse Starlight Phantom is a great mouse for FPS gaming. It's extremely lightweight, and it feels very well-built and comfortable to use. In terms of performance, it has excellent click latency, a very low lift-off distance, and four CPI presets you can cycle through using the CPI button behind the scroll wheel. Also, its feet offer a smooth gliding experience on mousepads and desks. Unfortunately, there's no companion software, so you can't adjust the sensor settings or reprogram any buttons.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Feels very well-built and sturdy.
  • Feet and cable glide smoothly on mousepads and desks.
Cons
  • No companion software to reprogram buttons.
  • Too small for large and extra-large hands to use comfortably.
6.1 Video Games (MMO)

The small Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom is a mediocre mouse for MMO gaming. It doesn't have as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice, and there's no companion software to reprogram buttons. But, on the upside, it does feel very well-built, and its excellent click latency, very low lift-off distance, and four CPI presets are all well-suited for gaming.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Feels very well-built and sturdy.
  • Feet and cable glide smoothly on mousepads and desks.
Cons
  • No companion software to reprogram buttons.
  • Too small for large and extra-large hands to use comfortably.
  • Not as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice.
6.7 Travel

The small Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom is an okay mouse for travel. While it feels well-built and comfortable to use, it doesn't have a storage compartment for its USB receiver, and it's not Bluetooth compatible.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Feels very well-built and sturdy.
Cons
  • Not Bluetooth compatible.
  • Lacks storage compartment for USB.
  • 7.3 Office/Multimedia
  • 8.7 Video Games (FPS)
  • 6.1 Video Games (MMO)
  • 6.7 Travel
  1. Updated Sep 16, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Updated Aug 17, 2022: Following the update to Test Bench 1.2, some of our test results have changed within both the Weight and CPI sections. We've added or modified some of the text in this article to clarify these changes.
  3. Updated Aug 15, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Updated Jun 09, 2022: We've updated this review to Test Bench 1.1, which revamped our click latency test methodology. We've updated the text to reflect our new results in various sections, including the Click Latency test box, Usages, Introduction, and other locations where we discuss click latency.
  5. Updated May 30, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  6. Updated Jan 27, 2022: Review published.
  7. Updated Jan 21, 2022: Early access published.

Check Price

Phantom Starlight-12 Small
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Lighting Color No Lighting

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom has a symmetrical, low-profile shape with two black plastic buttons on the left side. Its honeycomb shell is made of magnesium alloy with a black, silver, and blue color scheme and silver paint splatter accents. The L/R click buttons and the scroll wheel have embossed accents on them. While there's no RGB lighting, there's a light inside the mouse that will change colors according to the battery life. If you're interested in an all-blue color scheme for this mouse, check out the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Poseidon Small.

Design
Shape
Length 4.6" (116 mm)
Height 1.4" (35 mm)
Width 2.3" (60 mm)
Grip Width
56 mm

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom in the small size is approximately 1mm longer than the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small since the small plastic piece above the scroll wheel tapers off to a slight point rather than a blunt edge.

5.9
Design
Portability
Volume
14.77 inยณ (242 cmยณ)
Cable/Receiver Storing
No
9.0
Design
Build Quality

The Finalmouse Starlight Phantom has a superb build quality. The top shell is a sturdy magnesium alloy, and the bottom is made of a strong plastic called Ultem, which allows the wireless signal to escape. The bottom flexes slightly when you apply pressure, but this shouldn't be noticeable during everyday use. The Kailh 8.0 switches in the L/R buttons feel satisfying and clicky, and the side buttons also feel good to press. The CPI button behind the scroll wheel is very stiff compared to the same button on our Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small, and it requires significant force to press. This seems to be a relatively common issue reported by users online, though it seems Finalmouse may have made this design alteration intentionally to prevent accidental CPI changes. Like other Finalmouse Starlight-12 units we've tested, our unit's scroll wheel is off-center to the right; however, this doesn't impact the normal operation of the mouse.

9.7
Design
Weight
Lowest Weight
44.5 g
Default Weight
44.5 g
Weight Distribution
Centered
Extra Weights
No

According to Finalmouse, the small Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom weighs 42 grams. They also note that due to manufacturing complexities with the magnesium chassis, the actual weight may vary by up to 2 grams.

8.0
Design
Comfort Of Use
Left-Handed Friendly
Yes
Ambidextrous
Shape Only
Coating
Matte
Finger Rest
No

The Finalmouse Starlight Phantom Small has a symmetrical shape that feels relatively comfortable. Its small size makes it well-suited to users with small or medium hands, so those with large or extra-large-sized hands may find it uncomfortable to use for long periods. Though there are no side grips, it doesn't feel slippery in hand. There's a larger version of this mouse, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Medium, that's better suited for users with larger hands.

Design
Palm Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
No
X.Large Hand
No

This mouse is not well-suited for users with large or extra-large-sized hands as your fingers extend past the front of the mouse using this grip.

Design
Claw Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
No
X.Large Hand
No

This mouse is not well-suited for a claw grip if you have large or extra-large-sized hands, as the mouse's small size requires you to curl your fingers at an uncomfortable angle.

Design
Fingertip Grip: Hand Size Recommendation
Small Hand
Yes
Medium Hand
Yes
Large Hand
Yes
X.Large Hand
No

Users with extra-large hands may feel uncomfortable using this mouse with a fingertip grip due to its small size.

7.2
Design
Wireless Versatility
Maximum Of Paired Devices
1
Bluetooth
No
Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable
Use When Charging
Yes
On/Off Activation
Auto Off And On/Off Switch
Receiver Extender
Yes
Battery Indicator Yes

Finalmouse claims that the Finalmouse Starlight Phantom has a continuous battery life of around 160 hours, an average use case life estimated at three weeks, a below-average use case life is estimated at seven weeks, and an idle use case life of 16 weeks. There's also a light inside the mouse that flashes when the battery is getting low.

9.0
Design
Cable
Cable Length
5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Cable Type
Paracord-like
Permanent Kink
No
Port Type: Mouse End
Micro USB
Port Type: PC End
USB

The cable is excellent. It's flexible and doesn't retain kinks from the packaging. It also moves with minimal drag across desks and mousepads.

9.0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Very Good
Material
Virgin Grade PTFE
Extra Included
No

The feet glide smoothly on all surfaces, but they're slightly scratchy on desks.

Design
In The Box

  • Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small
  • Quick guide card
  • User documentation
  • Micro-USB to USB-A cable
  • Wireless receiver

Control
4.2
Control
Additional Buttons
Total Number Of Buttons
6
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
0
Profile Switching Button
No
Gesture Support
No

Using the CPI button behind the scroll wheel, you can cycle through four preset CPI settings; however, as we mentioned in our build quality tests, the CPI button is very stiff to press. There are two side buttons, which are bound to forward and backward by default, and a switch on the bottom to turn wireless mode on or off. Unfortunately, none of the buttons on the small Finalmouse Starlight Phantom are reprogrammable as there isn't any companion software.

8.9
Control
Click Latency
Expected Connection
4.2 ms
Wired
3.4 ms
Receiver
4.2 ms
Bluetooth
N/A

This mouse has excellent click latency. It's more than suitable for achieving an extremely responsive-feeling gameplay experience in any game genre, including fast-paced and competitive games.

9.1
Control
CPI
SRAV @ 1600 CPI
-0.25%
SRAV @ 800 CPI
0.25%
SRAV @ 400 CPI
0.33%
SRAV @ Fixed CPI
N/A
Precision Error Between Speeds
0.49%
Precision Error Between CPI
0.46%
Worst Tracking Error
3.13%
Minimum CPI
400 CPI
Maximum CPI
3,200 CPI
CPI Adjustment Steps
N/A
8.4
Control
Sensor Latency
Delay To Start Of Movement
16.7 ms
Delay At Half Movement
5.3 ms
Delay To End Of Movement
6.1 ms
Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
Finalsensor
Works On Glass
No
Minimum Lift Off Distance
1.2 mm
Maximum Polling Rate
1000 Hz

This mouse has four preset CPI settings of 400, 800, 1600, 3200, which you can cycle through using the CPI button behind the scroll wheel.

Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel
Notched Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
24 Steps
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel

The mouse wheel feels precise and offers a smooth scroll experience with well-defined steps. It's fairly quiet but has a satisfying click when pressed.

Note: Like with previous Finalmouse Starlight-12 offerings, the scroll wheel on our unit is slightly off-center towards the right. It's a common issue that's been reported by many users. Fortunately, this issue doesn't affect the normal use of the mouse.

Control
Noise
Click Noise
Loud
Operating System And Software
0.3
Operating System And Software
Compatible Software Option
Software Name No software
Software Windows Compatibility
No
Software macOS Compatibility
No
Account Needed
No Software
On-Board Memory
No
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
No
Polling Rate Adjustment
No
Profile Configuration
No
RGB On/Off
No RGB

There's no companion software available for the Finalmouse Starlight Phantom.

10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

All of the default buttons on the small Finalmouse Starlight Phantom work on both Windows and macOS.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The small Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom only comes in one colorway. There's a larger version of this mouse, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Medium, that's also available. You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Mice

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom is a continuation of the Starlight-12 lineup with a new colorway, some minor tweaks to the manufacturing process, new Kailh 8.0 switches, and a few adjustments to address some of the most common quality control issues present on mice in the original drop. At 44.5g, it's one of the lightest mice we've tested, and its size and shape are comparable to other ultra-light Finalmouse offerings like the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small. As many users have reported, the scroll wheel is slightly off-center, though this doesn't impact the normal operation of the mouse.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the lightest mouse, the best wireless gaming mouse, and the best wireless mouse.

Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT

The Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are both ultra-lightweight, wireless gaming mice, but the Logitech performs better overall. It has lower click latency, a more consistent sensor, and a significantly wider CPI range. Plus, it has companion software that allows you to adjust sensor settings and reprogram buttons. On the other hand, the Finalmouse feels better built, and it's about 15g lighter than the Logitech.

Razer Viper Mini

The Razer Viper Mini and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are both ultra-lightweight gaming mice. However, the Razer is wired-only, and it has better click latency and more programmable inputs. It also has companion software, which allows you to set a custom CPI within a much wider range. On the other hand, the Finalmouse is wireless, feels better built, and it's 17g lighter. Also, it has a more consistent sensor and a lower minimum lift-off distance.

Finalmouse Starlight-12 Medium

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Medium and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are wireless, ultra-light gaming mice that perform very similarly, but they have some minor differences. The Starlight-12 Medium is larger and better suited for small to large hands. Meanwhile, the Phantom Small is better suited for small or medium hands, and it's 5g lighter. It also has marginally better click latency.

Finalmouse Starlight-12 Poseidon Small

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Poseidon Small are essentially the same mouse in different colorways. The Phantom has a black and gold palette, while the Poseidon has a blue and light-blue palette.

GLORIOUS Model D

The GLORIOUS Model D and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are both lightweight gaming mice with excellent click latency, but they have different features. The Finalmouse is 24g lighter, much smaller in size, and has a symmetrical shape. Also, it's wireless, and it has a lower minimum lift-off distance. On the other hand, the GLORIOUS has a right-handed shape, is wired-only, and has a wider CPI range. It comes with companion software that allows you to adjust sensor settings or remap buttons, which the Finalmouse lacks.

Finalmouse Ultralight 2 - Cape Town

The Finalmouse Ultralight 2 - Cape Town and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are both ultra-lightweight gaming mice, but the Phantom performs better overall. The Phantom has a better build quality thanks to its magnesium alloy shell, and it weighs 5g less than the Cape Town. The Phantom also has a lower minimum lift-off distance and a higher polling rate, and it's wireless. Alternatively, the Cape Town has a higher maximum CPI setting, and it's wired-only.

Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small

The Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Small are both ultra-light gaming mice. However, the Phantom is the newest release in this Starlight-12 lineup and features a new colorway and newer Kailh 8.0 switches on its L/R buttons. The Phantom also addresses some of the quality control issues that appear on the Starlight-12 Small, like the right-click button. In terms of performance, the Phantom and the Starlight-12 perform similarly well, but the Phantom has somewhat better click latency.

Razer Viper Ultimate

The Razer Viper Ultimate and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are both wireless gaming mice, but the Viper performs better overall. The Viper has better click latency, a significantly wider CPI range, and more side buttons. Also, it has RGB lighting. On the other hand, the Phantom weighs 31g less and feels more solid thanks to its magnesium alloy shell. While the Viper has companion software to remap buttons and adjust sensor settings, the Phantom doesn't.

Endgame Gear XM1r

The Endgame Gear XM1r and the Finalmouse Starlight-12 Phantom Small are both lightweight gaming mice. However, the Endgame is a wired-only model. It also has lower click latency and feet that glide a bit more smoothly. On the other hand, the Finalmouse is 28g lighter. It connects wirelessly with a USB receiver and feels sturdier due to its magnesium alloy shell.

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