Trying to find a good gaming mouse that strikes a balance between aesthetics and functionality without breaking the bank can sometimes prove to be a difficult ordeal. Top brands such as Razer, Corsair and Logitech certainly deliver in this regard, but often demand a premium. However, emerging brands such as Redragon, Cougar, RedGear and others seemed to have become fan favourites, thanks to their highly affordable offerings of gaming-centric PC peripherals.
Zebronics is one such brand which has been in the PC peripherals game for some time now and has recently started focusing on offering products targeted at gamers. We recently reviewed its Max Pro mechanical keyboard and were impressed with its tremendous value. The Indian manufacturer also released a premium gaming mouse aimed at enticing gamers on a budget, which is the Zebronics Phobos, a gaming mouse loaded with customisable RGB lighting, up to 4000 DPI and costs just Rs.2,000.
Zebronics Phobos Gaming Mouse: Features
The Zebronics Phobos is an 8-button mouse that features a DPI range of 500 to 4000. There are two dedicated buttons just below the scroll wheel that can be used to cycle through four preset levels of DPI. You have the option of changing the specific DPI level you want for each of these levels using the accompanying software. The mouse also lets you set a different colour for each DPI level which shines through the wheel and the Zebronics logo near the base of the mouse. All the lighting can even be switched off by pressing a dedicated button located underneath the mouse.
I was blown away by the number of customisations and tweaks the Phobos software allows. The program lets you choose between 12 lighting effects. The default is called ‘colourful streaming’ which cycles the classic rainbow strip across the base of the mouse. There is a mode that lets you set a static colour without any animations, while another flashes a colour every time you press a button. Depending on the lighting mode you select, there is even a full-colour palette that lets you choose from a seemingly unlimited range of lighting colours. However, this is a slight exaggeration, and the visible output is clearly limited.
The program also allows you to control functional mouse parameters such as mouse sensitivity, scrolling speed, double-click speed, and even the polling rate. Furthermore, every single button on the mouse is reprogrammable to whatever you desire. A handy macro editor is also present which could potentially allow you to change every single button press to any keyboard combination. You can also create, export and import profiles so that your specific mouse mapping and macros can be cycled through depending on your use case.
Zebronics Phobos Gaming Mouse: Design, Build Quality
The Zebronics Phobos offers an ergonomic design favouring right-handed users. Gamers with large and moderately sized hands will appreciate its palm style grip design. The mouse certainly has a gamer-ish look to it as well with its RGB lighting strip that runs across its entire base. The front has a mildly aggressive angular design which uses translucent plastic that helps the RGB lighting shine through. The top of the mouse is covered in a coating of matte black paint, while the sides are textured plastic panels. This is a wired mouse with a gold-plated USB connection at the end. The cable is also braided with a cloth-like, but reassuringly sturdy-feeling material.
While the mouse is certainly a spectacle to look at, I wasn’t too impressed with the overall construction as it feels quite plasticky. The positioning of the forward, back and middle buttons at the left side of the mouse were also a matter of concern. While I was able to differentiate between them over time, the back button is too far away and requires a bit of fiddling to press it. Furthermore, the matte black paint at a small part of the base started to fade away. This doesn’t bode well considering this happened within my two-week testing period.
Zebronics Phobos Gaming Mouse: Performance
The laser sensor used on the Phobos performs marvellously in both gaming and other daily tasks. I tested the mouse in titles such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Doom and Fortnite. The tracking on the mouse works as expected and does not exhibit any jittering. The decent range of DPI certainly comes in handy for all sorts of gaming titles. The buttons for changing the DPI are also in a familiar position which helps to easily cycle through them on the fly in multiplayer titles.
However, there is one aspect of the Phobos which proved to be an agonising ordeal for the entire duration I used this mouse – the texture of its wheel button. I have used quite a few mice with all sorts of texture designs on their wheels. The one on the Phobos is the worst I have ever come across. The raised rubber tips across the wheel create a prickly sensation on the fingertip which is unpleasing to the point my finger started to feel numb even after just a few seconds of scrolling.
Zebronics Phobos Gaming Mouse: Is it worth buying?
The overall experience of using the Zebronics Phobos was a mixed bag for me. For its price, the mouse has some aspects that make it stand out from its competition. The software is clean, and the amount of customisability provided is unprecedented. The sensor also works amazingly well and should be adequate for almost all type of games. However, the build quality is lacking, and the excruciating texture of the wheel button is bad enough to be a complete deal-breaker for me.
At the time of writing, the Phobos is priced in the vicinity of Rs.1,800 on multiple retail sites. If extravagant RGB lighting is not a requirement, then a better alternative would be the Logitech G102 Prodigy Gaming Mouse. Currently priced under Rs.1,500, it offers more value with its superior build, better sensor, and larger DPI range. Another great option would be the Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse which can also be found for roughly the same price as the Phobos.