The leadup to the Finalmouse Starlight-12 release was quite a convulted journey. From the forgotten Aim Gods game to the launch day rush to secure a copy. Everyone has an opinion on the Starlight-12 but I can safely say that you have to try one to really understand how it feels. I’ll start the review to say that this is the BEST wireless mouse I’ve tried when it comes to pure in-game performance. I’ve always chose to main wired mice up to now because of the shapes available, but the medium Starlight-12 is making me want to convert.
In the cat and mouse game of ultra-light weight mice, Finalmouse has long been at the forefront of pushing the weight ever lower. The Starlight-12 reaches the conclusion of this pursuit by acheiving even lower weights than the Ultralight 2 through the use of a new magnesium-alloy. Paired with a high performance wireless sensor the Starlight-12 is a leap forward for the brand that makes their older products feel dated
121.1 x 56.7 x 36.5mm
Unboxing and Extras
The mouse came in a thick cardboard box that was heavy and included just the power cable and usb receiver. There was also two pieces of documentation with quick-start instructions for the mouse.
Design and Build Quality
I’ve gone back and forth in my mind on the aesthetics of the Finalmouse Starlight-12 but after seeing it in person, I can’t deny that it’s a gorgeous looking mouse. While I usually prefer the understated minimal designs, the minimalism of the Finalmouse stands out. The painted details add a lot of flare to the design but fortunetly the etched engravings on the front of the mouse don’t take away from the usability. While you can feel the engraved bits on the surface of the mouse, they don’t impact how you use the mouse much at all and they serve as a nice place to rest your fingers. I got the medium sized mouse in gold (achilles) and it just feels quite premium to use.
The metal feels nicely polished and is milled smooth. This means you won’t feel the honeycomb holes as you use the mouse in-game. While it can feel cool to the skin at times, the mouse just feels very premium and smooth. I didn’t mind the honeycomb design at all and I had a easy comfortable grip using either claw or fingertip. Of course the star of the show is just how light the mouse is and it certainly a marvel the first time you lift the mouse up. In terms of build quality the QC on my copy felt pretty standard. No creaking or flexing and I could press hard on the sides without any negative repercussion. The only weak zone is the underside of the mouse where a plastic underbelly holds together the bottom of the mouse. It is an area of concern in future as it does have some bottom flex but it was a necessary design choice to not block the wireless transmission on the mouse. Time will tell if this will become a long term QC issue but it’s not something you will feel in-game.
Buttons & Scroll Wheel
There’s been some debate about the QC of the clicks on the S12 but my copy had quite crispy snappy clicks on all the buttons. M1 and M2 had minimal pre-travel with a tiny bit of post travel. Limited button wobble was present. The Omron switches feel quite similar to the ones on the UL2 and are just as crispy. You’ll get a very satisfying response and sound using these switches. If you hate Omron switches, this won’t change your mind but I think the click implementation on the S12 is way above par.
The side buttons are in the same class, they’re well placed, perfectly snappy and have limited post and pre travel. They feel really instant and are very comfortable to use. Even the DPI button feels very crisp and clean. My only concern with the click feel is if the metal shell will degrade with time but so far I’m quite happy with the clicks across all 5 buttons.
The scroll wheel has the same off-center look that many others have complained about. I hated the wheel on the UL2 and this is a welcome improvement. It’s got a nicer rubber coating for grip and it has a bit more tension and much more tactility. It’s still got a bit of a loose feeling but you can scroll very accurately and quickly. While it does look slightly off center it didn’t impact the use of the wheel in-game. The middle click was very nice and had a perfect amount of resistance so you don’t press it by accident along with a satisfying response when depressed. Overall it’s an above average scroll wheel but won’t be tuned to everyone’s liking.
Shape, Performance and Software
The shape of the S12 is really nice for me as a hybrid grip user. I can switch between claw and fingertip on the medium seamlessly. The weight makes the shape feel better than I thought since it’s so easy to make instant microadjustments with the shorter length of the body. The combination of control you get with the low button height and shorter body (compared to say the Glorious MOW) make this an excellent mouse for claw grip and medium to small handed users.
There’s no software to speak of and the mouse was designed to be used as a plug and play device. I used it at 1000hz polling rate and 800DPI and it was an easy adjustment from my other mice to switch over to the S12. As for performance my aim felt so natural with this mouse. Whether it was holding angles or hitting insane flicks, I was constantly surprised by how much freedom the wireless superlight feeling gave me. I was worried the mouse might be too light but the sturdiness of the metal frame and the high quality sensor meant that I was just comfortable in most aiming situations. The fact that the weight was so well balanced also helps you feel really at home when using it. If you want a mouse where you can feel a drastic change in your aim, this is a mouse that will give you that feeling.
Sensor, Battery Cable and Skates
The Starlight-12 uses the Finalsensor. The Finalsensor allows for a DPI of up to 20,000DPI. The wireless tech is built on the Nordic RF platform (nrf52840) that was designed in-house by the company themselves. While it’s hard to directly compare this to other top sensors, I’d say from feel alone that it is in the same class as what you would find from Logitech or Razer. 1000hz polling rate is finally here and eliminates one of the weaknesses that wired Finalmouse were known to have.
While some people have commented on LOD issues and the LOD being too low, this was not an issue I personally experienced. It tracked well and I had no spin-outs or issues using the mouse in-game. It felt snappy and responsive throughout. I could see the non adjustable LOD being an issue if you like to lift your mouse as you aim constantly but I usually keep my mouse on the pad the entire time so I didn’t run into this issue. The only issue I did have from the sensor is that it did take a second for it to respond when I returned to my computer from being AFK and was idle for a bit.
Yes the mouse is not USB-C, but honestly I didn’t even notice considering I haven’t charged the mouse once since I got it. The battery is rated at 140 hours which puts it at best in class next to the GPX Superlight. I suspect you’ll get similar if not better battery life with the S12 which is pretty insane. I hate charging my mouse and I didn’t have to do it here. I know not all reviewers do battery testing but I can say after using it hard for a week straight the mouse still doesn’t need a charge. The charging cable that comes with the moues is actually relatively flexible and can be used comfortably. While it’s not paracord level it feels better than the stock cable of the UL2.
The stock skates on the mouse are the same shape and size as the UL2. This is one area where it does feel like Finalmouse did cut corners. They are white-dyed PTFE but their weakness is the edges which aren’t rounded as well as some other mice we’ve seen. There are some sharp corners than can cause some scratchiness on vertical movements depending on what mousepad you use. It would have been nice to see Finalmouse ugrade these feet similar to how Endgame switched to the larger-style feet seen on the XM1r. That being said the glide itself was fast and consistent once they broke in and they don’t feel too bad. I was just expecting a bit more from a $189 mouse. Finalmouse please upgrade these in future or at least include an extra set in the box.
The Starlight-12 is a mouse that any gaming enthusiast needs to try. There are new colorways dropping in the future and if you are eyeing this mouse, I say try to get a copy. That being said it’s not worth everyone to pay over retail for this mouse or for anyone to spend hours trying to hunt down a copy. If this mouse was readily available for retail price I would absolutely recommend it to everyone but since it’s not I can’t quite say this has the feeling of a mouse worth $300 to $400.
Great side buttons and nicely tuned main buttons
Insane battery life
Excellent shape and sensor
Lighest wireless mouse on the market
Some concerns about QC and longevity of the shell
High cost and low availability
Scratchy feet out the box
In a hobby that sometimes gets boring with derivative products, the Starlight-12 is refreshing in that it offers a different feeling mouse than what anyone else has on offer right now.
Where to buy the Finalmouse Starlight-12