There are few synthetic benchmarks for testing a mouse, so I prefer to just give them a go in the real world. I happened to receive the mouse before a five day LAN event in the south west of England, so I brought the Saphira there and used it as my go-to mouse for the entire event as well as my daily driver for about a week afterward.
The following games were played with the mouse:
- StarCraft II
- DotA II
- CounterStrike: Source
- Pirates, Vikings, Knights II
- Ghost Recon Online
- Call of Duty 4
- Team Fortress 2
As well as RTS and FPS performance, I’ll be looking at the Saphira’s durability and comfort.
As the mouse was designed by a StarCraft II pro-gamer, it makes sense to test it in StarCraft II and other RTS games primarily.
Overall, my impression of it was quite strong – the Saphira’s wide shape, relatively light weight (with the removable weights removed) and comfortable grip made it a quick and responsive mouse that could be used for extended periods without problems.
Out of the box the DPI setting is quite low, but when adjusted to 3500 and the highest polling rate I found it more than sufficient. I found that is was certainly accurate enough to work well in StarCraft II and other RTS titles.
I prefer it to the more weighty K90, which includes many more buttons and consequently has a much more complex design despite having a higher DPI laser sensor.
In FPS titles, it’s often speed that trumps accuracy – it’s about bringing your gun to bear and reacting before your opponent. For this purpose, the 3500 DPI sensor isn’t quite as suited for the task. While it still offers a much more accurate sensor than a standard desktop optical mouse, it is some way behind the most recent FPS-focused mice which offer 5000 DPI or more.
Overall I wouldn’t say this is a dealbreaker for FPS players – you can still use and enjoy the Saphira as your go-to FPS mouse, but know that there are slightly better options on the market if FPS is your speciality and you use a very twitchy playstyle.
The Saphira is one of the most comfortable mice I’ve used in a long time. I’ve got fairly large hands, and the Saphira still felt expansive enough for me. The side grips and simple, unblemished design made this mouse a treat to use.
One area in which the Saphira is perhaps lacking is durability. Even with a protective bag, during my first trip with the mouse I found that the back button had partially come out of the mouse, blocking the left mouse button from being used. Thankfully it was easily pushed back into position again and full functionality was restored, but it isn’t a brilliant sign. If durability is a factor for you, then a mouse with a metal chassis such as the Vengeance M60 or M90 may be preferable.