Xtrfy M4 Wireless Review
Xrtfy is a manufacturer that's been around for quite a while, and while they initially didn't see a ton of success with their mice, the launch of the Xtrfy M4 changed that entirely. The lightweight and sturdy design with a brand new (somewhat polarizing) ergonomic shape proved to be a hit, both with professionals and more casual users alike, and the success of that mouse spawned a number of special editions that have been coming out over the years.
After also releasing the M42, which further built upon the framework that the M4 had provided by coming with a customizable back shell, and the MZ1 (a very interesting take on shape) people were wondering when Xtrfy would come out with wireless versions of these very interesting and successful mice, and now the wait it over.
The Xtrfy M4 Wireless marries everything that Xtrfy has learned over the past years and combines it into a package that should, in theory, be endgame material for fans of the original. It has a customizable back shell, a rechargeable battery, improved build quality, Kailh GM 8.0 switches, and other features such as the ability to adjust the weight balance. Maximum customizability should in theory lead to maximum potential to make the mouse fit you perfectly, but are these features a hit, or did Xtrfy take on too much at once? Find out everything you need to know in our full Xtrfy M4 Wireless review!
"All in all, the M4 Wireless is one of the best wireless mice out there at this point in time."Our Mouse Reviewer
Xtrfy M4 Wireless Review - First Impressions
I've personally been a fan of Xtrfy's mouse department ever since they released the M4. From the fact that they're willing to take a chance on trying out new shapes (the slightly adventurous M4 shape and the very adventurous MZ1) to including two shells to allow users to customize the precise grip to their personal preferences: this is clearly a company that's willing to take risks. As someone who's been gravitating towards wireless mice ever since the first flawless wireless gaming mice debuted, I have to say that I was also one of those people waiting for the release of a wireless Xtrfy mouse, so I am quite excited about this one.
Aside from the wireless aspect that are some other things that catch the eye. There's a screwdriver in the packaging, for example, which can be used to adjust the mouse to your personal preferences. Using this screwdriver, you can adjust the weight balance of the mouse, and you'll also need it to swap shells since the 'shell swap system' has also seen some changes from how it worked on the M42. More on those two features later on in the review though.
One other thing that I immediately checked for were the holes. Not to see if they were there (that's obvious) but to see if they were present across the sides. To my slight disappointment, there are indeed holes all over the side panels. I don't personally care about that but I do know that there are people who absolutely don't like the feeling of holes underneath their fingers, and that combined with the fact that the whole 'cheese grater mouse trend' seems to be fading away (doubly so because brands have already proven that you can make lightweight mice without holes in them) makes me feel like Xtrfy would've been better off had they removed the holes at the points of the shell where fingers are likely to be placed. As I said: this is not an issue for me personally, but given that a few filled in holes wouldn't change the weight very much at all I feel like this is something that they should consider for the future, even if only to maximize their potential sales by not leaving out people who strongly dislike the feeling of holes.
One of the biggest questions when brands make an updated version of their mouse (especially when it's going wireless) is 'what's the weight?' and Xtrfy have really impressed on that front. The M4 Wireless weighs in at 71 grams, and that's just 4 grams more than its wired counterpart. Kudos to their engineers for achieving this feat without making any sacrifices to the structural integrity (more on that later).
It does seem like Xtrfy has sacrificed some RGB elements in order to achieve that weight: the band that ran across the front of the M4 has now been removed, and the only RGB elements on the mouse now come in the form of a thin strip in the middle of the scroll wheel and a lit up logo portion inside the mouse itself. I think that's a good decision since performance is always more important than looks when it comes to gaming mice.
Aside from the weight, nothing has changed about the M4's original shape or design. There is of course that second back cover, but the original one is the same as what you'll find on the wired M4. It's still a medium sized ergonomic mouse with a rather aggressive outward curve towards the back.
Xtrfy is a brand that's never been greedy when it comes to additional accessories and that hasn't changed with the release of the M4 Wireless. Inside the box you will find the mouse, the other back shell, two keycaps, a screwdriver, the USB receiver, the usual documentation, a sticker, a charging cable, and an extension dongle so that you can place the receiver closer to your mousepad.
I always appreciate it when brands include extras. I know that things like stickers are basically just promotional materials unless they feature some unique art or what not, but I feel like the keycaps are a nice little touch (even though I don't use them) and I appreciate those kinds of things.
You'll know this if you've read any of my previous mouse reviews, but I always like it when brands include spare mouse feet. Certainly for premium priced mice aimed at competitive gamers I've been starting to feel like it's a borderline necessity, and even though I will never dock points or change my opinion on a mouse based on the addition of extra mouse feet I do always love it when they're there so I was glad to see that Xtrfy has once again included replacement skates.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
The M4 Wireless basically has two shapes thanks to its swappable back shells, but the main 'shape idea' remains the same even when switching between the two. The most notable aspect is the back flare, which is rather sudden and perhaps not quite what you'd expect from ergonomic mice if you're used to the more gradual curves of something like a Razer DeathAdder or a Zowie EC. That's not to say that the M4's shape is bad or worse than those mice I mentioned: whether you like a shape or not really comes down to personal preference, but it's just something to note if you're interested in this mouse. Aside from that curve at the back, the M4 feels rather safe and natural.
If you look at images of the two back shells you'd perhaps think that there's not a lot of difference between they definitely feel different. The original shell feels like your typical ergonomic mouse with a rather smooth and gradual hump towards the middle, whereas the second shell slopes down more suddenly at the back, giving you less room to rest your palm (or other parts of your hand). This second shell reminds me of ambidextrous mice like the Zowie S line, for example, and while I found the user experience with this second shell to be quite interesting I ended up going for the original shell myself since I like that more gradual back hump more when it comes to ambidextrous mice.
What's weird is that Xtrfy have changed the way that you swap between the shells. Whereas on the M42 this was done by means of a simple click/swap system you now have to undo three screws on the bottom of the mouse before you can remove the shell. You can still somewhat securely attach a back cover without screwing (so you can quite easily swap between the different shells when testing it) but once you decide on a shell it's best to secure it through the screws. This is not a big issue to me since the shells are secure enough to test without screwing them in, but I never had any issues with the way the system worked on the M42 so I don't really understand why they switched to this more involved method.
I do have an issue with another moddable part of the mouse, namely with the buttons. Xtrfy advertises and sells different main button sets so that you can really make the mouse your own, and while I applaud things like that (it's cool that the option is there, even if you don't intend on using it yourself) it's just implemented badly here. Taking off the main buttons is not an issue at all, but putting them back on is a veritable nightmare. I say this as someone who has modded mice before (by which I mean I've tinkered around in parts of mice that aren't necessarily made to be tinkered around with, not that modding mice is extremely difficult or something) but getting these buttons back on was very, very annoying and finnicky and I constantly felt as if I was about to break something. This doesn't necessarily influence my opinion on the mouse (as you don't have to ever take those buttons off in order to use it) but this is definitely something that should be changed in future iterations.
The coating still feels the same like it did on the wired M4: it's a matte coating that perhaps feels a tiny bit slippery with cold and dry hands, but my hands are more of the sweaty type when gaming so I never had any issues with grip and the mouse doesn't easily attract fingerprints or oils, so for me this coating performs exactly as it should.
On the bottom are four small feet that have a rather fast and very smooth glide straight out of the box. There's no ring around the sensor, but there is one included for you to add if you so desire. Overall the gliding experience is excellent here.
Update (19th of January, 2021): the people at Xtrfy have let me know that the back swap system was changed from using magnets to using screws since magnets weigh more than the current screw system and they did not want to raise the weight too much. That's a perfectly understandable reason to swap to this new system, if you ask me.
Buttons and scroll wheel
The M4 wireless now uses Kailh GM 8.0 switches instead of the Omrons that the wired version was released with, and it's a logical switch if you ask me. Despite the fact that a lot of people don't really mind what switches are in their mouse there's definitely a growing interest in them, so by changing from Omrons (which are falling out of favor with the enthusiast crowd) to Kailhs, Xtrfy isn't alienating any customers while also going for a commonly liked and requested switch so there are only winners here.
I am one of those people who isn't really a big mouse switch aficionado; for me the actual button feeling (travel distance etc.) and implementation is the most important aspect, but of course a switch is also a part of that. The Kailh GM 8.0 switches actuate with a very pleasing and satisfyingly tactile click, and even though people who are a fan of hair triggers probably won't like these I find them to be a fantastic middle ground between lighter Omrons (which can sometimes feel a bit low on the feedback front) and something like a heavier Huano. They're on the louder side, though, but that's not necessarily an issue since I don't think that any mouse switch is loud enough to actually start annoying people.
The buttons themselves feel great, too. There's barely any pre- or post travel, and side travel isn't present either, which makes for a satisfying set of main clickers. The side buttons invoke similar feelings of satisfaction in me. There's a tiny bit of post travel on both of them (especially the mouse 5 button on my copy) but they don't travel inside the shell and actuate with a crisp click so there's none of that mushiness that you sometimes experience with subpar side buttons.
The scroll wheel, then, is almost completely quiet, yet has a surprising amount of tactility behind it. It's certainly not old school Zowie style tactile, but you can definitely feel each individual step when scrolling, and it's very easy to press without being so loose that you accidentally press it while selecting weapons, bunny hopping, and the likes. For me this is exactly how a scroll wheel on a gaming mouse should feel, though that's of course also partially down to personal preference.
Quality and cable
I've written about it earlier on in the review, but it doesn't look like Xtrfy has had to make any structural compromises in order to make the M4 Wireless so lightweight. I'd even say that this feels slightly more solid than the wired version. I had no issues with the build quality of that one, but here everything seems to be just a tad tighter. There's no creaking, no flexing, and no rattling and on the whole the M4 Wireless just feels very solidly built.
Something that feels a tiny bit less solid is the movable battery. By loosening two screws you can move the battery a bit so that the weight gets shifted, meaning that you can tweak the weight balance to suit your preferences, but I found this functionality to feel a bit gimmicky. It doesn't feel very smooth to operate and while I do feel a difference if I really focus on it, it's not something that's game changing. Then again it's also not something that gets in the way or hinders my ability to enjoy the mouse, so no harm done. All in all though I would say that some of the customizable portions of the mouse could be thought through a bit more, especially the buttons.
The charging cable (the M4 Wireless charges via USB-C) that comes with the mouse is very flexible, so even if you have to charge the mouse while using it you won't be feeling limited by a stiff or unwieldy cable. Speaking of charging: one thing I'd like to see changed is the charging light. Right now, when charging the mouse, the RGB flickers orange rather brightly. As far as I am aware there's no way to change this, and if you have the mouse charging somewhere off to the side when you're doing something else it really draws your attention and gets annoying fast. It's like having one of those lights that's on top of utility vehicles on your desk.
All in all though, the M4 Wireless is built really nicely. I didn't have any issues with the build quality of my review copy of the M4 wired, but it's nice to see that Xtrfy's standards have gotten even higher since then.
Performance and sensor
Inside the M4 Wireless you'll now find the 3370 sensor. That's one that's commonly used in wireless mice, and it is (as you would expect) a flawless one. I found no evidence of sensor shenanigans like snapping or smoothing during my testing so the implementation seems to be up to par on my copy. The same can be said for Xtrfy's wireless technology. I never had any connection issues, nor did I see any delay or missed actions when using the mouse. It's nice to see that good wireless technology is starting to become more and more common and that, as a consequence, the options for people who desire to cut the cord are expanding.
Just like all other Xtrfy mice, the M4 Wireless is strictly plug and play, though there certainly isn't a lack of customization options. On the bottom you'll find a slider to control what the button on top of the shell does (if you set it to PGDN you can use said button as an extra input option in your game of choice, as that button will then behave like the page down key) and you can tweak it further by pressing various combinations of buttons that are all clearly explained in the manual.
All in all, unless you're used to a very specific DPI setting or you're a heavy macro user, the M4 Wireless should be easy to configure so that it matches your personal setup and settings perfectly.
Firstly, a little disclaimer: how a mouse fits you and whether or not it suits your personal style is something that varies from person to person, so always take these types of 'mouse X suits hand sizes Y and Z' types of review section with a grain of salt as everyone is different.
That said: I obviously wouldn't recommend the M4 Wireless for fingertip grippers. The non-symmetrical backside means that it's not ideal for that type of grip, but other grip types should do well with this mouse, provided you like the shape of course. Smaller to medium sized hands can definitely palm this one, but claw grippers can also find joy here, and the inclusion of a different back panel means that there are options to make the mouse suit your preferred amount of palm contact.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The Xtrfy M4 Wireless is, if you ask me, a hit. There are some rather disappointing aspects here (the customizable buttons are a nightmare to get on properly should you change them, and the battery movement mechanism feels a bit weird) and some small things they could work on (the shell swap mechanism could be smoother, the recharging animation is annoying) but luckily these aspects all don't really affect the main functionality of the mouse.
With a battery life of around 75 hours (with the RGB off; I found that to be a bit of an overestimation in my testing but it's not far off), a flawless sensor, flawless wireless technology, great clicks, a customizable shape, and great feet this is a fantastic addition to the wireless mouse market. Sure, there's room for improvement, mainly in the details, but the main package is extremely solid, and it comes in at a rather friendly price point for a wireless mouse as well.
If you're looking for a wireless ergonomic mouse that's lightweight then this one should be on your list. I would love to see Xtrfy bring this tech (and fix some of the minor issues with this one) to their other mice and perhaps expand their line of back shells a bit so that you can really make their products your own, but I am of course thinking of the future and that has no bearing on this mouse. All in all, the M4 Wireless is one of the best wireless mice out there at this point in time.