Xtrfy M4 Review
These are exciting times for gaming mouse enthusiasts. With flawless sensors available to pretty much every manufacturer out there, companies are looking at other ways to set their products apart from the crowd. As you may or may not know, going lightweight is the newest trend in gaming mouse land, but with so many lightweight products coming out it's not enough to drill a couple of holes in a shell and call it a day anymore. You'll need the whole package (great clicks, flexible cable, good shape, ...) if you want to be noticed these days.
Xtrfy are taking a stab at this with the M4. It's a medium sized ergonomic mouse that houses all the top components you could dream up and weighs in at only 71 grams. Is it worth taking a look at or is this one a fluke in a sea of new releases? Our reviewer has all the answers.
"We've focused on creating the best lightweight gaming mouse rather than cutting down on durability to get rid of a few grams. Lower weight must never mean lower quality."Xtrfy
Xtrfy M4 - First Impressions
The finishing and overall look of the M4 are really pleasing to me. I'm testing the White version, but you can also get this mouse in Black, Pink, Miami Blue and Retro colorways so there's plenty to choose from here. Yes, there are holes in the mouse and that immediately sets it apart from regular 'casual' mice but aside from that's it's pretty subtle. There's no branding on the mouse itself at all (the Xtrfy logo can be found inside the shell itself) and the whole thing looks sleek and consistent. The fact that the color of the cable matches whatever colorway you've chosen for the mouse definitely helps on that front too.
The RGB is nicely done as well, with a generously applied lighting zone all throughout the front of the mouse along with a thin strip in the middle of the scroll wheel. So all in all the M4 looks really nice. Obviously you have to be a fan of this kind of holey design in order to like it in the first place but if you are or you don't mind the holes then this is definitely a nice looking product, both when it comes to the overall finish as well as the colors and materials that they've chosen.
Small note here: all colorways have the same matte coating (more on the coating later) and currently there are no glossy versions available. I obviously don't know what will happen in the future but I thought I'd mention this up front as I know people will be wondering about glossy versions.
Xtrfy have come up with an entirely new shape for the M4. It's a medium sized ergonomic mouse with a pretty wide back side but a much smaller grip portion than you would initially give it credit for. This to say: it looks a bit bigger than what it feels like once you're actually using it, so don't be scared if it looks a bit big in comparison images or in store displays. The whole thing weighs 67 grams on my scale, which is very impressive and actually less than what Xtrfy are advertising. Nice surprise there.
As far as functionality goes it looks like you basic gaming mouse at first sight but you'd be surprised. The button on top of the shell is not a DPI button, that one controls the RGB lights. The actual DPI button can be found on the bottom (along with a polling rate selector) where you'll also find four mouse feet.
The box of the Xtrfy M4 is pretty standard: you'll see some images of the mouse itself along with some highlighted features and details on the exact sizing of the product, but obviously we're all more interested in what's inside of said box.
There you will find the mouse (luckily) along with two keycaps: one with the Xtrfy logo on it and another one with 'GG' on it. That's pretty cool and while these keycaps are by no means a necessary or indeed useful addition to a gaming mouse I do like this as a fun little extra. In that same vein you also get an Xtrfy sticker. What is useful is the set of extra mouse feet that you get in the box. I always love it when companies include this, so kudos to Xtrfy for thinking of this too. Obviously you also get the usual documentation in the box, but that's to be expected.
Size & Dimensions
Shape and finish
As previously established, Xtrfy have built this mouse from the ground up. As such it's not a direct clone of any OEM shell, but it is an ergonomic mouse so obviously comparisons will be drawn to the usual suspects such as the Zowie EC, Razer DeathAdder, MS Intellimouse, and so on. It's fair to make comparisons like these (click here to see a rudimentary comparison image with the EC2-B and two other popular 'ultralight mice' that I made for Reddit) but the shape really stands on its own if you're asking me.
At first glance it looks pretty angular and perhaps a bit uncomfortable but once I held it in my hand these concerns drifted away fairly easily and the curves honestly don't feel unnatural at any point. The most obvious feature here is the fact that it gets pretty wide at the back. Whether you like that or not completely depends on your preferences, but for me (18 x 10.2 cm hands with a relaxed claw grip) this feels nice and natural. There's also no awkward hump anywhere so in conclusion I'd say that this is a pretty safe shape if you can deal with the back left curve. The combination of the ergo shape along with the pronounced flare out at the back do make it pretty crucial that the mouse 'fits' you though, so I would be wary if you've got small or very large hands.
For me personally the coating isn't as important on a mouse that's almost completely made out of holes but that shouldn't mean that companies can neglect it altogether. Luckily this isn't the case here: the matte coating performs perfectly fine and I had no grip issues at any point, nor did I have any problems with sweat/oil buildup after intense gaming sessions. No worries here.
On top of the mouse you will find a button that, despite being in the 'DPI button position', is not a DPI button. I can only assume that they've moved the DPI button to the bottom of the mouse because of feedback from professional players, and while this doesn't bother me personally I do know that some people love to have a DPI switch on top of the shell so this is a pretty important thing to note, doubly so because you'd be forgiven for assuming that the M4 does have that functionality since there's a button in the usual spot. In any case: the button on top controls the RGB, and on the side you will encounter the standard two side buttons. These buttons are rather small, so if you place your thumb at a lower position this might cause some issues, depending on if you prefer to 'roll' your thumb on those buttons or not.
The bottom of the M4 has a polling rate selector along with a DPI (it's labeled 'CPI,' but that's the same thing) selector that has an indicator LED above it. Four mouse feet provide the glide here and I have to say that these are amazing. As far as stock mouse feet go these are among the best I've tried in recent times, and they're quite a bit faster straight out of the box than what you'll find on most other mice so you might have to take some time to adjust (or play with your sensitivity) to get your aim back to normal if you don't normally use hyperglides or anything of the sort.
Buttons and scroll wheel
The buttons on the M4 have Omrons under the hood and these result in a clicking experience that's sort of in between when it comes to the force required to actuate them. That's neither good news nor is it bad news, as the weight of clicks comes down to personal preference. What's more important is how the clicks feel, and Xtrfy do deliver here. You get a crispy and nice feeling click and there's basically no pre or post travel, so I have absolutely no complaints about this.
I do need to mention that there's a bit of side to side movement on the left click. It's not really noticeable for me as my finger is placed rather low on the button itself when I'm using it and the travel on my copy isn't outrageous or anything, but if you place your fingers higher on the buttons this might be more perceivable and thus annoying. I don't know if this will be present on every unit because the right click is solid as can be when it comes to side travel, but obviously this deserves mentioning. I only noticed this when I started doing my detailed testing though, so I don't think there's any need to panic if you were thinking of getting this mouse, unless you're very sensitive to this kind of thing.
The side buttons feel fine once they've been clicked but there's quite some pre travel. This isn't as annoying as post travel in my opinion and they don't go into the shell after clicking (I do hate it when side buttons do that) so it's not a deal breaker but it is something that can be improved upon in future batches or iterations.
Moving on to the scroll wheel I can be pretty brief here: it's really, really good. It's a very quiet wheel that feels smooth to operate (be aware of this if you prefer rigid feeling steps) and performs flawlessly without any skipping. While it's not the lightest scroll wheel to press it's still light enough to use for important ingame functions and it offers a nice click once used. The rubber texturing makes it easy and consistent to use, so this is simply a great scroll wheel.
All in all the clicking and scrolling experience is pretty good. The side buttons can do with some improvement and they might want to tighten up the left click (or tighten up their QC) but as a whole I'm quite satisfied here.
Quality and cable
Making something lighter usually means that you have to make some compromises to reach a certain weight. Some companies sacrifice a bit of structural integrity to achieve the lowest weight possible, but Xtrfy clearly claim that this wasn't the case here. Indeed I must say that the M4 feels really solid.
There's a tiny bit of creaking here and there if you press down really hard on the shell but unless you've got the grip strength of a vice you won't ever encounter any problems with this in an actual gaming or productivity scenario. More important is that the shell is very sturdy; there's almost no flex anywhere on the mouse so this one can take a bit of a beating and I did not manage to actuate any (side) buttons by pressing down hard on the shell.
Had I reviewed this mouse a year ago I'd have said it has the best stock cable out there, but cables have come so far in such a short time that this one is 'just good.' That's not a knock, by the way: it's one of the better cables out there at this point in time, it's just that there are lighter and more flexible stock cables out there. That said: this one performs awesomely even without a bungee, and if you do have a mouse bungee lying around it's unlikely that you'll ever have to worry about this cable.
Cables have really been evolving across the board to the point where the standards for what can be called 'good' are a lot higher today than what they were just a couple of months ago, and the M4 does reach those standards, so no worries here.
Performance and sensor
Part of this section almost seems unnecessary since every self-respecting company out there uses a flawless sensor in their gaming mice these days, but we obviously want to paint a full picture so I'm happy to report that the 3389 inside of the M4 performs as you'd expect: it's flawless. No noticeable smoothing, snapping, or other nonsense will interfere with your aim and the sensor feels responsive and consistent.
Everything about this mouse is plug and play so there's no way to finely tune the DPI or RGB lights. That's not really a problem for me and they've got all the 'standard DPIs' on there (and then some) so I doubt that this will be a problem for anyone but if you're someone who loves macros or uses a non-common DPI this isn't going to be it for you, doubly so because software isn't really something that's on the horizon if I go by what I've been told by Xtrfy representatives. It's fine with me though, as I use 1600 DPI and I honestly prefer mice that are plug and play or have built in memory so that they can be used as a plug and play peripheral.
The holes are nicely implemented. The edges are nicely rounded so they really kind of disappear once you've grabbed a hold of this mouse. As this kind of design becomes more and more common this question gets asked less and less, but the answer to 'will an ultra light mouse make me a better gamer' is 'no'. No mouse will make you a better gamer in an instant. If this mouse suits your grip and you prefer your mouse to be as light as possible you'll undoubtedly perform better overall once you've gotten used to it but there's no quick and easy fix to become a better aimer/gamer.
What we have here is a medium sized ergonomic mouse with a rather safe shape (if you don't mind that curve at the left back) for medium sized hands. The flare out at the back means that it's gonna be awkward for people with small or really large hands but if you're not one of those this should be fine for most grip styles. Fingertip grippers who like to hold the mouse close to the back may want to look out here, as the uneven and pretty wide back may cause issues with your grip/aim. Palm grippers who like a pronounced hump towards the back may also want to look elsewhere, but for everyone else this will be a great fit, provided you like this sort of shape.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The Xtrfy M4 is a really nice product. There are a few tiny little flaws here and there (such as the pre travel on the side buttons and the side travel on the left mouse button) and the cable isn't the best in the world but aside from that it's absolutely great.
It's a medium sized ergonomic ultra light gaming mouse which puts it in a market segment that hasn't really been serviced so it's gonna make some heads turn by default. If you're one of those people you can rest assured that this is a great buy. With just about the best stock feet I've seen in recent memory, satisfying clicks, flawless sensor and a great (pretty safe, if you can stomach the curve at the back) shape this is an amazing gaming mouse and it deserves your attention if you're in the market for an ergonomic (lightweight) gaming mouse.
Xtrfy have really been working on this product and that is evidenced by the finish and care that they put into this mouse and the fact that they came up with an entirely new shape. It's a real battle royale out there for gaming mice these days with so many new ones coming out, but the M4 does enough to stand out from the pack. Thoroughly recommended.