(Pocket-lint) – The Fnatic Bolt is a lightweight wireless gaming mouse that packs some serious specs into an affordable frame. It was constructed in collaboration with eSports pros in order to craft a gaming mouse based on pro player requirements.
It’s no surprise, then, that Fnatic says the Bolt is designed to offer the “pinnacle of gaming performance”. That’s owed to its gamer-pleasing specs that include not only a lightweight, hole-free frame, but also great battery life and super-slick feet.
Does it skate by the competition and strike where it matters though? We’ve been working and gaming with the Fnatic Bolt to find out…
Lightweight specs and connectivity
- Medium size: 120.89 x 55.44 x 38.50mm / Weight: 67g
- 2.4Ghz Wireless or Bluetooth 5.1 connection
- 1000Hz polling rate over 2.4Ghz
- Pixart 3370 sensor
- 400 IPS/50G acceleration/19,000 CPI
- Battery life: 110 hours (over 2.4GHz, 210 over Bluetooth)
When we first got the Bolt out of its box, our first impression was that it looked and felt cheap. But that’s the inevitable problem with plastic mice – all that weight shedding is great for frantic gaming sessions but results in a hollow-feeling mouse.
However, our feelings quickly changed when we started testing in earnest and comparing it with other similar gaming mice we’ve tried of late. The first highlight is the matte finish. This makes it easy to grip and unlikely to slip out of the hand – even if you have oily or sweaty ones.
The Bolt is built for right-handed gamers, specifically for those with a medium-sized hand and a claw grip style. We found this makes it a tad too small if you prefer palm grip, but it’s far from tiny. We like the overall shape and size of the mouse though.
There are six buttons in total, including a DPI button on top behind the mouse wheel. But it’s the side buttons are the most pleasing: they protrude wonderfully and are easy to press and differentiate between when in the depths of a gaming session. We’ve seen mice, such as the SteelSeries Prime Wireless, overlook this design principle, so the Fnatic does well in this regard.
The Bolt also offers both 2.4Ghz wireless and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. The 2.4GHz is preferable for gaming as it gives you the 1000Hz polling rate and a more precise connection, but Bluetooth gives more battery life potential and is a convenient option for using it elsewhere.
Battery life is remarkable too, with 110 hours promised over 2.4GHz or 210 hours over Bluetooth use. The mouse charges using a pronged USB-C cable – a paracord one is included in the box – which is flexible, easy to plug-in, and lightweight enough so it doesn’t nag at the mouse when you’re gaming. Not that you’ll often need to connect it, given the epic battery life.
Slick overall design
- Kailh GM 8.0 Black Mamba Switches
- 100% PTFE feet (thicker 1.0mm skates also included)
- USB-C paracord and wireless receiver extender
- Medium fit with claw or claw/palm hybrid grip style
Most gaming mice have traditionally used Omron mechanical switches. Fnatic has bucked that trend by using Kailh GM 8.0 ‘Black Mamba’ switches. These are said to be more durable than other switches and are guaranteed to last longer as a result.
These switches also give quite a tactile and clicky feedback when pressed – it’s certainly a rewarding click when you depress a button, but it might be loud for some.
It’s worth noting that there’s quite a difference between the click action of the main left and right buttons and the sound and feel of the thumb buttons. This difference is unfortunately noticeable when you pick up on it, but hardly the end of the world.
One thing we’re thoroughly impressed with are the PTFE feet. There are only two of them – so fewer than other mice – but they’re really slick and stand out from the Bolt’s underside. This means that they’re what makes contact with the underside and this results in minimal resistance. These are clearly superb quality skates too, as they’re not scratchy and just quietly glide across the mousemat with ease.
If that sounds appealing then you’ll be pleased to read that there are also thicker skates included in the box so you can swap them out or save them for when the installed ones get worn out.
- Onboard memory: 4 profiles, 4 DPI stages
- 16.8 million colour RGB lighting
- 1/2mm adjustable lift-off distance
One area the Bolt falls down in is the software department. This mouse uses Fnatic’s OP software – which is in beta – it’s fairly basic. You can change basic settings like DPI, debounce time, lift-off distance and such like, but there’s no macro recording and you don’t seem to be able to re-programme the buttons like you’d expect.
It’s also a bit flakey and freezes up regularly when trying to change settings or switching between wired and wireless mode. We are using Windows 11 though and as it’s beta software it will no doubt improve over time, but it’s still a little underwhelming nonetheless.
In summary the Fnatic Bolt delivers specs that are comparable with much more expensive gaming mice, making it incredibly appealing, despite what first visual impressions may suggest.
We like the tactile and clicky feedback of the main buttons, the easy-access side buttons, the slick and scratch-free nature of the skates, and the super battery life.
All told, the Fnatic Bolt is a great gaming mouse, so if you’re looking for something affordable yet brilliant then this could well be it.
Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Mike Lowe.