I’m of the opinion that almost nothing is perfect, but the G502 Lightspeed is as close as you are going to get.
- Manufacturer: Logitech
- Model: G502 Lightspeed
- Price when reviewed: £129 (RRP)
- Supplied by: Logitech
A reputation to maintain
When Logitech first released the G502, it was widely praised and a big seller. It’s no surprise that they have updated the modern classic, with the inclusion of their excellent Hero sensor and Lightspeed wireless connectivity. It comes at a steep price, but is it worth it?
Design and build
The G502 Lightspeed fits firmly into the gamer-gear camp. The angular, aggressive design is fully battle-station ready. It would look out of place in a workplace environment, but let’s be honest, this is from the Logitech G range. There are far more suitable mice for productivity tasks.
Construction is solid, and there has been some clever engineering used in the construction of the mouse. The base of the mouse has a couple of removable panels, both attached magnetically. There is a circular disk that houses a recessed chamber with a cutaway section designed to hold the wireless receiver that can also hold two 4gm weights. This disk can also be switched out for the Logitech POWERCORE receiver, for use with the POWERPLAY QI charging mousepad which we reviewed recently.
Another compartment is concealed under the panel housing the Hero sensor. Under here, you can add a further four 2gm weights. Logitech actually reduced the weight of the mouse from earlier iterations, so if you are looking to recreate the feel then the addition of these weights will be welcome. For me, I found the weight and balance to be perfect straight out of the box. The mouse is so responsive that the lightness made it easy to make accurate small adjustments to my aim.
Most of the top surface of the G502 Lightspeed is matte black plastic, with textured grips along the sides and glossy black plastic accenting the different panels. An RGB ‘G’ logo sits between the forefinger and thumb, with a further set of RGB lights beside the left mouse button. These lights indicate the battery level when you press the handy button under your palm or let you know which DPI setting you have enabled without having to open the GHUB software. All of the lights are customisable via GHUB and can be synced with any other Logitech RGB devices you own.
Power for days
Battery life is very good on the G502 Lightspeed, but at some point, you will need to top up the battery. Included with the mouse is a braided USB cable and an adapter to hold the Lightspeed receiver. Simply position the receiver on your desk near to where your mouse will be for optimal performance, then, when needed, unplug the dongle and slip the cable into the mouse and use it wirelessly while it charges. It literally takes seconds to switch.
With the RGB lighting on full, and response rate at the maximum, battery life is rated at 48 hours from a full-charge (assuming you remember to turn it off when not in use). Even using the G502 every day, for both productivity and gaming, I only found myself having to charge every few days for about an hour. I’m an OCD battery user, too. I charge to 80%, use it down to 40%, then top up again. (If that sounds weird to you, have a look into how Li-Po batteries work, and try to do the same yourself. Phones, mice, keyboards – It really makes a difference to the max number of charge cycles.)
Logitech have fully committed to right-handed gamers with the G502 Lightspeed. While that may alienate a significant proportion of lefties out there it has, however, allowed them to create a highly focussed device. The button placement is perfect, and the G502 certainly has plenty of them. There are a whopping eleven buttons on the G502 Lightspeed, and almost all of them are customisable.
As standard, you get your left and right mouse buttons, and a scroll wheel that also has left and right scroll buttons. The scroll wheel has an infinite scroll function, too. Via a satisfyingly solid feeling mechanical switch, you can lock and unlock the scroll wheel. With it engaged, the wheel operates with a solid, well-notched action. Unlock the wheel, though, and you can gently flick the wheel and it just spins and spins. It’s delightfully easy to use, and highly responsive. It really comes into its own scrolling through lengthy documents or mandatory TOS agreements.
The rest of the buttons are all focussed on the G502 Lightspeed’s real purpose, though. First-person shooters. Sitting beside the left mouse button, there are two buttons to increase or decrease the DPI through five settings. Despite their close proximity to the LMB, I never hit them by accident. As mentioned, you can customise the DPI presets with GHUB, so I set a series of DPI increments at 1500, 2000, 2500 and 3000 DPI. With these increments, it is simple to make on the fly adjustments depending on the distance of your engagement. They are, of course, customisable, so I’m sure someone will come up with a genius key-binding that they will use to kill me, but for me, DPI adjustment has the most practical use.
Located by your thumb are the final three buttons. A forward and back button, that are intuitively placed and almost impossible to misclick, and the jewel in the crown for snipers, the 400 DPI switch located by the tip of your thumb. This fine-aim button instantly drops the DPI to 400, allowing for incredibly fine control that is so simple to activate. I managed to pop off headshots that normally I’d struggle to make, and through a combination of the DPI adjustment buttons and the sniper button, I was playing better than I ever have before.
All of the switches are clicky and responsive. Logitech has struck the perfect balance of force required to activate the switches, and unlike my previous go-to mouse, I never made any misclicks.
The real star of the show with the G502 Lightspeed, though, is the Lightspeed receiver itself, especially when combined with the amazing Hero sensor. You can lower the polling rate of the mouse to increase battery life, but if you are gaming, you want it set to the maximum report rate of 1000Hz.
The responsiveness is unbelievable. No matter how fast you flick the mouse, it keeps up instantaneously. There’s no uneven motion if you go faster than it can process the inputs (I don’t even think my hands can move that fast). Just a few years back it was a pipe dream thinking that a wireless mouse could offer the same feel as a wired mouse, but here we are in 2020, and not only has Logitech managed it, it feels effortless.
It’s hugely consistent, too. A large part of success in gaming comes down to familiarity and muscle memory. You can have the most tech-laden mouse in the world, but if it doesn’t make exactly the same movement, every time, it means nothing. Thankfully, the G502 Lightspeed has nailed it. After a little practice, I found myself instinctively snapping the mouse in for the headshot, with hardly any under or over-shoot. It was the same across general use, too. No matter the task, the accuracy and instant response made everything I did a pleasure. It’s a bit of a cliche, but to have this level of responsiveness from a wireless mouse really is a game-changer.
Premium product, premium price
The final part of the equation, and one that may dissuade people (but shouldn’t), is the price. There’s no sugar-coating it. The G502 Lightspeed costs £129. Yes, it’s quite expensive for a gaming mouse, but in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth it. The performance is exceptional, battery life is great, the customisable buttons open up new avenues for gameplay and it has great styling for those who are fans of the gamer vibe. The build quality is superb and providing you don’t routinely drain the battery and ruin the charging capacity, it should last you for years to come. As a sort of analogy, if you’ve ever tried the Xbox Elite controller in comparison to a regular one, you’ll know the kind of performance improvement to expect.
If I had to go out on a limb and come up with some kind of a negative besides the high point of asking, then I would say if you don’t need the flexibility of all the additional buttons it may not be for you. There are cheaper options if you’re happy with basic buttons and have no need to seamlessly adjust your DPI settings. If you don’t care about wireless, again, there are cheaper options (although I would recommend the G502 Hero wired mouse). If, however, you want wired mouse performance with superb levels of customisation from a wireless mouse, then look no further.
I actually had a bit of a dilemma when deciding on the score for this mouse. It’s expensive, no doubt, but it’s also almost flawless. Yes, they could have made it cheaper, but would it then have been as good? It’s also geared towards FPS gamers (even though it’s great for pretty much anything you throw at it), so some may not get as much use from the additional buttons. If you do need those buttons, though, they prove invaluable.
Logitech have outdone themselves with the G502 Lightspeed. Speed, precision, great battery life and aggressive styling should put the G502 Lightspeed at the top of every self-respecting gamer’s wish list. For the target audience of FPS players, I struggle to think of a better alternative. It’s a pricey mouse, but you absolutely get what you pay for.