Performance

Before jumping into how the Prime, Prime Wireless, and Aerox 3 Wireless all performed. Let's check out what SteelSeries has going on for their software. They are still using the SteelSeries Engine, but now it downloads inside of a larger program that they call GG that adds integrations with games and a few other features. GG does ask you to sign in and there wasn’t any way to avoid it. I don’t mind having the option, but I do think that there should be at least a small option available to not have to create an account. Some people don’t like giving out their email, don’t like having to trust people with a password, and try to avoid cloud syncing.

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So GG has four pages with the main one being the SteelSeries Engine that controls your mice. Its main feature beyond the Engine is the moments tab. You can set up clip capturing using a hotkey and then moments has integrated editing and quick sharing to youtube, discord, or Reddit to be able to post it up. While part of me would prefer to not have to use the full GG software to get to the Engine for changing things on my mouse. The software is cool, especially if you set up a hotkey to clip things AFTER they happen. GG also has a page where you can signup for giveaways. They currently have one that gives you a weapon wrap on Splitgate and one for Payday 2. There is also free Discord Nitro for 3 months if you use moments.

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The SteelSeries Engine page does still have some of the features specific to that software in the past. They have a page where you can add apps to integrate with your devices. For example with the discord app, it can notify you of people joining and leaving. Then there is the library page. This is where you can scan for games that you have installed and set up custom profiles specific to those games. All three of these mice only have the two side buttons, but you may prefer a different CPI for some games or you can even have different lighting.

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So once you get GG installed and have your new mouse hooked up, there is a good chance that it will need a firmware update. Engine will show that with a red bar under the device on the home page. They make the updates smooth. For the wireless mice, you will normally need to plug them in, but they will tell you.

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If you are running more than one SteelSeries product like headphones, keyboard, and mouse it will all show up listed on this man page. It also lists devices that you previously have had hooked up. Like below I have all three mice listed when I had the Prime wired plugged in and just one of the two wireless mice at the time but you can see the Prime Wireless was turned off at the mouse itself. When you click on a device it opens up a new window altogether which takes some getting used to. But this is how SteelSeries has always done it. I would love it if it stayed inside the one window.

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Here is the page for the Aerox 3 Wireless. SteelSeries fits almost everything on to just one page. If you have it set too short it will create a scroll on the side, but for this one, we can see everything except for the bar for angle snapping. So on the far left, they have each of the mouse buttons and you can click on any of them and set what you want that button to do. If you prefer you can also just use the picture which has each labeled and you can select them from there. They can all be programmed to do anything from macros, opening programs, keyboard functions, media controls, and anything else you can think of.

Then over on the far right are all of the mouse sensor and wireless settings. You can set your CPI for each level which they default to 5 or you can remove all of those and just have one which is what I prefer. Being wireless you can set the sleep timer and also the lighting dim timer. There is also a smart mode that turns the lighting off when you are moving the mouse which I think is useful and will save a lot of battery life. They of course have acceleration and deceleration settings, angle snapping, and the polling rate. The only thing missing is liftoff distance. 

For lighting controls above the mouse picture, there is a tab for illumination. You can drag your mouse here and lighting the three lighting zones. Then from there, you can set the color or the brightness. Or there is a dropdown with some of the effect options. With those, there are more settings like setting the colors that you want to shift through. There is also the option to turn the lighting off completely.

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Next up is a look at the settings page for the Prime Wireless. For this one, all of the settings to the right are exactly the same as what we saw with the Aerox 3 Wireless. This means you can set your CPI for each level which they default to 5 or you can remove all of those and just have one which is what I prefer. Being wireless you can set the sleep timer and also the lighting dim timer. There is also a smart mode that turns the lighting off when you are moving the mouse which I think is useful and will save a lot of battery life. They of course have acceleration and deceleration settings, angle snapping, and the polling rate. The only thing missing is liftoff distance. 

On the left or around the mouse you can select all of the buttons to reprogram them, like on the Aerox and there is the macro editor as well. The only big difference here is there is one less button with the Prime not having the top-mounted CPI button and they don’t let you reprogram that on the Prime. The illumination page has all of the same effect options as well, only the Prime Wireless just has the scroll wheel that lights up so there is only one zone.  

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Last up is the Prime which because of this being a wired mouse has a much shorter setting page over on the right side. You still have acceleration and deceleration and the CPI settings. You also have angle snapping and polling rate, but without the wireless settings, this area looks bare. The lighting for the Prime is done differently as well. Rather than having a lighting page, they went back to the way it was done in the past with just a color box right next to the B3 button aka the scroll wheel. This opens up an effect page when has the color options for a single color or the effects just like the other mice. I’m only unsure why they did this for the Prime but the Prime Wireless has the new way when they both have the same single RGB zone.

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For testing, I have been flipping between the three mice for about a month now and I do have a few things to note. Starting with the Prime I like the overall shape but it is a few mm taller than I would prefer. The hump at the back is tall enough the back of my wrist is up off of the mouse pad and when I relax my hand it pushes the mouse forward. The old Deathadder shape that this reminds me of gave me a similar feeling. That said I like the all ABS plastic housing, the texture feels nice, and even without any coatings or extra grips, I can hold on to the mouse even when lifting it. Lifting does bring me to one issue though. The TrueMove Pro sensor performs extremely well, I don’t have any issues with angle snapping or tracking. But because I do lift my mouse to move around, I notice that the liftoff distance is WAY too high. The standard gliders are fine, though the PTFE on the other two mice are of course better. Being the one wired mouse, I have to say that it wasn’t noticeable to switch back to it. The soft sleeving and flexible cord used does a good job of making you forget it's there. The other big area I was curious about when going into testing were the precision OM switches and I will say that they are different, but I did like them. They have a deeper click sound and a solid feel when you do it. They end up being a little quieter as well.

The Prime Wireless carries over most of the pros and cons from the standard Prime. That means the overall size is still a little tall for me but I like the shape for an ergonomic design. The switches are solid but have a unique sound and the ABS housing feels good and should last a very long time. But being wireless the Prime Wireless did end up with a more battery-efficient sensor and frankly, I’m glad. The TrueMove Air does have a 50 lower IPS rating, but it also doesn’t have as much of a liftoff issue. For reference the Logitech Superlight stopped working with 2 credit cards or 1.75 mm, the Prime Wireless and the Aerox 3 with the TrueMove Air sensor did it in 3 credit cards or 2.5 mm and the Prime stopped with 4 for 3.25 mm. All three are a little high, but the Prime for whatever reason was just enough that it would send my curser all over the place when I move the mouse in normal use. As for battery life, I did run the battery down one time on the Prime Wireless but I didn’t have it charged all the way up before starting. I can’t confirm if it will reach the 100 hours that they say it will. But I can say that it runs days without having to be charged and the red warning lights were enough to let me know it needed to be plugged in before it died in the middle of anything important. If that is a concern, you should avoid using red as the lighting color.

As for the Aerox 3 Wireless, I preferred this over the other two for its overall shape. The original Sensei is still my favorite shape, but the Aerox is a lot like the Sensei 310 redesign only smaller so it isn’t too far off. The Holey Shell didn’t bother me at all, if anything it feels like it gives more grip to the mouse. The Aerox 3 has the same long-term durability due to the no coatings being used and with its longer side button I found it a little easier to reach but the back button was still a reach back. What is most impressive to me is that SteelSeries is saying that the Aerox 3 Wireless will have a 200-hour battery life which even with the length of my testing I wasn’t able to end up killing it so I can’t confirm if it will reach that. Especially with it being the mouse with the most lighting. Its sensor performed well and for the switches, it has a more standard switch which is louder but has a standard click sound. The only other issue I ran into with this one was that without the glider around the sensor, I did have the sensor area rub on my mouse pad a few times.

I did also want to check out the lighting on all three mice. For the Prime and Prime Wireless, this was as simple as checking out the scroll wheel. This is the same ring diffuser that SteelSeries has used before. No surprised there. I did notice that with the lighting on you could see through the bottom of the mouse, however. I put a light to the rest of the Prime and you can’t see through any other section. Much like the Ghost version of the Aerox 3, translucent plastic for the entire Prime, especially with a little more lighting inside could have been really cool.

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Then for the Aerox 3 Wireless, I snapped a bunch of photos to give a look at some of the effects in action. The Three lighting zones are enough to give a wrapping around effect and I like how it all looks coming up through the “Holey Shell”.

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The lighting through the bottom looks good as well, it even goes right through the PTFE glider on the back. Not that there is any reason to see this when using the mouse.

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