Talking about the gaming apparel market, the name Omen doesn’t come up too often. While HP manages to come up with some beefy systems, good gaming laptops, the apparel side of things are a bit different. With brands like Steelseries, Razer, and Logitech, there is little room in the market for other competitors. Yes, there are different markets in the world. For example, in Asia, the average gamer has a smaller budget than an average European or American one. Therefore, in Asia, brands like Bloody by A4Tech are way more common, giving more budget options to gamers. It is all about perspective when it comes to commodity search in these markets.
HP Omen Photon Wireless Gaming Mouse
The Best Qi Wireless Charging Mouse
DPI: 16,000 | Connectivity: Wireless | Shape: Ergonomic | Sensor: PixArt PAW3335
VERDICT: The HP Photon is packed with tonnes of features which makes it unique in its way but the steep price tag could be troublesome to some people, For users, I would actually recommend checking the market out thoroughly if it is manageable and try using the mouse actually before purchasing it. It may be a right fit for some people while for others it could be a different story
Again, the question arises, where does HP fit in. Before getting to that though. The product we review today is the HP Omen Photon Wireless gaming mouse. The device was introduced earlier this year and by its specs, looks to carry much potential in the gaming market. But, let’s be real here for a minute. Specs on paper mean little for gamers. They need a good, functioning product, especially those who compete professionally in eGaming. Before getting into the specs of the mouse, let’s look at the brief history of the Omen brand line.
HP introduced the Omen Photon wireless with state of the art Photon sensor technology. A peek into the future if you would.
HP introduced its mouse at a $129 price range and there is one of the expensive ones in the market. The mouse follows an interesting design, a state of the art sensor technology and furthermore, Qi wireless charging which we haven’t seen in many mice today. Moving over to the unboxing now before we put the mouse through its paces, seeing how it runs in our daily use tests.
Opening up the mouse and taking it out of its packaging, we are awed by the matt black beauty. The Mouse follows a minimal design with an HP Omen logo on the crown. While it has a squeezed body design, similar to the mice back in the ’90s, following their status quo, the detachable supports for the hand helped grab it more firmly. The buttons on the side are good and clicky, although they do feel a bit out of place. Out of the box, the device comes with pretty standard things. We have the mouse itself, the receiver and its extender. Bundled with them is a charging cable (don’t worry, it does have support for wireless Qi charging), detachable buttons for the side and the finger rests or supports that I mentioned above. Lastly, we see the classy touch of an Omen sticker to be included. I always appreciate this tiny gesture by manufacturers since it gives the buyers a chance to give some personality to their other devices. Trust me, I live for them Apple Stickers!
Talking about the general feel in the hand and the mouse really does not disappoint. The mouse weighs about 140g and in the beginning, I was a bit skeptical. Coming from a Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless for my gaming needs and a Logitech MX Master 2S as my daily driver, I wasn’t quite sure about this mouse. The different shape and the heavyweight had me and my doubts on the edge. On the contrary, though, I was completely blown away by this mouse. I never knew I would get so comfortable to something so quickly. They may as well have put Nutella on it cuz I was in love. As a first impression game goes, the HP Omen Photon Wireless did a killer job and passed with flying colors! A postscript to be added to my thoughts: I was unaware in the beginning while reviewing the device but the mouse follows a symmetrical design with removable buttons. This is because the mouse is supposed to be ambidextrous. For all my southpaw (a little Rocky reference there) friends, don’t worry, we got you.
Once again, the mouse really blows you away with its first impressions and that is something manufacturers from, for example, Steelseries should be looking to aim at.
Setting It Up
The mouse was quite easy to set up, as most of them are. Let me break it down for you. The steps are a little difficult to follow through so I would beg my readers to stay with me. Step 1: Take the mouse out and place it on your desk. Step 2: Take the USB receiver and plug it in your PC’s USB port. Step 3: Make yourself a PB&J sandwich cuz you’re done! That is how simple it is. Thank the gods of Plug&Play who have revolutionized how we connect peripherals to our devices.
The fun part of the who process comes with the software though. I don’t know about anyone else but the most exciting step for me, after getting a new gaming mouse or a gaming keyboard is setting up all the different types of RGB arrangements I can do!
This mouse was no different. The first thing I did was to download the Omen Command Centre. Usually, manufacturers have separate utility software for their peripherals, but not HP. That is why I was not a big fan as soon as I ran it. You can check out the screenshot below to get an idea of what I mean. This software would only make sense if a user had a fully beefed up HP Omen gaming rig on his desk. For me, that wasn’t the case. I, after powering it up, felt that there was not much I could do with the software. That feeling of helplessness for now particular reason. Anyway, my rant aside, the command centre did allow me to change up the RGB accents on the device and light up that sweet Omen logo.With more than 16 million colours to choose from (I stopped counting after ROYGBIV), the mouse and the Command Centre work well together to give users a truly customizable experience.
A gaming mouse can look good, be cheap, be always in stock but it is not any good if it doesn’t perform well. To put the mouse through its paces, I tried my best to use it in all possible ways a mouse would be used.
How does an average person use a gaming mouse? For games? For average browsing? Basically, if the HP Omen Photon ticks off all these boxes then perhaps it would be a worthy competitor to be considered when making a purchase decision.
Talking first about the daily usage of the mouse. In this I particularly focused on long periods of browsing, scrolling through web pages. I went ahead with a lot of intentional clicking as well. My college course enrolment runs through a request method by clicking first so yes, I was clicking like crazy. Other than that, there was scrolling on excel sheets done as well. Overall, I would rate the experience above satisfactory. While I didn’t face any issues as per se but with my large hands, I didn’t find the grip of the mouse very comfortable. Perhaps I have been spoiled with the excellent ergonomics the MX Master 2S has to offer but then, not everyone has that mouse AND a gaming one. Given that my big hands were having a hard time adapting to the claw grip design, the finger rests, for me, were just proving to be obstacles that I wanted to remove after the first hour or so. The buttons though. I have always been a fan of additional mouse buttons. With the HP Omen Photon, users have access to 11 overall programmable buttons. This meant that I had dedicated buttons for taking screenshots, the page jumps, going forward and back between pages and so much more. Props to the Omen team for including these blessings. People fail to realize that programmable buttons are now a necessity even for regular, nongaming, users. That was about it from the casual usage side of things.
On to the gaming side of the world. The red in the Omen logo defines this entire side. I believe, while your desk setup may not agree with my personal preference, an Omen device without the red just seems blasphemous towards the gaming nature. But then again, that’s just me. While yes, the aesthetic really doesn’t affect how you perform but psychologists have linked performance towards morale and that’s why all these gaming accessories are loaded with RGB. It brings out the gamer in everyone, pumps them up. For this, I decided to run it with a bunch of genres of titles. Firstly there was Playerunknown’s Battleground or PubG, then a bit of Call of Duty and finally the classic, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Firstly, talking about the battle royale. For battle royale titles which are quite fast-paced, users, require mice that move fast without lag. This has a lot to do with the gaming monitor you use as well as the ping of your ISP but mice play a role as well. With PubG, the mouse played quite well. Apart from the fatigue, I felt in my palm (I blame my above par huge hands), the mouse performed quite well. Drifting through the 13 kills I had in my first match on Erangal. Call of duty gave a similar experience. The mouse was pretty fast-paced and provided good levels of tracking. Here though, I didn’t feel much fatigue and the programmable buttons were a great plus as I wasn’t reaching the keyboard for little things like changing my gun or throwing grenades. Another feature similar to both games was leaning hip fire. With the programmable buttons, this was quite easy and simple to do. Finally, we talk about Tomb Raider. I would have preferred a more comfy feeling mouse as the game is not quite competitive as it is immersive. For that, in my opinion, one would be better off with a more comfortable choice.
After the gaming bit of this, this is a mouse which can be taken away on the go. On that front, battery performance is a big factor to be considered. On paper, the Omen Photon is a beast on the battery department. According to the website, the mouse would last users up to 50 hours of usage. I set my heart to run it through its paces. To my astonishment, the mouse performed just fine. With RGB lights on, the mouse gave me a comfortable 43 hours and about 40 minutes. With the RGB lights off though, it crossed the 50 hour mark quite easily. This shows that even with the LEDs on, it doesn’t exhaust its power blindly on them. Perhaps that is an advantage of not using RGB lights all to aggressively on products.
Now, whenever I recollect my thoughts about a device, I go over its good traits and the bad ones. I see if I were going to a market place, whether I would actually purchase the device myself or not. Then I see who would actually go for the product. And finally, I see if the product is actually worth it or not.
To start off, I actually enjoyed the mouse. I’d have to say, I had a biased start, being an avid Logitech user, both in the gaming world and otherwise. After using this mouse thoroughly for a week or so, I have come to the conclusion that in the years to come, HP could actually give its competitors some serious competition. In terms of sensor performance, for a wireless device, the 0.2ms lag time seemed quite excellent. At moments it seemed even better than my G502 Lightspeed by Logitech. Upon using the screen tracking system, I could actually see the lag time on this mouse and it checked out.
The RGB lights were subtle and just according to my taste. I would say that more and more manufacturers should go for this approach. This gives better battery life and for those who may use these mice on the go, in official setups, it gives off a better impression, a more professional one. The weight to the mouse provides a certain level of comfort not present in many devices today. A firm gaming mouse provides better control when playing games and therefore a better experience.
While there were all these good things about the Omen Photon Wireless, there are some downsides to the mouse too. For one, the additional Qi wireless pad, which is a huge selling point for the mouse is an extra 100$ for the already expensive 129.99$ mouse. In this similar price range, one could get the better, more accessorized mouse from Logitech, SteelSeries or even Razer. In the box, I would have expected interchangeable weights for the mouse. In mice like my Logitech G502, I get these options and this is something that would actually make a gaming mouse YOURS. The finger rests, which are quite an innovative idea, could have been executed better. The narrow-bodied mouse is a little hard to grip and these finger rests just end up hurting my fingers ever so ironically, over long periods. Lastly, for a gaming mouse, this is quite a simple and straight forward design. One may say that they could have added some different edges to the mouse, not make it so smooth and add grips here or there but that is something I was looking for every now and then.
So to finally sum it up, would I buy this device. In a world, devoid of Logitech maybe I would. In a couple of years, when HP has come up with newer models of the device, changing it up according to similar criticism as mine, we could be seeing an excellent product. For now, it feels a mouse with excellent potential which has been left untapped.
Price at the time of review: $125