Biometrics are becoming more and more involved in everyday life whether it’s fingerprint sensors to unlock your gadgets, facial recognition to unlock your laptop or a full set of data from lung capacity to body temperature and heart rate for professional athletes. But why should that data be reserved for top sportsmen and women? Well, now it isn’t, with the introduction of the Mionix Naos QG you can collect data for heart rate and speed whether that’s clicks per second or movement rate in order to quantify your gaming ability. Indeed, it’s Quantified Gaming that the QG stands for in the name.
Now I’m not a top e-sports player and I have very little chance to be, so can quantified gaming in the Mionix Naos QG make me a better player or will it turn out to be just a gimmick that comes along with a mouse, and what else can the Naos QG do? to answer that we need to delve deeper into the Mionix Naos QG and that’s exactly what we’ll do in today’s review.
To start with let’s take a look at the list of features that come with this e-sports mouse as well as its tech specs:
• Monitoring of Heart Rate, movement and activity data
• Heart Rate and Galvanic Skin Response Sensor (GSR)
• In-game visualisation overlay
• Open developer APIs
• 12000 native DPI optical sensor (PMW-3360)
• Four layers of dark grey rubber coating ensures maximum grip and natural touch
• 1ms Response Time, 1000Hz Polling Rate
• 32bit ARM Cortex M3 processor operating at 32Mhz
• 128kB built in memory to store settings in up to 5 profiles
• Angle Tuning: adjustment of X/Y rotation angle to counter hand sweep angle and
• Angle Snapping
• 7 fully programmable buttons
• In-game 5 step DPI adjustment
• Customizable LED lighting system with lighting effects and up to 16.8 Million
• Right handed ergonomic palm grip
- Heart Rate Sensor: Pixart PAH8001EI‐2G, up to 3000 fps, 6.8Mhz
- GSR Sensor: TiN coated copper electrodes
- Navigation Sensor: Pixart PMW-3360, 12000 DPI, 70MHz, up to 12000 fps, 250ips
- Shape: Right handed ergonomic palm grip
- Mouse surface: Grip friendly four layer rubber coating (Dark Grey)
- Number of Buttons: 7 fully programmable buttons
- DPI Adjustment: Ingame 5 step DPI adjustment
- Button micro-switches: L/R: Omron 20mn, DPI/side and scroll wheel: TTC
- Lighting: Two LEDs in two colour zones, lighting effects and up to 16.8 Million colour options
- On-Board memory: 128 kb built-in memory
- Processor: 32bit ARM processor running at 32Mhz
- Mouse feet: Large PTFE feet
- USB Connection: Gold plated, full speed USB 2.0 with plug&play
- Cable: 2m long braided cable
- Weight: 152g
So that’s what to look for, and as we take a closer look we will see where to find it.
The very grey box displays a large image of the Mionix Naos QG mouse with its LEDs activated in yellow. These are actually RGB LEDs and you can control either zone separately allowing for two colours to be displayed at the same time. Also in rather large print is the company name and also the name of the mouse but I feel that the choice of very thin lettering as well as yellow on grey colour scheme makes reading the text at the bottom incredibly difficult.
The side image picks up on the biometric sensors embedded in the Mionix Naos QG which are heart rate and galvanic skin response (GSR) as well as its native 12000 DPI sensor. Again the yellow on grey lettering is somewhat challenging to read.
Around the back of the box is the mass of multilingual information relating to the selling points and features of the mouse. Due to the sheer amount of languages offered though it’s quite a challenge to read what’s written since the text is so small.
The Mionix Naos QG comes in a very sturdy and rather unique box that splits open along one side and is hinged on the other to allow for some respectable presentation as well as further information about the mouse to be displayed.
The full contents list is the Mionix Naos QG mouse, an information and instruction guide booklet and some Mionix logo stickers. These extras were located under the plastic where the mouse lead was packed.
Welcome to the first proper view of the Mionix Naos QG smart gaming mouse. Seen here is the scroll wheel with a rubber outer ring and the sides will light up (if you want them to) in your chosen LED colour. Above the scroll wheel are the DPI adjustment buttons and of course no mouse would be complete without left and right, but that goes without saying.
The side view shows us two thumb buttons that are fairly easy to access when gaming.
No extra buttons on the finger-side of the Mionix Naos QG and the ergonomics are such that it is not at all ambidextrous, feeling really uncomfortable in the left hand – but that’s a minority of gamers anyway so they frequently get left behind.
Around the back of the Mionix Naos QG, if the tail is at the front, we can tell that it’s a fairly shallow mouse designed for palm grip and comes with enough real estate to support the whole hand which avoids drag and irritation.
The sensor on the left is the heartbeat monitor, the one on the right is the GSR sensor with the LED illuminated logo which shows best when the Mionix Naos QG is plugged in.
Underneath the Mionix Naos QG there’s not a lot going on apart from that 12000DPI sensor and four large feet that are really thick compared to other devices that I’ve used in the past; if you do ever rub them down replacements are available from Mionix for a quite reasonable price.
The software plays a very important part in the life and use of the Naos QG, although you could get away without it and still have some limited functionality.
Let’s start at the Quantified Gaming screen which is where the Mionix Naos QG’s biometric sensors dump their information. The top section contains some usage stats and targets such as scrolling 81000 steps within the 7 days. I don’t know why but it is addictive watching the stats increase as you get more accustomed to the mouse and the targets allow for some comparison between gamers as well as subtly training you to use the mouse and swipe, click and scroll faster.
The buttons screen gives you full control when it comes to repurposing the buttons from their default assignment. All 7 buttons on the Mionix Naos QG can be changed to allow for a different function including the left and right click. This may seem strange and perhaps pointless but I have a lazy middle finger which clicks the right click button accidentally up to 30 times a minute and being able to change or even turn off the right click and allow a different button to perform that function is pretty amazing and really, really handy.
You can also add profiles on this screen so if you have someone who needs the right click button put back in its normal place they can easily go to their profile.
The next screen is Performance and this is where you would adjust your personalised settings on the mouse such as the DPI, polling rate, built-in latency protection (to avoid accidentally double-clicking) as well as angle snapping which evens out the natural arc of your hand as it sweeps left to right across your chosen surface.
The colour options are fairly limited and allow for simple options of on/off and colour selection of each LED area – those being the logo and the scroll wheel of the Mionix Naos QG. In fairness though, the Naos QG does look pretty fine when the LEDs are illuminated.
The Macros screen is a placeholder for future implementation and it’s nice to know that they will be and are working on making it better – you may have also noticed that there’s a Beta marker on each page.
Lastly, we have the info screen which has links to different sections of the Mionix website where you can find out more about the Mionix Naos QG, the company or download drivers or software.
You may have noticed that I skipped a page, the Statistics section, that’s because aside from an ever-lasting ‘loading’ marker there was nothing displayed regardless of which option I chose in the drop down ‘Sessions’ menu. This may be due to the limited time I’ve had to test the Mionix Naos QG or it could be something that’s to be added later like macros but I simply don’t know.
Performance and Testing
Since unboxing the device, we have put the Mionix Naos QG through some vigorous abuse and testing to see how it performs. From gaming rages to general performance testing, we threw a lot at this mouse to see how it tested under serious pressure. So, how did it do?
Paint Jitter Test
To start, we will be testing performance with the good old fashioned Paint Jitter test on five of the main default DPI settings, although the DPI is completely customisable so this will give you a flavour of what to expect. To portray how much jitter each setting has, the best method is to draw a series of lines and circles in MS paint.
800 DPI (X – 800 Y – 800)
At 800 DPI everything was easy there was a high level of control as seen by the tight lines on the right-hand swirl and doodling and straight lines were as straight and simple as could be.
1600 DPI (X – 1600 Y – 1600)
At 1600 DPI things are still fairly easy, there’s a bit less control and straight lines are not quite as straight though I was able to draw a simple doodle with ease.
3200 DPI (X – 3200 Y – 3200)
Circles and swirls are much more challenging even though they look OK at 3200 DPI but straight lines and doodles are not too hard to complete.
6400 DPI (X – 6400 Y – 6400)
Everything is a challenge at 6400 DPI but with a lot of concentration circles and swirls are possible though obviously shaky. Straight lines don’t seem to be suffering but again there was a lot of concentration required and the doodle is a bit of a mess but still recognisable.
12000 DPI (X – 12000 Y – 12000)
12000 DPI and all semblance of control have flown out of the window. Writing and drawing circles and swirls is next to impossible at this resolution although the straight lines seem to be as good as ever and the doodle is also recognisable. What isn’t shown on the image though is the amount of time it took moving the pointer back and forth till it was in the right place to start the next drawing. Lack of control at is a massive problem at this setting.
Optimum DPI and usability testing
In a controlled environment, we ran the Mionix QG through many tests to see how well the Naos QG performed and this assisted with finding the optimum DPI for myself. There are plenty available to help you select what DPI combines sensitivity with accuracy by statistically factoring in the way you use a mouse with the available DPI platforms on offer by said peripheral, in this case, a full spectrum of X and Y axis DPI adaptability. We are sure that by completing said tests you will be able to find something suitable for each and every user.
Changing your surface can in some cases give the same result as buying a new mouse. Depending on what the sensor sees will tell how much control and accuracy you get when using the mouse, especially at higher DPI settings. For the most part, I have been using an aluminium gaming surface but I also tried the Mionix Naos QG on a cloth mouse mat as well as the wood effect surface of my desk and found that aside from different friction results the accuracy didn’t seem to suffer at all.
Being able to doodle in MS paint is one thing but having worked out the optimum DPI setting (2000 as a personal preference) it was time for me to get on with some proper work – which meant loading up a game and seeing how the Mionix Naos QG performed as well as some more general use.
For a mouse that’s designed not so much as a pointing tool but as a scientific instrument gathering more data than you might have thought possible for a mouse it still performs admirably. precision within games was excellent and as the software catches up with the ability of the mouse – giving the feedback of session data as well as macro use – it will only get better. One advertised feature of the mouse is that the biometric data that it collects should be displayed in an overlay within the game. in the few games I’ve played this hasn’t happened at all so I’m not sure if it’s a feature that’s still in development or if I simply didn’t find the right tick box but giving that feedback live in-game as well as showing your audience if you’re a streamer it would be pretty amazing. Imagine not just seeing the jump-scares on a webcam but also seeing the player’s BPM and sweat levels rise in real time. It really will bring the audience one step closer to the player.
Using the mouse daily for the past week has been a real pleasure – except that I have a claw grip style when holding a mouse and in order for the biometric data to be read I had to totally convert to palm style, something that wasn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when lost in a game. I did manage to convert enough though that I was able to see the fun and benefit of seeing that data displayed. another absolute wonder of the mouse is the ability to turn off the left and right click buttons or reassign them. As I mentioned earlier, I have a lazy middle finger because of nerve damage and so I end up right-clicking at the most inappropriate times, so turning off that key meant I didn’t have to concentrate on holding my finger above the button and was able to use the thumb button instead when I needed a right-click function. It’s literally life changing and for anyone who has similar health problems I can’t recommend this mouse highly enough. In fact, there was nothing about the mouse that wasn’t either excellent or at least very good, but then again considering the price I would be truly disappointed if that wasn’t the case.
It is the way of things that if it’s not got 95 gazillion RGB colours then it’s not worth even looking at, sadly this ‘only’ has two separate zones that you can control independently and assign any colour on the spectrum that you want and at any brightness within the available range. That might seem a bit boring for some people – after all, there’s no flickering, strobing effects on offer so it’s a bit more limiting that you might first think. However, the software that controls it is in beta so we can dream of better effects being introduced down the line. That’s something you are going to have to research yourself though if you choose to buy a Mionix Naos QG at some point as I can only confirm what’s available now and everything else is pure conjecture.
I’ve not spent as long with the Mionix Naos QG as I would have liked before this review was due out, especially as I had to completely change my grip style in order to benefit from the main functionality of the mouse. Claw grippers beware, there will be no biometric information available for you until you change your style too. This is such a shame as it’s a comfortable mouse to use with the claw style and if the sensors were placed further up the mouse it might have been possible to incorporate both styles and still gather the necessary data.
This mouse is designed though for the pro and semi-pro e-sports scene, allowing gamers to see a visual representation of relevant stats in real time so that they can improve their play style. For anyone else, it’s just a fun bonus that comes with a really well-made mouse. Yes, you can also use the stats to learn more about your play style and improve but it’s not really the same thing.
There’s a huge amount of varied functionality with the Naos QG that comes with the biometric data gathering. ALL buttons can be repurposed which gives new possibilities to disabled gamers who may only have partial functionality in their hands – I’ve talked about turning off the right-click myself and using thumb buttons and it took about 20 mins of gaming to be completely comfortable with the new assignment.
RBG is here too in two separately controlled zones though the actual functionality is limited to solid colour of your choice or off. We might hope for more functionality as the beta software is developed but for now, that’s what we have available to score the mouse on.
Speaking of software, that’s where you get to see the biometric data as it’s captured. Even though it’s still in beta and some areas are clearly yet to be developed like the macro section it’s still fairly well rounded and gives you enough control over the mouse for it to be useful.
Tou round things off, I should really mention that on my aluminium gaming surface the ride is really smooth and as comfortable and controllable at the right DPI as any other mouse I’ve used but if you do ever work your way through the extra thick feet, you can get replacements from Mionix for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, with a retail price of £109.99 at the time of this review, it’s pretty hard going on the wallet and only really justifiable if you are going to be making serious use of the biometric data that the Naos QG collects.
Thanks Mionix for allowing me to test the Naos QG, I’m happy to award it our Gold Award and the prestigious Editor’s Choice Award.
- great tactile feel from the rubber coating
- Two zone RGB illumination
- 7 key reassignment available
- Huge DPI range available to suite personal preference
- Learn more about your mouse usage through biometric data
- Extra thick feet with replacements available
- Ongoing software support with Macros to come
- Price is hard to swallow even if you do get a lot of mouse for the money
- In-game overlay doesn't always show (didn't show at all in games I played)