Our prayers have been answered.
Logitech’s G502 is the company’s most popular wired mouse, and for years people have said the only feature that could make it better would be if it were wireless. Logitech has heard this request loud and clear, and today it’s answering gamers’ prayers the world over by releasing a wireless version of the G502 (See it at Logitech). This new wireless version has been rebuilt from the ground up with the latest LIGHTSPEED wireless tech, POWERPLAY compatibility, and the HERO16K sensor while sacrificing nothing in look and feel from the original. Coming to market at $149, it’s crazy expensive but has every feature its predecessor had while offering Logitech’s latest wireless technology. For many gamers, this is the mouse of their dreams. Let’s take a closer look.
Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED – Design and Features
If you’ve used the original G502 or G502 HERO, then you already have a good idea what to expect here. The look and feel of the mouse hasn’t evolved much since it was first released in 2014 and for good reason. In my briefing with Logitech, it shared that across their catalog of gaming mice the G502 is easily the most popular. There’s a definitely a sentiment of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” so this year’s version is big on internal upgrades while leaving the external design unchanged.
The G502 is a beautifully angular mouse that blends sleek curves with touches of gloss against a matte shell. It lends the mouse a futuristic look that would feel right at home in the world of Cyberpunk 2077. Its ergonomics feels similar to my beloved Logitech MX Master 2S which is my daily driver at work, yet the slightly narrower body allows it to work well for both palm and claw gripped gamers. Having never used the original G502, I was struck by just how comfortable and natural it felt in my hand. A good mouse should feel like an extension of yourself as it translates your movements into the game and this is a perfect example of that, at least for my mid-sized hands.
Fingertip gamers might find it a bit too heavy, though. At 114g, it does manage to come in 7g lighter than the G502 HERO released last year, but it’s still one of the heaviest in Logitech’s G line. The Logitech G903 LIGHTSPEED, for example, is close but still 4g lighter. That said, that modest extra weight is clearly by design and offers a nice alternative to the current trend up sub-100g gaming mice. You can even customize it to be up to 14g heavier by fitting optional weights into a hidden compartment surrounding the sensor (10g if you use POWERPLAY).
While lightweight mice like the 80g G Pro Wireless have some appeal, I personally found the G502 LIGHTSPEED to be about perfect for my taste. It’s lightweight enough to glide effortlessly across the hard and soft surfaces I tested with, but heavy enough to offer excellent control.
The mouse features a total of 11 programmable buttons. Apart from your standard left, right, and middle mouse click, two more are positioned to the left of your index finger. The mouse wheel itself tilts left and right for two more inputs and below that is another programmable button underneath the mouse wheel clutch. I first mistook it for a DPI selector (which it was on the G502 HERO) but pressing it now displays the battery level with the three indicator lights along the left side. Below those lights are the Forward and Back thumb buttons as well as a Sniper button, which will lower the DPI as long as it’s held, which was great for lining up long distance shots in PUBG.
The button placement really exemplifies the attention to detail Logitech has paid here. For example, the extra left mouse buttons are perfectly angled to sit exactly flush with the left click but the gloss finish makes it easy to feel which button you’re on without needing to look down. With the exception of the middle button under the scroll wheel, they’re all easy to access while still out of the way enough to not be pressed by accident.
Ergonomically, it’s probably my favorite mouse I’ve ever reviewed.
Put simply, for a hybrid claw/palm gripper like myself, the G502 LIGHTSPEED just feels great. The size fits comfortably in my hand and the thumb flange is perfect positioned, the rubberized grips on the sides keep it from slipping from my hand (and look cool with that triangular pattern), and the weight is balanced so it doesn’t lose accuracy when I reposition it on the pad. Ergonomically, it’s probably my favorite mouse I’ve ever reviewed. The middle mouse wheel also deserves a mention thanks to the built-in flywheel that allows it to spin on a bearing and scroll at warp speed. Using a button right below the wheel, you can engage a clutch for the usual notched scroll but, honestly, the mouse wheel turned into a kind of adult fidget spinner for me, so I let it free-wheel most of the time.
Logitech was kind enough to send along a G502 HERO for me to try alongside the new version and, you know what? All of this could be said about that version too, except that it really is a much better experience being free from the wire.
Despite looking and feeling so close to its predecessors, Logitech had to go back to the drawing board when it came to adding new features like LIGHTSPEED wireless. Cutting the cord and adding wireless charging meant reworking the entire internal design of the mouse, including a new endoskeleton structure lest the G502 become a much heavier mouse. It’s worth it, however, as the HERO wired version I tested alongside it had issues with wire memory causing the cord to sometimes fight the mouse. Thanks to advancements in wireless connectivity, connecting via USB is no longer necessary even for competitive gaming.
LIGHTSPEED is Logitech’s in-house wireless technology that it claims competes with, and sometimes beats, the wired mice of its competitors. I don’t have the ability to test single milliseconds of responsiveness in a reliable manner, but the G502 offers the same 1ms response time as popular wired mice like the Razer Basilisk and Corsair Scimitar PRO. Using it side-by-side with those mice, I didn’t notice any extra lag whatsoever which lives up to my previous experience with LIGHTSPEED Wireless.
The other big feature arriving with the G502 is POWERPLAY compatibility.
The other big feature arriving with the G502 is POWERPLAY compatibility. If you have the POWERPLAY charging system, available separately for $99.99, you’ll be able to ensure your mouse stays charged simply by using it with the the POWERPLAY pad. It’s a great system but significantly raises the cost of entry when bought with the mouse itself. If you don’t want to invest in POWERPLAY, Logitech quotes up to 48 hours with lighting enabled and 60 hours with lighting turned off. In the week and a half I tested this mouse, it never dropped below 50%, so these numbers feel right.
Finally we have the sensor itself, Logitech’s HERO16K. It offers pixel-perfect tracking customizable from 100 DPI through an incredible 16000 DPI. Not that you would ever use it that high, but it’s nice to know the option is there in case you ever decide to game at your local IMAX. What really matters here is that it’s able to offer accurate tracking without any acceleration or filtering across its entire DPI range. This means that even if you play at a high DPI with low in-game sensitivity, you’ll be just as accurate as if those were reversed, freeing you up to tailor the experience exactly as you see fit. The G502 LIGHTSPEED also allows you to save up to five separate DPI settings onboard, swappable with the index finger buttons by default.
Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED – Software
Logitech recently made the switch from its LGS software suite to G HUB and the user experience is much better for it. Not only does it look much better (LGS had design sensibilities from the early-aughts), but it offers one of the most user friendly experiences I’ve had with peripheral software.
Each of the buttons on the mouse can be fully customized to offer an array of functions. Want to record a macro? Easy enough, just go to the Actions tab and select the option for macro recording and type in your command string. What’s really interesting, though, is that you can turn this into a sequence, going from a text string, to launching a program, to executing a system command. Programming all of this is easy thanks to an intuitive graphical interface.
You can also assign a mix of Commands, Actions, and Keys on their respective tabs. Keys are the simplest of all since they’re just keystrokes, but Commands and Actions are where things get interesting. The Commands tab allows you to choose from a huge array of Windows shortcuts, allowing you to drag and drop functions like volume control onto the mouse wheel. Actions, on the other hand, give you the ability to map software functions for apps like OBS and Discord. In the picture above, you can see how easy it is to map stream controls to a profile so you can do things like begin recording or muting your mic mid-match. The only downside is that you can’t add programs yourself and there’s only a small handful of available programs currently. That said, there’s a lot of utility here and thanks to G-Shift, you can map Commands and Actions to an entire second layer, expanding the G502 to 22 programmable buttons.
G HUB is also where you’ll control your lighting effects. The G502 LIGHTSPEED isn’t gaudy with its illumination but you can customize the Logitech G logo and the group of indicator lights on the left side. You can select the color and opt for one of a handful of effects, though it’s pretty basic. If you have other Logitech peripherals, syncing between them is very easy. There are some interesting presets that take advantage of this like the Screen Sampler pictured above.
Inside the software, you can program your DPI. You can map a total of five settings, one of which is reserved for the Sniper button. It works exactly as you would expect, though I do wish there was an option to skip the Sniper DPI to save an extra click when cycling through DPI options.
Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED – Gaming
Thanks to the large amount of buttons the G502 LIGHTSPEED is a very versatile mouse that’s suited for just about any genre of gaming. As such, I tested the game with PUBG, Battlefield V, The Witcher 3, and World of Warcraft.
Though the mouse worked great in every game I tested it with, where it really seemed to shine was with first person shooters. In PUBG, the Sniper button really came in handy as I lined up long distance shots. It most reminded me of the breath holding mechanic from Call of Duty, giving me that extra bit of control when exchanging shots across rooftops. The HERO16K sensor really shined too and I never once felt like I had less than complete control.
In Battlefield V, the above was true but the faster pace and fluidity of the game really benefited from how smooth the mouse glided. The combination of well-balanced weight, ergonomics that fit my hand like a glove, a DPI I was able to dial in just right really did make the mouse feel like an extension of my arm. I felt more accurate than I ever felt with my G PRO Wireless, which I still consider an excellent mouse, but the G502 felt more in control and less twitchy in my hand. The additional buttons also helped by allowing me to keep my gadgets right on my index finger and crouch and prone on the thumb, allowing me to keep my left hand on my movement controls.
In The Witcher 3, pixel perfect accuracy is less important but you still want to make sure your sword strikes and witcher signs aren’t firing into empty air. Combat in the game is much more about the “dance” and the extra buttons proved to be very useful. The biggest, though, was mapping dodge, sign casting, and witcher sight to the thumb and index finger buttons. The G502 let me create a much more natural feeling control scheme for battles while still leaving a few buttons open for non-combat abilities like calling my horse.
Lastly, I had to put it through its paces as an MMO mouse. It’s not designed for this, but any mouse with this many buttons excites the MMO fan in me, so I loaded up World of Warcraft. Over the years, the game has streamlined its skill system and I was surprised to see that I could map just about every ability from my level 83 mage to a mouse button. Bring up the aiming circle for an AOE with a thumb button felt absolutely natural. Being able to relegate less common skills likes eating to a quick mouse tilt was very convenient.
Playing an MMO with the G502 LIGHTSPEED did take more time to get everything up and running. I was able to use G-Shift to unlock a whole second set of programmable buttons but first had to map all of these to key combinations inside G Hub so WoW would recognize them. Accessing the G-Shift layer also meant dedicating a button to layer shifting, but the Sniper button was a good fit for that. It took about 10 minutes, but once it was set up, the G502 freed me from awkward modifier combinations on the keyboard and let me stay on the move which is important for dungeon running.
Throughout all of my testing, the only problem that came up again and again was that the button under the clutch is just inconvenient to press. It’s best suited for rarely used skills because you’re liable to get a finger cramp trying to use it too much.
The Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED has an MSRP of $149.99 and it’s launching now, so it’s the same price online.