You may have caught some of our budget gaming chair reviews already, we’ve had one each from JR Knight and JYSK. Each of them whilst extremely cheap were small in size, making them ideal for younger gamers, but not that comfortable for us grown-ass children masquerading as adults. We’ve now been lucky enough though to get our hands on a BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair. But how does it compare to the chairs we’ve checked out already? Find out by watching our short video overview below, and reading the more detailed version further down.
Build Quality & Design – 4.5/5
In terms of build quality and design, the Phantom Elite is probably the best chair we’ve had yet. Similar in style to, well, every gaming chair in existence, it follows the traditional racing car chair design, covered in black faux leather material that complies with the UK’s furniture and furnishings (fire safety) regulations. Meaning, in short, it shouldn’t go up in flames if you fall asleep with a fag in your hand.
On the upper section where you’d place your head, there is a large stitched in BraZen logo (ours is a lovely summery yellow colour), just above two small holes in the headrest which are about neck level. Moving down the chair the back panel has a diamond pattern which is created by stitching the shape outlines, with the sides being left a smooth plain surface. Then, as you come to the place where you rest your tush, it has a striped effect, similar to the way the diamond effect has been added, with the sides that curve around the outside of your legs having small holes dotted all over, most likely as a way to allow the fabric to breath. Then finally, on the front of the seat, tucked away behind your knees is another BraZen logo, this time the full brand name given with their slogan ‘No Compromise’ underneath.
Whilst it sounds almost like a standard gaming chair so far, it is anything but. Firstly, it’s full size, so even for my rather large body, I fit on it comfortably. And being able to hold up to 150kg, I can still eat plenty of junk food before this chair breaks beneath me. Part of the reason for this is the steel frame inside, whereas some budget chairs just use reinforced plastic, which is much more fragile. The other reason it’s a step above the other budget chairs we’ve reviewed so far is it’s more adjustable. Not only can you raise and lower the chair using the class 4 gas lift, but you can also adjust the armrests up and down, as well as swivelling them for better positioning. And it doesn’t stop there, the chair reclines backwards too, almost horizontally.
The only thing that let the design down for me was that when I did throw it all the way back, the armrests are fixed in the same place so you can’t quite reach them with short stubby arms like me. I mean, in fairness, you may not need to depending on what you’re doing, but if the armrests could also slide forwards and backwards, this may have well scored full marks.
Assembly – 5/5
Despite the larger size than previous chairs I’ve put together, plus it having more features, the Phantom Elite was actually really easy to put together. Even by myself. Usually, I’d be swearing at whatever it was I was building and wishing I’d never even bothered with it, but this was a much more pleasant experience.
I think part of the reason for this was the frame used to connect the back and seat together, which is part of the reclining mechanism. It was super easy to attach, and once finished as well had some plastic covers to go over to hide away all the screws. Normally, you get a single bracket where holes may not always align, or if they do then there is at least one dodgy screw. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen. But I think sometimes that could just be luck of the draw.
Once the seat is connected to the back, you simply screw the arms in place, attach the casters to the legs, insert the gas canister into the hole in the base and slot on over the plastic cover for it. Then the seat can be slotted on top and all that is left to do is add two cushions that come with the chair. The one for the headrest which provides support for your neck just fits over the top. The cushion for your lower back has some straps that will run through the gap between the back and the seat, up to the headrest where those two holes are I mentioned, clicking together with the opposite ends of the straps which run up the front of the chair.
Comfort – 4.7/5
When it comes to comfort, the Phantom Elite performs extremely well. I mean the fact you can adjust its height, the arms, recline it as well, means you can practically get it into the best-suited position for your body. Then, to add a little luxury, you get the two cushions added for additional support. The neck/head cushion I find makes a huge difference, and also comes in handy if you’re raging at a game bugging out on you because where I would normally bang my head and hurt myself, now it’s nice and soft and I don’t risk damaging my fragile little mind.
The back cushion is great as well though because you can actually slide it up and down because of how it attaches, meaning you can place it where the support is most needed for your back. And again, this makes a huge difference, especially when playing games over a long period of time.
The only issues really when it came to comfort was first, the idea of the armrests being able to move forwards and backwards as well, which I mentioned in the design section. Only because when you’re reclining, the arms are that far forward it almost reminds me of the stirrups you see in medical rooms when women go get their hoohah checked out by a doctor. Also, I’d just like somewhere to rest my arms, but again, I suppose it depends what you’re doing when lying back, because if you’re holding up a book, you may not even use them anyway. Then secondly, maybe the seat being covered in mesh fabric instead because faux leather gets me pure sweaty fam. You know what am sayin blud? Sorry, I get gangsta sometimes.
Value for Money – 5/5
So let’s get to the important bit. How much moolah you’ve got to spend and how much bang you get for your buck. Well, a whole lot. That’s how much. Whilst the Phantom Elite is actually more expensive than our previous budget gaming chairs at £129.95 (price correct as of 11/07/2019 at BoysStuff.co.uk), it’s not by a whole lot really, but you do get a whole lot more for your money.
It’s more adjustable, feels much sturdier being built with a steel frame as opposed to plastic and you get the added cushions, which yes you could buy separately anyway, but they not only add to the comfort but make it look the part too. And, I almost forgot to mention it is full adult size, so you don’t have to feel like a giant in a small chair like when you go to a parents evening for your young child and the teacher makes you sit on furniture that you’re too afraid to place all your weight on in case it breaks and they rope you in to doing some school volunteering.
Not just that, but there are plenty similar models out there, such as the Arozzi Verona V2 for example, which currently retails at over £240 on Amazon. It has similar features, the same style cushions and the general design shape is virtually identical. The only major distance at a first glance is that the casters are designed like racing car wheel spokes, but that’s it. There may be more than meets the eye when you take one out for a test drive, but from my experience so far of the Phantom Elite, why would you spend over an extra £100 for what seems like the same chair? It’s just ludicrous.
Overall – 4.8/5
Well, what can I say really? This is by far the best budget gaming chair we’ve come across so far. It ticks all the boxes; it looks great, it’s super easy to put together, it’s comfortable and it comes at a great price. Okay, so it isn’t perfect and there could be one or two things that personally would improve the Phantom Elite, but they’re more factors of personal taste. And I’m not the expert making chairs, BraZen is, so I’ll leave the design down to them as I’m sure they’ve done their research and they know what their market wants. And as mentioned above, the fact you can get this for under £100 less than similar models from their competitors means it’s an absolute steal and well worth considering if you’re in the market for a new gaming chair.