The BraZen Phantom Elite is one of the best gaming chairs in T3's buying guide. Which is why I’ve been putting it through its paces over the last three days. I’m excited to tell you what I’ve found.
The Phantom Elite is a chair for new gamers, or those shopping on a budget. If you’re looking to set up your entire gaming environment, you’ll want the best gaming mouse, the best gaming keyboard and the best gaming headset for your budget. If gaming’s not your thing and you’re just looking for a quality chair then you might want to read our best office chair guide.
The BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair I had was blue but you can also pick it up in white, yellow, pink, red and black. My quick thoughts on the chair? This is a great entry point into gaming chairs – a lightweight, comfortable and cool looking gaming chair that will fit anyone operating on a budget.
BraZen Phantom Elite Review: Package and Setup
The BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair arrived at my door in a large plain box with the name of the chair printed on the side. It’s fairly light, compared to others I’ve had to wrangle, at around 21 kilos - which made it relatively to carry up the stairs to the room I’d be building and using it in.
It opens up from the top rather than the larger sides, and the first thing you see is the two branded head and lumbar cushions alongside the armrests. Moving these aside we see the seat and backrest together, with the wheelbase separated by cardboard.
You could, of course, completely destroy the box to unpack this, but I can’t, and I found removing the pieces from this top-down tightly packed box a bit finicky. Once it’s all out you’ll see that there’s actually not much to do in putting it together.
The instructions come on a simple A4 sheet of paper packed inside the plastic wrapping of the BraZen Phantom Elite’s seat. They aren’t the most comprehensive instructions I’ve seen from a gaming chair, but the 6 panels of line drawings are still easy to follow.
The tools come packed in plastic on cardboard, they include 14 bolts, 2 screws for the side covers (that hide the bolts on the side of the backrest), 4 washers and a Phillips-head tipped hex key. All the pieces here are finished in the same matte black we find on the rest of the chair.
We start by putting the wheels together, this is a simple process that’s ostensibly the same in all gaming chairs and office chairs. All you have to do is plug the wheels into the plastic base and slide the chair’s piston through the hole in the centre.
On to the seat and I have to say things were a little bit fussy when it came to putting this all together. Initially, things were straightforward in attaching the backrest to the seat. This is always a bit of an awkward process when putting together a gaming chair, but the lightness of the BraZen Phantom Elite’s backrest meant I actually found this easier than with other chairs I’ve assembled.
I did notice a couple of chips on the paint of the metal sides, but these will be hidden by the side covers, and it’s the only place I’ve noticed this. The side covers themselves are a little disappointing as they don’t quite feel like they fit; they do cover the sides as needed but its more from the plastic bending over the metal rather than feeling like a snug fit.
Attaching the armrests is simple enough, just flipping the chair and screwing them to the underside of the chair. Adding the chair mechanism to the underside of the seat was, again, just a bit tougher than it needed to be. The mechanism itself blocks a full rotation of the Hex key and I found using the Phillips-head end to be frustrating as it often slipped out.
None of this is major, and I’ve certainly had bigger problems assembling gaming chairs, but I feel like there are simple solutions that might have made the whole process feel less like a chore.
In total, it took me about 45 minutes to put this chair together, stopping to take photographs along the way. That’s not bad, and should be quicker for anyone not taking photos of each step in the process, but it is a little longer than I’m used to.
Once you’re done, you’ve got a pretty cool looking gaming chair, that would look happily at home on a gaming stream. It’s much lighter, and a bit thinner than some premium models I’ve tested and it fits more easily under my awkwardly shaped desk – I also found the BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair to be very comfortable.
The BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair is a great entry point to gaming chairs and a good option for streamers or gamers who can’t spend hundreds on a chair. It’s cool, it’s comfortable and it’ll set you up for gaming nicely.
BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair Review: Performance and Features
The BraZen Phantom Elite is a great budget gaming chair. There is a tendency when writing reviews to compare what you’re testing now to the best thing you’ve used, that wouldn’t be fair here. The grumbles I had about packaging and ease of build are what you’d expect and add up to the consumer paying less. Which is a good thing.
So, the Phantom Elite’s faux leather upholstery feels soft to the touch and its headrest and lumbar cushion come in matching materials. They come emblazoned with the BraZen logo and are comfortable, supportive and easy to adjust.
The armrests are soft and spongy, which is great if you spend a lot of your time propping yourself on your elbow (like I do). They can be adjusted to be higher or lower or rotated to suit your preferred position. They do rattle a little, but that’s not really noticeable when in use.
The seat of the BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair is very comfortable and the steel frame provides good support for people sized up to 150kg. The diamond stitching on the backrest, and in fact most of the finishings are of excellent quality.
My chair does however have a reasonably sized bubble in the upholstery where the faux leather rises above the seat’s insides. I can’t seem to adjust this myself, although as I search the internet, I can’t find anybody else with a similar problem so it’s possibly not a common issue and I’ve got unlucky.
That hasn’t affected my experience in the chair at all; you can’t feel it when you sit down and I imagine it’s not a part of the chair that will feature in a gaming stream. So how much it actually matters is up to you.
I’ve made sure to run my life from the comfort BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair over the past three days. I’ve taken multiple zoom calls, played games, binge-watched several hours of television and spent plenty of hours idly flicking through social media. It is a chair you can hang out in.
This gaming chair has really held up its end of the bargain. Its steel frame, faux leather, spongy armrest and non-slip wheels add up to make one great budget gaming chair that’s hard to beat in its price-range.
BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair Review: Price and Verdict
The BraZen Phantom Elite gaming chair is an excellent budget offering from British company BraZen. You won’t find all the bells and whistles of a premium gaming chair here, but what you do have is a solid, comfortable and cool chair that would be perfect for new streamers, or anyone on a budget.
I can’t really give it any higher praise than that. In its price bracket it is quite clearly one of the best gaming chairs you can buy. If you want to kick-start your streaming career, or just wow your mates on a lockdown gaming session – this could be the budget gaming chair for you.
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