SP-Star Polaris Purple

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Switch Specifications:

Switch Type: Tactile
Mount Type: PCB Mount
Force: 67g Bottom-out
Price: ~£7.00 (10 pieces)


The SP-Star Polaris Purple is a lesser-known tactile switch competing in the midrange space with the likes of the Durock T1, the Feker Panda, the TTC Bluish White and many more.


Here’s the video review if you prefer watching content:

Smoothness: 7/10

On-centre keypresses are very smooth with only minor scratchiness for some keys.

Off-centre keypresses are decently smooth. However, there are noticeable instances of scratchiness when typing slowly. As long as you keep your typing speed above 30 WPM, you should be fine.

Overall, they aren’t top tier by any means, but still very impressive especially for their price.


SP-Star Polaris Purple switch disassembled
SP-Star Polaris Purple switch disassembled.

Weighting: 7/10

According to the manufacturer force curve. The Polaris Purple actuates around 45-50g and around 2mm with a bottom-out of 67g at 4mm. They also state that the peak tactile force is around 65-70g at around 1.5mm.

This however…is very inaccurate from what I am feeling in the real world. Firstly, the force curve shows the tactile bump before the halfway point of switch travel with 1mm of pre-travel but, these switches have ZERO pre-travel. The tactile bump is right at the very top of the keypress. Other than that, the rest of the figures feel correct.

So, what does this mean? Well, it could be a number of things.

Assumption number 1: They changed the manufacturing specifications for the switches at some point, but did not update the force curve to reflect the change. This means the force curve may have been accurate before, but not anymore.

Assumption number 2: Most manufactures don’t publish the “real” force curves of switches. Almost all manufacturer force curves are simplified as it can sometimes overwhelm customers. In this case, SP-Star probably made either made a mistake (perhaps, it’s a force curve for a different switch) or they intentionally lied. Though, I really hope it’s the former.

Now, apart from those supposed issues, the switch itself has a very nice weighting with its tactility closely matching the Durock T1, but overall feels lighter. It’s an excellent alternative to the Durock T1, the Zealio 67g and even the Cherry MX Clear.

Overall, whilst they aren’t for me, I would say that these are perfect starter tactile switches for those looking for a more tactile MX Brown, but don’t exactly want something that is too tactile.

Sound: 7/10

According to polartype.com, the housing is made of PC with the stem being made of POM. It’s a classic combination and it makes for very nice sounding switches.

Overall, I wouldn’t call it “thocky”, but sounds good enough to me.

Typing Performance: 7/10

It’s very clear from the get-go that these are lighter than the Durock T1. In fact, it feels as if SP-Star decided to stick a lighter spring into the Cherry MX Clear, make it smoother and price competitive and call it a day. The final outcome is honestly quite impressive; minus the occasional chatter when typing at speed coupled with some keys turning into semi-clicky switches after a while…Kailh BOX Royal, anyone?

However, it does have ONE major problem.

Similar to the Durock T1, the switch installed in my ‘Right Shift’ key has a tendency to occasionally bind and stick down when pressed off-centre which is incredibly annoying. However, during the early days of testing, it was binding almost all the time. The issue resolved itself after one week and hasn’t happened since. I guess this is to do with the longer than usual break-in period; I almost installed a different switch in that socket because of this!

Overall, teething problems aside, the switches are smooth and perform consistently. I’d be happy to see a V2 in the future addressing these issues.

Gaming Performance: 6/10

Not too shabby for gaming given that it’s not as tactile and not as heavy compared to other switches. Their main advantages are smoothness and consistency – two very important aspects that make for a good gaming switch.

However, the main issue I came across was the usual suspect – the weighting. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but it’s been a while, so I’ll say it again. I like to ‘lean’ on the keycaps when gaming; essentially putting pressure on top of the switches before I actuate them (a bit like half pressing the shutter button on a DSLR camera before taking the picture).

Since these switches are on the lighter side, it makes it difficult for me to ‘lean’ on them without accidentally actuating them as I’m used to heavier switches like the MX Clear.

Overall, it’s a decent gaming switch for those looking at lighter options. Though, if you’re wishing for a heavier weighting, both the Durock T1 or the Zealio 67g are solid options in this segment.

Final Score = 34/50 (68%)

 

Places to purchase this switch:

AliExpress | Polartype | Keybumps

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