I sat on this budget throne – and I may never pay for a pricey gaming chair again

AndaSeat Phantom 3 in my living room
(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Luckily, I was forewarned. Prior to receiving my AndaSeat Phantom 3, I’ve never really sat on an AndaSeat before, and colleagues had the opportunity to tip me off to the fact the brand's products aren’t of the highest quality. This certainly helped to keep my expectations low, which allowed me to judge this throne for what it is: a gaming chair that sits in the budget market.

For the record, I’m not claiming that $300 / £300 isn’t expensive for a desk chair. However, that price point is considered budget in the gaming space, with some of the best gaming chairs out there demanding over $1,000 / £1,000 of your hard-earned money, so I will consider it as such.

And for a budget gaming chair, it’s not too shabby.

AndaSeat Phantom 3 in my living room

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

As with most budget products, however, compromises in quality are apparent here. Many of the parts used are of cheap quality, and AndaSeat seems to have decided that some of the most basic seat adjustments cost a premium, which means you won’t be getting them here.

However, the AndaSeat Phantom 3 has its share of strengths too, particularly when it comes to space and comfort, which are certainly more important when you’re working with a tight budget. I didn’t mind gaming (and working) in it for a few hours, and I’m sure most users will feel the same.

In fact, I would go as far to say that this is one of the best budget gaming chairs out there.

Plastic parts

Setting your expectations here, however, I want to reiterate that many parts that make up the AndaSeat Phantom 3 are made of plastic and aren’t what I would call top quality – although the plastic bits do feel solid enough for most users. I would just keep that in mind if you’re on the heavier side, as some of those parts might not be robust enough to last a few years.

This is a bucket-seat gaming chair, but with a slightly more elegant spin owing to its minimalist design. Get the white or black premium PVC leather version like I did – there are several colorways and a linen fabric finish on hand – and you’re definitely getting a more elevated look. 

AndaSeat Phantom 3 in my living room

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

But there are clunky bits as well – the removable lumbar pillow, for one, is unnecessarily massive (or as AndaSeat  puts it, 'extra large') and ends up feeling more of a nuisance than supportive, and the casters aren’t the highest quality, even though they do roll easily and smoothly. Plus, while I love the textured finish of the leather, it’s neither the most breathable nor the most cat-friendly.

An upside to a gaming chair made mostly of plastic is that it ends up being very lightweight, which this one is. You’ll definitely have no trouble moving it or dragging this from one spot to another, if that’s a thing you have to regularly do in your space.

Firm comfort

Strangely, AndaSeat only has the AndaSeat Phantom 3 available in large. That means that the back rest is meant for tall people – my short frame barely reached the otherwise comfortable neck pillow. On the upside, it also means that if you’re on the thinner side, you have plenty of seating space to work with. That’s because the seat is deep and spacious, so much so that I was able to easily sit cross-legged in it.

The whole thing is certainly more on the firm, rather than the plush, side. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it’s better if you’ve got back issues. The lumbar pillow can provide that extra support as well, and the arm rests are made of firm foam, making them kind to your arms. However, if you prefer plusher seats, you should look for other options.

As previously mentioned, adjustments are within easy reach, even to petite users like me. I was able to adjust the height and the back-tilt effortlessly, and I appreciate the fact that I can take power naps in this, thanks to its deep, almost 180-degree-angle recline. But sadly those, plus arm-rest height, are just about all the adjustments you can make, which means that if you’re very particular about your seating positions you might not love this chair. 

Otherwise, it’s worth giving the AndaSeat Phantom 3 a chance, especially if you’re on a tight budget, but want a gaming chair that looks the part.

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Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.