iPhone Color Options Compared: What Should You Get?

We see you’ve come to the decision that you want to buy a new iPhone. Not a bad call: We think Apple makes the best smartphone you can currently buy. Now, for the even harder choice: What color of iPhone — whether it’s a XS, XS Max, XR or even an older 8 or 8 Plus — should you buy?

Here is a bit of info on each color that each model is offered in that we think can help you in your iPhone shade selection process.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Both of Apple’s metal-and-glass-encased iPhone XS and XS Max models come in the same Silver, Space Gray and Gold color options. Of these three, we can get one thing out of the way: The Gold selection is the fanciest. And, to be clear, this is Apple’s new shade of Gold — first released with 2017’s iPhone 8 — that hits that sweet spot between the too-pink Rose Gold and the too-faint Gold first introduced on the iPhone 5s.

MORE: iPhone XR vs XS vs XS Max: What Should You Buy?

If bling is not your thing, your choice between the Silver and Space Gray could be more easily settled by calling them White and Black, because that’s pretty much how these handsets read, especially from afar.

iPhone XS

It’s also worth considering that smudges and scratches appear more visible on darker colors (definitely when a glare of light hits it), whereas gunk and dirt specks appear more visible on lighter colors.

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XR

Though the iPhone XR is designed in basically the same glass and metal casing as the XS and XS Max, the mid-size phone comes in six color flavors. With it, you’ve got your choice of Black, White, Blue, Yellow, Red and Coral, a palette variety that can, just as easily as it delights you, paralyze you in indecision.

It’s a more complex decision, so we ran the iPhone XR color quandry by professional color consultant Katy Kelleher when the XR debuted, and she pointed to the both “fun and neutral” Blue XR as not only the color she’d choose for herself, but as the most “diplomatic” selection anyone could make with respect to the six.

Red, she explained, is “aggressive” but can also show “confidence.” And with Yellow, though she called it “great,” also has the risk of projecting “insanity.”

iPhone XR

The Coral came closest to getting the same general nod that Blue did, with Kelleher saying it’s “modern” and “gender-neutral.”

As for the White and Black versions on the XR, which we did not seek professional opinion on, they’re basically there for the people who decidedly don’t want to spice things up.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Maybe, instead of going after one of the latest and greatest iPhones, you’ve decided that either the 2017 iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus fit you (or your wallet) best. That’s fine. And if you’ve read this far, you’ll be happy to hear that, since these models come in the same Silver, Space Gray and Gold colors as the iPhone XS and XS Max, all of the same info/advice from that above section applies (and we think you should probably get fancy and go gold).

iPhone 8
iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

When it comes to the even longer-in-the-tooth iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, these phones come in Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

For starters, while all the newer iPhones models we’ve talked about have glass backs, the 7 and 7 Plus go with aluminum. This makes a difference in both the color impact on sight and essentially negates the finger-smudge problem.

iPhone 7

With Black and Silver obviously subbing in as matte versions of the XS’s Space Gray and Silver or the XR’s Black and White, all you have left to figure out is that your fancy option is broken up between Apple’s old Gold and Rose Gold tones. Rule of thumb on this is that if you like pink, go with the Rose Gold, and if you don’t, you’ll want to go with just Gold.

iPhone 7 Plus

So there you have it! Hopefully that’s all the info you needed to solve your iPhone color conundrum. If not, just pick a random color and throw a case on it.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Daniel Bean is a freelance writer with years of experience whose articles have appeared in Tom's Guide. He has previously worked for LinkedIn, Yahoo News, and the Observer, as well as TripleByte, Circa, Inverse, CBS, and ABC. Currently, he is full-time content lead for Mixpanel's blog, The Signal, writing about innovators and analytics.