What color iPhone 6 should you get: Silver, gold, or space gray?

What color iPhone 6 should you get: Silver, gold, or space gray?

2014 iPhone buyers guide: How to choose the perfect gold/white, silver/white, or space gray/black iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus for you!

Color is one of the most visually distinctive — and personal — things about a new iPhone, which makes it one of the most important choices you'll have to make. Originally there was only one color, aluminum and black, but Apple eventually went to black and white, and now they're offering three choices for their high-end iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: silver and gold, silver and white, and space gray and black. If you're on the fence about which color you should get, here's what you should consider.

Distraction dangers

Both the gold/white and silver/white iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have white faceplates, which means white is the color you'll see most when looking at the screen - something you'll be doing a lot. TV sets are almost always black for a reason: when you're watching a show or a movie, or playing a game, you want the TV set to disappear, so you can enjoy what you're doing without noticing a big colored rim around it.

The same goes for the iPhone. Some people find having a white faceplate very distracting when they're watching videos or gaming, and others just don't like the contrast between the white border and the black screen when the device is off. It's very "panda". Conversely, if you do more messaging than media, white can actually blend better into Messages, Mail, Safari, etc.

I've had both a black and slate and a white and silver iPhone 5, and white and gold iPhone 5s, and have never been distracted nor irked by either one. If a white faceplate catches your eye, however, you might want to stick with black.

Discoloration doubts

Rumor has it Apple delayed the launch of the white iPhone 4 in order to improve the UV protection and prevent discoloration. Regardless, they took a long time to figure it out and get it right, and the white iPhone 4 has been on the market for over two and half years now and there haven't been any widespread accounts of discoloration. My own white iPhone 4 looks as white now as it did the day I bought it back in 2011.

So, whether you get the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in white and silver or white and gold, you won't have anything to worry about.

Coolness concerns

Black is almost always the most popular color for electronics and electronics accessories. That's why it's so common. It's literally the hot little black number. However, true black is incredibly hard to anodize, which is why the dark iPhone 5 was closer to charcoal and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is closer to graphite. Gray may not look as cool as blackout black, but it'll likely still be the default for many people.

That said, some people just love white phones. At the end of the day, you need to buy what you like. White iPhones stand out more and can be more obvious with brightly colored cases. Black phones tend to disappear more, and let the accessories be the star.

Likewise, for some people gold looks hot, or portents prosperity. Others might worry it comes off as chintzy or tacky. It's neither of those things. It's just new. If you like it, if it appeals to you, if it represents what you want in an iPhone color, than it absolutely doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Withstanding wear

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has an aluminum unibody. On the silver iPhones, it's clear coated but not otherwise treated. That means if there's a scratch or chip, it's not particularly noticeable unless the light hits it just so. The space gray iPhone is anodized. That means if there's a scratch or chip, it may be more easily noticeable under a wider range of lighting conditions.

Some people don't care. Like any great object, some people feel wear makes it look even better. Call it Millennium Falcon chic. However, the old iPhone 5 slate and black iPhone showed damage a lot more, which is probably why the new one is space gray and black instead. Apple may have mitigated a lot of the previous concerns with this change. Only time will tell.

If the idea of wear bothers you, however, you'll want to skew towards the white models.

Cases closed

Cases closed

For many people the color of the phone they get is of only passing concern, because they'll lock it up in a case the moment it leaves the box. However, depending on the case areas of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will still show through. Many don't cover the face plate. Some cut out the Apple logo and the buttons and ports.

Just because you're wearing a jacket doesn't mean the clothes you have on beneath won't still peak through. Choose a color you love, then add a case you love to it to complete the look. (They're accessories because they accessorize!). If you already have a case you love, pick the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus color that either makes it pop (black) or helps it shine (white). Either way, make sure you love the phone you get regardless of the accessories you may or may not add - or keep - to it later.

Who should get the space gray and black iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus?

If you want a color that won't distract you when you game or watch video, that absolutely won't discolor, even if it does show wear and tear a little more visibly, that's closer to timeless even if it's also more reserved, then get the space gray and black iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

It's the classic for a reason.

Who should get the silver and white iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus?

If you want a color that draws more attention in its own right and stands out better from the crowd (without being overly fussy about it), that may be more of a distraction but that doesn't show damage as much, then get the silver and white iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Who should get the gold and white iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus?

If you want to stand out as much as possible while doing so, that you're also not as easily distracted and enjoy that it doesn't show damage as much, if a little tasteful bling is your thing, then get the gold and white iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about gold and white, silver and white, or space gray and black - or as I like to think of them, Threepio gold, Stormtrooper white, and Fett gray - jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out.

At the end of the day, the only real answer is get the color you like better. Everything else is manufactured anxiety at this point. Just close your eyes, picture your iPhone in your hand, and carefully look at what color you're picturing. Then buy that. And if you change your mind later, you can get a case. Once you've decided, though, et me know - which color did you go with and why?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

What color iPhone 6 should you get: Silver, gold, or space gray?


Something to consider after living with a black 5/5s. The phones literally disappear in dark/dim situations and I've spent quite a bit of time over the last two years looking for a phone that was literally right in front of me. My next phone will be white or gold just so that it's easier to find when I set it down at night. I really wish they would bring back the black front with light silver back because I think that would be great looking and easy to see across the room. Also I have 20/15 vision so this isn't related to me needing a better glasses prescription.

I just got a cheap but good basic phone (Nokia 108) with a prepaid card to find my other phone. A spare phone is good to have around for emegenies too, especially if you live alone. If you have an old phone in the drawer, you can use that too.

Thought about the white/silver combo because of iOS 7 and 8's very whiteout interfaces. However, like you stated, it's very "panda" esque when the screen is off. However with the 6, due to the backing, the Space Grey's antenna bars seem less noticeable and actually more appealing. That, paired with a black iPod Classic, black iHome and MacBook, seems Space Grey is the winner. Love my SG 5S and uniformity isn't always a bad thing :-)

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Reminds me of: I see a gold phone and I want it painted black.... no colors anymore I want them to turn black...

Elegance is one of the Apple iPhones performance that's why its so confusing to select colours, all colours were so amazing, i have iPhone 4 black, iPhone 4s black also, iPod touch white, iPhone 5 black, iPod nano white, iPod classic silver and white and iPad Air white.. Maybe i select the colour Gold now.

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After two years of having the white iPhone 5 I'm very excited for the black iPhone 6 plus! I've loved the white iPhone 5 for everyday use but when it was time to watch a movie or play a game, the white was too distracting. Also was not a fan of the panda effect.

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I've had all white/silver iPhones since the 4 and I'm definitely sticking with white for the 6 Plus. Almost definitely going gold this time, but I think I need to see them both in person. I'm one of those "people that just loves white phones".

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Qui-gon Jin and Obi-wan kenobi I should have been combined to create a new character..... Called Obi-wan kenobi

I only work in black. And sometimes very, very, dark grey.
By the way, shouldn't have this article come out last year with the 5S? Or a similar one for the 5C?

I'm getting a white iPhone 6 Plus. I've never owned a white iPhone and when I had the white iPad, it never distracted me from whatever I was watching or playing.

I will probably get the iPhone 6 Plus white/silver. I've had 3GS white and iPhone 5 white. Although I would not mind Space Gray, same as my iPad Air.

I've always been a sucker for black. But this time, I think I'm gonna go with Silver. And gold? Sure they're ok but I'm not a fan.

I was thinking of black this time.. but space grey is too dull for my liking.. i liked the iPhone 5 anodized darker shade of black which Apple has discontinued .. so will stick to White Gold for iPhone 6 Plus

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I had a white 4s and a white 5. Then my girlfriend got a gold 5s so I caved and got a space grey 5s and was shocked at how sick the grey looked. I may be alone here, but I think the space grey is way cooler than the slate on the 5 and if this color wasn't introduced, I would've been a silver and white guy for life. I don't care about the front, it doesn't distract me one bit. But being a showy person, the back, that people see matters to me and the metal part is important. The space grey is classy and I will get the 6 in that color, but admit that the silver is very cool and would be my first choice if slate was still the option. Gold is for chicks, just saying..

** I probably only think gold is for chicks because the first one I ever saw was in the hands of a woman. Don't want to offend anyone : ) No Guido's were harmed during my statement.

I used to think white phones were for chicks as well...but then I saw that white/gold iPhone 5s. I'll be getting a white 6...just don't know which screen size yet (gotta physically touch them first). And make some matching Beats headphones!

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For me, the selection of iPhone color is not a simple process. My iPhone 3G was only available in black so there was no choice there. Same goes for the iPhone 4 (the white version was delayed several months and caused a sensation). When iPhone 5 was released, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to get a silver-white one. Last year, I fell in love with the gold iPhone 5s and for the first time, I broke my usual two year iPhone cycle. If it weren't for the gold color and Touch ID, I would still carry my silver iPhone 5.

This year, things are different. The differentiating factor is size rather than color. I've been waiting for a larger iPhone for a very long time and although I still think my gold iPhone 5s is the most stylish iPhone ever, my iPhone 6 Plus will definitely not be gold. That's because those antenna lines on the new iPhone (some call them an eyesore, I will just call them my least favorite design element) are more prominent on the gold iPhone 6.

I reserve final judgement until I see them in person but so far, based on the photos and hands on videos, here's my take on the three color variations:

Space Grey iPhone 6: The black faceplate accentuates the curvature of the screen (I'm sure that's the reason it was used so extensively in the presentation). The antenna lines on the back are muted.

Silver iPhone 6: I prefer the white faceplate. I don't find it distracting at all either on an iPhone or on the larger screen of an iPad. The antenna lines on the back are adequately muted. Scratches may be less visible on the silver back.

Gold iPhone 6: Although I'm a huge fan of the gold iPhone 5s, I'm not impressed with the photos of the gold iPhone 6. I suppose as devices get larger, gold becomes less appropriate. The bright white antenna lines are distracting and break up the fluidity of the design.

Having always had black iPhones, I'm ready for a change and am going to get a 6 in silver/white. I am opting for the smaller model because, as a mom with a baby, I do a lot of things with my phone one-handed. Don't think the larger phone would fit as nicely in my relatively small hand.

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My sentiments EXACTLY. I've had black iphones since day one and I'm leaning towards the silver/white too. I'm a guy, 6'1, and I'm getting the 6 as well. Did a little hands-on today at the Apple store and damn that 6+ is BIG! I'm so used to one-handed operation over the years, there's no way I'm doing anything one-handed with that 6+ besides dropping it. And holding it up as if you're talking on it? Might as well be holding a Macbook Air to your head. But to each their own.

I've had the white iPhone 5 for 2 years and ready for a change. the Space Grey looks sweet, especially in iPhone Plus size. I like the Gold, but my wife is getting it. Nervous it might look a little girly for me.

So I'm going black (space grey), iPhone 6 Plus, 64gb, and of course, full on naked. I've owned every single iPhone (other than the 5S) and never once had a case. Love the feel and look of a naked phone. Surprisingly, I've never cracked a screen either, despite dropping it multiple times, almost always when I'm getting out of a car. Anyone else forget they put their phone between their legs?!

I'm torn like most people, however...

Gold - My wife is getting this; I told her I might get the same and she said "fine, if you want to look like a pimp" - i think i'll avoid this color purely so my wife doesn't bring this up at the pub :)
On a sub-note, as a manager, it may be too bling for my career progression (yes, it does matter, perception is often valued higher than fact)

Space Grey - Definitely a classic, subtle, it says "oh, did you notice my big new iPhone". A lot more refined than Gold. Also boring - everyone will have one.

Silver - I saw an large Android (phone) something or other yesterday and it looked cheap with a silver back, almost like it was plastic. I spoke to the owner "Wow, can I see that amazing phone you have", checked it out, it was plastic, I handed it back with the disdain it deserved.

Conclusion. Space Gray.
I do not use a cover, but I don't mind the odd scratch, if I had to I'd get a cover or complain to Apple shop people.
My current iPhone is white, no distractions on it or my iPad. I'm not a big movie/media or game player (except Travian) and spend most of my time in Safari, Email, Messaging and maps.
Popularity and Resell value. It will hold it's value better than the other colors simply because it is classic but also unique in that it is the only one with a black screen.

I hope that helps others decide.

I would get the GOLD if it look like it did on 5s but so far the early pictures it looks terrible. So Space Grey on the IPhone 6S Plus the next year.

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Black and grey devices are everywhere.... Phones, dozens of remote control handsets, GPS devices, etc, etc. And all of their various cables. They also hide well when you misplace them, as they look nondescript in a sea of black and grey "stuff".

The first white iPhone was a revelation to me. It looked different. It could be easilly seen among the clutter, and that gorgeous white border around the screen had the effect of drawing my attention to the screen as the star of the phone. It never distracted me in any way. I bought my 4S in silver/white, and loved it. After smashing the front glass, I installed a black screen, and it lost that appeal. When I bought a 5S, there was never a question about color. White and gold was the choice. The gold anodizing was unique and subtle, as opposed to a loud bling look, and it held up very well in my pocket for the past year.

So, when the new iPhone 6/128 arrives here this Friday, it will be dressed exactly the same as my 5S.

I wish they had colour matched the antenna bands on the gold model as they did with the silver and space grey models. The white bands stick out way too much and ruin the potential classiness of the gold!

When given the choice I always chose the black iPhone or iPad because I felt it looked more masculine. This time around, I would have been happy with any of the options, but my #1 was silver 6 plus because it feels clean. And that's what I ended up with.

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having a phone that matches my new Apple Watch was the deciding factor for me. I love the space gray Apple Watch Sport so I need a phone that will match it.

I ordered the gold and white iphone 6 plus 128 gig .Then canceled and ordered the space gray one . Anyone know what the shipping dates are if I reorder today? I changed my mind :(

I need help to decide which color I should have on my phone in the 6th I had a space gray / black on my iphone 3 and 4 so I'll continue with the text it or order a white / silver will be happy for your opinion :)

i had the same problem, my last iphone 5 has the colour white/silver.. so i looked a lot of reviews and unboxing videos on youtube to see how the black and white iphone looks, but i can't decide, so today i walked in a mobile phone reseller (vodafone - germany) to see both in real life..

my opinion after see the iphone in black and white is that the black looks really cool when its off but i dont like the black border, because all the first iphones and the most mobile phone has an black border (classic).

The black colour works for everyone especially businessman (i havent see a businessman with a white iphone), i find the white iphone is more like style and fashion, an example is beats there are many colour when you choose the black one is solid and not a "Oh look he had the Beats by Dre!" but when you see the same Person with white headphones... its a different.

So I ordered the white/silver because so many people have brought the black one and in a few month i would see a lot of people and friends with the black iphone and than they will ask me: "ooh the white one?! let me see.. all of my friends have the black one" ;D

ps. sorry for my bad english

Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents at it:
I've had a Space Grey iPhone 6 for 3 weeks, the paint has all worn off on the rear camera bezel where it rests on tables (i only ever place it down carefully).
I've also noticed the grey wearing away toward the bottom of the phone which is where it sticks out of my pocket (I put mine in my pocket upside down with the screen facing my leg).
Been to Apple about it, spoke with a manager and now getting it swapped out for a Silver model as there's no paint to wear off. I don't expect Apple will do this too often, it took a lot of convincing as their systems don't let them swap colours at the Genius bar, this was especially difficult as I bought the phone through EE.

Thanks for this. I was trying to decide between silver or gold. After hearing this, I definitely think the silver model will soothe my OCD.