Black or white: Which iPhone 4S color should you choose?
You'd think after deciding to get an iPhone 4S, figuring out your carrier, and choosing which storage capacity you wanted, you'd be done, right? Well no, you still have a choice of colors -- white or black. Given everything else, this might not seem like such a hard choice, but it's one of the questions we're getting asked the most often, so let's give it the once over...
The white and black iPhone 4S are identical in terms of which carriers they work on, which storage capacities they come in, and nearly every physical detail other than color (the white one has some slight cosmetic differences to let the light sensor work, see pictures of the iPhone 4 below by way of example).
There remain, however, some some things to consider.
Is white more distracting?
TV sets usually come in 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 iPhone 4S. 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".
Others aren't bothered by a white border at all and really like the two-tone look of the iPhone when its off.
I've had both a black and a white iPhone 4 and have never been distracted nor irked by either one. If white catches your eye a little too much, however, you might want to stick with black.
Will white discolor?
Rumor has it Apple delayed the launch of the white iPhone 4 in order to improve the UV protection and prevent discoloration. That's just a rumor, however. While the white iPhone 4 has only been on the market about half as long as the black iPhone 4, there haven't been any widespread accounts of discoloration and my own white iPhone 4 looks as white now as it did the day I bought it.
It will probably take another year to convince everyone that white holds its color fine, but if it's something that concerns you a lot, you might want to stick with black.
Will white fit in my case?
The white iPhone 4 was 0.2mm thicker than the black iPhone 4, which is well within Apple's official accessory tolerances given to case makers. However, not all case makers followed those tolerances so there were some cases that were a little tight on the white iPhone 4.
We'll have to wait to measure the white iPhone 4S, but even if it shares that same, tiny, 0.2mm difference, case makers have had months to plan for that and learn to follow the tolerances appropriately.
However, if you insist on using the skinny hipster jean equivalent of an iPhone case, and you're really worried about it, you might want to stick with black.
Does white look better?
Some people just love the look of a white phone, whether it's iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or whatever. They often get shipped later or come in more limited quantities so there's an air of exclusivity about them.
At the end of the day, you need to buy what you like. White tends to stand out more and can be more obvious with brightly colored cases. Is that something that appeals to you?
If you want to be subdued and not so wicked obvious about your phone, you might want to stick with black.
So which color should you get?
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.
If you need extra help or want extra opinions deciding whether you should get the black or white iPhone 4S, jump right into our iPhone 4S Forums and ask away!
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
Also, on a roll with the pics today.
Otherwise, congrats on the phone, I'm thinking of buying a white one unlocked and selling it next year for an iPhone 5 from a carrier.
It is okay Travis, owning a white Iphone does not mean you are Gay, go for it!
Truth be told, I would have much preferred a brushed aluminum case (like the pre-announcement rumors talked about). It would have matched my Mac much better.
I just received my case and screen protectors for my new 4S...now I just need the 4S. It's going to be a long week. My 3GS is ready to be demoted to a test only device.
DId you check out STEVE JOBS QUOTES AND TRIVIA APP on the Apple Store???
A nice way of remembering this GREAT MAN on your iOS device!!!
Check the reviews for the opinions of other people ;)
If you like it, please share it!!! :)
And as the style is the same perhaps the difference will give the illusion that my new iPhone is not just the same phone I have had almost two years now!
That being said, I'm still getting the black 4S, becuase there are a couple of major issues I had with the white iPhone 4.
Firstly, the screen. The whole front bezel of the white iPhone 4S is white, which leaves the screen contrasted in black when its off. This itself is not a problem. The problem is, when the screen is displaying a whitish or light-colored image, there is a thin black border visible between the screen and the white bezel, so you're essentialy looking at a white box inside a white box with a thin black gap between. This is VERY annoying and distracting to me, and also creates the effect of the screen being smaller than the black model's, because the image and the bezel do not smoothly flow together. This is obviously not a problem on the black model as the bezel itself is black.
Secondly, the camera flash. This is perhaps less of a problem and more of a personal annoyance, but I'm still going to mention it here. When you take a picture with the white model, try covering the flash with your finger. A ring of light will still glow through around your finger. This means that some of the light from the flash is escaping and being diffused though the white paint/glass. As a result, pictures taken in the dark don't look the same as ones taken with the black model, and I'm still not convinced that a small amount of the light isn't bleeding back into the sensor.
All said, it's still your choice, and If you really want the white one, and can live with the above issues, go for it!
My question is when you upgrade your iPhone, can you change the color?
WHEATHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT! WE ARE CHOOSING THE COLOUR WE NO NEED PEOPLE TO TELL US WHICH ONE IS BETTER!
GOD AND PS THE WHITE ROCKS!
I THINK IT'S MORE CHIC AND NOT AS BORING AS THE BLACK ONE MY MOM HAS!
However, with the iPhone4, the camera of the white is said to have been different and performed different too especially when the flash was used, something to do with it reflecting off the white:
So if the camera of white is inferior in the 4S as well, I would rather go with the black. I havent seen any confirmation of this in the 4S though, can anyone confirm this?
I have never had a better phone and the color isn't the least bit distracting to me! I highly suggest this product(:
Also, I don't like the milky color on hi-tech devices (silver would have been a totally different story!)
Thanks for the article!
Sucks that white was out of stock that time.
But I'm kinda loving my black! It looks sleek and really professional. I'm a girl and it really looks awesome eventho they say girls should have white haha :)
And I had a white 3GS so this is a good change :D
Iphone is the harley of phones - even colour matters to those who love love them
White, on the other hand, is very bold and unique + it's very eye catching.
So I suppose it comes to a point of whether you're the type who prefers to blend in with the norm, or stand out and be bold.
do u have and iPod...? if so what color?
Sent from my iPhone 4s. Please disregard frequent, correctly spelled, but nonsensical typos.
Just bought the iphone 4s white, And m lovin it :)
-__- but any who, white is the BEAST ! At first I hated white since it made the screen look small, but after using it like ur BFF you'll fall for it! I now hate as much as I loved the black iPhone! True story!