Smudges, scratches and the question of black or jet black?

So as tradition holds, after about two years of use and a couple of major iOS updates, my iPhone has started to feel unbearably slow. After having a look at this chart I can conclude that a new iPhone would be more than 2x faster. In one way, I can get slightly annoyed by the fact that Apple aren't innovating that much anymore, and that iOS and its apps are just getting more and more bloated, requiring new hardware every 1-2 years. But on the other hand, this is just like what computers were like in the 90's. You had to buy a new computer every two years or so to keep up, and they were a bit more expensive than phones. And if I consider what thing I own that I spend the most time using, it is definitely my smartphone. I probably spend at least 2 hours per day using it, so I think it is money well spent to have the best stuff.

I also briefly considered going back to Android for a while. Better hardware, slimmer phones for same screen size – at half the price. I actually prefer Android over iOS as an operating system. A lot of details are smoother, like the notification system (even after the overhauled one in iOS 10). But the problem with Android is that it is still considered "number 2" by many app developers, and you can feel that the Android apps on average get less love by developers. For many apps, the Android version simply feels less polished and enjoyable to use. And I like iMessage and other lock-in effects of the Apple ecosystem.

I settled on an iPhone 7 Plus 128 GB. Now a dilemma starts. What color? I have always liked black as a color for devices, as it is elegant, goes with everything, and is somewhat subtle. But I know that my iPhone 6 without a case is slippery like a bar of soap. The few times I've been using it without a case I've been close to dropping it. And I know that people who have tried the jet black iPhone say it is much more grippy than the matte colors. So jet black would be the best choice if you want to prioritize not dropping your phone on the floor.

Another matter is the one of scratches. Apparantly the jet black iPhone is very prone to getting small scratches. Most people on forums report that it is pretty much impossible to use it for a week without getting a few. But I wouldn't mind that aspect too much. Things get worn out, that's life. You will also get worn out, get wrinkles, and die. Get over it :) The iPhone might even look cool over time if it collects enough scratches. Have a look at this amazing iPhone 2G.

So I ordered a jet black iPhone. So that I would minimize the risk of dropping it. But then yesterday I was walking by an Apple store and decided to have a look at the new colors. In real life I made these observations:

1) The matte iPhone Plus is not that slippery. It feels quite grippy and I wouldn't be very afraid of dropping it at all. I don't think it would be an issue for me.

2) The main issue with the jet black is not the scratches. Sure it collects scratches, but they are so small and only viewable from certain angles. No the main issue is smudges and fingerprints. Remember the glass back iPhone 4? Remember how it looked like shit all the time except for when you had polished it less than 30 seconds ago? Yup, that is how the jet black experience is going to be.

3) The matte black looks cool as hell. Like batman-car-black. And no smudges or fingerprints or scratches.

4) The silver one looks pretty nice as well. I like it.

So I cancelled my order of the jet black and ordered a matte black instead. Expected delivery time is 5+ weeks right now in Sweden.

Micael Widell

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