This question is not as subjective as it sounds.

Some background...

phone colors Smartphones are commonly sold in black, white, silver, gold, and occasionally other colors. This is slightely dated (2013), but I'd like to assume the following typical usage pattern for a smartphone: distribution of app usage for smartphones People use smartphones in varied environments (home, office, transit, etc), so users may have all kinds of distractions, color and movement in the background while using the phone.

Question: what color smartphone provides the most immersive user experience?

For example, a black phone provides high contrast with the background, but the contrast boundary between the bezel and the content may be distracting. A white phone may provide too much glare. A silver phone may be neutral, but may cause screen content to bleed into the background. Gold may inject color-bias into the viewing experience.

I'm not familiar enough with visual design to know how to answer this question, so I'm looking for a answer that incorporates solid design principles and reasoning.

Please do not answer with personal color preferences because that is not what I'm looking for.

  • 1
    +1 good question, although it is going to take a lot to get a good answer. I would think a good answer would have to take your usage pattern chart and get the primary color of those apps/browsers (otherwise it'll be easy to say white looks best on black phones and vice versa). Then decide which color phone bezels allow the best usage for those app colors given different environments those users are in, by giving solid design principles and reasoning. Unless I'm over thinking it.
    – DasBeasto
    Sep 4, 2015 at 18:38
  • 1
    Have you look if there are research on why most TV/monitors are black ? maybe it is the best color to keep the focus on the screen itself ?
    – Max
    Sep 4, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    This is going to be very hard to find research data to support. Most device manufacturers create different color phones/covers to market the device as a lifestyle accessory. e.g. original Moto X shells customization. I don't think anybody have thought about color in terms of support for immersive experiences. If I have to make a guess, black or neutral gray would be best for the same reason dark themes are better for media heavy apps/sites in making content pop.
    – nightning
    Sep 4, 2015 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


Optimizing a smartphone's design for the most immersive color could make sense if you anticipated a situation where people would frequently be seeing its color while watching videos, browsing the web, etc.

However, this 2013 study indicated that 87% of iPhone owners and 75% of non-iPhone owners used their phone in cases. http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/28/7085005/it-doesnt-matter-what-your-phone-looks-like

In this 2014 world market research study, only 8% of consumers considered the device's color to be an important factor when considering a phone purchase. Prospective buyers cared most about functionality and durability. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=13&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDgQFjACOApqFQoTCMqBh5Wi3scCFYY5iAodRnICPg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kantarworldpanel.com%2Fdwl.php%3Fsn%3Dpublications%26id%3D476&usg=AFQjCNE-wWQuGVcEDYHUcf512sPrUTtBkw

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