When It Comes To The iPhone 5, White Is The New Black [First Impressions]

When It Comes To The iPhone 5, White Is The New Black [First Impressions]

Today I did something I swore I’d never do: I bought a white iPhone. Like my fellow Cult of Mac colleagues and many of you readers, I too bought a brand spanking new iPhone 5. Deciding not to brave the crazy lines, I took my chances and waited till later in the day before I picked one up.

Black has always been my color of choice when it comes to iOS devices. I’ve always owned black iPhones, iPads and iPods. But for some reason I decided to go with white this time around, and I’m happy I did. The white iPhone 5 is absolutely gorgeous.

The two-toned back plate on the iPhone 5 means that color choices aren’t as simple as “white” and “black” anymore. You’ve got “white & silver” and “black & slate.” The brushed aluminum on the back of the iPhone 5 is darker on the black version and shinier on the white version. The new backplate gives each iPhone 5 color variant an even more distinctive look.

When It Comes To The iPhone 5, White Is The New Black [First Impressions]

It’s hard to see the difference until you’re actually holding the device, but the iPhone 5 sports a tiny metallic band around the edges of its antenna frame. This band is super bright. When the sunlight hits the iPhone 5 the right way, the edges reflect light like nobody’s business. The shiny outer band combined with the white body and bright aluminum back plate just sells the whole package. I’m not dissing the black iPhone 5, but I feel like Apple really hit a home run with white this time. Sure, it’ll show scratches and dirt more easily than the black iPhone, but I’m fairly careful with my iPhone anyway.

When It Comes To The iPhone 5, White Is The New Black [First Impressions]

I’m not really into cases, but I’ve always thought that woodgrain cases look better on the white iPhone. Wooden backplates like the Monolith really shine. Aesthetically, I feel like black is restricted to metallic and primary color-based case designs. I never bothered with woodgrain cases before because my iPhone has always been black. Not that I’ve gone white, I’ll experiment more.

Yes, your color preference is purely a matter of your own aesthetic taste. In the case of the iPhone 5, I think white is the new black. What about you?

(I also bought a white iPhone 5 because that was the only color that was left in the store — but let’s just keep that between us.)

When It Comes To The iPhone 5, White Is The New Black [First Impressions]

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  • _AAbdou_

    I went with black. I have always got the white one and that was because it was nearly all white which i adored. If they kept that i would of gotten white, but thats hard to do with aluminum. So I went with the black cause its allll black and looks bad ass now.

  • Whodakat

    White for the win. Couldn’t agree more.

  • Michael Rosenberg

    I have always had the white…and this time makes no exception…I absolutely LOVE the white and silver look!

  • Logan Irwin

    BLACK IS BADASS. I’ve always went with white until now.

  • Shilly Devane

    I’d like to see a black button and the slate grey ring installed on a white iPhone

  • Steffen Jobbs

    BLACK IS BADASS. I’ve always went with white until now.

    You are talking about the iPhone, right?

  • SreekrishnanV

    I went with the black – and always have because when you watch video in the night lying in your bed – wich it think most people would do – the white iphone shows the frame while the dark iphone disappears in the black and you are left with the video floating mid air. Now that they do know how to make black iphone with that color – i think its not far from now that the Macbook Pro would come in black. Id get that too… but. WHite never shows finger prints or even when it scratches it doesnt show the scratch as much as the black i think would. ..

  • Complexity Staff

    I got black but like them both. Congrats on your new white one! :)

  • chriscrk

    I haven’t made a decision yet. I was always sure I’d get a white one, but the black one, this time around, is far more beautiful and elegant. It really makes me want the black version… But, I think I’ll still go for white anyway! It still looks elegant and clean, even if the black one is nicer this time around!

  • TylerHoj

    I still think a combination of the macbook grade aluminum and the black glass would have been the ultimate knock-out. The white iPhone doesn’t do it for me.

  • pullfinger

    I thought the white one’s shiny silver bezel looked too bling. I was very disappointed with the phone. Lightweight and cheap feeling in the hand. Like one of those hollow pretend phones they display on chords in phone shops. Not the beautiful solid form and function tactile brick that was the iPhone4. I can’t believe that having waited for so long I’m going to buy the iPhone4S after all. At 16GB it’s not the phone I wanted to end up with.

  • Lars Pallesen

    “Sure, it’ll show scratches and dirt more easily than the black iPhone, but I’m fairly careful with my iPhone anyway.”

    Actually your white iPhone 5 will probably be LESS vulnerable to scratches than the black one. And it’s all due to that shiny metal band, you mentioned. On the black version that band isn’t shiny, but black anodized aluminum, and several reports say that the black coating is easy to scratch thru, exposing the shiny aluminum underneath. Which saddens me – ’cause I preordered the black iPhone 5 :-(

    iFixit did a scratch test of the black iPhone 5 … administered by a 2-year old girl!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OSFKVq36Hgc

  • ddevito

    I concur. I think the white one is much better looking than its counterpart. The black is way too overtoned.

  • agner9

    Personally wish they have silver aluminium and a black screen like the current iMacs.

  • Eric Harrington

    White is for the ladies, don’t you know?

  • Ian_Sang

    personally think white was better with 4/4S design, but with 5′s new look I think black looks much classier! but the white one does look duper gorgeous as well

  • orangefan

    The white looks like a baby monitor.

  • RadTech5000

    I went with black also but the white looks good also, I think one advantage the black iPhone has over the white is when apps make use of the black bars on the sides, they blend into the bezel perfectly now but on the white iPhone you can see where the image ends.

  • RichardGase

    The edge surrounding the iPhone is not its antenna! The edge is just a part of the backplate housing and nothing else. The antenna windows are behind the glass parts on the back, that’s why these glass strips are there.

  • JackBoeth

    Yep! WHITE iPhone5 here too… first iPhone, too.

  • itskittibitch

    The white one def looks better!

  • Django Spaghetti-O’s

    Had the last color at the store that day be Black instead, wouldn’t it be “Black is the new WHITE” instead?

  • joewaylo

    I’ll wait for 5S and see if they add more colors.

  • MichaelBaturin

    I like white on the iPhone 5 more than any previous white model, but the same thing always holds me back from getting white – the white bezel around the screen. The thing is, white iPhones highly contrast the almost always darker GUIs, Video letter boxes, etc and stand out to a point of distraction for me. So while i agree that the white iPhone 5 is “prettier” than its predecessors, I think for the reason mentioned above, there is even more of a case not to get it in white. With ios 6, many apps will be letterboxed until app makers update their apps. This means that while on a black iPhone 5 it is not super noticeable (black bezel blends into black letterbox), on the white model it will highlight this fact.

  • Stephen Whitaker

    Agreed. The mirrored facets give it that “swiss watch” feel Apple was going for. It’s pretty slick. The anodized slate has been done, even if Apple’s execution is better. This white version is pretty distinctive, and I think they nailed it.

  • marsk

    Black is Badass! White is Awesome! I just got me and my wife the White iPhone 5 today! :D

  • Michael Green

    Black as it reflects my soul

  • jtt1975

    I wanted the white iPhone 4 but when it didn’t come out until about 6 months after launch, I had to wait until iPhone 4S was released last October. However, when I seen the black/slate iPhone 5, it was no brainer. This is all down to individual taste, and whilst I understand why people will be drawn to the white/silver, black/slate wins hands down for me

  • Kris Sheehan

    I had always bought black up until the 5. There was something about the white with the aluminum that just looked so much better.

  • aLoopFan

    White the new black…changing of the guard!

  • Lane Jasper

    I agree, I bought the iPhone 4S from a guy who sells them jailbroken and whatnot all the time and he also said that white is always more sought-after and gets a slightly better price when reselling (for him anyways) but I’ve always liked the white for iPhones/iPads etc. Congrats on your preferred purchase. I think that the white actually shows LESS scratches etc. than black.

  • Jay Andre Lewis

    I went with black because it just looks stealthy, almost like a B-2! I even put a Zagg rear panel protector on it… So i’m definitely not worried about scratches….

  • Overthe Wires

    I love both. But I went for the black because when I saw it in person it looked like a foreign apple product. Meaning it is everything I love about apple design but pushed a little more to give it that different look. My 4 was black, my 4S was white, and for the 5 it’s back in black. It was a hard choice though because they both look so good yet so different. I might just buy a white one! What. I love about the white model and in my experience from the 4S I had it hid fingerprints really well. So well that you rarely thought of them. The black is of course much more noticeable. They are both amazing!

  • Overthe Wires

    “Sure, it’ll show scratches and dirt more easily than the black iPhone, but I’m fairly careful with my iPhone anyway.”

    Actually your white iPhone 5 will probably be LESS vulnerable to scratches than the black one. And it’s all due to that shiny metal band, you mentioned. On the black version that band isn’t shiny, but black anodized aluminum, and several reports say that the black coating is easy to scratch thru, exposing the shiny aluminum underneath. Which saddens me – ’cause I preordered the black iPhone 5 :-(

    iFixit did a scratch test of the black iPhone 5 … administered by a 2-year old girl!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OSFKVq36Hgc

    I saw a few videos that gizmodo put up putting this to rest. And from my own experience owning the black model you would really have to try hard to make this scratch up. I do think the white actually hides finger prints and other things. Even on the black you can see a lot of dust and things like that plus a great trick for the white models that get dirt is to use a business card and it comes right out.

  • ray_sal

    So I just cancelled my order through AT&T for a black iPhone 5 32 gb because the apple store has a white iPhone 5 32 gb ready for pick up… after reading this article and watching the video Lars Pallesen posted, I’m so glad I did! On my way to the Apple Store to pick up my white iPhone 5!!! :):):)

  • gill904

    $85 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Heres where I went, Fly26.com

  • mark933

    If you think Philip`s story is unbelievable…, 3 weeks ago my aunt also made the small fortune of $5476 working fourty hours a month at home and they’re friend’s sister-in-law`s neighbour has done this for 9-months and brought home over $5476 part time On there laptop. apply the guide at this site… jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • ashley196

    Aria. if you think Janet`s artlclee is amazing, on tuesday I got a great new Ford after having earned $7181 this past month and even more than $10k this past month. with-out any question its the most rewarding Ive had. I began this 5 months ago and pretty much immediately startad bringin home minimum $86 per/hr. I went to this web-site,, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • claudia552

    just before I saw the draft saying $7940, I didn’t believe that…my… sister woz like actually earning money part-time from there pretty old laptop.. there great aunt has done this less than 22 months and a short time ago repayed the debts on their house and purchased a gorgeous Lotus Esprit. read more at, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Gadget

    How about a rMBP in black and slate?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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