Samsung has finally taken the wraps off the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus including a brand new color for the range: Orchid Gray. The hyper reflective gold and silver versions are gone, at least at launch, and there isn’t even a white version. Instead of unabashed flash, the Galaxy palette this year has taken a slightly more subdued turn, even though we’re sure we’ll see additional colors in the near future.
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At launch in both the US and Europe, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will be available in just three colors: Orchid Gray, Midnight Black and Arctic Silver. Considering the immense popularity of the Coral Blue color last year though, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it appear a little further down the track and we’ve already seen a darker blue color leaked along with a gold version. There’s also every chance Samsung could jump on the fire engine red bandwagon sooner or later, but to be clear, I’m just speculating on that front.
What I’m getting at here is don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see “your” color here now, because the range will undoubtedly grow in time. As for what we’ve got right now, what do you need to know? First thing’s first, the color of the back panel is picked up in the metal frame of the Galaxy S8, so you’ll get a different metallic sheen on each different phone. The front bezel on all three launch devices is black – not the color-matched front panel we saw in most leaks – and each device color has a matching default wallpaper.
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The Midnight Black Galaxy S8 is basically the same as the black Galaxy Note 7. Incredibly stealthy, incredibly sexy, with the camera lens and fingerprint scanner disappearing into the inky blackness of the back glass. The side buttons are almost invisible on the black metal frame, and the black bezels on the front obviously make the Midnight Black S8 the most consistent looking color.
The black is very high gloss though, just as it was on the Note 7, and as such it’s going to collect fingerprints in exactly the same way. While Samsung has some really great colors up its sleeve these days, the company still doesn’t seem to recognize just how disgusting these phones get the very first time you touch them. If you’re into obsessive cleaning then you’re in for a treat. If not, perhaps invest in a case.
On to the Arctic Silver Galaxy S8. While the color is similar to last year’s silver S7 it’s less mirror-like than that and hopefully not quite as likely to show fingerprints and scratches over time. If you’re a fan of white smartphones this is about as close as you’re going to get (at least, for now) but it’s easily the most understated S8 color available.
The metal chassis of the Arctic Silver S8 has a slight gold hue to it. The camera, flash and fingerprint scanner on the back stick out more than on any other color; not physically, of course – everything is nice and flush – but they don’t disappear like they do on the black version. This will probably be the most under-appreciated color option of all, but it is a lot more practical than last year’s gleaming silver.
Last up is the new color, Orchid Gray. Describing this color in words or even in photos is a little difficult, because it constantly shifts depending on the lighting conditions. At times almost identical to Coral Blue, at others a dark gunmetal gray and sometimes very similar to Arctic Silver. No matter which way the color skews though, there’s always a subtle lilac undertone that’s really lovely on the eye.
The Orchid Gray S8 is easily the most exciting option. The metal edges of the phone are a straight silver color, but despite having black bezels on the front, silver metal edges and a shapeshifting mauve back panel, the phone never feels like a mishmash. It’s my favorite color by far, not only for the S8 range, but possibly for the entire Galaxy S series. It brings just the right about of sex appeal to an otherwise unassuming color.
As mentioned, each color of the Galaxy S8 has a corresponding default wallpaper, which can be changed just like any other. There isn’t any default theming going on with the software or anything like that, so the color choices are only seen in the back panel, edges and wallpaper. Of course there’s a bunch of stock wallpapers on the Galaxy S8 that might appear on phones with new color options phones in future, including all those we’ve seen leaked recently. Or they could just be, you know, wallpapers.