Black iPhone vs Jet Black iPhone

by Volker Weber

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People who like black things have been agonising over the question which of the two blacks they should buy. When you unbox the "regular" black model it looks very black. Surprisingly black actually. In bright daylight there is not much difference between the two models. It's just that one is matte, the other one is shiny.

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And this photo shows the confusion. Both phones are still in daylight conditions, but now they are on a matte black surface. With lower contrast in the lighting conditions the camera amplifies the difference. The matte black phone appears to be some sort of space-grey, when in reality it looks very, very black. Your eyes aren't as easily fooled as a camera. Matte surfaces diffuse the light, while the shiny surfaces reflect it.

Conclusion: it frankly does not matter which one you get. Both are very black. The question is whether you want the shiny one. Most pundits have been dismissive saying it attracts finger prints and scratches easily. I am not.

What nobody talked about from first hand experience is how grippy it is. But you can experience it yourself with your iPhone 6 and later. The shiny Jet Black model is way more grippy. It's back feels exactly like the front glass. Now take your iPhone 6 and feel how slippery the matte back is and how sticky the glass.

And that's the difference. The black iPhone hasn't changed. The Jet Black phone feels like it's completely coated in Gorilla Glass. The front blends into the back as if it were a solid piece.

But what do we care? You will put it in a cover anyway. Most likely a black one.

Comments

Which one of those two devices is your daily driver?

Oliver Schwuchow, 2016-09-22

John Gruber wrote about the grippyness after the hands-on after the Apple event:
"... the glossy rear surface has a very pleasant tackiness — certainly not sticky, but grippy. Based on my (admittedly limited) time in the hands-on area, I’d call it the least slippery iPhone Apple has ever made."
(Source: http://daringfireball.net/2016/09/iphone_7_jet_black_vs_black )

I chose the "normal" black 7 and I'm quite happy with that. And the Apple Leather Case, of course. :-)

Thomas Meyer, 2016-09-22

If it is grippy enough for me, I consider going without case.

The grip with the apple non-leather case for iPhone 6 will be my grip comparison.

Matthias Welling , 2016-09-22

I'm wondering if one wants to have a MacBook in either of the two blacks.

Sascha Westphal, 2016-09-22

To me that matte feels more "valuable" because with the jet black my fingers cannot decide if it is plastic or not (of course it isnt, it does feel that weird though). And I like matte generally over glossy anyway ;)

Martin Hiegl, 2016-09-23

How grippy is the Jet Black 7 compared to the Matte Black 7?

Lars Berntrop-Bos, 2016-09-23

Martin, aluminium is such a bad material for a mobile. Scratches, dents, no wireless charging... But well 😇

Hubert Stettner, 2016-09-23

Lars, I do not know how to answer that. It is more grippy and I tried to explain how you can experience this yourself without actually having both devices.

Volker Weber, 2016-09-23

Received the matte black today.
It definitely is very black. The also very black plastic insets for the antennas blend much better with the aluminum than any color before.
But I do have to say it looks a little bit like punched plate, especially with the beveled / drawn camera bump and the dull finish. Unfortunately can't help myself from thinking collapsible spade.

Tobias Hauser, 2016-09-23

You asked for black. Matte black. Don't complain it's not shiny. Matte black is the least shiny material out there.

Volker Weber, 2016-09-23

Indeed. But rather observing than complaining, really. Found the look a bit more utilitarian than expected. Avoided shiny for the sensitivity for scratches.

Tobias Hauser, 2016-09-24

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