Samsung's Orchid Gray Galaxy S8 is a sign of more beautiful things to come

It was wonderful to see Samsung adopt a fresh new color for the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The color is called Orchid Gray and it's a lilac-hued pastel that's unlike the shiny golds and reflective silver-covered phone bodies we've seen proliferating throughout the industry. This is no girly rose-gold either — Orchid Gray is indubitably gender neutral, which is exactly the way smartphone design should be.

It's nice to see that the Orchid Gray version isn't specifically being targeted at women.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are merely following a trend, however. The HTC U Ultra, released a few months ago, is a stunning smartphone in its own right. Its hardware is not particularly spectacular when compared to the competition, but the blue variant is almost worth owning just to display on a mantel. The reimagined LG G6 is also fab in its own rugged and metrosexual manner, and we've been watching Chinese smartphone brands attempt to set a stylish precedent overseas for quite some time.

We're entering into a bona fide Android smartphone renaissance, where the smartphone in your hand is not just a utility, but an expression of your individualized self. And every premium Android manufacturer wants to show off what it can do.

Why the Galaxy S8 in Orchid Gray is so great

For the past several years, typical smartphone colors have been black, white, and gray. If you were lucky, you wielded a gold phone because you held out for one. Or you're me, and you skimped out on storage space because you wanted to be one of the first people with a really blue Pixel XL.

Orchid Gray isn't a special edition color. It's part of the main lineup, though I imagine it will be sold in limited quantities compared to the other color offerings — the same way the pink LG G5 was hard to find, for instance, or the aforementioned blue Pixel XL. The Orchid Gray is particularly outstanding because it is different from the status quo, much like the blue Pixel stands out when everyone else is holding an iPhone.

Smartphone design is still prone to stereotypes, too, so it's nice to see that the Orchid Gray isn't being marketed as meant for women, though its hue is malleable enough that it could be if you wanted it to. For instance, guys with a stylish side who typically wear lighter colors could choose this variant of the Galaxy S8 so it matches their trendy threads, while gals with a wild neon side could choose it to keep the color flowing (though I personally think the Arctic Silver variant would be more fitting).

There are a couple of other special edition colors coming to market, including Coral Blue, which was first introduced on the Note 7, and Maple Gold. These extra colors feel like collector's items, and it makes me want to scope them out just so that I could be one of the few people with one in my hand. And that's the point, isn't it?

Which color Galaxy S8 should I buy?

What's next?

There's no doubt that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are a boon to smartphone design. Look at the symmetrical curvature of the chassis; the way the screen flows into the itty bit of bezel that exists. It's certainly a work of art, one that's ergonomic and comfortable to hold, despite the fact that the fingerprint sensor might be a little too high for some fingers. What's next? Is it the eventual elimination of the bezel in its entirety?

The latter half of the year will hopefully help answer that as sales reports start trickling in. I'll be curious to see if Samsung's design prowess can keep it floating at the top of the smartphone charts and whether the stylish precedent set by the Galaxy Note 7 was enough to keep people interested.

The Orchid Gray is particularly outstanding because it is different from the status quo, much like the blue Pixel stands out when everyone else is holding an iPhone.

I can't help but wonder if all this design innovation is done in vein, though. Look at the iPhone: despite its relatively unchanged chassis, people continue to buy the iPhone because they know what they're getting with every model. They trust that Apple has at least marginally improved each generation compare its predecessor, enough for them to justify to upgrade — even if that upgrade means no headphone jack. When will Android users be able to rely on that sort of consistency? At least with the Galaxy series, it looks like the answer is 'Yes'.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

  • I was pleasantly surprised by the orchid gray. I went with that instead of black this time around. Just wanted something different.
  • I was disappointed there is no silver coming to the UK in the first line-up. If I'm wrong let me know. I also wanted a dark grey.
  • The shiny metal rim is so distracting i would've really loved a matte finish like on the s7e
  • I was more than happy to Preorder the S8Plus in Orchid Gray it's definitely a great color. As for brand loyalty Samsung is the only manufacturer who users on the Android platform buy faithfully every year and sometimes twice yearly. As an Samsung user I know what I'm buying every year and also know nothing else on the Android platform has my desire.
  • Reflects my thoughts exactly as well.
  • I got black but i couldnt agree more with everything you said.
  • I love it and mine has been pre ordered.....
  • I like the change of color. I ordered two of these. S8+!
  • Why two lol
  • I have 4, one for kitchen, one for work, 2 for bathrooms.
  • And one to wipe your ars!
  • If I was getting an S8+, I'd get the orchid gray, and I'm a guy. I like different and it's quite irritating when certain colors are marketed to women. I had a rose gold iPhone 6s Plus and I didn't care. I loved it.
  • "This is no girly rose-gold either — Orchid Gray is indubitably gender neutral, which is exactly the way smartphone design should be" So...rose gold is a girly color? Plenty of men like the rose gold option. Please stop perpetuating the stereotype that only certain colors appeal to certain people.
  • But it's not a stereotype if it's true is it? Sure, there is some men that like the Orchid Grey and the Rose Gold but it is a tiny fraction of men. Nothing wrong with that but it is true.
  • It is not true. It was created by the toys industry ad campaign during the 70s by separating blue and pink toys and marketed to different genders. It's all just ad campaign and people took it as real and true. Color is gender neutral.
  • Indeed, the gender separation of colours is ridiculous. In fact, these marketing numpties originally decided that pink was for boys and blue for girls. Just choose the colour you like, and to hell with "social norms". Rose gold is still horrible though.
  • Snippets from
    Is there a gender difference in response to color? Although findings are ambiguous, many investigations have indicated that there are differences between gender in preferences for colors. A review of color studies done by Dorcus (1926) found yellow had a higher affective value for the men than women and St. George (1938) maintained that blue for men stands out far more than for women. An even earlier study by Jastrow (1897) found men preferred blue to red and women red to blue.
  • That study is of little value, as it took place on a group which had already been effected by the sociological conditioning. Also, copy pasting, especially from biased sources, without citation is genuinely considered bad form. And isn't really a good way to argue. Edit: ah, I see you added citation! Well done! But the source is still biased and the study not very valid...
  • I posted that source (not sure why it would be construed as bias) mainly to point out it's not a recent campaign that has aligned certain colors to genders. It's been around much longer but I agree with you that we should all just buy what we want regardless of the social norm. Just pointing out there IS a perceived social norm and has been for quite a while.
  • Oh you're certainly correct that it's not a recent thing. Groups of people have been deciding what is "right" for individual members as long as there have been people. Sometimes it's good, like laws prohibiting theft and murder, and sometimes it's bad like dictating colour preferences by gender, or stoning people for wearing the wrong clothes... Or mutilating a babies genitals... Ah, society... You are very odd. You're​ right, the perceived social norm is currently blue for boys and pink for girls, but it will change, because it's nonsense. I like yellow.
  • Our reactions to color are definitely influenced by society and culture. Red is synonymous with warning/danger/bad in most western countries but in China it's seen as a very auspicious color.
  • someones been watching Adam Ruins Everything.
  • In general, women like colors like pink and purple more than men do. Stop being outraged and offended by everything.
  • No, not alot of guys like rose gold. I worked at a phone business before and alot of guys would leave if I only have rose gold color in stock.
  • Orchid derives from the ancient Greek word for testicle, so this is testicle grey. I love etymology.
  • 😂😂 that's perfect.
  • Can't wait for vag*-pink☻
  • Now I know why it appeals to me so much! :-D
  • Yeah I love this trend in nice, non gendered colors that are not black or white or silver. I would go for orchid gray if I was to get any of these phones.
  • New colors, great innovation
  • Like red!
  • The Orchid Grey did not appeal to me as much as the stunning black. Silver would be my second choice. The most beautiful gender neutral color they released was the emerald green S6 IMO.
  • Exactly black is sleek
  • The orchid gray looks nice, but I put a black case on my phone and the black version looks nice too, so I just went black.
  • Oh a nice beautiful color to cover up with a case. I want a phone I don't have to worry about covering it up, so if it's not so pretty but rugged enough to carry without a case of would win in my book.
  • You do know that there are clear cases available, right?
  • Got the grey myself. Although it doesn't matter. This phone is going to be in the tight bosom of a case considering if it breaks I owe T-Mobile a lot of money.
  • Only 2 colors available here (Black & Grey), So I had pre-ordered the Grey version because it was the lighter option...however once i started seeing videos saying it's alot more purple than grey I switched to the Midnight Black
  • Yeah, the gray does look good
  • Some of the Samsung branded cases are color-matched to the phones so that you get protection without hiding the color you chose.
  • Had to take the orchid because Canadian carriers are horrible when it comes to giving customers decent color options. I probably would've chosen gold or blue coral first had I been given the choice. But orchid is the next best thing. If I could choose ANY color.. I would like to see a red maybe with gold trim.
  • If I were buying I'd get the Orchid Grey so I could view it's beautiful hues once a month when I take the case off of it. What, you're not going to put a case on your all glass-wrapped phone?
  • No chance
  • Ah a clear case is your friend . To show off that beautiful beast
  • I never use cases, and :::: knock on wood ::::: have never had anything beyond very minor scratches or dings.
  • Got a chance to play with one just yesterday, crazy how a hint of lilac pops up based on the angle. It's the stealthy black for me though. It reminds me very much of how my note 7 felt and looked. ...N I need it to do that..
  • "It's part of the main lineup, though I imagine it will be sold in limited quantities compared to the other color offerings" Actually in the UK it's one of only 2 colours currently on offer, which doesn't sound like a recipe for limited quantities. Personally though the black appeals more.
  • Really annoyed me that we don't have the silver.
  • Emerald green would of been dope. All the colors are pretty slick IMO
  • The Emerald Green Samsung used on the S6e was beautiful. Still can't understand why Coral Blue isn't a release-day color.
  • Went hands on today with both the devices and I must admit, Sammy has really impressed me this year. I had a look at both the Midnight Black and Orchid Grey as I was undecided on which colour to go with. Orchid Grey definitely has that lilac hue to the metal chassis which is subtle. But overall the Midnight Black is more my style. I was amazed at how comfortable the S8+ felt in the hand but I'll go for the standard S8.
  • Cant wait for snow white
  • I want the blue I had with my Pocket Bomb (Note 7). I LOVED that color! It sucks that Samsung isn't letting Americans buy that color, but we have a grey & a silver? Stupid!
  • It's nice color but I am in love with coral blue, so this time I'm going with coral blue. And every Samsung loyal user may have tried Apple and found nothing special in it compared to their galaxy while many iphone users didn't taste the heavenly feeling of having a Galaxy S phone so samsung loyal consumers are the ones who love Samsung for what it offers, not for a brand name they worship. Samsung provides true guilt free experience with all latest and greatest tech which Apple can't with their outdated techniques to sell cheap things at high prices. It work but only with middle class people who want to show themselves as high class but trust iphone doesn't make you look rich well most Samsung galaxy S users are already rich.
  • I agree! Orchid Grey is the most unique color of the 3 when I saw them last night. If I get one, it will be in that color.
  • I spend about an hour playing with all the colors and both the s8 and plus . Took a few pictures and posted some video, my Facebook blow up . Every one was amazed of that adge to edge screen . In the end I stuck with my original choice..murdered out black
  • Why do some markets get colours others do not? Why does the UK only get 2?
  • Easy, they dont care much for the UK
  • It'd all mean more if running a phone without a case wasn't such a risk. My Really Blue Pixel is currently naked, but I'm at home. When I go out I slap it in a clear case. It's an ok compromise, but I'd rather not use one. But it's too slippery and I don't want to scratch the back glass. Not when I've dropped 650 bucks on it.
  • Just get a clear case. I have one on my blue Honor 8 and I feel it's a good compromise between protection and looks
  • He has one. Reread!
  • I went with orchid gray. I'm gonna sport it like a *****.
  • Why is everyone so against rose gold? I think it's a nice color.
  • I gather from the article that it's seen as "too feminine" and apparently aiming something specifically to appeal to women is a bad thing when it comes to smart phones. Okay, I'm being cranky but it is easy to read that into this article. It frankly confused me. I figure color is color, get what you like. If a man likes a rose gold phone, and I've seen plenty of guys who do, great. As a woman I was frankly feeling constrained living in a "masculinity correct" world of black and silver all the time. I remember when plain gold phones were introduced so many were up in arms about the "girlyness" of the color. Now men buy gold tech without a second thought. Good, We all could use some more color. Liking color is not "girly" and even if it were, "girly" should not be a perjorative any more than "manly". A color or style that "skews Feminine" is not a bad thing or an undesirable thing and it's time we stopped talking and acting like it's diminutive in any way. All that being said, I agree with everything else Florence said in welcoming the new Orchid Gray to the market.
  • Ordered my s8 in arctic silver. Couldn't do the orchid. Would love if we had the blue or gold option in the US.
  • "done in vein"? Really Florence?
  • LOL, good luck with getting a fix edited in.
  • Did seeing that mistake really get the blood pumping through your vains? ;-)
  • I wish Coral blue had been available again in the US. Since it wasn't I went with Orchid Grey. Also, it should be "done in vain" not "done in vein" unless we're talking vampires.
  • This color is nice but i went with the silver. I dont think you can go wrong with any of the colors.
  • Can we just get a red option already? A nice "candy apple" red would've sold like crazy! I have to wonder if there are other technical reasons we never get a red option...
  • This'll look great with a case on it
  • I was playing with the phones yesterday at Best buy. The color is awesome in person. The black may still be my go to choice though. Hope they offer the orchid grey in the next Note as well. Then we'll see.
  • Trust me go to Best Buy and test the phones out
    I ordered the grey at first but it's to dull of a color black and silver is the way to go trust me
  • The one thing that bugs me about the Samsung s8... And this is gonna sound like tripe but... The lack of Samsung branding on the front! Wtf??! There was enough room at the bottom atleast. Bad idea Samsung. The visual branding embeds the brand loyalty into your subconscious. Plus, others may see something cool on your phone while glancing over & see the Samsung branding. It's perfect advertising... Very bad decision to remove it. Not a smart business decision imo. Especially on one of the best looking phones ever in 2017... And no obvious branding.. Very strange.
  • You're right. That *does* sound like tripe.
  • Have you been paying attention to the constant internet chatter complaining for years about how tacky that branding looks? Have you missed the praise heaped upon Samsung for this change? Or are you messing with us?
  • Us Aussies get three options. Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Maple Gold. I'm deciding black or gold. :)
  • I love that the article is about a specific color yet there are ZERO HD shots of the color (the back) except for a distant, wet, poorly lit view at the top....
    .... yet there are TWO up close shots of the Front, where you can't see the color AT ALL. Good Job there ......
    I am glad I got to see the USB C port and Sim slot instead of the color...
    That aside, I "think" want the Black but I have to see them all in person first.
  • I decided to go with the Orchid gray when I pre-ordered mine. Been using a gold S7 edge.
  • Samsung did a great job on the orchid gray. It's very unique without looking too feminine and the color on the metal frame is very subtle. Also glad they got rid of the reflective colored bezel and went black.
  • "gender neutral, which is exactly the way smartphone design should be." Says who??
  • "When will Android users be able to rely on that sort of consistency? At least with the Galaxy series, it looks like the answer is 'Yes'."
    ...I'm confused - that's not a yes or no question!...Typo?...or are you trying to answer the point you pondered a few sentences prior?
  • I find black and silver boring therefore I am very happy to take the gorgeous Orchid Gray. It will be wrapped in a rainbow, glittery semi clear case. Come to mama :)
  • Be nice if they offer the upcoming Note 8 in this color.