"Most people put their phones in a case, so why does it matter what color you buy?" I hear a variation of that sentence very time I talk about phone colors and materials.
But if that were the case, companies would release phones in one color — "Model T" black — and call it a day. Instead, we've seen color trends come and go, and increasingly a variety of hues, materials, and shimmer to suit anyone's tastes. And while many people do cover their phones with gaudy cases, there are an increasing number that choose to go naked, or use a clear case, to see the phone as it was intended.
The OnePlus 6 comes in four colors, and each feels as distinct as it looks. Choosing which one to buy won't be easy, but hopefully, we can help.
Mirror Black is the obvious choice for the OnePlus 6 because it's the default choice — if you want the cheapest variant of the phone, you have to choose Mirror Black.
Given that the OnePlus 6 is covered in glass, the Mirror Black variant looks the most traditionally reflective, with OnePlus "coating it with a mirror sheen, giving it the look and feel of ceramic." While the coating means it picks up fingerprints quite easily, it's also surprisingly grippy, allowing you to safely use the phone without a case. You'll be wiping it down every few minutes, but when fresh and clean the phone looks incredible, and picks up on the strongest light source in the room.
Who should buy the Mirror Black OnePlus 6?
If you're looking to get a OnePlus 6 that looks as far from a previous OnePlus device as possible, Mirror Black is where it's at. Or, conversely, if you loved the short-lived OnePlus X (OnePlux), this is your only real option.
At the same time, given that the Mirror Black model is the only one offered at the $529 starting price, for 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it should be considered the frugal pick.
Midnight Black is the more traditional-looking variant of the OnePlus 6, harkening back to the halcyon days of the OnePlus 3T, where the "matte black everything" was all the rage. While this particular variant is covered in glass, it looks very much like metal, and offers a cleaner, more sophisticated look to the OnePlus 6.
It's also available in both 128GB and 256GB variants, both of which have 8GB of RAM.
Who should buy the Midnight Black OnePlus 6?
If you long for the days when the OnePlus line was made of metal, the Midnight Black OnePlus 6 is the closest thing you'll get. At the same time, it actually looks better than the metal versions because despite the matte underlay, the glass catches the light and looks really nice in almost any lighting condition.
That said, it's not as striking as the Mirror Black model, so it's easily covered in a case without regret.
Only available in one storage combination — 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage — the limited-edition Silk White OnePlus 6 features a glass back, but underneath is a crushed pearl design that looks slightly pocked in the light. With rose gold accents, the Silk White OnePlus 6 is striking and unique, and will definitely be more coveted given its limited-edition nature.
Who should buy the Silk White OnePlus 6?
If you're looking for the only OnePlus 6 color that actually has any color, Silk White is the obvious choice. If you enjoy rose gold, or just want a phone that looks a bit different, it's the way to go.
At the same time, it's possible, given the Silk White's limited manufacturing run, that it may become something of a collector's item, so you better get on it fast if you want one.
Without a doubt, the OnePlus 6 Red is the most eye-catching color we've seen for the phone so far. Announced on July 1, the six-layer glass design includes an extra anti-reflective layer, a translucent orange one, and red base layer that all come together to create the stunning end result.
In addition to the red covering the back and frame of the OnePlus 6, you'll also find subtle gold accents around the camera housing, fingerprint sensor, OnePlus logo, and "Designed by OnePlus" branding.
The OnePlus 6 Red officially goes on sale July 10 and will be available in the 8GB RAM + 128GB configuration for the standard $579.
Who should buy the OnePlus 6 Red?
If you want a phone that truly stands out from the crowd and catches the attention of everyone around you, the OnePlus 6 Red is the way to go.
The only downside is that it'd be a shame to cover its beauty with a case or skin, so if you do pick it up and decide to go naked, you'll need to be extra careful to ensure its glass design stays in tip-top shape.
What's your color?
Have you chosen a OnePlus 6 color? Are you lusting after the Silk White or Red version? Let us know in the comments below!
Updated July 3, 2018: This article was updated to include the OnePlus 6 Red.
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Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central.