With most modern smartphones being as iterative as they are, it’s often the smaller details that shine through and stick with you when it comes to this or that device. Sometimes, that detail is as small as something like the color of the device.
And while it doesn’t really matter what color your device is, the last few years have brought with them a menagerie of unconventional palettes. Manufacturers have moved beyond cold and conventional shades of black, white and grey and the results are often as nice to behold as they are ridiculous to read aloud.
We’ve gathered twenty of our favorite ridiculous-sounding smartphone colors. Enjoy.
Aura Glow - Found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+
OK. Samsung, we need to talk. It was one thing to stick the word ’prism’ onto half of the color options for the Galaxy S10 and S10 but it’s quite another to bolt on the word ‘aura’ at the end.
The former was at least a vague reference to the texture of the devices. The latter refers to what? The sense of mystique that a device this expensive inspires. Who are you to spend this much on a phone?
Anyway - as words go, aura is particularly color-neutral. Pairing it up with the word glow doesn’t really paint you a particularly vivid picture either. This is a textbook example of ridiculous-sounding smartphone colors. It feels like Samsung are really stretching to not use the word aurora.
Warm Silver - Found in the Sony XZs
I’ve never heard the color silver described as warm before and honestly, I don’t think I ever see the two words sitting next to on another again. It’s a little perturbing. Silver, like many other metals, just isn’t something your brain intuitively connects to the idea of heat. At least, not for me.
Ultimately, the name of this color raises more questions than answers and I do not like it.
Clearly White, Not Pink and Just Black - Found in the Google Pixel 3
Google’s coy color options for their Pixel smartphones have always added to the charm, and recent additions to the line-up like Not Pink don’t dilute that quality whatsoever. That being said, they definitely fit the bill when it comes to sounding ridiculous.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, Google.
You can read our full review of the Google Pixel 3 here.
Kind of Gray, Not just Blue, More than White - Found in the Xiaomi Mi A3
I see what you did there, Xiaomi. Stay classy.
This is literally the smartphone equivalent of the ‘hey can I copy your homework’ meme and you’re all lucky I didn’t just embed a shitty version of that meme below.
New Aurora Black - Found in the LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Okay, so there’s a few things to unpack here.
First of all, when I think about auroras as a concept, black really just isn’t the color that comes to mind. If anything, it’s as far as you could get from the color of an aurora.
Secondly: what happened to the old Aurora Black? Will LG bring it back due to popular demand later down the line. None of these questions matter and every part of this name sounds ridiculous.
You can read our full review of the LG V50 ThinQ 5G here.
Mirror Black and Speed Orange - Found in the OnePlus 6T
Again, like many of the other exhibits in this absurd listicle, these colours raise more questions than answers. Why is the mirror black? Why is it not speed red? Doesn’t red make it go faster?
I will give credit where it’s due and admit that these colour variants of OnePlus most recent flagship do actually look quite cool - but boy do they sound dumb.
Breathing Crystal - Found in the Huawei P30 Pro
Alright, so it’s pretty easy to dunk on how ridiculous this color sounds (because it really does sound pretty ridiculous) but, in fairness, Huawei’s successor to the P20 Pro’s Twilight Blue has managed to inspire enough imitators that I can’t help but respect it.
It does still sound pretty silly and abstract. This color pretty much screams “make jokes about how ridiculous I sound. It’s the smartphone color equivalent of click bait and I have clearly fallen for it.
You can read our full review of the Huawei P30 Pro here.
Amazing Silver - Found in the HTC U11
Ice Jade White - Found in the Oppo A9
As far as colors go, Ice Jade White has a lot going on it. Like, it’s very busy. To Oppo’s credit, it does while it does start strong but it doesn’t take long for it to get lost in the mix. Calling this one ‘Ice White’ would have been fine. Why are you trying to squeeze the word Jade in there? The other A9 color options - Mica Green and Fluorite Purple - are not much better.
Oppo have overcomplicated things here and it just doesn’t work for me.
Forbidden City Blue - Found in the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
Honestly, I don’t have a huge amount of knowledge to weigh in on whether blue is an appropriate colour to connect to China’s Forbidden City. That being said, I can say that - as smartphone colours go - this one sounds cool as hell.
I’m actually totally here for it. I’d even go so far as to encourage more manufacturers to follow their lead on this. Who doesn’t want to see a phone that comes in ‘Adelaide Bronze’ or ‘Singapore Green’?
You can read our review of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 here.
Flash Grey - Found in the Motorola Moto E5
OK, back to business. Flash Grey. This one is very peculiar. Much like Warm Silver, I’m just not sure what connection my brain is supposed to be making here.
By definition, grey is a duller version of white and I’m not sure what Motorola and Lenovo are getting at here. The word silver is also R I G H T T H E R E.
You can read our full review of the Moto E5 here.
Radiant Mist - Found in the Oppo R17 Pro
I’m just not sure how to feel about this one. It’s one of those vague and non-specific smartphone colours where the name is probably going to evoke something slightly different for everyone - which doesn’t lend itself to a clear marketing message.
It’s also a little paradoxical. The first half of the name makes you think of warmer colours, the second half makes you think of cooler tones. I remain similarly divided.
You can read our full review of the Oppo R17 Pro here.
Greenery - Found in the Huawei P10
To this day, I still cannot believe Huawei went and named this color Greenery.
I mean, I like the color itself but the name just feels so lazy and undercooked. They easily could have just cut it off and stopped at green and it would have been fine. Instead, for reasons unknown, they forged ahead into unknown lands to questionable results.
Even now, my gut reaction to reading the name is a single word: “really?”
If I squint enough, I can see the case for this precursor to the Pixel’s cute colour options but it’s mostly just ridiculous the whole way through.
Electric Black & Ice Ash - Found in the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro
Both of these are a little oxymoronic and kinda inexplicable.
When I think ash, ice is pretty much the opposite of what I’m envisioning. Same goes for the colour black and electricity. Neither name is particularly effective at describing what the actual color palette of these devices is.
I will say that Xiaomi aren’t the only one guilty of throwing Black and Lightning together. Oppo made a clumsy attempt to jump on the bandwagon with their own Thunder Black color back with Oppo F11 Pro - which narrowly escaped inclusion on this list.
Regardless, these are all ridiculous. Please do better.