I'm sick of color refreshers months after a device's releaseAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
This year definitely hasn't been a dull one when it comes to new phones, especially in regards to design. This year also seems like the first year we've really been able to fairly compare the hardware design of some Android devices to that of the Apple iPhone, which has been notorious for creating what many people consider to be premium hardware since its inception in 2007. Most notably, so far we have the Sony Xperia Z, which is covered by tempered glass and shatterproof film; Moto X, which allows you to design the back and bezels of your phone if you are an AT&T customer; and last but not least, the HTC One, which went with the alumnium unibody design with dual front-facing speakers. These devices are proof that Android devices are definitely starting to step it up when it comes to design, and it's nice to see that along with improvements to the software itself, manufacturers aren't ignoring that design is also an important factor when people are searching for their next smartphone.
But there's still one thing about certain Android phones that bugs me, and that's this whole thing where they trickle different colors out a couple months after the phone is released, and then release another color a couple of months after that, and possibly a third after that. I don't care how petty it seems, it really grinds my gears. They're not even "limited edition" devices, they're just extra colors that they're throwing at you just because.
Recently we have seen leaked photos of a blue variant of the HTC One, which actually looks rather nice. The hue looks to be a nice steel blue color, which keeps it professional but still gives it a pop of color. But it doesn't matter how I feel about it, because I'm not getting it. I already have the black HTC One, which I was fortunate to get because had I purchased the phone when it was first released my only option would have been silver (and while silver is nice, I prefer the black). In all likelihood, I wouldn't have purchased the blue variant, but for anybody who would have but had no idea that it was going to be released, it's pretty much an SOL situation. It's really the principle of the thing that gets me.
I let the red HTC One slide for a while, because as many people are aware, the HTC One has yet to launch for Verizon Wireless. Why big red has decided to wait so long for the launch of such an iconic handset this year is beyond me, but I figured that the leak of the red HTC One had something to do with the delayed launch. You know, maybe as a way of saying, "Hey, sorry that we didn't bring this phone in sooner. Here, have a uniquely colored device." However, this wasn't the case, and as it turns out Sprint was the carrier that nabbed the rights to the red One. If that didn't get you, the fact that Sprint's red One will probably still release before Verizon gets any colors available on their shelves will. But hopefully Verizon isn't going to pull this number where they release the black and silver variants and then a few months later release this leaked blue variant, because it's really rather annoying.
Perhaps I'm doing some incorrect assuming, and we all know what assuming does, but I always figured the majority of people didn't purchase their phone based entirely on color. Releasing extra colors in the following months, to me, seems like it does more harm than good. If Larry didn't want an HTC One when it was first released because he didn't like the Ultrapixel camera, he probably isn't going to buy it simply because it's donning a new color. Does it really renew that much interest in the device? Black and white are the basic canvas colors most phones start out with, and although they seem boring, they pretty much match anything. If the device happens to come in additional colors, that's a bonus! More choices is a great thing, but when it comes to the color of a device it just makes sense to have all planned color options available from the get-go. No more of these "But wait, there's more!" shenanigans. Thanks but no thanks, Billy Mays.
HTC isn't the only culprit here. It even looks like they're just following in the footsteps of Samsung, who has also irritated me by releasing different color variants for their devices lately. The Galaxy S III just had a purple variant released for Sprint only mere months ago, a year after the phone was released. Not that I have anything against purple phones, but why wasn't it just available from the beginning? Unless these color refreshers include magical fixing properties within that new coat of paint, I don't care to see it after release. I feel like the time and money spent re-coloring these devices could be better spent updating and supporting the software.
Don't get me wrong, I really like it when phones come in multiple colors. But everybody should have these color choices from day one. It just makes sense that way. I mean, nobody is going to die if they can't have the red One when they've already purchased the silver, but that doesn't make it any less obnoxious when I read that new colors are coming. It's whatever.
Readers, how do you feel about different color variants being released months after certain devices are released? Would you rather see all oclor options appear at the same time, or do you think this renews interest in the phone even after it's months old? You know what to do! Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!
Image via EvLeaks