Now that we've reached the end of the year, it's time to assess this year's design trends and make some predictions about what we might see in 2017. Shades of gold and glossy black made an appearance on some of the year's key devices, but across several manufacturers, the stand-out unique color for 2016 has to be blue. Take a look at the trends below and let us know what you think in the polls.
Blue: the number one color trend of 2016
In my opinion, the defining color trend of smartphones in 2016 has to be blue. From the premium look of the blue Honor 8 to the fun and free shades of the S7 Edge and Pixel, it seems there was a unique blue smartphone for everyone in 2016.
Huawei's Honor 8 has a slick, seamless design with thick glass covering the front screen and the aluminum alloy back surface, making each device color variation really shine. The premium-looking Sapphire Blue version has been one of the instantly recognizable, iconic phone designs of 2016.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge's Blue Coral version just became available in the US recently, and it certainly stands out as more of a "light and fun" option than the more conventional colors the phone was offered in when it launched. The unique-looking Blue Coral model has a metallic, pastel blue back and bezel, with gold trim around the edges and on the side buttons.
The bright, vivid blue of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL makes the phone look more like a child's toy than an adult's tool. Since the "not so serious" color matches the blue of the company's logo, perhaps we could see a red, yellow or green Google smartphone in the future.
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL - Really Blue
- Huawei Honor 8 - Sapphire Blue
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - Blue Coral
Runner-ups: the glossy black and gilded smartphones of 2016
Gold and shiny black also made a big appearance on the top smartphones of 2016.
The muted, elegant gold of the OnePlus 3T's aluminum alloy body is much more restrained than that of the much shinier glass-backed Galaxy S7, but both have a very premium look.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge's latest color was just announced a couple of weeks ago: Black Pearl. The glossy black exterior was no doubt inspired by the iPhone 7's Jet Black model, another iconic 2016 phone. The only drawback of these modern-looking glossy black phones is, of course, that they scratch easily.
What could be the color trend of 2017?
The Huawei Mate 9 might give us a hint at 2017's potential color trend. The smartphone comes in the standard black, silver and gray options, plus refined-looking gold and white, and one surprise color: brown. This particular brown, Mocha Brown, is metallic and looks like a chocolatey version of the Champagne Gold model of the phone. Brown could be a warm, luxury look to become popular 2017.
Another place we can look for interesting phone colors is the Moto G4. The online customizer for the phone, Moto Maker, offers several colors for the back of the G4 and G4 Plus, including bright blue, dark blue, dark wine purple, red, pink, pastel mint green, white, black and even real bamboo wood. So perhaps one of these colors will catch on next year.
Since there was already a blue Google Pixel, maybe we'll see their other logo colors (red, yellow or green) on a Google smartphone someday.
Blue hues, glossy black and muted gold seem to be the dominant color trends of 2016, and we hope to see more intriguing shades being released throughout 2017. In addition to design and color trends, Android has also pioneered trends like VR and dual cameras (Huawei P9 and LG V20).
Do you like the direction trends were heading in 2016? What colors do you think will be iconic for next year's smartphones? Let us know in the comments!