Should you get the jet-black or matte-black iPhone 7?

After a week of use, it's matte-black for the win (in my opinion).

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
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Just FYI, Apple's new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus come in two new colors: black and black. But there's a difference. We have both here at the office, and I've been living with them for a week.

Black is a nice, matte anodized aluminum, much like Apple's iPod Nano used to have way back. It looks sharp, and a lot darker than space gray ever did. Get matte black.

Jet black is what is often called "piano black." It's superpolished, and almost feels like glass, or ceramic, or has maybe a bit like Apple's old-school black polycarbonate iPhone 3G. It also looks a little like the space-black steel Apple Watch. It looks beautiful in photos, and it's a more limited edition that's harder to buy right now.

Watch this: iPhone 7, reviewed: maybe it's boring, but it's absolutely better

But it's also a huge scratch magnet. Apple warns about this on its product page: "its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use." Scratches happen -- in fact, the old polycarbonate iPhones used to get scuffed a ton. But just a warning: so does the jet-black model. Mine has a few hairline scratches and perma-scuffs ("microabrasions") with a week of mostly careful use.

Does that matter? No. And guess what? Either way, you're probably putting a case on it.

But the jet black is a collector's edition thing, like a special pair of sneakers. It's also harder to find. I'm not into that. Matte black looks great, doesn't seem to scratch, and it's more widely available.

Matte black. That's my advice.