Shiny or matte – how do you prefer the glass on a phone's back?

In recent years, shiny phones have picked up the pace quite a bit. Since wireless charging is becoming more of a regular feature, manufacturers are limited in their choice of material for a phone's body — it can't be metal, so they're stuck between toy-feeling plastic and premium-looking glass.

And sure, with a nice, deeply reflective finish underneath, devices with a glass back look lovely! Until you touch them, that is — finger smudges build up on that glass surface like there's no tomorrow and enjoying your beautiful phone requires you to wipe it up a few times a day.

Sony did try a different approach back with the Xperia Z5 — it had the so-called “frosted glass” finish on its back. It was still a glass panel, but it was matte, meaning no fingerprints! But that hasn't really picked up. Sure, it doesn't allow a manufacturer to stick a super-shiny color underneath, but at least you don't need to carry a wiping cloth with you at all times.

We thought we'd ask you — when talking glass back exclusively, do you prefer shiny or matte?

Do you prefer phones with glass backs to be glossy or matte?

Matte, please! Sony had it right with the Xperia Z5
As glossy as possible! I like that shine!



1. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

Matte... exactly like the HTC U11.

9. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

Haha !

8. Bankz

Posts: 2516; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

I always prefer Metal to be matte and glass to be shiny.

21. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 965; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

As long as I have a good case to put on the phone, I'm set. I don't look at the back of my phone

19. Cat97

Posts: 1804; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

The HTC 11 has a shiny ghetto glass back...

26. andynaija

Posts: 1253; Member since: Sep 08, 2012


2. torr310

Posts: 1633; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Anything isn't fragile would be the best for phones.

3. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1025; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Well considering the case covers it, the finish doesn't bother me.

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

shiny or matte? I prefer the one with samsung logo..

6. danny_a2005

Posts: 354; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

hahahahahaha, -_- you are su funny, NOT

7. det_bradlee

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 08, 2015

How about a third option: DONT F@CKING PUT GLASS ALL OVER A PHONE!

12. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

One phone made out of granite for Dr Bradlee please.

13. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

How cool would it be for a phone to be made out of marble or granite or some stone.

28. Mixkhata1

Posts: 161; Member since: Feb 26, 2017


29. Mixkhata1

Posts: 161; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

Only metal please!

31. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

'Only metal please!' NOT! The whole metal sealed phone is terrible idea. If you drop and break the back of the sandwich glass phone, you can replace the back and you have new-like phone again. If you drop and even only dent a metal phone back, that's forever to have fugly phone.

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2546; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Matte. Fingerprints drive me nuts.

11. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

I do not like matte. The back of white z5 was light gray. Black had dark gray back. Regular glass if it is white is enough to hide fingerprints and scratches.

14. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Matt or gloss, I don't really care since I always keep a case on.

15. cmdacos

Posts: 3974; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Where's the 'i don't care' option? As long as it's not metal.

16. Marslander

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

You can put me in the column of not wanting damned glass on the back of my phone.

17. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

How about a G4-ish leather back

18. boriqua2000

Posts: 244; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

I don't care how the back is as long as it's removable

20. Cat97

Posts: 1804; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I prefer Blackberry KEYone soft-touch textured plastic back. It looks great and is much more durable than the stupid glass backs.

22. civicsr2cool

Posts: 262; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

Matte glass offers ZERO grip, at least smooth offers grip when its not oily.

23. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Anything that looks good and does not hinder ergonomics or performance works for me.

24. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

I like both matte and glossy finish. But the htc-like gloss, it is ridiculous.

25. Pabliell

Posts: 179; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

I hate glass on the back. But if all manufacturers went full retard and made back panels only with glass, then matte. Hate having all the smudges and fingerprints visible. Where are the good times, when manufacturers tried different materials... Leather, kevlar, nylon, even good old plastic... sigh...

30. Mixkhata1

Posts: 161; Member since: Feb 26, 2017

I suddenly miss plastic.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.