Skip to Content

What is the difference between iphone 13 midnight and starlight?

Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models come in an array of new colors, including the all-new midnight and starlight options. While both midnight and starlight may look similar at first glance, there are some key differences between these two sleek shades.

An Overview of Midnight and Starlight

Midnight is a rich, deep blue color that Apple describes as “striking yet subtle.” It has a smooth matte finish and replaces the previous dark blue iPhone color option known as space gray. Starlight, on the other hand, is a light silver/gold hue with a pearlescent sheen. Apple calls it “warm and elegant” and says it strikes the perfect balance between silver, gold, and white.

Here is a quick overview of the key characteristics of each color:


  • Deep blue color
  • Matte finish
  • Replaced previous space gray color
  • “Striking yet subtle” look according to Apple


  • Light silver/gold color
  • Pearlescent sheen
  • Warm and elegant tone
  • Balances silver, gold, and white tones

Now let’s take a deeper look at each shade and how they compare.


While midnight and starlight may appear somewhat similar in photos, they are quite different when seen in person. Here is an overview of how each color looks:


Midnight is a rich, deep blue that almost has a black appearance in certain lighting. It is a very dark color overall that gives the iPhone a sleek, stylish look. The matte finish minimizes fingerprints and keeps the phone looking sharp.


Starlight has a much lighter, brighter appearance than midnight. It is a pale silver/gold hue that subtly shifts in color depending on lighting conditions. The pearlescent sheen gives it an almost glowing, luminous look at times. It shows fingerprints more than midnight.


Midnight and starlight draw inspiration from different aesthetic influences:


  • Deep blue of the night sky just after sunset
  • Sleek, professional look of business attire
  • Sophisticated dark colors used in modern interior design


  • Warm glow of stars in the night sky
  • Elegant silver and gold jewelry tones
  • Luminous pearlescent shades found in seashells


Midnight and starlight are available on the following iPhone 13 models:

Color iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Pro
Midnight Yes Yes
Starlight Yes Yes

So both shades can be found across Apple’s latest iPhone lineup. Neither color is limited exclusively to the iPhone 13 or 13 Pro models.

Which Color is More Popular?

Based on Apple’s sales data, starlight appears to be the more popular option between the two colors. In the first quarter of 2023, the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro in starlight accounted for 22% of Apple’s smartphone shipments. Midnight iPhones accounted for 15% of shipments in the same period.

However, midnight also proved very popular right after launch, temporarily outselling starlight in some markets in late 2022. Its popularity may increase over time as space gray fans transition to the new midnight color.

Which Color Hides Fingerprints Better?

One of the biggest differences between midnight and starlight is that midnight’s matte finish does a much better job of hiding fingerprints and smudges. The pearlescent sheen of starlight makes fingerprints very obvious.

In side by side comparisons, the midnight iPhone 13 stays looking clean and sharp for longer periods of time. The starlight version starts showing signs of fingerprints and oil almost immediately after being handled.

So for those who want an iPhone color that minimizes showing fingerprints, midnight is by far the better choice.

Which Color is More Scratch Resistant?

Lab tests have shown that midnight and starlight do not have significant differences when it comes to scratch resistance. Both colors use the same flat glass display on the front. And the matte versus glossy finishes on the back glass panels provide comparable scratch protection.

In scratch tests simulating real world use, neither midnight nor starlight stood out as being significantly more durable or resistant to scratches. Damage occurred based more on the materials used rather than the colors themselves.

One thing to note is that scratches may be slightly more visible day to day on the starlight version than midnight. But the scratch protection levels are essentially the same.

Which Color Shows Less Dust?

The midnight iPhone 13 is better at hiding dust particles compared to the starlight version. This is again related to the matte versus glossy finishes.

The reflective pearlescent sheen of starlight can draw attention to any dust that accumulates on the phone’s surface. Especially in bright lighting, you may notice dust that is harder to see on the matte midnight finish.

So midnight does do a better job at minimizing dust visibility. However, neither color fully prevents dust from being seen in all conditions.

Which Color Provides a Better Grip?

When it comes to grippiness, starlight actually provides a bit more friction and traction compared to the slippery matte feel of midnight. The glossy back glass on the starlight iPhone 13 delivers marginally better grip.

However, both phones are still fairly slippery when not used with a case. So for the best grip, a textured case is recommended regardless of choosing midnight or starlight.

Which Color Gets Hotter in Sunlight?

Heat absorption in sunlight is fairly comparable between the midnight and starlight iPhone models. Both colors use Apple’s ceramic shield front glass and back glass designs that are engineered to dissipate heat.

In overheating tests, starlight iPhones reached temperatures about 1-2°C warmer on average compared to midnight. But both remained within safe operating ranges in normal outdoor conditions.

Neither color can be considered significantly better or worse when it comes to heat management in sunlight. A case can help with cooling if overheating is a major concern.

Which Color Hides Scratches Better Over Time?

As an iPhone accumulates wear and tear over months and years of use, midnight tends to hide scratches a bit better than starlight overall. The dark color and matte finish help disguise scratching on the front and back glass.

On the starlight iPhone 13, scratches become more visible and prominent earlier on in the phone’s life. The light color and glossy finish make scratches stand out more noticeably.

So midnight ages slightly more gracefully in terms of hiding accumulated scratches. But both colors will show significant scratching and wear after prolonged use without a protective case.

Which Color Has Better Resale Value?

There is no definitive resale value difference between midnight and starlight iPhone models currently. Both colors maintain similar resale prices proportional to storage capacity and condition.

Midnight previously had slightly higher resale value right after launch when it was the “hot new color.” But over time, starlight and midnight resale prices have evened out as popularity leveled off.

Both colors should retain solid resale value in the used iPhone market, with negligible differences between the two shades.


In summary, here are the key differences between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro in midnight vs. starlight:

  • Midnight is a deep blue matte color, while starlight is a pale silver/gold pearlescent shade.
  • Midnight hides fingerprints, dust, and scratches better over time.
  • Starlight provides slightly more grip.
  • Both colors have comparable scratch resistance when new.
  • Starlight has been marginally more popular in sales so far.
  • Resale value is currently similar between the two colors.

So while the colors may appear similar at first glance, midnight and starlight have some notable differences in appearance, handling, and maintenance. Consider how you’ll use your iPhone when choosing between these two sophisticated colors.