As with Windows Phone 7.x, Windows Phone supports themes, which are combinations of a background color and an accent color. This time around, however, there are more accent colors available. And Microsoft’s device maker partners are adding their own device-specific accent colors as well.

Note: Nokia’s Windows Phone 7.x handsets were the first to offer device-specific accent colors.

The Windows Phone theme is configured in Settings, Theme.

theme

As with Windows Phone 7.x, there are two background colors available, light (white) and dark (black).

Windows Phone 8 offers 20 accent colors, however, up from the 12 in Windows Phone 7.x These include lime, green, emerald, teal, cyan, cobalt, indigo, violet, pink, magenta, crimson, red, orange, amber, yellow, brown, olive, steel, mauve, and taupe.

accentw

Hardware makers will often add a 21st color of their own. For example, the blue HTC Windows Phone 8X includes the accent color “htc,” a dark blue color that matches the device. (And is the default on that device.)

Customizing the theme may seem like a minor thing, but it can dramatically alter the Windows Phone experience. Consider the following two Start screens, which are identical aside from the theme choices.

side-by-side

The theme can also impact battery life, depending on your device. Windows Phone handsets that utilize an OLED-type screen consume less power when displaying black. For this reason, the dark background color may be preferable.