In terms of design, the Gameboy Color is much the same as the original, just little curvier. That makes it easier to hold. You may notice that it has a portrait type screen as opposed to the contemporary wide screen design used by most handhelds today.
Most of the controls are located on the front. The mono speaker is located at the bottom corner while the buttons are set just above it. If you have a lot of experience playing with any modern console, you will find this button interface to be refreshingly simple to use.
The Game Boy runs on 4 batteries and the Game Boy Gear runs on 6, the Game Boy Color only requires a couple of AA batteries to power it.
In terms of usability, it could be a little more spaced out. An average sized hand could easily find its fingers overlapping each other which just feels weird. In fact, the only upside to its compact size is that it will feel it inside your pocket easily. This device is also way behind in terms of screen quality. You could not play it under bright sunlight or even a well lit room.
The best thing about this system is its incredible battery life. You could leave it on for 24 hours and then some just on a single set of AA batteries. So does the ability to play all day long trump some of the outdated features on this system? Maybe it does? After all, what would retro gaming be without those typical nuisances anyway?