5 Reasons Apple’s $999 iPhone X Is the Ultimate Travel Companion

Sep 12, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

We don’t cover technology all that often at TPG, so when we do, it’s typically because there’s a significant impact on business and leisure travel, be it a global smartphone ban or a notable travel-friendly feature. Apple’s 10th-anniversary handset, the iPhone X — also known as the “iPhone Ten” — appears to be the most travel-friendly device yet.

Let’s dig into some of the reasons this pricey ($999+) device deserves a top spot on your must-haves list.

1. The Camera

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.20.19 PM

Considering how many pictures I take on any given travel day, my most-treasured gadget is my camera — whichever one I end up having on me at the time. Often that ends up being my iPhone 7, which takes fantastic photos for a smartphone. But if I really need to capture high-quality shots, I’ll snap my pics with a point-and-shoot or interchangeable-lens camera.

iPhone X brings us another step closer to closing the gap — if the phone’s camera ends up being as powerful as it seems at shooting in low-light, I’ll be better able to fly under the radar while conducting flight reviews.

X has dual, 12-megapixel sensors, with an f/1.8 maximum aperture on the wide-angle camera and an f/2.4 aperture on the telephoto. This time around, the device offers dual optical image stabilization, so you can keep the lens steady even in low light.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.40.45 PM

There’s also a really cool selfie mode, with support for a new portrait option called Portrait Lighting (more on that below).

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.41.55 PM

The camera also captures 4K video, of course, and with high-dynamic range (HDR) support as well.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.34.06 PM

2. Super Retina Display

As a former tech journalist, I’ve been hearing about OLED displays for years, most recently on smartphones. The iPhone X is now the first Apple handset to embrace this state-of-the-art tech. Not only are OLED screens thinner, lighter and more efficient, they’re also brighter, and look a whole lot better when viewed from an angle — that last bit could really come in handy when consuming streaming content on a flight.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.23.08 PM

iPhone X offers an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch, 2,436 x 1,125-pixel display — one of the sharpest screens on the market.

3. Connectivity and Efficiency

iPhone X supports a variety of global cell bands, making it possible to connect to a high-speed network in most countries around the world. In theory, I’ll be able to pop in my Project Fi SIM card and connect to LTE in Europe, Asia and beyond.

Additionally, the iPhone X supports wireless Qi charging, which means you’ll eventually be able to charge your phone by placing it on a table at airports, cafes and beyond.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.44.44 PM

The phone also uses a technology called Face ID to unlock the device more quickly and easily, speeding up access to maps, email and everything else. It’s also more secure than Touch ID, with a mere one-in-a-million chance of a stranger being able to open up your phone.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.25.47 PM

Like Apple’s old security tech, Face ID works with mobile apps, so you can use you can unlock credit card, bank and airline apps just by looking at your phone.

4. Extra Durable

iPhone X is made from “surgical-grade” stainless steel, and thanks to an extra strengthening layer, it offers the most durable display to date.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.20.14 PM

Like the iPhone 7, Apple’s flagship handset is water and dust resistant, so you can get it wet without worrying about damaging the device. We’re talking some light use in the rain, of course — you can’t bring it in the ocean or pool to capture underwater selfies.

5. The Apps

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.33.45 PM

Sure, every iPhone since the original device launched 10 years ago has supported mobile apps, but recently some of my favorites haven’t been responding as quickly as I’d like. I’ve bumped up the resolution of my point-and-shoot photos, for example, and when I go to share some on Instagram, the app often lags to the point where I have to swipe it away and start again.

With the latest processor and iOS 11, and retooled apps optimized for the latest and greatest iPhone, the X should make it easier to share high-res photos quickly, especially when incorporating several images in a collage.

iPhone X will be available to pre-order in silver and Space Gray on October 27, and ships on November 3, with pricing starting at a whopping $999 in the US.

Other Announcements

Apple also introduced the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which both come in silver, Space Gray and gold. Like the X, these phones support Qi wireless charging as well.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.13.28 PM

The new handsets are made from an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, with steel-reinforced glass — apparently the most durable ever in a smartphone. They’re water resistant, just like the iPhone 7 and X. The devices are up to 70% more efficient than their predecessors, which should make a big difference when it comes to processing images, playing games and more.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.02.21 PM

The cameras are improved as well, including a higher-quality portrait mode with the iPhone 8 Plus, with a super-slick new feature called “Portrait Lighting” that separates your subject from the background and enables you to apply different light settings.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.05.34 PM

There are also enhanced 4K capture options, and a new 1080p 240 frames-per-second setting, for high-res slow-motion videography. The iPhone 8 will be available to pre-order on Friday, September 15 starting at $699, while the iPhone 8 Plus will run you $799 and up. Both devices will hit US stores the following Friday, September 22.

The iPhones weren’t the only major announcements today — the company announced a new, faster Apple Watch with optional cellular connectivity (from $329, or $399 with LTE).

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 1.38.50 PM

As with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, pre-orders begin this Friday, September 15, and the new watch is available as of the following Friday, September 22.

If you do end up getting an iPhone, consider paying your bill with a card that covers loss and damage, such as the Ink Business Preferred or a card from Wells Fargo.

Will you be ordering a new iPhone and/or Apple Watch?

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.