After years of not releasing a smartphone, HP seems ready to finally saddle up yet again with the Elite X3, a beast of a smartphone that wants to be much more.
Updated on 07-18-2016 by Williams Pelegrin: Included pricing and availability of the Elite X3.
Starting with the fundamentals, the Elite X3 is powered by a 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, Qualcomm’s latest and greatest processing package, paired with 4GB of RAM. Thanks to the powerful hardware, the Elite X3 fully supports Continuum, the headline Windows 10 Mobile feature that turns the Elite X3 into a kind of, sort of, PC.
Continuing our tour under the hood reveals 64GB of internal storage, which is expandable by up to 1TB through the MicroSD card slot. That slot can be used as a second nano SIM card slot, however, if you’re one who frequently bounces between networks. The Elite X3 also includes your standard array of wireless connections, including Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, LTE, and Miracast, which lets you wirelessly display the Elite X3’s screen on another display.
Elsewhere, the 5.96-inch AMOLED 2,560 x 1,440 resolution display on the front is flanked by stereo speakers on the top and bottom, as well as an 8-megapixel camera above, while a 16MP camera sits around back. Interestingly, HP not only included support for Windows Hello, which lets you unlock the Elite X3 with your retinas, but also for a fingerprint sensor, giving users a multitude of ways to unlock the Elite X3.
Finally, Quick Charge 3.0 should top up the whopping 4,150mAh in a faster amount of time than previously possible, with the USB Type-C port providing the means to charge the Elite X3.
That may be the story of Elite X3, the phone, but this scratches the surface of Elite X3, the mobile platform. You see, even though the handset does support Continuum, HP took things a few steps further and turned the Elite X3 into what could be the first legitimate end-all, be-all solution for your computing needs.
This promise starts with HP Workspace, a curated app catalog designed by HP that turns the Elite X3 into a virtual PC. In other words, with Workspace, you can run a curated list of traditional Windows apps through the Elite X3. As for how you can take full advantage of this solution, HP offers two additional products: the Lap Dock and the Desk Dock.
Reminiscent of the laptop dock for the original Motorola Atrix many eons ago, the Lap Dock, equipped with a 12.5-inch display, represents the laptop front. The Desk Dock, which packs a DisplayPort for external display support, as well as Ethernet, USB-A, and USB-C ports, represents the desktop solution for the Elite X3.
As for availability, HP confirmed the Elite X3 will be available in 47 countries around the world. In the U.S., the Elite X3 will be available later in July for $700. Alternatively, potential customers can pick up an $800 bundle on August 29 that includes the phone, a headset, and the Desk Dock. Finally, HP will also sell a bundle that includes the Elite X3, the Desk Dock, and the Lap Dock, though pricing and availability are unknown.
Customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, meanwhile, will need to drop 700 euros ($775) if they want to pick up just the Elite X3. The Elite X3, headset, and Desk Dock bundle will retail for 729 euros ($807). Finally, the Elite X3, Desk Dock, and Lap Dock bundle will go for 1,200 euros (around $1,329). HP did not say when the Elite X3 or any of its bundles will be available in the three aforementioned regions.