There’s a new smartphone in town, and it wants to replace your computer. Not a big surprise, so many mobile devices these days have gone rogue, being built up with super fast processors, but HP has something extra in mind for its new Elite x3 phablet. The Windows 10 device features support for external displays, and is being touted by HP as the “ultimate productivity device with the power of a PC”. The Elite x3 is another try for the company to get something right in the mobile department. Known as a leader in PC manufacturing, HP has yet to hit the smartphone nail on the head, especially after bombing the webOS-powered Palm Pre, and then launching two massive smartphones, the Slate 6 and Slate 7, in India only. Now it’s been two years since HP last messed with the smartphone market. Hopefully this new business-focused Windows 10 Mobile phone will be just what the doctor ordered, especially for Microsoft, who needs some serious lovin’ in the mobile market. If it’s really done right, it could very well be the first smartphone to actually replace your computer.
The large handset features a 5.96-inch display, making it one of the largest on the market (Yes, even the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 5 seems wimpy up against the Elite x3). Aesthetically, this thing doesn’t waste any space. Nearly the entire device is taken up by that display, with very thin bezels, and the rest made of black metal and polycarbonate covering. Oh, I almost forgot, the display boasts a 2,560 x 1,440 QHD resolution, protected by Gorilla Glass 4.
Designed to be “the most powerful Windows phone on the market”, the Elite x3 is powered by some seriously elite specs. This includes the latest from Qualcomm, the 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 CPU, also integrated with the Adreno 530 GPU. There’s 4GB of DDR4 RAM, 64GB of on-board storage (expandable to 2TB via microSD), and a superhero-sized 4,150mAh battery (Notebook Review). Mashable says the phablet has a 16MP rear-facing camera, and an 8MP front-facing camera, dual-front facing speakers, plus a fingerprint sensor and iris scanner for added security.
Here’s the part where “it can replace your laptop”. It does this with the help of the Windows 10 Mobile feature Continuum, where with the help of a Desk Dock, Windows 10 devices can plug into external displays, a mouse and a keyboard, and function like a desktop. Basically it works by allowing apps to adapt to any screen size. The Dock includes HDMI, USB, and Ethernet ports. Besides this, the Elite x3 also offers the Mobile Extender, essentially a skeleton clamshell device with a 12.5-inch display and keyboard only. When you connect the Elite x3 to the Mobile Extender, it wirelessly powers it, even if you’ve left it in your pocket or bag.
I can’t find pricing information for the Elite x3 or its accessories, but we do know availability will first be limited to business channels instead of wireless carriers. When considering the HP Elite x3 phablet, it may be difficult to take it seriously as a functioning computer. Just remember, it has the power of Windows 10 behind it, and that’s a big deal in both performance and potential.
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