HP’s Elite x3 phone is a mighty morphin’ productivity powerhouse

Microsoft has been talking about Windows Continuum—the ability to power a laptop or desktop-style PC experience from a Windows smartphone—for some time now. HP's Elite x3 is a Windows 10 phablet that's designed to deliver a fully realized version of that experience.

The Elite x3 can link wirelessly with an optional "Mobile Extender," basically a 12.5" laptop without any PC guts. For desktop mode, the phone can be placed in an optional dock that includes a single DisplayPort, two USB-A ports and one USB-C port, and wired Ethernet. The video below shows how all of this works.

That experience is powered by the popular Snapdragon 820 SoC. Interestingly, HP elected to go with an ARM SoC rather than an x86 chip in this device. HP will provide a method of virtualizing x86 apps on the Elite x3 for users who need it, though.

The Elite x3's Mobile Extender dock

The Snapdragon 820 is paired with 4GB of and 64GB of storage that can be expanded by up to 2TB using microSD cards. The phone sports a 6" 2560×1440 screen. HP also seems to be appealing to business users by including iris and fingerprint scanners, wireless charging, and a huge 4,150mAh battery on the device, as well. The phone also includes a 16MP camera on the back and an 8MP selfie-shooter up front.

So is the Elite x3 really the one ring—err, device—to rule them all? We'll have to wait until this summer to find out, but the concept certainly looks promising, especially for light office work and productivity on the go.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 4 years ago

    The promise is good but I doubt it will work as we expect it to work… or more precisely as we’d like it to work.

    Honestly the best we can hope for is devices that are the best of what they can be.

    • End User
    • 4 years ago

    This makes no sense. I’d rather have a phone and a slim laptop that can run desktop apps.

    • HERETIC
    • 4 years ago

    Reading all last week-“Windows phone is dead” Sales are down to 1/2.
    Now HP comes along with a great concept-If some other big players
    were to join in “Windows phone could rise from the dead”

    Since the demise of RIM there’s been a need of a business phone,
    Android and ios just aren’t it……………………
    Need to educate the corporate dummies now to get away from aples RDF…..

      • End User
      • 4 years ago

      iOS is my business phone. Tell me why I should use this piece of crap.

        • Generic
        • 4 years ago

        Can’t argue with that. iOS is the best business phone available anywhere.

        Galaxy S7 Edge? [i<]Lame.[/i<] LG G5 with Removable Battery? [b<]Gimmick.[/b<] HP Elite x3? Piece. Of. Crap. iOS? Classy. Innovative. [u<]Hardware[/u<]. 😛

    • Shobai
    • 4 years ago

    That’s interesting: the design on the bottom bezel looks to be the same everywhere except for the screenshot on the video, where it’s mirrored. I wonder why?

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      I noticed that, too and found it disturbing. Not as disturbing as someone launching a new Windows phone, though.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 4 years ago

    HP, Huawei, Alcatel, and Blu are all making Windows Phones now, not to mention Microsoft’s Lumia series.

    Dell made a Windows 7 phone when that OS was released, and then got out of the phone business rather quickly. With that said, these OEMs are definitely proving that they have confidence in Microsoft’s Win10 platform, and they are pulling out the stops with phones like these.

    I’m not 100% sure if it’d be successful, but boy, these OEMs are really pushing Win10 Mobile hard.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Satya is doing his job.

    • Platedslicer
    • 4 years ago

    Sheesh, did they name it the “x3” to sucker people into thinking there’s an Atom x3 in it? They sure came close with me!

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      I thought they did it to tell us there was a bad X-men sequel inside.

    • Takeshi7
    • 4 years ago

    Not interested until I can play all of my Steam games on it.

      • Beahmont
      • 4 years ago

      Is this supposed to be an allusion to “But can it play Crysis?”

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]HP will provide a method of virtualizing x86 apps on the Elite x3 for users who need it, though.[/quote<] I SUPPOSE, if you're gonna sell a device with Windows in it, people WILL want to run Windows apps on it, wouldn't they? And Windows apps are practically 100% x86. Perhaps this virtualization layer can be used to run x86 Windows apps on something like K12?

      • Beahmont
      • 4 years ago

      I’d imagine they also might be betting heavily on UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps and a small translation layer that allows the SD820 to still provide a better experience than something from the Cherry Trail line. And I don’t think there is quite enough space for a fanless Core M chip.

      It also won’t hurt that UMP or Windows 10 is supposed to be getting the ability to run android apps natively. Why build an ecosystem when you can borrow one?

      • ET3D
      • 4 years ago

      But they’re not selling to people, they’re selling it as a business device, and one thing businesses want is for people to install as little software on it as possible. A device that can only do Office (and perhaps Candy Crush) and has few security issues due to having an OS that few people use and no x86 programs is simply perfect.

        • Wirko
        • 4 years ago

        Here’s how to write a comment that’s sarcastic and not sarcastic at the same time. Pure quantum mechanics.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 4 years ago

    I’d prefer the phone physically connect to the base in some way, and even better would be a charging from a larger battery in the keyboard.

    Also yeah, x86 so I can run all my stuff duh.

      • Zizy
      • 4 years ago

      Connect to the docking station? I believe docking station charges the phone somehow, either using wire or Qi. Or connect to the laptop? Imo this wireless part is the nice thing about HP’s solution here – leave phone in the pocket and work on the laptop, no hassle with wires or whatever. Why would you want your phone connected to the laptop? To charge the phone? I guess laptop will be the device usually dying first anyway and so it makes sense to not drain its battery even faster by charging the phone.

      As for x86, HP’s cloud. Not your home solution, but this won’t be your home phone/laptop 🙂

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 4 years ago

        Speed, reliability, and charging the phone.

    • Archer
    • 4 years ago

    Windows on ARM? HP didn’t realize that WinRT was a huge flop. Half of HP’s product strategy includes the words Inventory and Markdown.

      • nafhan
      • 4 years ago

      If this is aimed at businesses, not home users, it might be a good fit.

      A business that runs mostly webapps and first party MS products might find this just fine or even ideal.

      A big problem with Surface/WinRT, IMO, was that it was aimed at consumers who wanted to run games and install x86 programs.

      • Zizy
      • 4 years ago

      HP didn’t develop this in vacuum, they asked their partners (lol. More like poor souls they screw over and over again) what they want from the phone.
      And somehow I don’t think running full CAD, Matlab and similar on the phone ranked all that high. For continuum, where x86 becomes useful, HP’s cloud solution saves the day. So, why use inferior Atoms?

      • oldog
      • 4 years ago

      I’m still using my first gen Surface and I must say that WinRT has matured quite a bit. The thing now runs about as fast as an iPad from the same time frame(I have both) and it runs Office from the desktop.

      And yes the interface is still schizoid.

    • Generic
    • 4 years ago

    Thank you, HP, for giving this poor soul some hope for the future of WinPhones.

    I hope this is a taste of things to come, and not the last gasp of a nigh dead product.

    • dodozoid
    • 4 years ago

    I want this one… or similar (idealy when x86 version gets launched)

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Yep. I would absolutely take one of these if it were x86. I’d have the screen/clamshell and the dock.

      Then give me a USB type C adapter that has a serial port and gig NIC.

    • RickyTick
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]storage that can be expanded by up to 2TB using microSD cards[/quote<] 2TB?? Really?!?

      • Peter.Parker
      • 4 years ago

      Yes. Really.
      [url<]https://www.sdcard.org/developers/overview/capacity/index.html[/url<]

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      Waits for the dork in the earlier phone post to complain on the limitation….

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      Yep. I just wonder where the heck anyone can actually buy a 2TB SD card. And it’ll probably cost more than a trip to Kokomo.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjhF2vrkFDQ<]Go Go HP Rangers. You Mighty Morphin' HP Rangers![/url<] [Waits for the $99 clearance sale that occurs with as much regularity as cast changes on the Power Rangers did.]

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