First, that the term smartphone, or that it makes calls, was never mentioned reflecting HP’s view of this is first and foremost a productivity device.
Second, and this is from left field, Citrix was there demonstrating its yet to be released Citrix Receiver for W10M that in conjunction with W10M’s killer Continuum feature opens up all x86 programs to the device. This is a game changer for organisations using Citrix.
Third, the commitment of HP to this productivity platform and how it is part of the foundation of W10 to gain productivity anywhere, anytime.
Let’s start with Continuum. Earlier in 2016 for about two months I used Continuum, its dock, and a Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, as a primary production device eschewing a notebook or desktop entirely – my phone was my life! The Dock allowed me to hook up two external 24” HD monitors, a keyboard and a mouse and peripherals. I even used the Wi-Di/Miracast feature to add a third viewing device – a 55”, HD smart-TV.
Sure, I had to use Windows Universal Apps (WUP) but what more does a working journalist need? Outlook, Word, OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint, photos, maps, Edge, etc. What I did find is that there were more than 275,000 WUPs in the store — mostly commercial apps — and today the Microsoft by the Numbers site says there are now 669,000 apps.
HP also provides its HP Workspace software that apparently lets you run any Windows app. I have not seen this in action, and it may be a better single user way than Citrix Receiver.
All I am saying is that apart from a range of consumer apps — 1.5 million each in Google Play and Apple App stores — I did not miss using an Android phone. When I needed an Android app, my Samsung Galaxy Tab S, which I use as a media consumption device, did the job admirably. Watching video on a phone screen, even on as good as a Lumia 950 XL, is not the most immersive experience.
While there were a few rough edges on Continuum, it has had a major rework and will be totally updated soon in the W10M Redstone 2 release.
So back to the x3 Elite. Let’s start with the specifications
- 6”, 2K, 2560 x 1440, 494ppi, AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass 4, 72.2% screen to body ratio, – it is one of the best, brightest and usable screens available today. It is also x3 Stylus compatible
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4 x 2.15GHz cores
- 4GB LPDDRR RAM, 64GB eMMC storage, microSD support (OTG support for up to 2TB external drives)
- 16MP, f/2.2, 1.31um pixel, OIS, 4K record, rear camera
- 8MP, f/2.2, 1.12um, Skype HD certified and IRIS detection front camera
- Wi-Fi AC 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast/Wi-Di, NFC, GPS, accelerometer, gyro, compass, pressure and more
- LTE-A carrier aggregation, dual SIM (or one with microSD)
- 2 x stereo front facing B&O Play speakers, 3 x ANC microphones, external headphone and mic 3.5mm jack
- 4150 mAh non-removable battery, wireless charging, USB-C 3.0 compatible with most USB-C adapters and peripherals like printers, etc
- MIL-STD 801G, IP67
- Dual biometric Iris recognition and fingerprint reader
- W10M and all its security features and mobile device management
- HP Software: HP Workspace, HP Device Hub, HP All-in-One Remote, HP Touchpoint Manager (via MDM settings)
- MDM software: AirWatch, MobileIron
- Microsoft software: Skype, Remote Desktop, VPN profile, Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, OneNote, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, Continuum, Cortana
- Other software: Salesforce universal app, Winzip Universal and many more including Uber, etc.
There are two docking solutions.
The Elite x3 Desk Dock. It has 1 x Display Port, 1 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x RJ45 and 1 x power in (45W charger supplied). It connects via Pogo pins on the back of the x3.
The Elite x3 Lap Dock is a 12.5”, HD notebook that connects either by Wi-Di/Wi-Fi or USB-C cable. It has a chiclet keyboard and trackpad, 45WHr battery, USB-C charging and micro-HDMI and two USB-C ports and weighs 1kg.
Initial international reviews – especially from enterprise space publications - have been extremely positive, “The most feature rich Windows 10 device there is - simply awesome.”
Price and availability
- Elite x3 $1099 – link here.
- Elite x3 with desk dock bundle A$1199 (separate dock A$199) – link here
- Elite x3 Lap Dock A$799 - link here
- Wireless charger A$89 (use any wireless charger) - link here
Initially available from HP and Microsoft online and Sydney Mall Store.
The HP Elite x3 is a business phone for those who value easy access to productivity tools first, whether you’re on-the-go or via the dock. The build quality and design appear first class. iTWire will be receiving a review unit shortly.