Given the laundry list of features that are included with the Elite x3, this is by far the most powerful and versatile Windows 10 Mobile device released to date. Just look at its feature set, which wouldn’t be out of place on a flagship Android device:
- 5.96-inch WQHD AMOLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- microSD slot that supports up to 2TB
- 16MP main camera, 8MP front camera, Iris camera
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE-A, NFC
- 4150 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support
On top of that, the Elite x3 can be used in conjunction with the Desk Dock, which provides Windows 10 Continuum support. And if that isn’t enough, there’s also the Lap Dock which by itself is simply a “dumb” 2.2-pound 12.5-inch notebook. But once paired with the Elite x3, it becomes a fully functioning quasi Windows 10 notebook thanks again to Continuum support. However, the accessory is priced at a whopping $599.
“A few personal favorite features of the HP Elite x3 include the brilliant screen,” writes Mollie Ruiz-Hopper, editor-in-chief for Microsoft’s Windows Blog. “It’s super crisp and sharp, perfect for working through email and watching videos. Audio is awesome, thanks to the premium audio built-in with B&O Play and the 16 MP rear-facing camera for capturing photos when I’m out and about.”
While the Elite x3 definitely looks like a winning combination from a hardware standpoint, there are at least two things that might lessen its success in the U.S. smartphone market. For starters, it’s running Windows 10 Mobile, which is an also-ran in the smartphone market with less than a 1 percent share.
The other big problem is that currently, the Elite x3 is only available to purchase with its bundled Desk Dock. That means those interested in the smartphone will have to fork over $799. $799 is a lot of money to pay for a flagship device running a mobile operating system that 1) people are abandoning at a rapid pace, and 2) Microsoft admits that it hasn’t really prioritized when it comes to resources.