HP Elite x3 Windows 10 Smartphone Review: An Office In Your Pocket

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Final Thoughts on the HP Elite x3

The HP Elite x3 is a tantalizingly concrete vision of the future of computing. One device, one digital experience delivered across any screen. It’s your phone, it’s your laptop, and it’s your desktop.

hp elite x3 screen angle

Continuum mostly works as advertised. The Desk Dock especially makes transitions flawless between modes. We only wish there were more creature comforts available to round out the desktop experience. Living without multiple monitors is one thing, being unable to resize, move, or place apps side-by-side is another. Continuum can certainly work for many, but serious deployments will want to leverage some form of VDI backend to unlock its true potential.

hp elite x3 three quarters desk dock

The Elite x3’s accessories similarly show a lot of promise. If HP can sort out input latency and disconnect issues with the Lap Dock, it could be a compelling mobile companion. The unit is well constructed and easy to stash away. We only advise that if you plan to use it, expect to tether with a USB-C cable for now because our experience with the wireless connection left something to be desired.

hp elite x3 lap dock paired

We love the Desk Dock concept. It is difficult to overstate how convenient it is. Pop the phone on the dock at your desk and immediately access a larger display, then later grab the phone and head out the door to a meeting without a blip. Once Continuum matures a bit more, this could be a very enviable setup.


One aspect of the Elite x3 we have overlooked thus far is battery life. Our usual smartphone battery benchmark is not available for Windows Phone currently. Anecdotally, however, the battery life is excellent. As a phone, the 4150 mAh battery can easily power through a day of heavy usage, and lasts several days of light usage. With mixed usage via Continuum, the battery life becomes more irrelevant as most of these setups charge the phone.

hp elite x3 desk dock continuum

All told, the HP Elite x3 is excellent hardware hampered by a mobile Windows ecosystem which makes it difficult to recommend to any average consumer over an iPhone or Android alternative. However, for a corporation interested in building out the requisite infrastructure, the Elite x3 is a very compelling option to replace or complement traditional thin client deployments.
  • Sleek, executive design
  • Very smooth performance
  • Accessories for almost any use case
  • Excellent battery life
  • Enterprise focused features
  • Significant value for price
  • Windows Phone platform is limiting
  • Lap Dock accessory is buggy when wireless
  • Continuum lacks creature comforts
  • Requires expensive infrastructure for full potential

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