Despite the poor numbers and lost support, Microsoft’s Mobile OS is still considered the third wheel in the smartphone industry. Their concept of having just one device is great, but hasn’t been showcased to its full potential until now. After a long time, HP who still rules the laptop market is returning to the smartphone industry with their new product that they just announced at the Mobile World Congress, the Elite X3 is aimed to be to your smartphone, laptop and desktop computer.
Let’s talk specifications. The Elite X3 is a huge phone flaunting a 6-inch Quad HD display with capacitive buttons and speaker grille on the bottom making the device taller than it already is. Underneath, it runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 backed up by 4GB of RAM, Dual SIM compatibility, 64GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via a MicroSD card up to 2TB. To make sure you never run out of juice, HP has provided a huge 4150 mAh battery that supports wireless charging and a USB Type-C port. There’s an iris scanner on the front but that’s not all, it also rocks a fingerprint scanner on the back just below the camera (Not present on the pre-released units, though, will be available on the final products). It’s also IP67 certified waterproof, it’s got everything. HP has basically gone all out on hardware here, that’s mostly because this isn’t just designed to be your phone.
There’s one other peculiar element of X3’s hardware, the 5 Pogo pins on the back. These pins will provide third parties the ability to build sleeves that wrap around the device to provide extra capabilities it needs for making a dent in the industry. Basically, they will allow external devices like barcode scanners, printers and much more to interact with the phone’s software so that the user won’t feel the absence of a real computer.
The Elite X3, for the most part, is targeted to big corporate, enterprise customers. Other than having two biometrics, it also sports FIPS 140-2 cryptography, 256-bit key full disk encryption, TPM 2.0, protection against firmware rollbacks, and so on.
It is designed to make use of Microsoft’s Continuum feature to the fullest, however, that doesn’t allow you to run full Desktop software which is right now the biggest let down faced by someone who is interested in simplifying its work lineup. To overcome that hurdle, HP is working on a cloud bridge that will allow you to do so. Sadly, this isn’t for any regular user as it needs an IT department for the setup.
HP is personally selling a couple of accessories including “Desk Dock” that comes with a bunch of ports like two USB openings, one USB-C, Displayport and one for ethernet for connecting a monitor. The other accessory is actually an ultra portable black laptop minus the processor and RAM. The Elite X3 can wirelessly connect to it and the laptop will turn it into a full Windows PC.
Pricing and availability for the Elite X3 and its accessories are yet to be announced, the phone will launch later this summer, but don’t be surprised if it costs a bomb. HP’s dream of people having a just single device for all their purposes looks great, however, everything depends on the cloud software they’ve been working which may or may not provide the comfort of a full PC.