“The HP Elite X3 is the most powerful Windows smartphone currently. Here’s a first look”
While we seem to believe that Windows Mobile is on the decline, last week’s MWC brought forth quite a notable devices that were powered by Microsoft’s mobile platform. We got to see the budget-centric Lumia 650 ( first impressions) and Japanese brand VAIO’s Phone Biz (first impressions), but the smartphone that garnered the most attention was HP’s Elite X3 – a flagship that seemingly ticks all the right boxes. We got a chance to check out the smartphone, so let’s take a closer look at what it offers.The HP Elite X3 is a massive phone, thanks to its large display panel measuring 5.96-inches diagonally. The display isn’t just big, it’s also visually appealing with its pixel-popping QHD resolution, which manages to deliver sharp text and good colours. Protecting the display against scratches is the latest-generation Corning Gorilla Glass. Being a phablet – which almost encroaches upon the territory of tablets – the HP Elite X3 features a big profile, and can’t be operated with one hand. While it’s built out of plastic, some use of metal here and there manages to give it a classy look. The handset is quite slim at 7.8mm, although its weight is on the higher side at 195g In a bid to ensure that the HP Elite X3 can be used by almost everyone, and not just executives, the phone comes with IP67 certifications along with MIL-STD 810G compatibility. In simple terms, it means that the phablet is not only resilient to dust and water, but humid environments too, and is resistant to transport shock or thermal shock as well. The HP Elite X3 is a beast when it comes to the hardware. It comes fuelled by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU, which offers 64-bit architecture and the chipmaker’s custom Kryo processor in a quad-core configuration. Adding to the firepower further is 4 gigs of RAM and Adreno 530 graphics engine. The combination should be able to tear through everything thrown at it, and we got the same impression while trying out the device briefly. The storage aspect is taken care of by 64GB of in-built memory, which offers approximately 40GB for use to the end user. To top up the storage further, you can slide in a microSD card of up to 200GB. Just like Microsoft’s flagships, the Lumia 950 and 950XL ( first impressions), the HP Elite X3 offers support for Windows Continuum. This means, that you can plug the phone to a dock connected to a large screen, and voila, you get yourself a full-fledged desktop computing experience. The phablet also comes with HP’s Workplace app, which makes it easier to install apps that can exploit the potential of a large screen in a better manner. Otherwise, the smartphone seems to be similar to other Windows 10 offerings, barring a few preloaded titles from HP. The HP Elite X3 can accept two nano-SIM cards (the secondary slot is of the hybrid variety), and supports 4G along with the standard connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS. The phone is juiced up by a beefy battery rated at 4,150mAh.
Photos by Ketaki Bhojnagarwala