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article imageHP unveils the Elite x3 — A huge Windows phone for professionals

By James Walker     Feb 21, 2016 in Technology
HP has announced the Elite x3, a Windows 10 Mobile flagship smartphone capable of transforming into a PC with Continuum. The device is the most powerful Windows phone ever and will target business customers.
HP is the first third-party manufacturer to announce a flagship smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile. It has done so in a big way though, going all-in and building a device with more hardware than Microsoft's own Lumia 950 offers. HP calls it the "one device that’s every device," claiming the Elite x3 is a "revolution in mobility."
Introduced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona today, the phablet has a 5.96-inch Quad HD 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display, making it one of few phones ever to use a 6-inch screen. HP thinks the size will help keep business workers productive while on the go and it could also make the Elite x3 a good upgrade option for owners of the Nokia Lumia 1520, the now-aging 6-inch Windows Phone flagship of 2013.
Untitled
HP
The phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 16-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front camera, USB Type-C, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Advanced LTE and dual-SIM support.
The list goes on, including a huge 4,150mAh battery and iris scanner for Windows Hello. The phone will also feature a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as an alternative to the iris scanner, a feature currently absent from the pre-release hardware that HP is demonstrating at MWC.
The phone will largely be aimed at the enterprise market. HP sees Windows 10's Continuum feature as a way to converge the roles of several business devices into a single smartphone, enabling "frictionless multi-screen transitions between a phone scenario and a desktop PC scenario." Continuum lets users connect their phone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and run Universal Windows apps on the second monitor in their desktop views, creating a full desktop experience.
Positioning the Elite x3 as a business device fills a gap in the Windows 10 Mobile ecosystem. Microsoft has launched only four handsets and signalled it has no intention to make many more, instead relying on its partners to produce phones.
Last week, Microsoft launched the Lumia 650, a mid-range business smartphone that while smart enough for a professional environment lacks the all-important Continuum feature. HP has recognized that Continuum could be useful in this field and stepped up to the challenge of building a Windows 10 Mobile flagship at home in a corporate world.
"Our customer insights indicated that there are a group of commercial customers where their needs for mobility and PC-level productivity are not being met," said Michael Park, vice president and general manager of Mobility at HP. "The HP Elite x3 is where we see the future of computing heading - one device that can truly act like every device: a modern technology solution for a mobile-centric workplace combined with greater benefits for IT."
The HP Elite x3
The HP Elite x3
HP / Microsoft
The Elite x3 includes its own Continuum dock that lets users hook their phone up to a monitor. The dock includes a DisplayPort connector for displays, two USB-A ports for a keyboard and mouse, a single USB-C port and an Ethernet jack for wired networking at a workplace. Unlike Microsoft's own Continuum dock, HP's version props the phone up at an angle, keeping it visible on a desk.
The final piece of the Elite x3's seamless mobile and desktop combined experience is the HP Mobile Extender, a near-borderless 12.5-inch laptop computer that doesn't include any internal components. Instead, the laptop is powered by the phone via Continuum, creating a lightweight and flexible way to work on the go. It weighs less than 900 grams and is a unique peripheral to complement a unique phone.
HP has clearly gone all-in on Windows 10 Mobile despite the platform still struggling to find users. The Elite x3 will go on sale in the summer but it remains unclear how HP will be marketing the phone. Despite being intended as a business buy, the Elite x3 has been vocally welcomed by Windows fans and could prove a relative hit in the consumer space too. HP hasn't revealed pricing or availability details yet but you can expect the former to be on the pricey side.
More about Hp, hp elite, hp elite x3, Windows, Microsoft
 
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