​HP's Elite x3 smartphone wants to replace your computer

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HP's first smartphone in nearly two years is a Windows phone designed for business customers. On the surface that may not sound all that exciting, but the HP Elite x3 may end up being the first smartphone to actually replace your computer -- at least if HP has its way.

The 5.96-inch device is powered by Windows 10 Mobile and includes support for Continuum, a feature that allows the phone to connect to an external display and act more like a traditional Windows 10 computer. Two accessories (the HP Desk Dock and HP Mobile Extender) are what makes this possible.

hp-elite-x3-dock.jpg
Doug Adesko/HP

The dock includes ports for HDMI, USB and Ethernet, and gives users the ability to connect the phone to a large display as well as a mouse and keyboard. If you prefer a more portable experience, you can connect to the Mobile Extender, which is essentially a laptop without any internal components.

The idea of transforming a smartphone into multiple devices with different functions isn't a new one. Asus attempted something similar with the PadFone, as did Motorola with the Atrix. Both products, however, didn't have the power of Windows 10, which happens to be both the key and the Achilles' heel to the HP phone's potential success.

hp-elite-x3-5.jpg
Ben Rubin/CNET

In terms of hardware, the Elite x3 is no slouch. Its specs include:

  • 5.96-inch QHD (2,560x1,440) AMOLED display (492ppi)
  • 16-megapixel rear camera; 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 2.15GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 64GB of internal storage; 4GM of RAM
  • 4,150mAh nonremovable battery
  • MicroSD card slot for up to 2TB of additional storage
  • USB Type-C
  • IP67 water-resistant
  • Fingerprint sensor and iris scanner
  • FIPS 140-2 cryptography; 128-bit key Unified Image Encryption, 256-bit key Full Disk Encryption
  • Windows 10 Mobile software

The Elite x3 won't be available through wireless carriers; instead HP will offer it through business channels directly to companies. The phone is expected to arrive this summer in more than 30 countries. Pricing information for the phone or accessories wasn't disclosed.

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Where to Buy

HP Elite X3

Part Number: Elite X3-black

Visit manufacturer site for details.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 5.88 oz
  • Diagonal Size 5.96 in