7 questions you wanted to ask about the HP Elite X3

The HP Elite X3 is one of the first Windows phones from an unexpected source, and many people still have questions about the device. We posted an earlier FAQ about the device, and now we’re posting another – more detailed one -after going hands on with the device at HP’s event earlier today.

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How does it feel?

The HP Elite X3 fells really nice in the hand. It’s quite thin, and really light. It feels almost like air, It’s very comparable to the 950 XL in terms of weight relative to size. It has a nice premium feel about it and can be used in two hands, or one if you have large hands like me. It is easier to hold than the similarly large screened Lumia 1520 and the more mid range 640 XL.

Is it better than the Lumia 950 XL?

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is the latest Windows Phone flagship handset you can buy right now, and it is simply inferior to the Elite X3. Let’s be clear here, if someone asked me to make a phone that would school the 950 XL and be spec competitive, then the HP Elite X3 would probably be it. It has an Iris Scanner AND a fingerprint scanner, QI and PMA wireless charging, 4GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage AND SD card? Its like someone asked a Windows Phone fanboy what they wanted for Christmas and made it a phone.

Should I hold-off on buying another Windows Phone?

The HP Elite X3 is targeted for release towards the later end of the summer – think September.

If you want a high-end Windows Phone right now, then the Lumia 950 or 950 XL are your best -no – only bets. They are both powerful devices, and many of the bugs that debuted with the devices have been worked out, A fair few remain mind you, but not quite as show stopping as at launch.

Where will it be sold?

While HP declined to give availability specs in the press materials, we were told that HP plans to sell this worldwide. Aside from the obvious USA market, HP intends to sell this in Western Europe, parts of Eastern Europe and the EMEA, with Russia and South Africa being specifically named. Consumers will be able to buy it direct from HP, Microsoft or HP’s partners.

Why did HP choose Windows Phone other than Android, will they support it in the future?

Windows Phone is in a precarious place in the consumer market. No, that’s not accurate, Windows Phone isn’t in the consumer market anymore, it is a niche smartphone ecosystem that is a viable experience due to apps built up from when Microsoft competed for consumers with Apple, and from a universal ecosystem of apps which is small and growing daily. Another important reason has to do with HP’s PC business.

Companies are more like consumers than they would like to admit. They crave convenience and familiarity. If using Windows works for them, then everyone in the company will use Windows. If they can buy Windows PCs from Company X, even better. If company X also makes their printers, phones etc, even better. They only have to deal with one company. HP is Company X for many companies. They provide desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets for the enterprise. However, without a phone solution, it is impossible for them to become a complete end to end solution for business. The HP Elite X3 is that mobile solution, and it is a pretty good one as far as specs and the concept of it goes. Productivity is maximised, mobility is emphasized, redundancy is minimised. It’s all very neat and keeps everything tidy, that’s why HP has taken the path it has.

The Elite will be supported for a very long time, we were told that HP will keep making this device for a whole so companies can order it in bulk today, tomorrow, or 12 months down the line. Support is guaranteed.

What exactly is a Workspace?

Workspace is a virtualization service that was described as ” a link to the past”. It allows you to run virtualised Windows legacy apps via an app on continuum with the Elite. Part of the reason of the pre-announcement of the Elite X3 was so HP could show their partners that the device worked and to work with partners to fill up the app store (workspace will have its own app store) for launch. Fortunately/Unfortunately Workspace is not a consumer app, it is an enterprise service and will be available primarily for businesses via a subscription.

I’ve read reports of bugs, should I be worried?

First of all, if you heard reports of bugs, it means the phone was working. HP is glad the phone even turn on at the moment. The device has yet to be optimized properly for use and is still missing quite a few features. We couldn’t test out the iris scanner because the device didn’t have the drivers for it, the camera didn’t have proper drivers to work and the fingerprint reader wasn’t even there. Bottom line is, the devices tested out were just prototypes, and this device is far from ready for release. Any tech journalist who reviewed the device and canned it on that basis was either being disingenuous, if not dishonest.

Is it revolutionary?

Revolutions are only obvious in hindsight. This question can’t be answered until a few months down the line. If the HP Elite X3 takes off in the Enterprise, then Windows Mobile/Phone can establish itself as a relevant player in the high-end and enterprise markets, and ultimately, that’s more important for future proofing the platform than another metal bargain basement phone

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