In our HP Elite X3 review, we take a look at a third-party surface phone while Microsoft stays committed to Windows 10 Mobile. But the company hasn’t released any new device in the last 6 months or so, making everyone believe that it’s ready to give up at least on the hardware side of its mobile push.
With rumors that Microsoft is also aiming to abandon the Lumia lineup, every new phone coming from a different company is catching everyone’s attention, and this is exactly what happened with the HP Elite X3.
Announced with much fanfare earlier this year, the HP Elite X3 comes with specs that Windows Phone fans have until now only dreamed about, despite the Lumia 950 series, which also brought specs that were compelling to say the least.
But the HP Elite X3 arrives at a time when only few people still believe in Windows phones, so there’s no doubt that hardcore fans really need to give it a shot.
That’s exactly what we did, as we took the HP Elite X3 for a spin and used it for several weeks, including with Continuum, to see what this is all about. This time, we’re going to split the review into two parts, namely hardware and software, so read on to find more about this super-powerful Windows phone.
In terms of hardware, there’s no way you’re not going to be pleased with the HP Elite X3, although there still are things that would need more improvements. But let’s take them one at a time and see what this is all about.
The HP Elite X3 comes with a 5.96-inch display that you’ll absolutely love. It has a resolution of 1440×2560 pixels, with a pixel density of 494 ppi, and although it looks huge at first, it has major advantages.
With a screen-to-body ratio of 72.2 percent, the phone has plenty of screen space to work with, so it’s absolutely a pleasure to browse the web or watch movies.
It’s so awesome! Colors are vivid, and the contrast is excellent, much better than on the other Windows phones on the market. The phone also comes with features such as double tap to wake, which is kind of handy given its size, but it lacks Glance screen, and this is one very important setback.
It does have a LED notification light to compensate for the lack of Glance, but Windows 10 Mobile does not have advanced support for this feature, so you can’t configure it to blink when you have missed third-party notifications just yet.
The response time of the display is impressive to say the least and readability in direct sunlight is a bit above the average.
#CPU, RAM, and storage
This phone comes with the most powerful Snapdragon processor at the moment, namely the 820, which is quad-core in the following configuration: 2 cores running at 2.15 GHz and 2 running at 1.6 GHz. Depending on the power you need, the more powerful cores kick in, giving the phone impressive performance figures.
The Elite X3 features 4 GB of RAM, which is pretty much the biggest amount of memory that you can find right now in the Windows phone world, and 64 GB of storage, obviously with microSD card support.
The aforementioned configuration makes the HP Elite X3 blazing fast 90 percent of the time, and the remaining 10 percent is lost only because of Windows 10 Mobile.
The phone barely gets hot when performing more demanding tasks, such as when watching videos, but even when it does, the cooling system is super-efficient.
The amount of storage that the device offers is not overwhelming, but it’s a good thing that it comes with microSD card support. This is something that Apple should borrow as well, although we all know that’s not going to happen.