Skip to main content

The HP Elite x3 is the best Windows phone yet (with some caveats)

HP Elite X3
HP Elite X3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Note: This is not a formal review of the HP Elite x3. The phone, while great, is running incomplete software and it wouldn't be a fair evaluation. In addition, this phone is not readily available to be purchased as of today from HP or Microsoft.

For the last week, I have been using the new HP Elite x3 Windows phone as my primary device. Not only does this include just daily things, but also on my recent trip to Vancouver to visit the Gears of War studio. Using the phone on such a long journey (nearly 9 hours travel time) is a good way to see how it works when you have to rely on it so much.

Both Zac Bowden and I are holding off on a full review until HP releases its firmware and Anniversary Updates. Besides, without the Lap Dock and accessories being available yet or our inability to try HP Workspace with software virtualization the Elite x3 is still incomplete.

Nonetheless, you can technically find and buy one of these phones. Even though it is meant for enterprise some consumers just want it, so consider this a review preview. Interestingly, the phone even at this stage is already a fantastic experience with only stability issues around the camera being the one drawback. Let's find out more.

HP Elite x3 specifications

CategoryFeatures
Display5.96-inch 2560x1440 AMOLED
ProcessorQuad-core 2.15Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU
Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU
Memory4GB RAM
Internal Storage64GB
ExpansionmicroSD (up to 2TB)
WirelessWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2)
Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC
LTE-A with carrier aggregation 4,5,6,13
Camera16MP f/2.0 FHD rear-facing camera
8MP front-facing camera and Iris camera
Ports3.5mm headphone jack
USB-C 3.0
Dimensions3.29 x 0.31 x 6.36 in
83.5 x7.8 x 161.8 mm
WeightStarting at 0.43lb (195g)
Battery4150 mAh Li-ion polymer (non-removable)
Qi and PMA

Full HP Elite x3 Specs

The Good

Build Quality

The Elite x3 is near the top regarding build quality. No creaks, button placement is perfect, the build materials are excellent. And yes, I like the metal-ish speaker grill at the bottom.

Battery life is outstanding

The biggest benefit for the Elite x3 is its battery life. With a massive 4150 mAh battery and the more recent Snapdragon 820 the Elite x3 sips power.

The extra flair looks good

The extra flair looks good
PhoneLumia 950Lumia 950 XLElite x3
Battery3000 mAh3340 mAh4150 mAh

To wit, I spent around 15 hours off the charger on my travel days to and from Vancouver. Without charging once, I finally plugged the phone in before bed with around 30 percent battery life left. Sure, some of that the phone is in flight mode, but a few things to consider:

  1. The phone is running pre-Anniversary Update software and lacks the efficiency improvements with Redstone 1
  2. Due to the instability of the camera, the phone full rebooted probably eight times (more on that below)
  3. I still used the phone to play Subway Surfers and listen to music for a few hours with wired headphones

With an enormous battery, the Elite x3 crushes the Lumia 950 and XL for endurance.

I'm not a stranger to travel and have used the Lumia 950 and XL on trips before. I can say without reservation the Elite x3 crushes those phones for endurance. Once again, we can attribute that to the massive battery and the improved Snapdragon 820. The Snapdragon 808 and 810 were notorious for running hot and being power hogs; the 820 does not suffer from this, and it shows.

The Elite x3 was also never hot. Even during a processor-intensive OS update, the back of the phone near the camera never went above 85F degrees (29C).

The Display

The Elite x3 features a 5.96-inch WQHD (2560x1440) AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 4 and anti-smudge coating.

It's the best display on a Windows phone yet.

Think the Lumia 1520 but instead of 1080P you get WQHD. The anti-smudge is also a huge welcome. Colors are vivid and the display is dazzling. In fact, at night I keep it between 7-10% brightness because the auto-low level is still too bright for my eyes.

It also just feels good to use. There is a slight curve at the edges, unlike the corners of the Lumia 950 or 950 XL, and the glass is oh so smooth in a way the Lumias aren't.

Windows Hello

The HP Elite x3 is the first Windows phone to utilize dual biometric authentication systems with iris and fingerprint for Windows Hello. Fingerprint support is only enabled after installing the Anniversary Update or Redstone 2 via the Windows Insider program. The iris scanner works out of the box as expected.

Both systems work well and can be used interchangeably. In other words, when you pick up the phone you can power the display on and unlock it with the fingerprint reader or press the power button to activate the iris scanner. This biometric flexibility is fantastic as the user does not have to think about which to utilize.

From my and Zac Bowden's experiences the iris scanner does perform slightly faster than the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. A non-scientific size comparison of the scanner suggests the Elite x3 may have newer and larger hardware to aid the process.

The fingerprint reader is reportedly the same as the excellent one found on the Nexus 5X and 6P. The user needs only to lightly press their finger on the sensor to turn on the display and unlock. Not having to deptress the power button on the side makes this system quite fast, although there is still some slight lag.

Big iris scanner with a clear lens helps in performance

Big iris scanner with a clear lens helps in performance

Windows Hello is still a work in progress, so I expect some further optimizations in the future for this feature.

Specifications to the max

I won't dwell on this for very long, but the Elite x3 has some outstanding specifications:

  • 4GB of RAM (3.5GB available due to 32-bit OS)
  • 64GB of internal storage
  • SD card (I have 200GB added)
  • Qi and PMA wireless charging
  • Front facing speakers
  • Almost same size and weight as iPhone 6s Plus

While there you won't find classic Nokia features like Glance, the audio equalizer, or color profiles, thankfully double-tap-to-wake is at least coming.

HP Elite x3 SIM tray

The SIM tray can hold 1 nano SIM and 1 micro SD or two nano SIMs

The Elite x3 packs a lot of power, and it is quite fun to leverage. The SIM tray is an extended insert in which you can install (1) one Nano SIM and one microSD card or two Nano SIMs (the outside slot can hold either a SIM or microSD card).

Dat Grill

HP Elite x3 grill

Opinions vary on the speaker grill, but I like it

There's been some consternation in the community over the speaker grill on the bottom front of the Elite x3 It's not metal, instead HP used a plastic piece that's been treated with non-conductive vacuum metallization — not chrome plating. There are a few reasons for this design choice:

  • More metal means more antenna interference
  • Metal is heavy and would upset the literal weight balance of the phone
  • Polycarbonate can take a hit and rebond better than metal

Either way, the grill so far after ten days looks great, feels good, and there are no obvious issues. Besides, I have yet to see reports of anyone having problems. Whether you like the look or not is a personal choice. Your experience may vary, but "it's not metal" isn't really a complaint that carries any weight.

The Bad

Performance

This one is tricky. The Elite x3 is reportedly clocked at 2.15 GHz using the newer Snapdragon 820 while the Lumia 950 XL is using the older Snapdragon 810 clocked at 1.82 GHz. By the numbers alone the Elite x3 should be faster, yet it certainly is not. That's not to say it is slow, but it is noticeably slower compared to the Lumia 950 XL. Instead, it feels a bit more like the Lumia 950 with its Snapdragon 808.

By the numbers alone the Elite x3 should be faster than the older Lumias, yet it certainly is not.

The issue is likely tied to Windows 10 not yet being optimized for the Snapdragon 820 chipset. There have been some rumors that Microsoft did not plan for 820 support as they were looking to switch to an x86 architecture for Mobile. Take that with a grain of salt, but I have heard from my own sources that there is some truth to it. As a result, Windows 10 Mobile may not be entirely ready for the Snapdragon 820.

That's the bad news for those expecting a performance boost. The good news, although not confirmed, is that Microsoft and HP should be able to further optimize the OS and firmware to better leverage the Snapdragon 820. Indeed, if there is anything you can criticize the Elite x3 for is the driver and firmware support being a bit green. This issue may also be a reason why I'm now hearing Microsoft won't start selling the phone in their stores until October.

Benchmarks tell a different story

The stranger aspect of all of this is benchmarks do not reflect the user experience. Using the AnTuTu benchmark app for Windows 10 (opens in new tab), the Elite x3 dominates the Lumia 950 XL by a long shot. In fact, the Elite x3 bests the Huawei Mate 8 (Score: 92746) as well.

AnTuTuLumia 950 XLElite x3
Score87906108727
3D2477324219
UX3139637387
CPU2734238449
RAM43958672

The one area where the Lumia 950 XL beats the Elite x3, albeit slightly, is for the 3D test. That result suggests that the Adreno 530 GPU may be the culprit on the Elite x3 as the Lumia 950 XL leverages the Adreno 430. Performance is also improved in using the Anniversary Update or Redstone 2. However, the Elite x3 oddly ships with Threshold 2 (build 10586) and the Anniversary Update isn't expected until later in September.

Of course, benchmarks only provide a basis for making comparisons and there's a lot that goes into the performance of a phone — and the perception of performance — than what benchmarks can reveal.

The Camera

Another controversial area with the Elite x3 is the camera. I think it is unreasonable to expect that HP out the gate would release a phone with a better camera than the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL. The bar is set very, very high for fans of Windows Mobile with the Lumia series and the Elite x3 does fall short of that.

HP Elite x3 camera

While not the best available the x3's camera has a suprising amount of potential

Nonetheless, I am pleasantly surprised. I can say with high confidence that the Elite x3's camera is by far the best non-Lumia Windows phone to date. The hardware is capable of producing some beautiful images and the raw image quality the Elite x3 is quite good.

A good analogy would be if there were ever a "Lumia 750" or "Lumia 850" the Elite x3 would likely fall in between. It's not amazing, but it's far from terrible for image quality.

So it takes photos that are good, but not great. The problem, however, is that the camera is appallingly unstable. The software and drivers are absolutely not optimized on the Elite x3. Out of the box, the camera app often crashes when using the photo review feature or trying to launch the camera from the Action Center from the Lock Screen. This is not a trivial crash of just the phone app — no, this causes the entire phone to reboot.

The flash is also not properly synchronized with the camera using the software out of the box causing extreme blowouts.

The camera is appallingly unstable, crashing the entire phone when reviewing a photo or launching the camera from the Lock Screen.

Oddly, using Windows 10 Mobile Redstone 2 on the Windows Insider program all but eliminates this crashing bug and flash synchronization. This improvement suggests there is a combo of OS and firmware optimization that needs to occur.

The Elite x3's camera is also slow when using tap-to-focus, something I have seen on other non-Lumia phones. Rich Capture – the ability to edit flash and HDR variables post-process – is also not available as it seems to be a Lumia exclusive.

But, I'm dealing with this because I have seen the Elite x3 take some quite beautiful photos, even in low light. The camera is very aggressive with ISO for night shots causing some severe grain, but under normal conditions, the photos are much better than I expected. In fact, I feel the images are 'good enough' for me, and I consider myself an avid photographer.

HP is reportedly working on the new firmware, and I expect to see some significant improvements when that becomes available. Just be warned that for now, you are getting a very early and very buggy software camera experience with the Elite x3.

Camera Samples

The HP Elite x3's camera can shoot some sharp photos. Colors are a bit undersaturated and grainy, but they're still quite decent and slightly above average. Some optimizations to the image processing algorithms and a firmware update could really make this camera shine.

Odds and ends

Finally, there are a few other things worth noting about the HP Elite x3:

  • The Elite x3 does not support NFC tap-to-pay; it is unclear if it ever will either
  • Audio quality is good, but apparently tuned for voice (not a lot of bass)
  • Reception and Wi-Fi performance have been excellent
  • It feels better in the pocket compared to a Lumia 950 XL due to the rounded corners
  • You can hot-swap SIMs (no reboot required)
  • AT&T and T-Mobile LTE compatible
  • On T-Mobile, I was able to get 24Mbps down and 7.4Mbps up on a decent connection
  • The power and volume buttons are perfect
  • You can use the Insider program to get the Anniversary Update or try Redstone 2 (you should remove your microSD card during the upgrade — I didn't have issues, but others have)
  • You cannot disable the camera shutter sound, which is weird but possibly related to enterprise security or privacy laws in certain markets

The HP Elite x3 has a ton of potential to be the best Windows phone to date. While I doubt the Elite x3's camera will ever be as good as the Lumia 950 series, it too has a lot of potential, so much so that I don't mind using it.

HP Elite x3 logo

HP's new logo looks great on the back of the Elite x3

The real question is if and when HP delivers that new firmware and how often they update and improve the Elite x3. Seeing as HP potentially has some significant clients lined up for this phone, I would suspect they will get a lot of feedback and act on it.

I've been using the Elite x3 full-time since the first day I received it, and I have no immediate plans of going back to the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL for my primary phone.

The actual review

That's a lot on this phone, and it might seem like a review, but I'm not yet comfortable delivering a final "review" verdict on the HP Elite x3. While the rough edges of the software wouldn't normally hold us back from delivering a verdict, that things improve so dramatically with the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update has forced us to pause until that software sees a public release. But even with those rough edges there's a lot that I love about this phone, and I'm looking forward to giving it a thorough and proper review when the time comes.

Further Reading

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

378 Comments
  • So I wrote 2,800 words and yet this is not a review. To be honest, this is semantics. If you like to think of this as a review, go right ahead as I provide enough information for you to make a judgment. However, I will be returning to this topic once (1) the phone is more widely available (HP is not even selling it right now) (2) the Lap Dock is available for me to work into the "x3" equation (3) Firmware and AU hit to make this phone on-par with current Windows 10 Mobile devices. I think it's important to point out that this is not a consumer launch device, so it's more of a "rolling out" kind of thing. This is unusual since we mostly cover consumer devices and topics here, but how HP is handling this is different for our audience. For those with a Lumia 1520, I would consider the Elite x3 the upgrade you want (assuming the cost is doable). It really gives me back the feeling of the 1520 when that was released and kind of represents what that phone stood for, albeit less flamboyant colors this time ;)
  • Daniel, what do you think makes this a business/enterprise phone? I have read all reviews and comments and I cannot get a proper reason.I think this is a high end normal smartphone with continuum. Also, as someone from the business/enterprise and technology workforce, this cannot replace my laptop. Thoughts?
  • A lot of it is the security features including fingerprint, iris. The pogo pins on the back are for sleeves in industry to expand its functionality. The design itself is very high-end and elegant looking for executives. The issue is without the lap dock and trying virtualization through HP Workspace this is another phone. What makes the Elite x3 unique is the huge ecosystem that HP is building around it. Right now, however, it is just the phone (and desk dock), which does not make it stand out. That is why without all of that context it's hard to see the x3 as something different right now.
  • Hie Dan can l ask which app writes time in letters like the one l see on the picture
  • That is Perfect Clock by Perfect Thumb
  • These articles have become click bait city....sad.
  • 4150 mAh Li-ion polymer (non-removable)​ That kills it for me right there. Not spending almost a grand for a phone that doesn't have a replacable battery. That has got to be one of the stupidist hardware decisions I've seen for a flagship type phone ESPECIALLY when they are targeting the business user who usally is a power user that would like to be able to swap out the battery. Not good.    
  • If you add a user replaceable battery, I don't see how it can achieve IP67 certification.
  • The phone has fast charging, and your comment feels more like a personal issue, please don't project your views on the "businessmen" you mention. I don't believe they'd like to switch the phone off to swap a battery when they can simply plug it in to get a quick breather
  • While I get the charm of replaceable batteries and replaceable customback plates (a la those super Sexy Mozo ones on the 950/950XL), the transition to non-removeable is all but complete in Android (entirely complete on the high end) and has always been that way for Apple, and it hasn't seemed to be a problem. And as others have said, you can kiss things like waterproofing goodbye if you go open back. So I feel you to a point. I do. But I have not had an open-back phone since the Galaxy Note 3, and I've long since made peace with that. And if it adds higher end features, then I would be heavily persuaded to go so far as to actually favor it. Either way, though, while this is just my opinion, and you are certainly free to disagree (even though I have a strong hunch that my opinion is far more popular than yours outside of Windows and comparably popular inside), the idea of removable/non-removeable being the thing that makes the difference between a good phone and a terrible phone, or quaalifyable as "the worst decision they could've made" is a pretty ridiculous dividing line. Cheers!
  • "Android (entirely complete on the high end)". No, see LG V20.      
  • My mistake, but I trust that my point holds.
  • Swappable batteries isn't as neccesary these days on a phone that can get 2 days of use before having to charge. Everything I've read says this phone has amazing battery life. How long are you going to be away from a charger that you need to swap a battery out? These days, you can get a battery pack for less than a new internal battery and standalone battery charger, if you are going to be away from a charger for (in this case) more than a day. I've got a 20,000 mAh battery with wireless charging and it could keep my Lumia Icon going for days.
  • This is what....  this feature will not be available to consumers. http://www8.hp.com/us/en/business-services/computing-services/workspace.html
  • Easy to do, use a VPN with remote desktop.... Connect to a PC over RDP (there is a RDP client)...Not Continuum, full Windows.... This would be the best use for this... and most system admins could set it up within a day or 2...
  • Honestly what can this do that an iPhone can't in the enterprise other than gimmicky Continuum?
  • Everything except gimmicky Handoff? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android.. But waiting for the HP Elite so I can get rid of this junkie Galaxy S5...
  • I'm so confused by the need of continuum. I mean in order to use you have to haul monitor, dock, plugs, wires, mouse, keyboard, compatible phone, what a mess! Then I have to subscribe to MS office in order to take full advantage of it? I don't get it. Someone open my eyes please.  
  • Don't bother with the dock. Wireless continuum only needs a wireless dongle, a mouse and a microsoft foldable keyboard. I seldomly use Continuum but I've got everything I need in my bag all the time.  
  • You don't have to haul or really bring those basic peripherals with you, especially that even HP Dock is meant to be heavy to remain stationary on the desk and meant to stay there, not so much to carry with you (Though the Microsoft Continuum dock is more portable). The use case for Continuum is when you get to places with spare monitor, keyboard, mouse with dock, serving like an alternative to thin client but more limited. On Hotel rooms, if the TV even have Miracast or something you bring with you, you can use Continuum just fine while the phone acting as keyboard and trackpad for very light task such as quick editing of documents. There is a potential for Continuum to be more useful if there is an ecosystem around it, such as the HP Lapdock or other possible Continuum accessories to make these a 2 or 3 in 1 device. Check the Asus Transformer V. Another thing about the ecosystem around Continuum if there was more places having these Continuum-compatible monitors with keyboard and mouse/trackpad already in place. Unfortunately the ecosystem around Continuum is pretty limited at the moment, leaving it the user to compensate for it and have their own solutions with them. Continuum on W10M also have major shortcomings really on the software where its not really that a PC-like experience but more like a projected Tablet-like experience. You can only show one app maximized at a time with limited interaction between apps and OS unlike what we can freely do on PC. Continuum needs to have a desktop-like environment that follows the feel and functionality of it like draggable floating windows, full Windows Snap, better File Explorer with networking (it doesn't have to be exactly similar to PC), full drag-and-drop between apps and OS, and UI layout that really mimics the PC pixel-by-pixel for consistency.
  • This has been covered ad nauseum over the past few months, but I'll assume you've missed all of the existing discussion that has happened across this site and every other one that covers Microsoft. It goes something like this... the target user will not carry KVM with them. He/she will already have KVM setup in one or more places (primary office, satellite offices, home office; etc.). Maybe those work spaces also have docks; maybe not. All of this equipment, including the phone (which will be bought in bulk, below cost), is provided by the company. Similarly, all of the software licenses, including those used through the HP virtualization app, are covered by the company. Users who are on the road a lot can utilize the lapdock. Assuming users don't need the power of a traditional PC, then you can replace their laptop and phone with a single device that is relatively secure and easy to manage. Will it be universally "better" and/or cheaper? No. It will be a nice option for some groups within some companies. Based on conversations with their enterprise clients, HP is betting this solution (phone, dock and/or lapdock, software virtualization and management) will be a net positive in terms of cash flow. They don't need to sell millions of these a year to do that. Posted from my Nexus 5X
  • Just about anywhere you go there are tvs or monitors. You know, every single office, house, hotel in the world. So, yeah, you need to bring a cord with you (that doubles as a charger) and a keyboard (if you want). Not sure how that compares unfavorably to carrying a laptop and/or tablet (with all their chargers/cords/accessories). Seriously, id love to hear your response.
  • yeah true, but you know the iphone does nothing.. not even wireless charging.. what does it do? Not even a good screen? Continuum is gimmicky and I never use it on my 950 xl, but hey so is 3d touch but the iphone owners and apple fans lost thier minds when it was announced.
  • You can pay for stuff with it, there's that.
  • "iPhone does nothing" - that's why almost every major developer releases for it FIRST, and it has an ecosystem with every app available under the sun and doesn't need a keyboard and a TV screen to be useful. Meanwhile, your W10M which is practically still a beta FFS, has dropped to 2% marketshare and is in freefall, developers continue to leave, and you guys can barely send text messages properly. Do I need to continue here or what? 
  • Continuum has been around for a year and people have been using it without being as confused as you are...
  • Who said anything about being confused. Continuum is not enough to justify the dismal FACTS I just pointed out. You need more than that to prop this up.
  • Nope, its confusion. Thats the normal reaction of people who see something they never thought possible. Sure, it has limitations now, but it seems that MS is working on that (this was announced recently at ignite). And its not just MS, it seems that Google is working to implement that feature as well. If you look at it, iPad Pro, continuum and Android-Chrome merger are all manifestations of the same goal, which is to make mobile the only personal computer a person needs. All of these platforms need time. And as I mentioned, there are people who happily just use it--no questions asked, and for them, it has already brought value to their lives--justifying its existence to those who use it.. I for one envy them, as I am too poor to afford a continuum capable phone, and I am excited for the day to see this [value-added] feature on cheaper devices. So yes, you are confused.
  • Wrong.  No one is saying Continuum isn't a good idea. It's a GREAT idea, and you can't commend MS enough for it. However, the rest of the market that IS actually even aware of it, while they think it's "nice", sees it as little more than a gimmick. But it doesn't change that it's not enough. THAT is the point you are trying to sidestep, and the point that there is no defence for. You need more than Continuum, a function no one really cares about (outside of scarce users like you) than sell this thing. And the fact it, no one wants it. If I was wrong, your marketshare wouldn't be at 2%.
  • Its very clear that you are confused. Nobody is trying to sidestep anything. The reason why I brought up the fact that this has been around for a year and that people are "just using it without asking what its for" is because I wanted to show you that people are AWARE of these limitations, and frankly, the fact that you are pointing out the OBVIOUS when you say that its "not enough". People have been using this for a while and you can see that they have given so much feedback to Microsoft and so many suggestions, so many concepts on how to improve continuum. Its clear people see the value in it and want to suggest ways to improve it (its not confusing at all my friend). Yes, even you, in stating the OBVIOUS, its just your way of suggesting ways to improve it, because, subconsciously, you see gamechanging value in it. And if it does improve (which given TLC, it will), people's perception of it may change. Its not like MS stopped development of continuum and its not like they will be able to change people's behavior overnight.
  • Let me give u my example cause that's what I'm doing now: I have a dock, a keyboard, a mouse, a 21 LED TV, and an external ssd on my desk at my place. And I have a dock back at my office in the university. Instead of carry a laptop, cause I work with office and browsing, I just walk around with the phone. BUT: after 2 months I've got to say that Continuum needs RIGHT NOW a multitask option. Its very disappointing open ONE word, then copy, then close, then open ANOTHER word, then past, then... Besides that, its ok. Needs improvement, but I'm not missing my heavy ThinkPad. At least, not now.
  • Have you tried continuum? I use it on a daily basis and I think it's pretty cool/useful. Curious why you hold that opinion.
  • Can you please elborate what can an Iphone do, that a normal Adroid phone (which comes at half the price or less) not do?
  • LoL. Targeted at Enterprise... and labels the ability to literally take yiur computer with you in your pocket as "gimmicky". Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Tell that to the 98% of the mobile market who aren't interested in WM.
  • This honestly is the first phone that I've seen that would make me come back to Windows Phone from iPhone.  My 1520 with 8.1 was the best phone I have EVER used.  For my purposes at least.  This phone looks to upstage and enhance the 1520 experience with a very 1520-like updated phone.  Looks pretty stellar.  Some people don't want to be locked into the iApple walled garden.  Some people just want to be different.  Different strokes for different folks.  Many of the features of Windows Phone make it more appealing to me than my beloved iPhone 6+.  This is a phone I will definitely consider when it is (if it is?) actually released.
  • The smartphone is inherently a "business/enterprise" phone and that was its initial intention. It pretty much lost its identity once they hit the consumer market and parents are buying their 13 year olds smartphones. It's going to be hard to sell people on any of it's extra features being significant enough to make it mroe of a "business phone" than anything else on the market. It's all one big blur. 
  • "what do you think makes this a business/enterprise phone?" The given it's a HP product and it comes on the heels of the very clear and obvious reshuffle by Microsoft of their entire 'mobile' development towards enterprise and away from consumer may be a hint..
  • Wow really disappointed to read about the software.....MS being a sw company should be doing a much better job by now. I hope HP doesnt officially release this phone until Anniversary is out for it and MS has made vast improvements to the OS to take advantage of the new hardware. Also, HP has to improve the camera sw.
  • This is an HP product. I put the onus on them to get the software/drivers right if they are going to sell it, not Microsoft.
  • HP software sure has its issues, but MS is about to screw Mobile once again. My heart sank when i read Microsoft did not plan for 820 support as they were looking to switch to an x86 architecture for Mobile. When single core performance of ARM processors like one in iPhone 7 approaching x86 level, while sipping power, it would be suicidal for Microsoft to switch entirely to x86. Yet another reboot will be nail in the coffin, if one is needed.
  • They're not switching to x86 now.
  • Perhaps the elusive Surface Phone might pop a x86 surprise?
  • Unless Continuum is a major major use case for most people, there is no need for x86 on a smartphone. ARM sips battery so a Surface Phone would have to be on that. In addition it will need some revolutionary hardware features to make it even somewhat appealing to consumers.
  • Anything could happen, I suppose. No information to say either way at this time.
  • I used an x86 windows 10 tablet. And so many time I wished it was ARM.
  • Thats shows their shortsightedness, Always a step behind while adopting to latest processors
  • That the intent was to switch to x86 is not news, it was known and hinted at several times over on several occasions over the past year(s). Intel kind of put that to sleep by more or less giving up on mobile.
  • Yeah, hp should of waited for the software. It's getting too much bad press at the moment.
  • There is a reason why no one is selling this phone at the moment (Microsoft, Amazon, HP, etc.).
  • Right but they sold just enough for the reviewers and testers to get their hands on them which doesn't make much sense.  Looking forward to new reviews soon.
  • Funny because the fanbase (what is left of that) have been waiting since MWC 2016 back in March.
  • Do not worry, you will have your awesome device (with buggy OS) Soon™.
  • But Microsoft depends on OEMs for Windows 10 Mobile. Another lame excuse Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • After what MSFT did with the 1520 IM SAD TO SAY THIS BUY BYE WINDOWSPHONE
  • What did they do with the 1520? Mine still works good and has Windows 10 Mobile officially.
  • He wants the four block window logo on the back like the new phones.
    Makes him feel less embarrassed standing next to an ear covered with iPhone.
  • Somehow I always feel more embarrassed when I carry my work I iPhone and people see the Apple logo.
  • LOL
  • Im still with the 1020, all it needed was a change in background image to bring it to the 21st century and its like new :P
  • Man I still dream of owning one, despite the 950XL
  • My 1520 battery drain quickly..in one day need 3-4 time charging.. They didn't fix it yet.
  • Happened with a friend of mine, unfortunately for him it was a battery fault (it had gone bust with age or something). See if you can get it checked. My brother also had the issue, but for him it solved by doing a rollback and staying on release software, opting out of the insider program
  • Yes.. I think insider build is problem.. It started after red Stone build. Before it was ok. Now no new battery drain fix..expcilally for
    1520.
  • Could be. I don't know why but 1520 firmware optimisation always seems a hit and miss on insider builds - specially in the new fast ring update which made the keyboard disappear, requiring a hard reset
  • You need a new phone. Batteries do wear out.
  • My friends, they are using Samsung note 3 before me.. And not facing such types of battery drain- only normal battery issue of android. This problem came with software update with me.
  • Like I said, roll back to to release software and opt out of the insider program. Insider builds come with the warning of instability and bugs, it's not totally fair to blame MS for that. Comparing with Samsung/Android isn't fair either, because they're running release software and you're not. My brother is using a 1520 and he has no problem.
  • How I will go to release build... Can you suggest any option for me..?
  • Yes happening with my 1520. I cant even use it normally now. Must be because of age? Ive been using the phone for two years now. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Uh what?
  • Wow....few hours ago I asked for a review.....n u published it !! (Although not a full review). Still I'm happy about it. Thanks :) :) much appreciated. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hey there!
    What is the name of that clock and calendar app shown in picture?
  • Calendar : Simple calendar ( I guess ) Clock I don't know...but that tile is WOW
  • Calendar is Chronos Calendar - best there is - and clock is Analog Clock Tile
  • Have you tried it with dual SIM yet? Curious if it's a better experience than on my 950 XL. Since only one SIM can access the LTE network you cannot use visual voicemail on the second SIM. And reception on the second one is pretty bad as well.
  • That is always the case with dual-SIMS IIRC because otherwise, they would need two data channels to handle LTE and that hardware is not made by QC (from what I know). I have tried a few dual SIM devices, they're all the same: both do calls, SMS; only one for data.
  • I have a question regarding to dual-SIM capability of W10M. - Does it able to receive and make calls simultaneously with two SIMs?
    - Receiving messages from SIM1 while having a call on SIM2 for example does work "real-time"?
  • I have 2 sim cards in mine which we are test driving at one of the companies I own.  Both likes work fine. Call quality is good on both lines.  
  • I actually dont see this device as any more of a worthy upgrade to the 1520 than the 950XL was. The big differentiators both have are continuum, biometrics and the screen res, performance will be better but not hunderds of $ better and in the HP's case the camera wont even be up to par with the 1520's. The HP also omits glance, super sensitive touch and clearblack. Personally dont see any current Windows phone as a true upgrade to the 1520 and definitely not at the HP's asking price.
  • Stay with the 1520 for now, I jumped the wagon with a L950xl just to be disappointed. Its performance level is a little bit superior, bit not what I was expecting. Still I see loading and black screens while switching apps or when accidentally minimizing/reopening the same app. Gets hot like sh*t while doing regular stuff. Seriously I would love snapdragon to recall this lame processor. Battery doesn't lasts like in the L1520, at 10am morning just by browsing in edge the battery is at 66% which is mediocre, even on the production builds (no insider previews) camera performance is so so the same, except the flash. On screen buttons didn't loved them in the beginning, but now they're not so bad,I guess they grew in me. Overall, I'm disappointed. To have maximum performance, I have to hard reset the stupid phone which is tedious. My girlfriend has the iPhone 6 plus, not the s, and she doesn't know what a hard reset is (meaning she hasn't had the need to do one). The phone isn't exactly bad, apart from the processor stuff, the software is the culprit, I blame Microsoft for this, I love their products, but this w10 mobile sucks, even there are still performance issues on pc, and since they brought W10 to Xbox one, it runs worst too, with performance issues here and there, software company that doesn't optimize software, lame... They deserve the marketshare they have...
  • Or not... For me switching from a 1520 to a 959 xl was great for a couple of reasons: - its much easier to handle and let painfull in your pants pocket. - the camera ia much better (yes it is even without flash) - noticeably faster although it could and should definitely be faster - Interchangeable battery ( I have an extra one) and back (have two awesome mozo backs)
  • Why on earth my post appears 3 times? The size one is personal, it definitely is easier to handle, but that's relative to the size of the hands. The camera HAS to be better, but at least to the average joe ain't that noticeable, what I meant about the flash was that with the rgb one the pictures do look better with the flash on In theory, it should be better / faster because of upgraded internals, but that ain't noticeable much probably because of the software optimization, or lack of there off. Removable battery and cover, yes, those are good points but after having the 920, 1020 and 1520 is not exactly something to tout about... This is my opinion... It wasn't worth the switch, specially at full price. I should have waited amd maybe considered this hp, or the next phone, whatever it is. On another note: I can't remove the 2 comments in excess from the app right?
  • Not sure what happened with the comments thing, but I removed the other 2.
  • Thanks! Appreciate it!
  • If under warranty, I hope MS will replace your device. My 950XL on Slow Ring works flawlessly, apart from minor heating problems when playing games
  • I do have warranty. However, the problems are software related, you know, the kind you don't really solve by exchanging the device. Can you seriously tell me that you haven't experienced at least one small lag moment while opening an app, switching between open ones, not even while opening some settings?
  • I didn't say I haven't faced an occasionally wait period, its not as bad as you put it. Also I'm not facing battery drain issues. I bought mine upon release of the Anniversary Update, and so far haven't had to reset or reboot except for updates.
  • +1, I mirror this sentiment. If it wasn't for my 1520 losing the ability to access the SIM card (don't know if anyone was able to rectify that problem) I would have stayed with my 1520. The 1520 had It's fair share of problems especially with the phantom touch deal, but overall, I still believe i preferred the experience over my current 950xl(single sim). Sometimes I just hold the 950xl and marvel at the simple genius of it but it is severely held back by software which is inexcusable. I loved when the x3 was introduced especially for the fingerprint inclusion but for the price and exclusion from the hp workspace, that definitely degrades the experience for me
  • Yeah the phone it's nice, the problem is the goddamned software, they fix one thing and mess two, they fix one of the two and mess two more, and so on... This is the disappointing fact
  • I'm not too far from your opinion theefman. I do have a 950 and a 950XL. I go back and forth because sometimes the Dual Sim (XL) is my friend, and other times I wanna get as far from dual-sim as possible. My only beef with the 1520 is they aren't fresh anymore. Not being recently manufactured is a battery life death sentence. If they were still making them, I actaully think I would still pay FULL PRICE for a brand new one. No doubt my emotionally favorite cell phone in 20+ years. 
  • Have a look online, you can still get the odd new one popping up. I got this one from Austria in February, unbranded sealed 32gig. Sometimes you'll see them in the far east, new and boxed, European. Batteries are still available too, genuine Nokia, fitted for around £20 25us dollars. I just love it, 950xl confined to office shelf, doesn't have the same quality! Nokia made nothing else but phones, they nearly always got it right, when Microsoft got their grubby mitts on them it was downhill from there!!
  • You should still check out the devices in person. Upon usage my opinion changed, mainly because of the user experience
  • You just sold me on the Elite X3. I'm skipping the 950XL since I already have the 950. The x3 is my next phone! Thanks for the write-up!
  • you sure about that decision bro? what are your reasons to get the x3?
  • I may get a 950 XL next year, but if the surface phone is released I may get that. We will see. For now, my 950 works just fine.
  • hmm "A good analogy would be if there were ever a "Lumia 750" or "Lumia 850" the Elite x3 would likely fall in between". I just clicked on the photo gallery, switched to picture number 7 and I must admit that a Samsung S3 could take a same looking picture. Just look at the grain on the left side and the overburnt pixels. Eeeee... S820 not supported (yet), performance not good (yet) all this from a "flagship"? And people want a SurfacePhone? Heck Microsoft... its time to close this project or do it much much much better
  • The 820 support thing is a guess and I would say it's not fully optimized. Happens when Intel releases a new chipset too, see Surface line. Clearly, the phone supports 820. It gets good performance (just not faster than XL), handles phone/data well, gets great battery life, uses the iris scanner, etc.
  • I take my hat off to you for the information and pointing out thats its not a review for the reasons mentioned.  Certainly wouldnt be fair to do.  I am reexcited about this device, im sure Microsoft are pulling out all the stops to make sure the OS works extremely well with this hardware as its a sign to other manufactures of whats possible.    Looking forward to the review.
  • Was the review for the Jade Primo scrapped?
  • No, Richard is on that but review for Foraz H3 had a hard deadline. Should be here this week.
  • Hi Dan, how are you finding fast ring redstone 2 on Elite x3? The random reboots on AU release preview are a touch annoying and if fast ring improves that and camera then I'm open to giving fast ring a go. Cheers.
  • Honestly, no issues with RS2. Battery life is the same or if different (worse/better) not obvious. No problems with reboots or OS crashes (even with the camera). Any other quirks is likely more due to Fast Ring app status and whatever RS2 issues are present, but it feels the same to RS1.
  • Ok thx Dan, I'm to get on RS2 now then. Got WDRT as a backup so not too fussed.
  • Sorry Dan... One more quick question... can we expect to receive the incoming hp firmware update if on rs2?
  • Yes. Fw updates are not tied to the os version.
  • As noted above, FW will come no matter what build/ring you are on, no worries.
  • Ok thx
  • Thanks for this, it is a great start for someone new to the phone game.  That said, a corporate focused phone without VZ support is a non-starter.  Regardless of who is at fault there, VZ owns most of the corporate market, and much of the consumer market (I wouldn't switch for a phone and I don't konw anyone else who would either).  This will sell as the obvious upgrade for AT&T users looking to move up from the 1520 era, but after that initial set of upgrades I don't see a future, unfortunately.
  • HP didn't submit the x3 for CDMA certification. I'm hoping that Microsoft breaks the recent pattern of GSM only devices and offers CDMA variants, but, I'm starting to have my doubts.
  • I'm doing my best to hold out, but when my Icon is no longer usable I won't have a choice but to move to some Android device, unfortunately.
  • I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S4. It has served me well over the past few years. I was hoping to give the 950XL or x3 a whirl, but, neither can be used on Verizon Wireless. With the pending retirement of the Lumia line, Verizon Wireless will lose it's one and only WM phone...the Lumia 735.
  • If I have to go Android I'll get something compatible with something like CopperheadOS and eschew GAPPs since I don't want their spyware.  Amazon and third party stores will have to do.  Despite the hacky experience it likely will still have a larger app library than W10M unfortunately.  :(
  • I, myself, am not a big app user. Most of the stock apps on my Galaxy S4 have never been used. The ones I've added are, by in large, also found in the Windows App Store, and I've added them to my Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3. Microsoft Office and radio.com are the apps I use most frequently. :o)
  • One of my companies has a business accoutn with Verizon & a recently acquired companies has T-Mobile.  I have to admit that we like this phone enough that we are switch both companies to T-Mobile.
  • Not really an option for larger outfits.  VZ's network is a huge benefit, and at this point VZ isn't any more expensive in most configurations than TMo.  I've been to three countries in three years and all around the US and Canada. The one constant: VZ just works.  Having traveled with people on TMo and AT&T the difference is stark and obvious.  I'm oncall whether I'm at home in Seattle or on a beach in Thailand, I can't go cut rate on my network just because I like a certain phone.  Given that VZ owns nearly half the postpaid smartphone market, I'm not alone in this.
  • Does it have a pillow-top/curved display/glass?
  • Kind of.It's a very subtle, but I think it has more to do with the curved edges of the phone. It's not quite 920 but better than 950/XL.
  • What are your thoughts on a non-enterprise user upgrading from a 950XL to this phone? Assuming money weren't a major consideration, is this a case where one has "nothing to lose"? Also, am I correct in understanding that, size wise, the Elite is the same as the 1520 (albeit with rounder edges)?
  • If you don't care about having an 800€ phone with a camera that would barely fit a 200€ andorid...
  • Hey Dan: Nice write up as always. I believe, it would have been even worthwhile if you had tested a couple of more things in this 'not-a-review': Test it for durability (i.e. intentionally drop it on the floor from 4-5 feet heights) and confirm if you can use it while it is raining outside. In short test the real life performance of the IP67 device. Hopefully you do that in your 'review'. I am sure you can afford to break the phone 'accidentally' just to let us readers know about it, right?
  • Looking forward to the full review. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Everything you wrote suggests it's not the best windows phone on the market, especially for consumers, yet you try to convince yourself that it is, or actually you say that it certainly will be when they'll release some fix-it-all firmware :) What is clear from this article is that the 950 (or the XL variant) is still the best overall windows smartphone.
  • I was a loyal Palm user and Lumia 1020 user. I'm sure the HP phone is great. But I drive an SUV for an UBER partner and LYFT. It's all about apps, nothing more. Any operating system that does not have an UBER partner app or Lyft driver app or Bank of America app is worthless! Meg should have gotten together with Nadella to put these apps on the phone. They have the money to do it. This will only compound the slow death of Windows Mobile. HP did the same to Palm. What a waste. But then again, these people are college educated. No wonder! David
  • I'm curious as to why they didn't got with Blutooth 4.2 instead of 4.0.  It is my understanding that 4.2 is a significant improvement over 4.0, which it having such high spec, I would have thought that would be a no-brainer. 
  • Do you know if there has been a delay in manufacturing or if something is going on? The Elite X3 is no longer on the Microsoft Canada or US stores.
  • It only restarted 8 times? My 950 does it 8 times in one phone call.
  • How you maintain a call while restarting is a whole other story...
  • LOL. I've gotten used to calling it 1 since restarts are so common. After spending 30 minutes of calling and explaining my phone went crazy and then restarting I finally ended up borrowing my wife's phone. The next day my phone would start hanging on ring and wouldn't stop and wouldn't let me answer. Seems to have taken a break for now.
  • My 950 does not have that issue, and is running very well.
  • Does it matter what release you are on? Do you use many apps? Seems like if I do anything it's a gamble if it will restart, lock up, or overall go completely bonkers. I've factory reset multiple times and tried multiple releases. My wife's 950 goes crazy but not as crazy as mine. We both have problems.
  • what's your os version?have apps set to phone and photos to sd card
  • Not having problems since ages, all my friends with a 950 and 950XL are happy with anniversary update and latest firmware too (3 of them). So it makes 4 people without a single restart in ages. Update your phone then hardreset it, if it doesn't work just return it cause it must be faulty hardware.
  • Speaking of restarting. My phone must have know I was talking about it. It just restarted sitting on my desk.
  • Something is very wrong with your phones... They arent programmed to restart by themselves and will not do it unless there is something wrong with them.
  • No one programs them to restart. There have been verified bugs that have caused it in the past.
  • Could be haunted lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Your phone is trippy o_O
  • My last two Lumias did this at random. Never a big problem, I always just figured it was a restart to clear memory or something.
  • Sounds like you've got a faulty phone. Have you contacted Microsoft on getting a replacement?
  • Got my 950XL Dual Sim for almost 2mths now & running the most current TP Build, my phone hasn't restarted once apart from doing updates.  
  • same for my 950 DS NAM on latest production build
  • Haha, and how long are your sessions? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If that is the case, then your hardware is broken.
  • That is total BS.. I bet no one calling you is patient to go through 8 restarts..
  • Does sound like hardware issue if you've done the hard resets multiple times and are on the official builds
  • "The phone, while great, is running incomplete software and it wouldn't be a fair evaluation." is part of my annoyance I have with MS and Windows Phone/Mobile situation.
  • Recent builds have gotten so unstable on my 950XL that i'm starting to think we're never going to receive "complete" software. Really do miss the WP7/8 days when the thing just worked.  I've been a WM/WP/WM user for 15 years. I'm so frustrated I'm about to abandon ship. Really feel like Microsoft is intentionally introducting bugs so people keep abandoning the platform to the point they can just stop development. No users = no complaints, right?
  • Are you on release or an Insider Build?
  • Release builds seem to work fine on my 950XL, hope they do on yours as well
  • Nope.
  • I think he meant incomplete software from HP, not MS
  • i most definitely agree  
  • what is problem from HP, not microsoft.   
  • I don't know, funny I just read the review of this phone on MSPU and their review was more positive. But it must said that their's was running the AU. They said speed was superb, equal to any phone out there, they praised battery life too. But they criticized the camera performance saying it was very poor. I think the AU makes a big difference on this phone. It's the only way I can explain the completely different views of the same phone.
  • I returned the HP Elite x3 after a week. The phone is nice, but the camera was awful compared to the 950XL and not that much better in terms of performance. The display was slightly better and the battery. I'm back to the 950XL and will look to buy the Surface Phone if the camera is the same or better.
  • I don't think we'll never see another camera like that of L950, if I well remember the responsable of camera (in Microsoft) leaved Ms for Nokia.
  • get your 950/XL while supplies last
  • That's what I'm telling friends who are getting a new phone and can find the primary apps they need in the store. In fact, if sale prices go low enough I may grab a spare 950 while I still can. I don't think we're going to see a significantly better consumer phone than the 950 series for quite a while. If Microsoft understood the smartphone market, they would have continued the 550, 650 and especially 950 series and just kept incrementally making them better, upgrading the processor, adding CDMA support, gradually ramping up marketing after the last remaining instabilities are under control.. Oh well. Still, the HP Elite X3 and it's ecosystem does look exciting for business users and I love the front facing speaker.
  • The same as me. Better the devil you know... Although I didn't have the camera issue, I didn't get one because without the enterprise side of it, its 'just' another windows phone. An expensive one at that. 950xl stays with me for a while, unless something tasty surfaces!
  • indeed 950 & 950 XL are great phones, forget trash talk from editors and many others online, plus we have Glance which HP Elite x3 doesn't
  • This is not a formal review of the HP Elite x3. The phone, while great, is running incomplete software and it wouldn't be a fair evaluation.
    If that incomplete software is what is being sold to the consumer, it's absoulty fair to review and evalualte as a formal review.
  • Was my 2,800 words not enough then for you? While I see the point the phone is not that readily available even the HP site is not selling this phone right now. Microsoft Stores are not selling it until October I hear, online orders are difficult, and the rest of the ecosystem including accessories, Lap Dock, etc. are not yet here. Regardless, I think I wrote enough to make this review preview a review. I did add enough context and explains the problems, no?
  • Then would you say in 2 weeks time that if the software doesn't change, would you call this your actual review or would you wait until the Anniversary update even if that isn't the software that ships with the phone? 
  • Right now, you cannot buy this phone from HP, Microsoft, or Amazon. Nor can you buy the Lap Dock or many of the accessories. I suppose when that changes and you can walk into a Microsoft Store to buy it that is when I'd consider it 'fair'.
  • anniversary update is avaiable for insider already why not use it.
  • Great review guys! Agree on most points, especially the camera but that may improve over time, not a deal breaker by no means. I ran mine against 950xl, 1520, really really hard choice in my book anyway. Not a huge difference in performance. Mine suffered a bit of flaking on the foil in the bottom grill, I do know that hp had to take into account the antenna, but this on it's own made me return the product for now. UK. No problems with returning it and I was informed that this was not the first case of build issues. It'll all be sorted I'm sure, but speed, camera, screen, looks, just didn't add up on price for me. I'm back to 1520 for now.
  • I can imagine NFC support being somewhat "hit and miss" as if the NFC chip is reprogrammed it could pose a security issue. Although the same could be said with phones that already support tap and pay... I hope the X3 supports tap and pay in the future as it looks to be a solid all-around-device.
  • Yeah, this is a pretty big disappointment for me - makes me glad I didnt wait and got the 950. The 950's camera is also fantastic.
  • Can't remember, does this have a dedicated Camera button?
  • It does not. AU update adds the quick action button to the Lock screen (long press) which helps.
  • That grill and the hp logo
  • Yeah eye catchers
  • Right. Why is it that 'bugs', glitches and incomplete software OK with this?? When the 9xx series released, it also had 'bugs, glitches and incomplete software, so can someone please tell me why the kiss a** attitude to the HP device, when the Lumia devices were subject to similar issues. Currently 2 to 3 times the price of the 9xx series, and yet its allowed to be viewed in a sunny light and everything is good in the world. And then you add in the fact that various features aren't readily available, unless you are on enterprise. Whilst I would love to have one, I cant see any real advantage over the 950xl at the moment. It's just too expensive. Yes they are well built and have some attempt at design, but as mentioned, the issues it has were also present on the top flight Lumia's, yet it doesn't matter on the HP. Is WC waiting for all of the updates before offering a glowing review? Apologies to Dan, but this has wound me up!
  • It's not a consumer push for a Windows phone, there were no formal launch dates, it's all over the map. I simply don't feel much pressure to cover this phone as a consumer launch like a Surface. But hey, call this a review then. It's more than enough information for you to make a decision, right? Difference is we didn't have time to shoot a formal video. Personally, I'm waiting on the Lap Dock, trying out virtualized software, the accessories, etc. before doing my full review. After all, it's called an x3 (Phone, Desktop, Laptop) but all I reviewed here is an "x1" (phone).
  • Will hp allow you to review the mentioned features ?? Virtualised software & all ?
    & I use wc app on android, it would be good if u can introduce a notification section where we can be notified if someone has commented or liked/disliked our comment !! It will be really helpful sir :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • HP have not pushed this phone to any media yet (we bought our two phones). When they do, I expect to be able to review those things, yes.
  • hmm........just wanted to be sure from you.
    even i felt, hp will allowe the reviewers like you all to test those features as well, since that is one of the most important & highlighted feature of this phone :) 
  • That was the plan from HP, but it has not yet happened, which is why I hesitate to call this a review. They are planning to brief media about this phone at some point.
  • Great explanation. I'm liking Wallet on my L950, hoping for more banks soon.  I love my camera too. Have not yet purchsed the accessories to try out Continuum, but I am sure I will like it and slowly get to the point of ditching my desktop. I'm really hoping that Miscroft will actually start marketing their phones.  Daniel do you think the expected Surface phones will get marketing support from Micorsoft, through internet, print, TV, and store incentives?
  • "Daniel do you think the expected Surface phones will get marketing support from Micorsoft, through internet, print, TV, and store incentives?"
    I think with the Surface name they would push it, but we still don't know who their target audience is for that phone, assuming it goes through.
  • I just recently used continuum on my L950XL, and I must say that its a delightful substitute experience, specially in travel scenarios, currently it can't replace a desktop/laptop. It can probably replace a tablet at most. I'm saying this is a positive sense, because there are just some things a PC is more suited for currently. But yeah, continuum sure does turn my TV into a smart TV, specially for web browsing and watching videos its an absolute delight. For a person who doesn't need to rely on a PC for work I guess you could make the switch. Also, I tried continuum with my laptop, the response to keyboard/mouse/touch screen blew my mind
  • I'm curious as to why, since the Elite X3 is aimed at businesses, did HP release it when the business features are not yet enabled? In your article, you mentioned that at the moment, without the AU and what it will bring, it is "just another phone". Any insight on this?
  • It's not really released. Try to buy it from HP right now. Or Microsoft. Or Amazon. Some early batches did get out, which is why I'm writing about here. But this phone is not what I would consider available if you cannot actually buy it.
  • ""I can't see any real advantage over 950xl""
    Windows Phone experience is the same across the board and in fact PC too.
    All that's different is your opinion and amount of RAM you need. In terms of looks alone, it would do better than the 950xl battery cover which look like an industrial grade device. Then there's the bluish/greenish screen look when you tilt the 950xl.
    Have to admit my eyes have gotten used to it, but then so have the rest of my body got used to back breaking car suspension.
  • This is not the version that will be for sale when people start buying them. When the 950 and 950XL came out, W10 was brand new. Not only a new device, but a completely new OS. Some issues were expected then. Now, W10 has been out a year - this is like HP selling a laptop that bluescreens when you try to Skype. I'm fairly confident they will have these issues worked out in the retail version though.
  • What is the name of that clock and calendar app shown in picture?
  • Calendar : Simple calendar
    Clock I don't know bro
  • Clock is 'Analoge Clock Tile' app
  • Why not updated to RS1 and instead get a semi-cool review?
  • I did update to RS1 and then to RS2. I mention how performance is better under RS1/RS2, but there is not much else different.
  • A 6 inch display? Does it also come with a backpack?
  • Say that to iPhones.
  • "A 6 inch display? Does it also come with a backpack?"
    It's the same size (and weight) as the iPhone 6s Plus, which last I checked, people do not have an issue with. The difference here is HP fit a 5.96 inch display in that body while Apple only got a 5.7-inch one (Edit: 5.5").
  • I think the iPhone only has a 5.5 inch screen. Bravo to HP. I guess you need a backpack and a magnifying glass for the iPhone.
  • Right, 4.7 for regular, 5.5 for Plus. Good catch.
  • Great article, Dan. This is plain fantastic device. What I really love about this device and os is, even with 3000 mAh the Windows 10 Mobile can be able to pull of amazing results in battery life and yet this device nailed it with astounding 4150 mAh, who wouldn't want that? Coming to the camera section, not just fans but the general ppl have been virtually brainwashed that any Windows device would shoot better quality pictures compared to other platforms (and that is because of Lumia and Nokia's camera tech and algorithm that came along with the acquisition), there's no denying that. I can say HP have done a good job for starters to pull of decent pictures.
  • It's undescent the camera if that phone that is all and an Windows Mobile in eternal beta gets worst this recall me my test with WM10 and an Lumia 520 the pictures were really grotesque the amount of grains I suspect if the Lumia camera goes back for that device the elite would end winning in performance i think Windows camera algorithms are responsible of the grainy results
  • Do you mean you are impressed with the battery life of a 950 w/ 3000 mAh battery capacity? I'd say it has improved a lot and I'm happy with it but look at the 6S and it's ~1700 mAh capacity. It should match or out last a 950 with similar usage but with a much smaller battery. Imagine how good these W10M handsets battery life is going to be after another year of improvements to W10M
  • i think will nt be more room for improvements and the improvements must go by each individual application developer do not forget that whatsapp or any app runs  on background and that also use battery, also  bigger display more  power uses  my 950 XL with lucky can ran from 7AM to 4PM which i have to plug to an charger  of wall or car charger  and suppose that should last the battery by an whole day since has 3.300Mah  typical says on the battery  and using the phone as is an  smartphone  be connected on business wi fi  networks and outside to home to 4G networks, same battery life have  the Lumia 640XL with widows 10 mobile and when i had my lumia 820  lastest the battery on windows 8.1 6-7 hours straiught  being connected to wi fi and 4G networks
  • Question! What was your experience with carrier features (I.e. VVM, IMS services such as VoLTE/WiFi calling, etc....). I realize this is technically pre-release software and everything so things may change, but I figured it was worth asking.
  • VVM works if available. No Wi-Fi calling as at least in the U.S. this requires collaboration, IIRC, between carriers and OEMs to make it work via firmware.
  • Thanks for the reply! I figured this was the case but just wanted to be certain.
  • VVM works great with AT&T. Was very easy to set up.
  • Not a huge loss that it doesn't have WiFi calling. I know people who have it in the UK here on non-W10M handsets and they almost always have to disable it because it never seems to let calls through reliably.
  • Such a shame
  • Not for me, loving this phone so far.
  • It seems releasing phones with incomplete software is the norm for Windows Mobile now.
  • I think it's more about distribution and timing. HP is not selling this phone as of now, neither is Microsoft, nor Amazon. There were some early batch releases and some through third party retailers. HP have also not made a media push for review yet either, so this is all early stuff we're doing because we bought one of the few that were available. This is why I don't call this a review as you cannot buy this phone unless you really scour the web.
  • That's what I was thinking too. With all the sold out, no response to the incomplete software complaints, and no media announcements, it feels like a distribution test more than a actual release. Makes sense since it's been a while since HP has been in the cell phone business. And once fully released HP, won't want to have issues getting their phones to their corporate customers across the globe.
  • To be a high end it's bad that hp haven't done anything to the camera it's undescent that the camera be so bad quality , could they get partnership with schneider kreutznatz or leica at least like in the past did LG with partnership of Schneider for lenses,or even associate with Rodenstock for lenses
  • You're thinking like a consumer and 'high-end'. That's not what this phone is. Why would a business phone need "Schneider for lenses,or even associate with Rodenstock for lenses"? I think the camera is quite decent, to be honest.
  • then only Lumias can have an renowed brand lens like carl zeiss, man there is other german manufacturer of photo lenses around the world and  could used an Carl zeiss too  or any renowed lens  manufacturer, also the business uses an smartphone for avoid carry an digital camera and also an laptop in many cases and  what they needs is an decent camera not one that invent colors like i seen in many other reviews of  this device,  by the way get upgraded your knowledge  in cameras if are an avid  photographer is odd you do not know the other  manufacturers of lenses like  Schneider-Kreuznach or Rodenstock photo objectives   already thinks that only canon does photo cameras i can bet in fact my brother had to chnage his lumia 950 by an android phone because do not had all the apps avalaible for his job, custom broker and also needs the best camera also for his document   pallets  brokens or  lacking   items  and needs the best camera, just  happen that the Lumia and in general microsoft windows Mobile  is dumbphone have almost no apps for professionals so i think instead of dream in surface phone should also fix the tremendous app gap http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/photo-imaging/produktbereiche/fotoobje... http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/en/products/professional-lenses-digital    
  • This device was announced 7 months ago and the software is still this bad? Do you really have faith that HP/Microsoft will ever get it stable? How can they justify $800 for alpha software and faux hardware? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I count one thing that is bad with the phone right now: the camera stability. What else did I miss? What is this faux hardware you're going on about? I'm thinking you did not read what I wrote.
  • You mentioned a few things including reboots (8!) and performance issues due to unoptimized software. Also missing features like the finger print sensor, tap to wake and NFC pay. These are big issues to have when they announced this device 7 months ago and it is now available. Given HPs track record in mobile, $800 is a big risk for a device they may abandon in 3 months and leave unfinished. How can buyers be sure support will continue? You can spin it however you want, but they are asking $800 for a device with faux metal no matter what they call it. Many other devices are able to use real metal without radio or weight issues and they are half the price of this. They are all metal too, not just partially. It is unacceptable with this price tag. There needs to be no other compromises when a device is running Windows Mobile. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Agree to disagree on the "metal" thing. I really do not think anyone will notice nor am I hearing any advantages to metal being used. So far the only people complaining about it are those who do not own or plan to own this phone AFAIK. Re: the rest, I think there is a reason why this phone is not readily available to buy. As to why some early models got out to some channels, I have no idea. We have internal firmware that adds double-tap to wake and improves things. The fingerprint reader is just Anniversary Update, nothing more is needed. I find it odd some phones made it to market with TH2 installed, but it is what it is. NFC Pay is not something they ever said was a feature, so while I can ding them for not having it, I can't blame them for misrepresentation of it.
  • Is the lack of NFC Pay because the phone just doesn't have NFC at all? Otherwise isn't it just the Wallet App (for US users) since surely all NFC hardware shipped in a 2016 phone would support the security standards required for payment as a minimum
  • is an business phone and on business will not use the NFC facility since they have their own RFID cards for enter to areas etc ,  is not intended to the public in general this phone so is many  cons since was not conceived for be an real high end for compete from head to head with Iphone or Galaxy S7 or Lumia 950XL is just an survival model with an better processor which one Windows Mobile in their eternal beta had not purpoose to support fully , lets be  realistic  Windows Mobile still being beta and to owners of phones  that  came with 8.1   been an very slow down i have an Lumia 640XL   and also an 950XL and the 640XL  with 8.1 were fatest and now with windows 10 mobile is laggy as hell and doing  hard reset did not solve anything, the Lumia 950XL   feels slow even being an high end , in apps  opening feels  slow as my 640XL have done all  hard resets and still like that, just now even the camera when force HDR  it disables  completelly the flash can not even turn on forced flash , so buggy the OS but everyone   believes that is the best thing,  i am very demmanding and  i think is an lack of respect by part of Microsoft test beta software with people that we are not on insider programm  , i would prefered  an windows phone 8.1.xxxx and  that  came  Windows 10 with the same performance than windows phone 8.1 by the way will not praise to the editor by the   review just him did his work and is not an reason for paisals, just did your job
  • He has been going on about this "faux hardware" since the last 7 months...LOL.
  • I wonder if some of your perceived performance differences v the 950 series were related to differences in the internal storage of the devices? Maybe MS sunk faster NAND into the 950s. 
  • All tests indicate store/memory is much faster on the Elite x3.
  • I think the most important take away from this article is the hint that Microsoft may be preparing an x86 phone!
  • I'd say were, past tense.
  • Ah....too bad! I was just curious, is it even possible to build a phone around the kaby lake processor?
  • If the rumours are true, that they gave up on the idea, then I'd say there's your answer.  Maybe they'll try again some day.
  • Good 'Preview' review Dan. I think it is a good start, HP style.
  • Can you say something about audio quality over headphones? I realize that "enterprise people" do not listen to music but still
  • I use it at the gym daily with Bose sport wired headphones. No complaints. While there is no equalizer ability, the sound was tuned just right and sounded just fine.
  • It has a HEADPHONE JACK?!? What kind of decent phone still needs one of those ;-)
  • I see what you did there.
  • Contrary to popular belief, "enterprise people" are still real people that use their phones for "real people things" after hours.  Weird, huh? 
  • I also have the talking Johnny bobble head!!
  • Great review once Citrix releases an continuum compatible version the disucssion will be this:   camera vs fingerprint reader glance vs pogo pins
  • Had a client call me to discuss some things. Halfway through the call he mentioned that he worked for HP in their technical support section. Was dying to ask him about this phone. I chickened out though.
  • The software may be incomplete now, but there's no doubt in my mind that, like you, I believe they will get it there. My Lumia 950 is swift and smooth; I love it! That said, there are still app instabilities here and there, but not in the bread and butter apps/functionality.   Baby steps!
  • Stopped reading when I got to no double tap.
  • +950
  • That's not news, however, and we detailed the forthcoming firmware update that enables it.
  • are we supposed to take this with a grain of salt? I mean here we are praising a phone that is on a sinking ship. Cmon be realistic with us. The rest of us will never buy this as it is not aimed at us to begin with.As such why are we here praising it as if it is the best thing since slice bread? Is this post supposed to make sure think there's hope at the end of the tunnel for us?
  • " why are we here praising it as if it is the best thing since slice bread"
    No one is saying that. Face it, if you're reading this you are either (1) a fan of Windows 10 Mobile (2) morbidly curious about its supposed demise. You sound like the latter, but I'll be happy to admit I'm wrong. It's a phone that we bought for the site. I wrote about my experiences with it, including the good and bad. Nothing more, nothing less. Should we not cover such things anymore? It'll save us $800 and I'm fine with that, frankly. I agree, it's likely not worth it reading comments like this.
  • lol also will make broader  the app gap more yet, i do not think developers be interested in bring to an business phone the app for   the lastest wearable  out there or for other smart things since you at work do not go to play go  to work seriously, the is likely unneeded  make such apps for those devices.
  • The camera thing is a badly patched OS. The same thing happens on my 950XL as well as my buddies 950XL. The camera seems to get worse with each update and we have UNNECESSARILY factory and hard reset these phones. They just can't get the camera app working right and your think wed be seeing daily updates of this and the photo app until it ran at a usable speed and didnt crash all the time.
  • Incase you are on preview builds, try going on the release builds. For me there and on the insider slow ring builds the camera works fantastically. If you're having problems on release software, that is very unfortunate. May be the warranty could help in that case. Edit: I would also check if the default storage is on internal memory or SD card, because write speeds are drastically slower for SD cards and often used to cause camera app crashes on my L830, because the software couldn't save the image fast enough (specially when clicking in HDR/rich capture mode). That solved when I switched to internal memory, so I keep the internal memory option on both phones (830 and 950XL). Another scenario when that happened was when there was less than 1.5GB free on my internal storage and/or on SD card. It seems that much space should be free on BOTH internal/SD card memory for the phone to function properly. I'm giving you user scenarios that have affected me in the past, hope this helps.
  • Thanks for the advice, but unfortunately I am on the release build. I have moved it back and forth between internal and external storage and not much different. To be honest, 8.1 ran great on my 1520. For some reason 10 on my 950XL runs great after a hard reset, but after about two months of used just comes to a crawl and have to do it all over again. Someone else talked about this and described it perfectly....its as if there is a flaw in the OS for 10 that isn't that bug of an issue when you start, but slowly becomes a domino effect that gets worse and worse as usage goes on. Thanks for your time though. Appreciate it.
  • have you to happen that in  the 950xl when you force HDR gets disabled completelly (greyed the flash) switch?  i have done hard reset and everything and seem be an bug of windows 10
  • The OTA AT&T 950 DTTW Firmware update is FINALLY available!  Downloading now!!!
  • Dan, you had me when you said the screen was like the 1520. My only complaint about the 950s is the screen. I hate it. It's a smudge magnet. Unfortunately, I'm on the ATT 2 year contract, so I'm not in the new phone market this year. Also, my 950 is very good. That said, I'm now hopeful about the future of WP. I was concerned about the manufacturing partners not picking up the quality levels of the Lumia flagships, but if there is at least one, then I will have something to look forward to. I'm looking forward to the official review once the phone is fully optimized and accessorized. Thanks for the peek
  • You can buy a silicon based aerosol cleaner designed for stainless steel. I use it on my screens, It's fantastic, I'll get at least 3 days of lovely slippery swiping out of a tiny amount. It's made by levers. You can get it on line!
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to look for it.
  • The issue is likely tied to Windows 10 not yet being optimized for the Snapdragon 820 chipset. There have been some rumors that Microsoft did not plan for 820 support as they were looking to switch to an x86 architecture for Mobile. Take that with a grain of salt, but I have heard from my own sources that there is some truth to it. As a result, Windows 10 Mobile may not be entirely ready for the Snapdragon 820.
    ROFLMAO. oh my ....MSFT ...you are so dumb. Nobody is using x86 in mobile phones besides ASUS and some other small OEM. How do you optimize for something that have been failing so bad in the market instead of following the tried and true route of ARM. What the heck are they thinking at Redmond ? 
  • Well I'm sure ms planned around the roadmap for x86 mobile chips that intel had before they canned them. Makes sense and brings something different to market with a potential surface branded phone. But intel's cancellation left ms scrambling because they don't ever seem to have a plan b c or d. Just all in plan a and hope to god it never falters.
  • This.
  • I've read the reddit thread, and I have trouble believing that Microsoft stopped developing on ARM (QC 820 and Mediatek) based versions of Windows Mobile expecting to switch wholesale to x86, but if it's true, that would literally be the most insane management decision I could imagine.  Not just that they apparently had no "plan b", but that this was even a "plan a" in the first place.  What would they even gain by completely dropping ARM suppot for Windows Mobile?  With the OneCore strategy, they still have to support ARM with their IoT initiative, unless the IoT part is also going away or they're only going to support x86 there (no Raspbery Pi); again, the latter would be a crazy decision.  And what would the plan be for running all the legacy Windows Phone apps compiled natively for ARM.  Talk about app gap - this thing wouldn't even be able to run much from the already limited Windows Phone app catalog. (This is where having stuck with the old Silverlight runtime or a managed runtime like it instead of Win(P)RT would have made more sense.)
  • They are dumber than dumb then. I can not understand how Apple was smarter and could maneuver around the performance, release and roadmap issues with those IBM PPCs by keeping the compiling and development of the secret x86 version of OSX ready to jump ship on the intel bandwagon. Tell me: does MSFT have the resources and forethought to the the same thing ? it looks like they don't or don't care anyway.
  • I would go with the "dont care" thing myself... or at least that's what it looks like from a consumer end...
  • motorola also did in the past with an phone with intel atom  as processor in fact i remember well that phone because an colleague had it  was good performer   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_RAZR_i
  • I think you are being too generous Daniel. I can order this phone today and own it tomorrow. The websites of the retailers don't explain to me that I have to wait another two weeks for a firmware update that will bring the functionality of the phone up to where it should be. In the reviews I see average folks wanting to give windows mobile a try complain about the fingerprint scanner that does not work, crashing camera and all this for 850 euro. This is killing for the image our OS and for the HP x3. The x3 only gets one chance to make a first impression and if I must believe the average user the first impression is below par. Thank god 99% of all these phones are sold to windows mobile fans who are used to buying half finished products.
  • " I can order this phone today and own it tomorrow"
    We can't in the US. HP, Microsoft, or Amazon do not have it in stock and it is not clear if it will come back before those updates are available. In this article, I explained the good and bad. I leave it to people in comments to decide for themselves what matters, etc. No where did I say "go buy it now!" I simply pointed out the flaws but noted this hardware is really good and the potential here is significant.
  • This is why you need an high quality in house built phone. They keep waiting for the OEM to step up to show off the software (that's still buggy) and it just makes it look bad.
  • Agreed... Till the bugs were worked out of the software the phone should not of been released.... but, this is corporate America... Meet a deadline not about a finished product... Like modern gaming... "Let's release the game even if it has issues.... We'll just fix it with updates"....something we see way too much of...
  • so it actually has rounded screen edges unlike the 950 which for no reason broke that nokia tradition, if only it had glance and the 950 camera with xenon, absolute best wp ever there
  • Glance is the only thing I miss. The edges of the phone around rounded and it really feels like an iPhone sans the 'cool to the touch' metal sides.
  • Daniel. The camera issue? Is it firmware related or will an update to RS2 take care of the issue?
  • Without being an engineer here are my thoughts: (1) firmware can and should likely fix this (2) RS2 also makes the crashing stop, which tells me MS is still tuning the driver/hardware support so less of it has to go into firmware, which we know they are trying to minimize (for direct updates). So while RS2 fixes crashing it does not improve the camera's algorithms, which I believe is where FW would come into play. I do not mean to imply that only RS2 will fix this, which would be insanse (no one will wait 6 months for a fix).
  • "The phone, while great, is running incomplete software and it wouldn't be a fair evaluation." But that's a long-standing issue with W10M as a whole, no? Things are in a perpetual state of beta.
  • can you make a perfect system for us?  
  • So, just to make sure, you can't complain about anything ever, if you didn't do 100% of the work involved with it. If you get a flat tire, don't question it, because you didn't make a perfect tire that doesn't go flat. If your house ctaches fire, don't complain, because you didn't build a fireproof home. If your $150 Xbox One Elite controller has multiplemechanical faults that MS refuses to fix (under warranty or for-pay), don't complain, because you didn't make a controller that's better.
  • Two other groups can!
  • I'd say its a fair evaluation because the software is what's available out there. It's still in a perpetual state of beta since launch. To keep waiting for that 'complete' version would mean neverending wait. This isn't beta software needing a few kinks before release, this is the commercially available software that just happens to be half baked
  • I wrote 2800 words about the good and bad of the phone. Call it a review if you want, that's fine. Did I leave anything out?
  • I'm not calling it anything but an article, because the label doesn't change what it addresses. I'm, instead, just saying that MS has been repeatedly giving us unfinished/beta software for almost 6 years, so using "the software isn't finished" as a reason to remove the "review" tag is a bit weird.
  • "the software isn't finished" refers to it shipping with non-Anniversary Update, which enables things like the Fingerprint scanner. Also, no Lap Dock to review also makes it hard to evaluate it as that IS what this phone is about (the x3 stands for phone, desktop, laptop). So no, not weird. The whole feature set is incomplete here and I stand by that evaluation. I'm not waiting for some mythical "better" Windows 10 Mobile, I'm waiting for the current version.
  • The Lap Dock point is much more apt, I think. However, you also didn't put that in your note of why it isn't a review; you onlym entioned the software. That's another reason why it's weird. We see games and other software launch with early patches planned, it's pretty common. Instead, I think it makes sense to, rather than excuse rushing hardware, point out that HP did itself a major disservice by delaying the device, half-releasing it, releasing it with major deficiencies in its feature set, then hide its availability. I don't think anyone can argue that this is one of the strangest launches we've seen in the mobile space, it's a complete mess. That this was the first flagship release for W10M without Microsoft putting out the hardware means something. That it has been handled so poorly is a really disappointing matter. I think you're doing a bit too much sweeping under the rug, defending what it such a haphazard release.
  • It was such a mess with the release of this phone mainly because MS, the owner of the OS, is incapable of delivering a working release build for this device, to be able to run all it's features. Yes, it's HP's job to update the firmware, but the fact that things crash like hell and phone reboots it's all in MS's yard. But I do not wonder, without any good testers, I cannot expect too much quality from MS these days so congrats Nadella.
  • @ Daniel, im really curious as to your thoughts about the community, you have a LOT of patience, my eyes are getting repetitive strain injury reading through the reponses, seems a few people didnt bother reading the full article.
  • I've been doing this since 2007 I'm used to it ;)
  • Same here. The amount of problems people have, either they are running Preview builds and don't know what they got into, and if they did and are still complaining, why wouldn't they get off and reduce their stress (and ours). I don't have problems with valid criticism, but some of these make me think I am using a different OS than theirs :P On L830 & L950XL, my experience hasn't been better!
  • If you watch, there are plenty of times he's outright disrespectful to commenters who get out of line, or disagree too strongly.
  • Actually Daniel and the team here do a great great job.   Not who I am after.  MS is however....screwed up everything windows for me.
  • Does the phone have Bang & Olufsen mic or speaker? I mean that logo on the grill
  • IIRC HP uses B&O for software tuning of the hardware for PC and phone. I do not know what the actual hardware used is, however.
  • Well that sucks.  That was the one thing the HP had going for it.  Bang & olfsen speakers....
  • Even the logo will likely peel off. Limited time branding deal.
  • I am currently using the x3 right now, and I think Daniel's "pre-review" is right on the money - especially the quality of the screen. Having gone from the 1520 to the 950xl and being quite disappointed, I fully agree that this is the upgrade to the 1520 that we have been waiting for. I do find, however, that I can't post comments from the new windows central app from the x3. I have to use the old app to post comments
  • Update to fix that is coming soon™.  That even happened to me on my 1020 running windows 8...
  • it saddens me to see that the limited future of Windows Phone is $600 or more phones.  Lumia is going to be gone as a brand and replaced by high end surface phone if at all.  i just came back to Windows Phone from a 6 month battle with android.  I am using an unlocked Blu Win HD LTE on T-mobile Prepaid using the slow ring build of Windows 10 and I feel so much better.  I fear the day when i wake up and am forced to use iOS (which i can't afford) or Android which in its present state i hate.  
  • I think it's fair to say that Microsoft lost the budget/low-end market back in 2014/2015. They're just acknowledging that strategy didn't work. While some people would still buy those phones if offered it is not enough to make it worth the investment for them at this time.
  • Yeah, I know. But it's still sad :/ My 535 is still an amazing phone, just like my little brothers 532. Low end Lumias were always miles better than cheap droids :D
  • W10 fixed that!  I will agree on windows 8,  the phones were awesome!
  • Both phones run amazingly well on W10M RS1 :D
  • Im curious why the display was compared to lcd 1520 vs 959xl which uses same amoled?
  • I said it's the best screen for any Windows phone even up against the XL. In fact, especially against the XL. The comment about the 1520 was because this is a true 'phablet' and it most closely resembles that phone at 6-inches.
  • If only they made this at 5" or even 5.2' it would be a buy for me to replace my 950. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the Lumia 1520 for large phones. If only that phone weren't so huge it would have been perfect.
  • HP has implied that the x3 is but one of a few phones for this "family" they are planning (I asked them this in February). They went with 6-inch based on feedback from their clients, but there could very well be smaller phones in the future from them.
  • This would be a fantastic show of support for W10M and specifically HP's dedication to what they have started with the Elite X3. It's the kind of thing where the first device isn't going to take the business world by storm, it's going to need time and dedication to bring people around to these devices v.s the alternatives. I fear a lot of OEMs will give up after their first W10M devices like many did with WP7 back in the day (Dell, Sony come to mind). HP have the capacity to keep going with this though. I know before the X3 was around they do a lot in enterprise with iPhones, it will be interesting to see if the separate HPE starts pushing these devices as there's still going to be bias to iPhone due to them being so popular as personal devices, and people love what they know
  • Good Preview. I only have 2 quesions The first is : given the history of HP and their "bloatware, crapware" on their computers what is there on the Ex3? 2nd. Have you heard anything about it coming to Verizon?
  • (1) It does have HP enterprise apps like HP AiO Printer Remote, HP Device Hub, HP Mobile Hardware Diagnostics, HP Picks, HP Workspace. All can be removed/uninstall as they are just apps. Other than that, it's straight Windows 10 Mobile. (2) No word on Verizon, but I would not expect it.
  • I am a hybrid user. I'm a business owner and consumer so I like to see myself in the middle of these two roads. While I took a brief exodus to apple in this interim of WM devices, I am waiting on a worthy device to pull me back in. This is a great "preview review" :) and while I can sure use some of these features of the X3 there are some I have gotten use to with apple that the x3 wouldn't have. Tap to pay... I use it a lot. Didn't think I ever would but its highly useful. I guess its possible it could be activated but I wouldn't want to wait and see. Glance. I really liked that on my old WP and totally miss this. I may actually hold out just for this feature. (And I understand its possible that it could never return). Lastly WiFi calling. Moving to TMO was a yin-yang move. It has it plusses, and its got its minuses, and with the rural spotty coverage I get in my building I need wifi calling. Anything I learned from this site is that its a carrier feature and wont happen unless I stay with a carrier branded phone. #sucks. So, Dan, you did some speed tests on TMO with good rates. I take it you could check the settings for a "missing" WiFi calling toggle?
  • Thanks, appreciate the feedback. No Wi-Fi calling. IIRC, I thought phones needed to have special firmware to work with T-Mo's Wi-Fi calling (that is, only phones sold thru T-Mo can get it). That may have changed as I use AT&T as my primary line and I'm not a heavy user of TMo. I'll look into to trying to find out more, but I would not bet on it just yet.
  • I think the 950XL is a valid/recent enough upgrade to the 1520, this from a person who has used both. The OS experience itself doesn't vary, but 950XL has a better screen, better camera (yes, if you know what you're looking for. If you compare both on a phone/instagram/FB it won't stand out, but on a PC its visible). With Glance and double tap to wake/lock, iris scanner (seems to work nearly as fast as entering a PIN) and fast charging and USB OTG support, forget continuum, these alone make the experience better. Battery is not outstanding, but I get by really well as my time is divided between laptop and phones (830+950XL), so I don't usually use the 950XL for media consumption or use it for hours on end unless necessary. Haven't faced heating problems unless playing games, which is a bit problematic but nothing serious. Having a separate device for media consumption is doing both my phone batteries a favour :P PS - The camera with Rich Capture, HDR and Living images shoots really fast! So far I haven't faced any saving screen. I have internal memory selected for faster write speed
  • "I think the 950XL is a valid/recent enough upgrade to the 1520, this from a person who has used both."
    I can see that. I just know many in the 1520 community who think otherwise, hence why I mentioned it. The 1520 was known for a few things including crazy good battery life and that 6-inch display. In find the x3 meeting both of those with only the camera being the hold out (and I suppose Glance).
  • Yes, I guess its a matter of taste and user preference. My brother still has a 1520, and he too is interested in upgrading to a 950XL. This happened when his 1520 on fast ring lost its keyboard, and he had to use my 950XL for a day. Not a revolutionary upgrade by any means, but a noticeable upgrade nonetheless. I find it odd though sometimes, even on same builds 830 feels more stable than the 1520 - feels like a firmware thing. S400 is more common for Windows Devices of the older Gen
  • PS - my comment about the 950XL upgrade was actually directed to the said users, I didn't even think about what you said. Actually I really appreciate you putting it out there, it addresses a lot of concerns, and like to me WinCentral is an important reference for such decisions and advise for many :)
  • No worries, cheers.
  • I cant wait to see the display the Lumia 950 has such a great display, if this is the best display yet it must be gorgeous
  • It's significantly nicer imo. Like on the 950 you pretty much have to enable 'vivid' under the color profile to make it look poppy. The elite x3 does not have color profile, but it already looks better by default compared to the 950.
  • The X3 is or will be Insider eligible, but I take it from Dan's and Zac's comments that they either aren't yet able to access later builds or have elected not to in order to better judge the average consumer's experience.  Is there a firm date for when the docking accessory will be available?  In the interim, can the X3 work with the Microsoft Display Dock?  If so, it will be interesting to compare the experience and capabilities of the X3 + HP Dock with the 950 XL + Display Dock.  I would like to see a visual comparison of the Nokia 1520, 950 XL and the X3 (and you can throw in the Iphone 7 Plus if you must).   
  • RS1/AU and RS2 are both available thru Insider program. I do mention it a bit here, but correct, I don't think it's a "solution" to any issues for the average person (then again, I'm not sure regular folks are even looking at this phone, it's like the core user base, so maybe?).
    "Is there a firm date for when the docking accessory will be available?"
    I hear October, but not much else. Everything seems to be coming in stages. Mind you, it does ship with the Desk Dock. Just the Lap Dock (laptop thing) is not yet available.
    "In the interim, can the X3 work with the Microsoft Display Dock?"
    Yes. HP Display Dock is more powerful (has Ethernet, uses Display Port not HDMI).
    "I would like to see a visual comparison of the Nokia 1520, 950 XL and the X3 (and you can throw in the Iphone 7 Plus if you must). "
    Coming soon! Waiting on iPhone 7 Plus to arrive this week.
  • Daniel, can you do a comparison of the Elite X3 and the Acer Liquid Jade Primo? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes, will try to get that this week.
  • @Daniel, I am curious to know - what kind of software is Windows 10 Mobile? I remember reading way back that they will be switching from 32bit to 64bit, but its been a while and I don't know for sure
  • We talk about that on the podcast. No word on a 64-bit status and even if it happens the x3 cannot be upgraded to it. Devices would have to be flashed at the factory.
  • Thanks for clearing it :) I was wondering about this as I understand it would make the OS even faster, and while not x86, I guess it would also better help continuum in some ways. Not sure about power consumption, haven't read about 64bit in that much detail yet. I'll hear the podcasts next time onwards :D (the only time I have heard it so far was when you discussed the McLaren. That was such a treat!)
  • If this had the camera of the 950xl and glance I would have placed my order for one already. I have really gotten used to Glance and the phenomnel camera on the 950xl (my first real Windows phone since 2006.)
  • This needs to be the phone Microsoft makes, unfortunately it will still struggle to get consumer attention. I'm thinking in terms of business though. They need a phone that does it all because the iPhone is very much used in business and enterprise already. It does both consumer and business well in one device. The X3 is a great device and it does most things amazingly well, there still needs to be a phone that does it all and runs W10M and to me that includes the camera. In the phone world (even in business where many people use the same phone for personal use) cameras are just expected to be good in premium devices, if their next phone is going to be a showcase of what the best of the best W10M handset can be (like the surface has been for 2-in1s in the past) then it needs all the things that make Lumias great plus more.
  • I think more than upcoming phones I am really excited to see what happens with the OS. Hardware has become a numbers game more or less, while the progress there will follow a predictable path, software can jump ahead, specially with MS having a baby in their hands. I remember MS said they will be dedicate to Mobile for RS2, and I believe things are just getting started. Gonna be a good year!
  • I just hope that Microsoft opens up Glance for all WM makers to use. It really changes the way you use your phone. 
  • this^
  • Glance could be Nokia property MS only has lisence to use? Same goes for ClearBlack tech, apparently x3 display is pretty poor outdoors.
  • If were like that how come that Motorola copied intellectual property and Samsung too? If are able to explain me that
  • Lenovo being Chinese does not care about intellectual property. Nokia has licensed some of it's patents to Samsung.
  • Then why don't sue to both companies?
  • Nokia made deal with Samsung after long arbitration, Nokia tends to avoid lawsuits if possible. China is hard what comes to IPR, suing could hurt doing business there and for Nokia it is important market. But as Chinese legal system maturates and Chinese companies go global they need to start playing with same rules as others.
  • get the 6200mAh battery for the lumia 950 and your battery life will crush the x3.
  • I mean, I'll review that monstrosity, but let's not pretend for a second that "evens" these phones out especially since you just gave up Qi and your front pocket.
  • The battery life sounds really good compared to other W10M handsets and the X3 is a gorgeous phone. In terms of the battery life it's obviously going to be better with that massive battery capacity but I really hope we keep seeing OS efficiency improvements. When you have the iPhone 6S running something like a 1,700 mAh battery it does feel like the only option they had was to throw more capacity at it until MS make further improvements. Battery life has come on a lot in Anniversary and hopefully as RS2 evolves and then releases the X3 will have even better battery life down the road
  • Giving up Qi is worth it when you don't have to charge much as it is
  • What battery is this? Is it an official one? Available for the XL? Sorry for the mamy questions, you got my attention with this!
  • Not for XL. It'll be on the site in a few minutes and I'll review it maybe later this week.
  • You say its running unfinished software, but that's no different than the 950 or any other phone running Windows 10. It feels very unfinished. So everything you experienced will be the same for the actual release.
  • False, I'm referring to firmware, which is not the OS. The phone, as is, also shipped with pre-Anniversary Update and is not the latest version of the OS.
  • I'm just saying it will still feel unfinished even after the firmware update.
  • Two bites and you still failed