Daniel's month with the Elite X3 and AU

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Yes, we covered the Elite X3 a few months ago, on its first retail availability, but review coverage was deliberately delayed by both AAWP and Windows Central because the software on the device simply wasn't ready. I'm still patiently waiting for the full 'review kit' from HP (hopefully with Lapdock and other bits and pieces) - apparently it's 'imminent', but Daniel at WC has got tired of waiting, I think(!) He has gone ahead with his personal Elite X3 and has now published a textual and video review (embedded below), with some comments by me.

Daniel's wrap-up is worth a watch and includes footage of him using HP Workspace, i.e. the X3 accessing full Win32 applications on a remote server, which is very interesting. He's spot in terms of summing up the X3's strengths, though I have to say that the B&O stereo speakers sounded awful in the video. They're better than this, though still behind the best in the world, as I found recently.

He's also optimistic in terms of results from the X3's camera, and I'd agree with him. There's lots of potential here, though he still talks about a '16MP' camera, when I already proved it had 13MP maximum output (in 4:3 mode). Ah well, still worth a watch below:

Daniel's summary of the X3 was:

The HP Elite x3 needs to be broken down in two ways: the hardware and the software. The hardware is nearly perfect, and I think HP did an impressive job for their first mega smart device. All the components are top notch, build quality is exquisite, and they used nearly every high-end spec they could find.

If there is any fault with the HP Elite x3, it falls squarely with Windows 10 Mobile. The recent Anniversary Update goes a long way in improving the OS's lackluster 2015 debut. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of room for growth and improvement. Microsoft knows this as does HP....

Luckily, Microsoft is aggressively building out Windows 10 Mobile. OS updates arrive on a regular monthly cadence without carrier interference, and the next few milestone builds (Redstone 2, 3, and 4) all put emphasis on building out the mobile experience. That means the HP Elite x3 will only get better, and given the typically slow adoption of corporations, they'll have plenty of time to to iron out the kinks and expand the feature set.

I do think HP is onto something with the Elite x3. They didn't just make a phone with a slapped-on OS. They built a complete system with an impressive story to tell. Only time will tell if companies buy into it, or if this actually solves problems, but I believe there is an opportunity here. HP, at least, seems very confident in it.

The story for consumers is a lot less attractive. The Elite x3 is only recommended for Windows 10 diehards, which is a limited market. Still, if you are committed to Windows 10 and Mobile, there is no reason not to get the Elite x3. The only sacrifice is that the camera is not quite as good as a Lumia, but it's far from terrible. I switched and have been using the Elite x3 as my primary device for a month now and have no regrets.

I think Microsoft finally found a hardware partner good enough to fill Nokia's shoes. It will be fascinating to see if HP finds success with the Elite x3 and Windows 10 Mobile. Others have tried, many have failed, but at least here there is something unique happening in the smartphone space.

Agreed on all that. I have my own metrics and standards, of course, albeit coming from a Nokia/Lumia viewpoint. I was very disappointed by the state of the (Threshold) OS and drivers in the original retail sample from the kind folks from Clove, but we're now firmly into a mature version of Redstone (the Windows 10 Anniversary Update) and things should be much more impressive when the promised review kit arrives soon. Daniel makes reference to HP still finalising the firmware of the Lapdock, so clearly bits are still being pushed into place by the company.

Source / Credit: YouTube