Improvements to the HP Elite X3, AAWP review is a 'go'

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OK, the AAWP review of the HP Elite X3 is a 'go' at last (after my initial hands-on verdict two months ago). The HP Lapdock is the only piece of the jigsaw puzzle to arrive, and that's now slated for a couple of weeks away, but then that's a major piece of hardware in its own right, so it's fair to give it a review separately. In the meantime, the X3 now has fixed up firmware (0002.0000.0014.0100) and the latest Windows 10 Mobile production version (10.0.14393.321), so there's no reason to treat it as any kind of 'waiting for updates' special case. Expect to see my full multi-part review of the Elite X3 up on AAWP over the next few weeks, hopefully timed so that the last part coincides with the Lapdock arriving(!)

I thought it worth enumerating some of the major improvements in terms of the Elite X3's software since my initial month with the device back in July/August:

  • Windows 10 Mobile updated to Redstone (a.k.a. 'Anniversary Update'), build 10.0.14393.321 (so bang up to date with all other production W10M devices)
  • Optimisations for the Snapdragon 820 chipset mean that everything's faster and smoother throughout the interface.
  • The fingerprint scanner now works, both for waking the screen and authenticating, in one quick touch.
  • Double-tap-to-wake introduced, based on accelerometer data rather than on capacitive touch (which is, in 'Yes Minister' fashion, a 'courageous' choice(!), and is fiddly to set up to your liking, not helped by having to reboot the X3 between each tiny change to the sensitivity sliders!)
  • The battery charging LED is enabled, red when charging and green when fully charged.
  • The camera is now much faster and focus is more reliable. I'll come to actual performance and detailed specifications in a future review part.

Put these together and the Elite X3 is certainly now usable as a day-to-day smartphone, which is why it'll be in my pocket over the next month. Watch this space for review parts:

  1. Hardware and components
  2. Office, Continuum and HP Workspace
  3. Camera and multimedia
  4. On the road: with the HP Lapdock
  5. Verdict: into 2017 with the X3

HP Elite X3