HP’s Elite x3 Windows 10 Mobile has been inbound for a while now, a business focused phone with specs that suggest it could be a device that consumer might gravitate to in lieu of a true flagship from Microsoft. This new video is interesting for two reasons then.
Firstly it suggests that the handset may be getting close to the stage when HP is ready to unleash it on the world and, secondly, the starring role of Microsoft’s head of Windows and Devices,Terry Myerson, gives us further insight into the future role of Microsoft as a phone company.
To recap, the x3 is a 6” QuadHD phone, with a Snapdragon 820 CPU, Continuum, Windows Hello by iris recognition and fingerprint recognition and a Bang & Olufson audio subsystem. It will sit comfortably above the Lumia 950 XL in the Windows Mobile pecking order in every way, possibly excepting the camera. That it is focused on the enterprise, and is being promoted by HP Business suggests that it will be at the very top of the mobile handset price list.
Meanwhile Myerson’s presence could mean one of two things. Microsoft had a helping hand in getting the Elite x3 to be the best phone that money can buy in the same way that it assisted in the design process for the HP Spectre x360 laptop. That may mean that, like the Surface Book to the x360, there will be a Microsoft product which leverages some of the design work (and presumably HP’s manufacturing expertise) to create a different but similar Microsoft product.
Or it means that Microsoft is done with manufacturing and will leverage the skills and knowledge it gained from the Nokia takeover to assist third parties in getting better designs onto the shelves.
Either way it is a (very small) boost to the Windows 10 Mobile community, suggesting that even if Microsoft isn’t going to be building and selling handsets (either globally or in some territories) it does have a plan to keep Windows 10 Mobile alive.