First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

HP's Computer-in-Your-Hand Elite x3 Smartphone Is Compelling

Few mobile devices I see get me truly excited. The HP Elite x3, however, has me chomping at the bit to try one out.

HP Elite x3, smartphones, phablets, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S7, LG V10 smartphone

Smartphones have become a commodity as consumers have a huge choice of handsets like never before, from Apple iPhones to Samsung Galaxy S7s to LG V10s and many more. Even Apple is hurting as demand is slackening, something Samsung has been suffering from for several quarters.

So what's it going to take to reignite the smartphone market?

My guess is that true innovation will win the hearts and minds of consumers, and it could have just arrived with HP's upcoming HP Elite x3 phablet, which the company is marketing as a smartphone that is a computer in your hand.

I was able to hold the phone and check out its optional Mobile Extender dock in February at an HP Mobile World Congress preview event in New York City, and I am more excited about this device than I have been for almost any other smartphone in the past.

To me, all smartphones have pluses and minuses, from the iPhone to Galaxy devices and the rest. I loved my iPhone 4S for its camera and iTunes and its ease of use, but I hated it for its lack of expandable storage and removable battery. I like my Samsung Galaxy S4 for its larger screen compared with the iPhone, but I hate it for its slow performance, lack of good music software and terrible camera. I love the LG V10 I've been using lately due to its fast performance, great camera, great screen and overall features.

But the HP Elite x3 could be the smartphone of my dreams because it could actually, possibly, potentially be the first handset I can buy to serve as not only a phone but as a PC, enabling me to do my work anywhere.

I can't say that it's perfect, since I haven't yet tested one. But I hope to have a review unit soon.

However, the thing about it is it has the potential to be a true crossover—having the power for true computing while also having the features to be a phone, a camera, a music player, a GPS device and much more.

There is no smartphone I've seen so far that has given me such promising possibilities.

The optional Mobile Extender dock allows the Elite x3 to gain a notebook-sized display and keyboard, both of which function through the power of the Elite x3 itself. The notebook-like dock has no processor, RAM, motherboard or storage. It's designed to give the phone a display and keyboard, turning the handset into a truly mobile computer.

There's something very amazing about that possibility, even reminding me of a technology that might have been found on Star Trek.

And I'm even intrigued by the fact that the phone runs Windows 10, allowing it to share content across any Windows device using Continuum.

This one could be a game-changer. I can't wait to get my hands on one.

I'll let you know what I find when I do.