HP Elite x3 review

A beautiful, capable phone limited by its OS

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Thankfully, the best-looking Windows 10 Mobile device by a long-shot doesn’t slouch on its battery capacity. HP has made good use of the space inside of its 5.96-inch Elite x3 by packing in a whopping 4,150mAh battery.

If you’re using this phone primarily for its Continuum skill, battery life won’t be of concern as it will be connected to power at all times. However, it’s definitely a concern for those taking the Elite x3 on the go.

During our time with the Elite x3, it had no problem lasting over a day of continuous use. Even under normal to heavy use, we had a rather difficult time draining the large battery in 24 hours. In addition, we’ve seen it last several days in standby mode. 

Thankfully, once it does die, it doesn’t take very long at all to get things up and running again. On the dock, it took two minutes to power on. From there, it reached 16% after 15 minutes of charging. According to HP, you can squeeze more than two hours of phone calls, or nearly an hour and a half of web browsing at this level. At the one hour mark, 70% of this massive battery had refilled, and after another 40 minutes, it was completely recharged.

If you have some Qi wireless charging stations in your abode or office, you’ll also be happy knowing that the HP Elite x3 can charge wirelessly.


HP’s office-friendly smartphone features both a front-facing and rear-facing camera setup for your photography and video conference needs.

Focusing on the 16MP rear sensor, it has an aperture of f/2.2, which lends it the ability to shoot relatively well in low light. It’s not the best low-light performance we’ve seen – that distinction goes to the Samsung Galaxy S7’s f/1.7 aperture. But, in a pinch, it works well enough.

The Elite x3’s main lens is also capable of shooting large pixels, sized up at 1.31um. Compared to the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P’s 1.55um pixel size, this still runs a bit small. All said, bigger pixels are good because they allow for less overall noise. Lastly, this camera can also record in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). 

Ultimately, the photos provide decent contrast and detail, but definitely don’t hold a candle up to what, say, the Google Pixel or the iPhone 7 can shoot.

Looking at its front-facing camera, HP has installed a robust 8MP sensor here that also has an aperture of f/2.2. Additionally, it can shoot large pixels at 1.12um and record in 1080p at 30 fps. The quality is totally suited to video calls and the one-off selfie, but it’s nothing remarkable.

Check out our photo samples below.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.