HP Elite x3: Look & Feel
The Elite x3 features an 8 megapixel front facing camera with flash and iris scanner above the display, to the side of the phone speaker. The iris scanner is Windows Hello compatible for added security and convenience – if desired.
Below the screen, we find a large chrome grille which houses the B&O Play speakers. The grille looks great out of the box but does dirty and smudge easily, which is a shame. There are no physical or capacitive buttons to be found here, either, as the phone employs on-screen navigation buttons.
Along the right edge of the device we find a standard power button and volume rocker. These are shifted closer to the center of the phone rather than the top to accommodate the device’s large size.
The left side of the phone has a single pull-out tray to house dual-SIM cards or a single SIM alongside a microSD card. World travelers will certainly appreciate this flexibility.
Up top sits an offset 3.5mm headset jack – something we should not have to look for as a feature, but now cannot take for granted.
A USB-C port provides connectivity at the bottom of the phone. Yes, this may mean buying new cables to replace your microUSB collection, but this phone leverages the new connector for more than just about any other phone on the market.
We now turn our attention to the back of the phone which is made from the same piece of durable, soft-touch plastic as the edges. From top to bottom we see the primary 16MP and 4K capable camera, a single-tone flash, fingerprint reader, and the HP logo. The camera does have a sizeable hump to it, which prevents the phone from lying flat and the fingerprint sensor has a slightly raised, though unobtrusive, rim as well. The latter at least helps with blindly locating the sensor.
The whole phone, despite its size, feels good in the hand. Edges are chamfered and rounded to improve ergonomics and the plastic body provides enough grip to confidently hold onto. Any executive would be pleased to show off its premium appearance.