HP is just about ready to release its new high-end Windows phone to the world. The Elite x3 is now scheduled to "[roll] out across the globe at the end of the month," with shipping beginning August 29th in the US.
On its own, the phone will sell for $699; bundled with a charging dock that lets it connect to a monitor, the phone will sell for $799. HP is also planning to release what's essentially a laptop with (next to) nothing inside of it that can be wireless powered by the x3 — pricing and availability for that product is still forthcoming.
Buying all three products is really the pitch here. You're supposed to use the x3 as three different devices (note the name): your phone, laptop, and desktop.
The Elite x3 was announced back in February, while it was still at an unfinished stage. HP said this was so that it could begin working with business partners to get software customized for app virtualization software it's building in.
There's good and bad news here for Windows phone fans. The bad news is that the Elite x3 is largely an admission that consumer Windows phones are never going to work — this device is very much meant for business users. The good news is that someone is still giving Windows phones a try, and HP has a strong angle here.
HP is leaning heavily on Windows 10's Continuum feature, which lets a phone be plugged into a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and run almost like a desktop computer. HP's (and Microsoft's) hope is that business users will find it important enough to have a continuous computing experience wherever they are, with files and apps staying in the same state on their phone, laptop, and desktop.
Whether that's true or not is a very open question. It's a good idea, certainly, but cloud syncing may obviate the need for a single device to handle the entire experience; and more importantly, Windows 10's Continuum feature isn't necessarily capable enough yet for pro users (that's why HP is working on virtualization support, but that's still not the same as actually being able to run a desktop app).
You can click here to read our initial impressions of the Elite x3 when it was announced earlier this year.