HP has made a confusing mess of its pricing for the Elite x3 and Desk Dock in the UK since it launched there last year, originally priced at £706.80. Every few weeks, the company has been raising or reducing its prices, to as much as £757.20, or as low as £583.20, in addition to other cashback deals. You can see how this whole saga has played out so far in the Timeline below this article.
Most recently, at the end of July, HP slashed the price of the Windows 10 Mobile flagship with the Desk Dock to £549, and initially, it appeared that it might be a short-term discount. But earlier this week, it then removed any indication that it was a temporary deal, apparently making the price cut permanent.
Given the handset's age - it was originally announced a year and a half ago - a permanent reduction would certainly have made sense. Indeed, over in the US, Microsoft has been selling the Elite x3 and Desk Dock with $300 (38%) off for several weeks.
Instead, HP UK has once again increased its price, raising it by £124.20 (23%) to £673.20. At this stage, it's anyone's guess what HP will do next - it might offer another discount, freebie, or cashback deal in a few days or weeks; or it may just increase its price back to £757, or even higher. Considering how poorly Windows 10 Mobile devices have been selling - grabbing just 0.1% of the global smartphone market last quarter, according to IDC - HP's pricing strategy for the Elite x3 has been nothing short of bizarre.
The Elite x3's key specs include:
- 5.96-inch AMOLED with Quad HD (2560x1440px) resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 4, and anti-reflective coating
- Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB onboard storage (plus microSD card support)
- 16MP rear camera
- 8MP front-facing camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.0
- NFC support
- 4G LTE connectivity
- Optional dual-SIM support
- USB 3.0 port with Type-C connector
- Iris scanner
- Fingerprint scanner
- IP67 rating for dust- and water-resistance
- MIL-STD-810G rating, assuring device protection for drops from up to 1 meter
- Pogo pins
- Qi wireless charging
- 4150mAh battery
- 161.8 x 83.5 x 7.8mm; 194g
Make sure you check out our HP Elite x3 review if you're thinking of buying one.
Timeline: HP UK's bizarre Elite x3 pricing
HP's pricing of its Windows 10 Mobile flagship in the UK has been erratic, to say the least:
- August 2016: HP launches the Elite x3 in the UK, priced at £706.80, including the Desk Dock accessory, which supports Windows 10 Mobile's PC-like Continuum mode.
- December: HP cuts 5% off that price, reducing it to £673.20. It offers no indication that this is a short-term promotional offer of any kind.
- January 17, 2017: The price of the Elite x3 and Desk Dock suddenly shoots up to £757.20 - 7% above its original price, and 12% higher than the price to which it had dropped a few weeks earlier.
- Late January: HP reduces the Elite x3 and Desk Dock back to its original price of £706.80.
- February 21: HP cuts the price by 5% again, reducing it to £673.20 for the second time since its launch. It also includes a free screen protector as a special offer.
- Late February: HP raises its price again, back up to £706.80, still including the free screen protector.
- March 7: The price inexplicably rises again to £757.20. The free screen protector offer continues.
- March 13: HP launches a new deal, offering up to £500 cashback for Elite x3 buyers trading in their existing phones.
- March 30: The company reduces the bundle's price yet again by 7%, falling to £702.80, but the free screen protector offer ends.
- April 10: HP cuts the list price to £673.20, but offers an additional £90 off the handset and Desk Dock bundle, reducing it to £583.20, for a limited time.
- June 28: HP begins offering £150 cashback on the Elite x3 and Desk Dock - but unlike the previous offer, it doesn't require a handset trade-in. This effectively reduces the price of the bundle to £523.20.
- July 25: Having dropped the cashback deal before its planned July 31 end-date, HP cuts the price of the Elite x3 and Desk Dock to £549.
- August 7: HP removes any indication that its reduction to £549 might be a limited-time offer from its site, apparently making that price cut permanent.
- Now: HP increases its price again - this time by £124.20 (23%), back up to £673.20.