HP unveiled the Elite x3 almost a year and a half ago, before it launched at the end of August 2016. But nearly a year on, it looks like the flagship-class Windows 10 Mobile handset may be on its way to Verizon.
To the disappointment of many Windows phone fans, the Elite x3 only supports GSM bands, rendering it unusable on carriers that use CDMA, such as Verizon. But HP has applied for certifications for a separate Verizon-specific variant of the device, with the model number HSTNH-F606V.
The existing Elite x3 has the model number HSTNH-F606, which suggests that the new variant is unlikely to be significantly different from the current handset. So far, three separate certification filings have emerged - to the FCC; Wi-Fi Alliance; and Bluetooth SIG - referencing a separate Verizon SKU of the Elite x3.
Earlier this year, at Mobile World Congress, HP briefly showed a new version of the Elite x3, featuring some minor design revisions. It's not yet clear if that's connected to the anticipated release of the new Verizon model. A new, larger version of the Elite x3's Lap Dock accessory also made an appearance, but like the handset refresh, it hasn't been seen since MWC.
Those hoping that HP might boost the handset's specs for its Verizon launch are likely to be disappointed. The Snapdragon 820 in the Elite x3 remains the newest processor supported by Windows 10 Mobile, so don't expect to see a Snapdragon 821 or 835 on the Verizon model. And given that the mobile OS is still only 32-bit, there would be no benefit to raising the device's RAM to 6GB or 8GB, as seen on some of the latest Android flagships.