We know the core of the product – an Android phone () that is essentially doubling your screen space . Although we have to wait until "holiday 2020" to meet the duo, Microsoft has certainly created a sense of hype by jumping back into the game at one time, in the phones doubling the available screen space .
A glimpse of the Surface Duo from a leader's pocket, a two-minute video, and a few minutes of a non-functioning prototype were our only glimpse of the device. Microsoft's well-orchestrated teaser gives us only fragments of details and lets us wonder if the duo will come together as a device that can really compete with foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold and the upcoming. (Scroll to the bottom to see all the technical data we know.)
How much does the Surface Duo cost?
Foldable phones are not likely to be cheap. Samsung sells its Galaxy Fold for $ 1,980 and the (delayed) Huawei Mate X for the equivalent of $ 2,600.
Even though the Surface Duo is not a foldable phone, it achieves about the same goal by doubling the screen area you have to work with to watch, read, tap, and play games.
This extra screen space is the real advantage, and the Galaxy Fold proves how practical it is. It's a convenience that you have to pay for.
A dual-display device like the Surface Duo (which combines two 5.6-inch screens with one hinge) is, of course, a true phone / tablet hybrid that maximizes your productivity and entertainment. So prepare for the pony-up.
I expect the duo to sell for at least $ 1,500, or for cell phones with a similar screen area (the duo is 8.3 inches larger than the Galaxy Fold's 7.3-inch range).
Will the Surface Duo have 5G?
Despite the protests from Microsoft, the Surface Duo is a phone. It makes calls. What we do not know is whether the duo we see in 2020 will be 4G data speed or 5G capable.
Microsoft's Surface Duo runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset, which will be compatible with the 5G if the device also has the right modem to connect to the faster next-gen network. But a year has passed and Microsoft could also swap Qualcomm's next chip, which is expected to support 5G from the start. This could also drive up the price.
Since every premium phone is expected to be powered by 5G around this time next year, I'll spend my money on a 5G Surface Duo. Microsoft would not be able to compete with more sophisticated foldable devices with 4G alone.
Where is it sold?
Microsoft has a long history of strong network operator relationships since its Windows Phone days, but it's not to say whether these. It's a fair bet that part of the technology giant's goal of getting the Surface Duo up and running early was to motivate freight forwarders and retailers for big boxes.
The vast majority of US shoppers get their phones from freight forwarders, which means the Surface Duo will be doomed to failure if sold only through Microsoft stores. And while there are dozens of Microsoft stores in the US, there are only ten international locations.
How well the full-screen mode works for all apps.
Microsoft's Surface Duo demo video shows how a slim finger simply pulls apps On both screens, you can see them appear in a split-screen view to easily perform two different tasks simultaneously with the same app.
This will certainly be the case with some native apps, especially those that already offer tablet support. However, it is not clear how an app behaves if it is not optimized for the dual-screen appearance.
We also could not see what the center seam will look like if you play a video or a game with the duo fully open. Microsoft clearly expects you to put the device in landscape mode and use only one screen to track the action. A scene showing the gameplay shows playing on one tab and controls on the screen on the other.
Microsoft called the developers to join the cause Foldable phones and phones with two screens.
Keeping It Comfortable for a Long Time
I often held the Galaxy Fold in my hand – to watch hours of movies in an airplane, take hours-long notes, and read articles in bed in articles. Guess what? At 9.7 ounces, it was pretty hard pretty fast. That's why I'm curious to see how the design of Microsoft will evolve.
Both phones have plenty of glass, but in the Surface Duo, most of them protect the inner screens, while the Galaxy Fold has a plastic infinity flex screen on the inside and Gorilla Glass on the outside (along with a 4.6 inch inch screen). Screen).
Does a heavy phone deter the buyers? Probably not, but if you put half a pound of weight in your pocket, you will notice it immediately.
Does the Surface Duo only have one camera?
Microsoft showed us a Surface Duo with a single camera – it is displayed on the right screen when it opens. Compare that to the Galaxy Fold's six cameras (three on the back, two in the middle, one in front), and the duo seems to be missing. We do not know anything about the camera technology.
But Microsoft seems to believe that a camera should be enough to take any photo you want – turn it for a selfie in one direction and a portrait in the other. The problem is the following: Image quality is one of the key features that shoppers care about in a phone, and each top-tier device is expected to have at least two cameras on the back.
Even Google's Pixel ($ 218 at Amazon) cell phone, which has turned against the trend with an excellent reversing camera, gets this month a pair of lenses .
If Microsoft can not boast great picture quality, the Surface Duo may be in trouble. We will see how many cameras the finished product will get.
Software: Android 10 or Android 11?
The Surface Duo is currently running Android 9, but Android 10 is already on some phones and will be available around this time next year. Will also be Android 11. This does not make Android 11 the entry-level model, as the preparation time for devices is considerable.
Microsoft is not known to be nimble, and it wants to be careful with its first Android phone. Most likely, Android 10 will ship with a later update to Android 11.
When Microsoft solves the problem of water resistance
The lack of water resistance causes a phone to break only when it hits a water wall. Foldable phones are not as water and dust repellent as the rectangular handsets we know and love.
This is a problem for the Galaxy Fold, whose plastic umbrella extends over the hinge and is already vulnerable to damage. However, the glass screen of the Surface Duo stops at the hinge, which could exceed the durability of the Galaxy Fold in several ways.
Everything we know about the Surface Duo
- With a 360-degree hinge, you can fold one screen flat against the other to hold it like a notepad.
- You get a total of 8.3 inches of screen space
- There is no outer screen – you need to fully open the device to use it.
- Calls are received on the right screen of the duo.
- It supports the Surface Pen, which you may need to buy separately.
- The Surface Duo has thick screens. However, this can help prevent you from accidentally tapping while holding it down.
- You can drag and drop items like a phone number from one screen to the other.  It seems to have a digital cursor (although this could only be a visual aid in the video).
Surface Duo specifications
- Two 5.6-inch displays (resolution and display technology unknown)
- A total of 8.3-inch screen real estate
- Snapdragon 855
- 4.8-mm thin
- Fingerprint Reader
- USB C Charger  Originally released earlier today.