Microsoft Surface Duo, a dual-screen Android phone from the Windows manufacturer, can now be ordered and shipped to consumers. This is the first smartphone Microsoft has released since support for the Windows Phone platform ended five years ago.
The Surface Duo costs an impressive $ 1,399 and has two 5.6-inch OLED screens with a resolution of 1,800 x 1,350 pixels each. The screens are separated by a 360-degree hinge so you can open them like a book or fold them all over. Of course, the device is enormous – 145.2mm × 186.9mm × 4.8mm. As our own Ron Amadeo noted when the phone’s shipping date was officially announced, this is a bit big to be considered a phone in some books as it won’t fit in many pockets. And up to this point, Microsoft doesn’t name it exactly one.
So if it’s not a phone, is it a tablet? Kind of, but it comes with phone-like functionality, a smartphone build from Android, and voice calling on the same cellular networks as AT&T, the carrier that sells the phone in addition to the unlocked version that sells direct by Microsoft.
Microsoft announced the Surface Duo alongside the Surface Neo, which is also a dual-screen tablet / phone hybrid. However, the Neo was designed for a version of Windows that was designed for dual-screen devices rather than Android.
The Surface Duo has 6 GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 855 processor. It is available in 128 GB and 256 GB variants and contains a 3577 mAh battery. There is only one camera (11 megapixels) but it can be either a front or rear camera, depending on what you do with the hinge. User authentication is through a fingerprint reader, and the device supports input through the Surface Pen. There is only one for ports: USB-C.
It also only has one speaker so you won’t get stereo audio here. Even so, it would have been difficult to achieve stereo audio with just two speakers, considering how many options there are to hold or orient the device.
The Surface Duo runs on Android 10. Android 11 just came out this week, so the Duo ships with the previous version of Android. However, this is not uncommon with Android phones.
Such dual-screen phones came about in part because recent attempts by companies like Samsung to make foldable screens have not gone so well (just read our reviews) but the dream of a smartphone-sized device to use of a giant to open The tablet-sized viewport lives on.
If you’re feeling like an early adopter of this type, you can order the duo from Microsoft’s website starting today.
Listing picture by Israel Rodriguez