The Microsoft Surface Duo was released almost a year ago, Microsoft's first ever Android phone. The dual-screen phone was swimming around most of the year, official images and even live photos, and Microsoft was developing it quietly. The company is ready to talk today with details, date of release and price. The phone has now been ready for pre-order, and it's shipped on September 10th.
The phone has two 5,6-inch, 1800 da 1350 panels (4:3), OLED panels of 60Hz joined by a 360-degree hinge before we dig into the details. A quick overview. With RAM 6 GB, a 128 or 256 GB storage device and a 357 77 mAh battery, Snapdragon 855 is powerful to your phone. There is an 11MP camera over the right screen which is doubled, thanks to the hinge, as the front and rear. The device is supplied with a USB-C port, a single speaker, a fingerprint reader, Android 10 and Surface pen input support. Sales only seem to be US for now, and the phone is also on sale at AT&T, apart from being sold unlocked.
It's a little exciting to see the first Android phone from Microsoft, especially as the company's premium "Surface" brand has such a unique form factor and sports. But $1,400 for this appliance is a lot of money, especially if there are so many defects in the specification sheet. But I've got lots of concerns about the Surface Duo, I didn't even try the phone yet.
The battery of 3577mAh is very small first. A GalaxyS20 has a battery of 4000mAh on a single-screen and a 5000mAh Ultra version. None of the phones attempt to push the 5.6 inch double display. The displays are responsible for the vast majority of use of smartphone batteries and the fact that two will use a lot of power will never be overcome. The Surface Duo is extremely thin, opening just 4.8 mm and closed only twice the size (9.9 mm). Thinness over battery life has certainly been given priority by Microsoft.
Although thinness concessions have been made, it doesn't seem that the surface duo is all that easy to transport. When opened with a phone plying into an absolutely ridiculous, pocket-bound 93 mm width when closed, the full dimensions are 145.2 mm (H) to 186.9 mm (W) to 4.8 mm (D). When open. Screen sizes may grow annually, but this is mainly due to thinner bezels, larger telephones and larger screens. Surprisingly stable was the width of smartphones. Just compare the Galaxy Note5 from 2015 to one of the largest on the market today's 5.7-inch telephones, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, with a 6.9-inch screen. Note5 measures 76.1 mm in width compared with Note 20 Ultra 77.2 mm. One of the facts is that phones have to fit into the pocket. Breadth does not change.
One of the largest Google Nexus 6 phones ever, 83 mm, was considered too large by the industry. The Nexus 6 was uncomfortable in its pocket and limited your motion, and since then no phone has reached this width.
Surface Duo is 10 mm larger than the Nexus 6, which is already too large. It's by a large margin the largest Android phone ever. And we say 'phone' because the Surface Duo is not a home tablet device. It should be your main device, and you should carry it around. No size is too large for anyone who carries a bag, but the Surface Duo can make you fun to walk if you want your primary device in your pocket.
Dual-screen devices in the Android world are not really new. LG has shipped accessories for two years now that have converted its flagships into dual-screen devices, while the Surface Duo certainly looks better, the fundamental issues of form are still there. One thing which I learned from testing these devices is that it can be a challenge to type on a dual-screen phone.
You wrap hands around the sites of your device and type with thumbs, the whole idea behind a touchscreen keyboard is, but you can't do it with a second screen. Tablets and foldables work around by having a split keyboard on the left and right of the screen, which is accessible to the thumb. The complex set-up of the screen stops Android phones with a split keyboard from having a dual-screen screen, and only the surface with a normal one-screen keyboard that hangs awkwardly on any screen in Microsofts own press images. Any serious typing of LG phones requires that you 360-times out of the way of entering the second screen, and the phone is unwilling to ply and expose constantly to type. A barrier to type has already made claims about the "dual-screen productivity" ring hollow in the past, and the Surface Duo does not appear to be resolving this problem.
The 1400 Dollars is also a bunch of money to ask for an apparatus that has always been the halfway bargain between a single display unit and a foldable smartphone. The Surface Duo design would be superior to a good foldable smartphone. Although you would all benefit side by side with the app, you can use this device as a tablet if you want by adding a more productive split screen keyboard. A folding device can be a big screen to view video, view games, use a tablet app or browse a web-page on the desktop. For these cases, the Surface Duo won't be a good device. Clearly there is a mode in which the two screens are fused into a large 8.1-inch display, but there is a big gap in the medium.
For a dual screen device all the argument was that folding components are not ready for prime time, while the Surface Duo represented a stopover from now on. It seemed reasonable one year ago when the Duo was initially announced, but Samsung is now preparing to ship the Galaxy Fold 2 second generation with a glass display cover and several other enhancements. At about $2,000, the original fold was greater than the Surface Duo, but Microsoft can't actually put the value of $1,400 on argument.
The good news is that Microsoft seemed to suggest in a statement to Android Central that there is no NFC, that the Surface Android line was just beginning. The company named it the "first-generation design" and said that it will "listen to the feedback from customers and use this lens in future product iterations."