The long-awaited Microsoft Surface Duo is here, and it's disrupting the foldable market by accomplishing a lot of record-breaking "firsts."
The Surface Duo is not only Microsoft's first foldable, but the dual-sceen device is also the world's thinnest foldable at 0.18 inches of thickness. To achieve the Surface Duo's ultra-thin form factor, Microsoft had to develop its smallest 360-degree hinge to support its innumerable flexible positions.
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Microsoft explained that the Surface Duo couldn't become the world's thinnest foldable using today's off-the-shelf components — the Redmond-based tech giant had to invent new technology to create the stunning, super-thin Surface Duo. One of those inventions is the development of hair-thin wires that carry the Duo's data, signals and power.
These inventions and innovations are, in part, why the Microsoft Surface Duo has such a sky-high price tag. Take a look at the Duo's features and specs to get a good look at why Microsoft's first foldable has a premium value.
Microsoft Surface Duo price and release date
The Microsoft Surface Duo is priced at $1,399. It is currently available for pre-order at Microsoft.
The release date for the Microsoft Surface Duo is Sept. 10.
The Surface Duo's August arrival was a pleasant surprise. When Microsoft announced the Surface Duo in October of last year, the company said the device would be "coming holiday 2020." There were rumors that, unlike the delayed Surface Neo, the Surface Duo would actually arrive ahead of schedule. In July, we reported about the Surface Duo getting its Bluetooth certification, being green-lighted by the FCC and passing its Android compatibility test — all pointed to clear signs that the Surface Duo's release date is near.
As it turns out, the grapevine was spot on. You needn't wait until the holidays to snag a Surface Duo — you can get one within the second week of September.
Microsoft Surface Duo: pre-order from $1,399 @ MS Store
The Surface Duo is Microsoft's first foldable device. Currently available for pre-order, the smartphone-tablet hybrid will be released on September 10. The base config features dual 5.6-inch AMOLED LCDs, a Snapdragon 855 CPU, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a fingerprint reader.
Microsoft Surface Duo design and specs
The Microsoft Surface Duo is a smartphone-tablet hybrid that runs on Android 10.
The Surface Duo's design is reminiscent of a tiny, white book with its small and foldable form factor. It has a powerful 360-degree hinge that allows you to fix the device's twin, 5.6-inch AMOLED screens in any position. Unfolded, they form an 8.1-inch display (separated, of course, by the hinge) that can either display information independently on each screen or go full screen across the two of them.
Each 5.6-inch Gorilla Glass screen has a screen resolution of 1800 x 1350 with a 3:2 aspect ratio. When unfolded into an 8.1-inch, tablet-like position, the screen resolution is 2700 x 1800 with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
The Microsoft Surface Duo is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage and a fingerprint reader. The Surface Duo weighs 0.5 pounds and sports dimensions of 5.7 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches when opened.
The Surface Duo charges via USB Type-C power supply and the device has one connection port — USB-C 3.1. The dual-screen device utilizes a 3577mAh dual battery.
The Microsoft Surface Duo camera
The Microsoft Surface Duo has 11MP front-and-rear cameras. Its features include portrait mode with adjustable depth control, panorama mode and burst mode. Users can zoom up to 7x.
The Surface Duo's camera also comes with 4K and 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second and 60 frames per second with electronic image stabilization.
The Surface Duo can manage Microsoft Teams and Skype video conferencing up to 1080p at 30 frames per second.
Microsoft Surface Duo's cool features
The Microsoft Surface Duo was built for the mobile, on-the-go, productivity beast who thrives off multitasking and activity-boosting strategies. The Surface Duo's dual-screen mechanism is perfect for achieving productivity nirvana because it allows users to kick their work rate up a notch by accomplishing tasks that single-screen devices simply cannot do.
Engage with two apps simultaneously
For the Surface Duo, Microsoft created dual-screen displays that can act as discrete screens to display apps independently and simultaneously.
This means you can interact with two of your favorite apps at the same time. You can read a Kindle book on the right of the screen while taking notes on the left side. You can take a video call on the right side of the display while watching a YouTube video on the left side. The app-combination possibilities seem endless.
You can also combine two of your favorite apps together for easy access in a process called "app grouping." For example, you can combine Instagram and Twitter into one "app group." And with one tap of your finger, the Duo will speedily display Instagram and Twitter on both screens, which will allow you to interact with two social-media feeds simultaneously.
Surface Duo users can take advantage of the device's 8.1-inch display by "spanning" one app across the whole screen. Spanning allows viewers to get more screen real estate with their favorite apps (as opposed to the narrow visual perspective one typically gets on single-screen phones).
The Surface Duo can be linked to other Windows-compatible devices
Using the Your Phone app, one can display the contents of their Surface Duo's screen on any Windows-compatible device. "Surface Duo and Windows are always in sync, allowing you to to effortlessly move between your devices," a Microsoft spokesperson said. The Your Phone app also allows Surface Duo users to access their calls and texts right on their laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pen support
The Microsoft Surface Duo supports all in-market generations of the Surface Slim Pen, Surface Pen and Surface Hub 2 Pen.
Microsoft Surface Duo battery life
Microsoft claims that the Surface Duo has all-day battery life. According to tests performed by Redmond-based tech giant, using a video playback benchmark, the Surface Duo was able to last up to 15.5 hours.
Our Laptop Mag battery life test is a little bit more rigorous and is more representative of real-life power consumption. We expect to receive a review unit of the Surface Duo very soon, and we will test its battery life. Stay tuned for those results.