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The new Surface Duo 2 has 3 cameras and a color-coded 'Glance Bar' for notifications — here's when you can get it

Microsoft Surface Duo 2
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is the new-and-improved successor to the controversial, first-gen Surface Duo, and it's packed with seductive new features that will lure you into its double-display glory. 

The Surface Duo 2 continues to offer some of the most striking features of its forefather, including the ability to run two apps simultaneously for multitasking mavericks who need a device that can support their app-juggling talent. However, there are new perks may help the second-generation Surface Duo stand out of the crowd (i.e. noteworthy cameras and eye-catching Glance Bar).

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 specs

The Surface Duo 2 runs on Android 11 and comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, 8GB of RAM, and two 5.8-inch, AMOLED, 1344 x 1892-pixel displays that can open up into an 8.3-inch, 2688 x 1892-pixel tablet. 

Surface Duo 2

Surface Duo 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft says the displays consist of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, and they both cover 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The panels can climb up to a whopping 800 nits of brightness and sport an adaptive refresh rate of up to 90Hz.

According to the Redmond-based tech giant, the Surface Duo 2 features a "Glance Bar" that lights up with colorful indicators to depict volume, charging and other notifications to keep you "in the know" — even while it's closed.

Surface Duo 2

Surface Duo 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

Like its predecessor, the Surface Duo 2 is as flexible as a contortionist and can transform into several postures, including book, compose and tent modes. The Surface Duo 2 will kick your multitasking abilities up a notch, allowing users to interact with apps, websites, photos — and even Microsoft 365 — in an immersive, productivity-boosting way.

The engineers managed to fit all of these internals into a device that only weighs 0.6 pounds. While opened, the Surface Duo is only 0.2 inches thick (when it's closed, it doubles to 0.4 inches).

The Surface Duo comes with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. There's also a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port.

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 camera

Although the Surface Duo's camera was decent, it didn't stand out from the other flagships with industry-leading lenses. However, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 may change all of that. The second-generation device is outfitted with a triple-lens camera (wide-angle, ultra-wide and telephoto). 

Surface Duo 2

Surface Duo 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Surface Duo 2 can capture vibrant, high-quality photos. It can also record in 4K. Microsoft also boasts that its camera offers "exceptional" low-light performance, bigger depth of field and high resolution. Thanks to the double-display, you can review what you've captured across two screens.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 camera specs
MegapixelsApertureMicron pixelsFocal lengthFeatures
Wide12f/1.71.4μm27mmdual pixel PDAF and OIS
Ultra-wide16f/2.21.0μm13mm110-degree diagonal field of view, distortion correction
Telephoto12f/2.41.0μm51mmPDAF, OIS and 2X optical zoom

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 battery life

Compared to the first-generation Surface Duo, Microsoft says the Surface Duo 2's battery life is about the same. The first Surface Duo offers a 15.5 hours of local video playback and 27 hours of talk time. The Surface Duo 2 also serves up 15.5 hours of local video playback, but an extra hour of talk time (28 hours).

Surface Duo 2

Surface Duo 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

Our battery test, on the other hand, is more rigorous. For the Surface Duo, we tested its runtime by allowing the device to web surf over Verizon's network at 150 nits of brightness. It lasted 9 hours and 27 minutes. We're curious to see if the Surface Duo 2 will exceed that runtime.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 price

The Microsoft Surface Duo starts at $1,499 (the same starting price as its predecessor). Storage options include 128GB, 256GB and 512GB.

Surface Duo 2

Surface Duo 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

You can either snag the signature Glacier model or the new Obsidian black finish.

Outlook

Microsoft made a risky dive into the foldable market, and now that the Redmond-based tech giant has listened to feedback from consumers and reviewers, we're curious to see whether the Surface Duo 2 rectifies some of the issues the first-generation device suffered.

The Surface Duo 2 is due to be released in October 2021.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!