The Microsoft Surface Duo was already one of the more durable foldable phones on the market when it launched last year due to its more conservative dual-screen approach versus the actual folding screen found on devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
According to a new patent filing uncovered by WindowsUnited, Microsoft may have found a way to press this advantage even further with a new impact-resistant hinge that would help absorb the energy from a drop or overextension (via Windows Central).
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As always, it's important to take patents with a grain of salt as the hinge could be years away from implementation if they are used at all. However, this one does seem likely for the Surface Duo 2. It was originally filed back in August of 2020, just prior to the release of the original Surface Duo; it simply wasn't noted until now as the patent was finally granted this month.
There haven't been too many leaks regarding the Surface Duo 2 yet, though an alleged leak last month indicated that it is on track for fall 2021. Microsoft has been doing plenty of hiring on the software side for the Surface Duo, so it would be surprising if this wasn't the case. While the software was the biggest problem for the original Surface Duo, the internal hardware was also out of date due to its lengthy development timeline.
The dual-screen design lacks some of the wow-factor of a folding display, but it still opens up a world of productivity possibilities and is already more durable. With Microsoft heavily investing in the software development over the last year and (hopefully bringing) the internal hardware up-to-date, the Surface Duo 2 could be a tremendous leap forward akin to what we saw with Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 2 and presumably without the $2,000 price tag.