After debuting the highly-anticipated Surface Neo, Microsoft somehow managed to surprise everyone with the announcement of another dual-screen device: the Surface Duo. But the device isn’t any ordinary gadget. It’s a phone that runs Android, a.k.a. the thing Microsoft fans have been begging for for years.
The first pocketable Surface
You’ve never been able to fit one of Microsoft’s Surface devices in your pocket before, and that’s what the company is capitalizing on with the Surface Duo. They’re calling it “the first Surface to fit in your pocket.” By saying that, the company sets a bar for itself to make it as productivity-friendly and as versatile as its other Surface devices, but I think the company’s up to the challenge.
Slim with two screens
The Surface Duo looks really thin, but Microsoft won’t tell us how thin. They’ll go as far to say it’s “paper-thin,” but you can say that about anything that’s abnormally thin and get away with it.
Opening the device, you’ll be presented by two screens, not one that folds in half like on a Galaxy Fold. Like the Neo, Microsoft doesn’t really care that it uses two screens with a noticeable gap between them. With this implementation, it’s able to cover both screens in Gorilla Glass and allow you to load up two apps at the same time with ease. In ways, it may be better for productivity reasons to have a second screen, and that’s the focus of the Surface line anyway.
In case you’re curious, each screen measures in at 5.6-inches. When unfolded, the screens create an 8.3-inch viewing surface. You can, of course, use either screen individually by folding back the second panel.
Like any other phone, the Surface Duo has smartphone-level specs. We don’t know everything just yet, but Microsoft did say the device runs a Snapdragon 855 processor.
The Duo, interestingly enough, also runs Android. Of course, the company didn’t say what version or detail any of its skinning techniques (which are clearly on full display, in this case), but we’ll likely learn more over time.
Cameras? Yeah, don’t ask
Every good smartphone has cameras, right? Well, that’s an interesting topic for the Surface Duo.
It’s not like it doesn’t have any cameras. In fact, it has a number of sensors on the inside of the Duo. But as spotted by many tech journalists and enthusiasts alike, the Duo doesn’t have any rear cameras… yet. It’s still undecided as to whether the device will even ship with rear cameras, let alone good ones.
We’ll have to wait and see how things play out.
“Why are we waiting?” you may ask. Because Microsoft only offered a preview of the Surface Duo today.
The device, alongside the Neo, will begin shipping during the holidays next year. What we got today was a mere preview of Microsoft’s big return to smartphones. Heck, the company wouldn’t even formally call the Duo a “phone” onstage. That’s how unfinished the Duo is.
Until some time has elapsed, we’ll be kept in the dark as to whether the Surface Duo can serve as a proper smartphone. In the meantime, feel free to gaze at the sheer dopeness of this product.