This year, Microsoft launched its new Surface products for Windows 11. Just like it did in 2020, their new Surface Duo 2 stole the show again. The 5G-enabled smartphone comes with two screens and three cameras on the back.
The first Surface Duo was launched with an outdated Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processing chip. With the Surface Duo 2, Microsoft tried to remain up-to-date with Snapdragon 888 but just fell short of incorporating the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processing chip for better 5G connectivity.
The visual appeal of this phone lies in its form factor, which will require maybe one-tenth of a second to understand what it does. During the launch of Surface Duo in 2020, Microsoft pointed out that the innovation behind this device is the hinge. The use of solid hinges to provide a dual-screen experience may seem gimmicky. Still, from the point of view of engineering, mechanics, and millions of years of tool usage by humans, this is serendipity. The hinges connect two 8.3″ AMOLED curved displays, but instead of a 360-degree rotation, the Surface Duo 2 will rotate a few degrees less because of the camera bump.
The good, the bad, and the battery
As far as the basic requirements for a modern-day smartphone are concerned, the Surface Duo 2 has it all, such as a three-rear-camera setup, 128 GB to 512 GB storage, 8 GB RAM, and a USB-C port. It comes with magnets to hold the camera bump on its back.
The device also allows streaming Xbox games from the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud or from a console. It also comes with three stand-alone games, namely Asphalt Legends 9, Modern Combat 5, and Dungeon Hunter 5. The pre-installed “Your Phone” app on the Surface Duo 2 allows the phone’s notifications to be viewed on PC. You can also copy-paste content straight from the phone into PC apps on Windows 11.
With the new Glance Screen, you can view your phone’s notifications, the time, and how much battery it has even with the screens closed. One little note on the Surface Duo 2 is that it will function at its best for some apps if it is held in a horizontal position.
There are a few not-so-glamorous parts about the Surface Duo 2 that require some years for people even to start thinking about buying a Microsoft smartphone. Microsoft has already said that this is “not just another smartphone or not just smartphone camera,” but then their price and features have a different story to tell.
The cost of the Surface Duo 2 ranges from $1,499.99 to $1,799.99, which is not comparable to its contemporaries. One would expect a lot out of a smartphone in this price range. However, their ultra-wide camera is only 16MP, the dual-battery measures 4449mA, and the 23W USB-C adapter is sold separately.
The box comes with the phone, USB-C cable, and other tit-bits, and the USB-C earbuds will only come with the phone in some European countries. And sadly, the Surface Duo 2’s stylus is also sold separately.
To buy or not to buy
Just like its predecessor, it is unlikely that the Surface Duo 2 will make a lot of sales this year or the next. By the time others gear up to incorporate the new Snapdragon chips and bring out other features at economical prices, Microsoft will always lag if they keep releasing their new phones with almost outdated features towards the end of the year. From the engineering perspective, the innovations such as the form factor seem flawless. But for a customer, it might be a dead-end road.
YouTube: The new Surface Duo 2. Two screens, limitless possibilities.
Photo credit: The images used are owned by Microsoft and have been provided for press usage.