Updated: August 10, 2020 11:33:41 am
The Surface Duo is Microsoft’s most ambitious device to date, and it’s coming to the market this year. First announced at a New York City showcase event in October last year, the Surface Duo is a dual-screen, Android-powered device. Microsoft says the Duo can make phone calls, though the company prefers to call it, well, a Surface. The Surface Duo will join an already crowded market of smartphones and foldables when it hit retail shelves soon.
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked Surface Duo-related questions:
What is Surface Duo?
The Surface Duo is a cross between a modern smartphone and tablet. The Duo has two side-by-side screens that fold closed like a soft Moleskin notebook.
Is the Surface Duo a phone?
It depends. Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, doesn’t like to call the Surface Duo a phone. He prefers to call it a Surface. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, says the company is not entering an existing device category with the Surface Duo; instead, it’s trying to create a new category that doesn’t exist yet. Just to make it clear – the Surface Duo makes calls, just like any other smartphone.
Yes, the Surface Duo runs Google’s Android mobile OS. Microsoft has worked closely with Google on the Surface Duo. Based on Android 10, the Duo uses Microsoft Launcher for the default home screen experience. The device runs all your Android apps. In fact, most of Microsoft’s first-party Android apps are already optimised for the Duo. Right now, it’s not clear how third-party apps take advantage of a dual-screen when they are not optimised for the Surface Duo.
Why two screens?
What makes the Surface Duo different from your existing smartphone is the way how apps function on the dual-screen device. With the Surface Duo, you can drag apps across both screens and do two different things at the same time.
Are there any differences between the Surface Duo and Galaxy Z Fold 2?
The Surface Duo is a lot different from the Galaxy Z Fold 2. As opposed to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 which has a foldable screen, the Surface Duo’s dual displays do not bend or fold. Instead, the device has two separate 5.6-inch displays held together using a hinge. In its unfolded position, the Duo has an 8.3-inch screen. Yet, the Surface Duo is a ‘pocketable’ device. Both screens also support Surface Pen.
Is Surface Duo a powerful device?
The prototype that was showed off during the media event featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, but we believe the final version will run the latest Snapdragon 865 or 865+ processor. Other unconfirmed specifications include 6GB RAM and dual 64/256GB storage sizes, either 64GB or 256GB of storage with no expandable storage, a 3,640mAh battery, and a fingerprint reader. It is also said to feature a single 11MP camera.
How much will the Surface Duo cost?
Microsoft is yet to announce the retail price of the Surface Duo. Given the form factor of the dual-screened Android-powered device, it should easily cost over $1500 (or approx Rs 1,12,383). For comparison, the original Galaxy Fold retails for $1980.
When can I buy the Surface Duo?
Recently, leaker Evan Blass has shared renders of the Surface Duo claiming the device will launch with AT&T. He didn’t shed light on the release details or pricing, but it’s largely believed that the Duo’s launch is imminent. With Microsoft holding a virtual Surface briefing for Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) on August 12, the dual-screen device is probably ready to launch anytime soon. Microsoft was originally targeting to release the Surface Duo this fall.
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