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Microsoft’s Floor Duo 2 will get higher specs and a good greater value of $ 1,499

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  • The Surface Duo 2. It looks identical to the Duo 1 from this point of view.

    Microsoft

  • The front and back.

    Microsoft

  • Here’s something new: with this little notification chip interface, you can now take a look at the display through the spine.

    Microsoft

  • Another look at the spine display. Most foldable devices have an outside display for quick interactions, but here you can only see the number of notifications.

    Microsoft

  • The back has a big addition: three cameras that live in a large camera hump.

    Microsoft

  • Microsoft doesn’t shout this in its official pictures, but here you can see the camera bump preventing the phone from folding flat in single-screen mode.

    Microsoft

  • There’s a pen again.

    Microsoft

  • The hinge allows for so many configurations!

    Microsoft

  • Here is the single image mode. Compared to regular Android phones, this is ridiculously wide.

    Microsoft

  • Dual-screen mode that displays the impossible-to-type single-screen keyboard. Microsoft now has a split keyboard that should be a lot better.

    Microsoft

  • You can also choose the vertical mode, which allows you to scroll a webpage across both screens.

    Microsoft

  • Pen input.

    Microsoft

The Surface Duo, take two. Microsoft’s quirky two-screen device is back, and you can still run two apps side by side, flip the thing over for single-screen mode, or draw on it with a pen. The original device landed at the end of a chaotic, year-long journey that included a switch from Windows to Android and an official announcement a full year before the ship date. The Surface Duo 1 was a big flop, eventually landing for nearly $ 1,000 below the $ 1,399 MSRP (the device is still available for $ 412, by the way!). However, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be put off by the performance of the original device and has released this sequel. So what has been improved?

First off, the specs look a lot better this year. Microsoft introduces a modern device with a Snapdragon 888, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and a much larger 4449 mAh battery. The original device had a Snapdragon 855 SoC that was 18 months old when the duo shipped, so that’s a big improvement. There’s also NFC this year, which was another weird quirk of the original device’s spec sheet. The OG Duo was the thinnest Android device ever at 4.8mm thick, but Microsoft found room to increase the 3577mAh battery by making the phone thicker and now each half is 5.5mm . It’s still one of the thinnest Android devices ever, and Microsoft even managed to cram mmWave support into the US version.

The phone still has two rigid, glass-covered screens that fold up like a moleskin notebook. This year, the two OLED screens are slightly larger, each 5.8 inches, and Microsoft is modernizing them again with a 90 Hz refresh rate. The resolution is close to last year’s 4: 3 aspect ratio, but not quite, with an odd measurement of 1892 × 1344. The reason for this seems to be the addition of a few extra pixels for a new spine display. The hinge side of each display has a curvature, just like the annoyingly curved sides of a flagship Android phone, so you can see a tiny sliver of the screen when the Duo 2 is closed. Microsoft uses this to show small notification chips for things like the number of missed calls or messages.

Microsoft’s Spine display appears to be a small concession to the design of any other foldable display, which often includes an outdoor display. People check their smartphones dozens of times a day, and most foldable designs allow information to be viewed on a smaller front screen. If you have a foldable device that always requires a cumbersome two-hand opening just to see why your phone beeps, like the Duo 1, it can get really annoying quickly. Now you can at least see a notification icon while the device is folded, although every other large foldable device on the market (the Z Flip, the Z Fold, the Moto Razr, the Mate X2) has a larger external screen that can do things like message text Show.

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Microsoft’s biggest focus for the sequel appears to be the camera. There’s now a huge triple camera bump on the back, which makes the uncomfortable compromise of not having the phone fold flat in single-screen mode. The original device didn’t have a rear camera, but now you have a 12MP main sensor, a 12MP 2x telephoto lens, and a 16MP ultrawide. There’s also a new pen, the Surface Slim Pen 2, that supports a ton of Surface devices.

Microsoft’s second spin on the Surface Duo seems to be about competency as it now delivers modern, professional smartphone maker specs and a larger battery. Plus, with a full year of development, the team has hopefully fixed all bugs in Microsoft’s version of Android 11.

If you weren’t a fan of the entire Surface Duo concept, however, there probably won’t be much here to convert you. It’s a bit thicker, but the other dimensions haven’t changed much, so this new edition is still significantly wider than a normal Android phone at 92.1mm per half. We looked at the width of the device a lot last year as it was difficult to hold or put in a pocket and the super-wide screens didn’t blend well with the scale of the Android app. In practice, everything was really big with limited content space (other Android displays are big and thin, not small and fat, for good reason).

One area Microsoft isn’t giving in is price: the Surface Duo 2 starts at $ 1,499, or $ 100 more than the last version. The device can be pre-ordered now on Microsoft.com and will be shipped on October 21, 2021.

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