Microsoft surprises with Surface Duo, a dual-screen Android powered smartphone

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The Surface Duo is essentially a smaller version of the Surface Neo, a dual-screen tablet not unlike Microsoft’s Courier concept. The prototype shown today features two 5.6-inch displays that unfold to form an 8.3-inch tablet.

Unlike the gimmicky folding phones being pushed by other companies, Microsoft’s solution is two separate screens, meaning you won’t have the durability issues that plague folding screens… and you can fold them completely back, just like a 2-in-1 laptop, for even more usage modes.

Surface Duo, as you may have guessed, won’t run a modified version of Windows like the company’s old phones did. Instead, the device will be built on Android. Interesting, right?

It’s worth reiterating that the device we saw today is little more than a prototype. The actual Surface Duo won’t be available until the 2020 holiday season meaning there’s still plenty of time to make changes based on developer feedback and innovate even further.

Still, for Microsoft’s first at-bat since discontinuing Windows Phone in mid-2017, I’d say they might be on to something big here.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I like it but I think they should give the option for the user to span across both screens as a single screen. Not perfect, but functional and having the option is always a great feature!
 

ron baer

TS Rookie
Make a version running full Windows and I'm sold. I'd use it like a dual screen computer, could actually be great for work. And the screens are protected when closed, I like that.
idk the android version, if done correctly, could also be great for productivity but dualboot would be best for everyone
 

BabyFaceLee

TS Booster
It's certainly peaking my interest and I much prefer this type of 'folding' phone than the Samsung Fold. I'll be interested to see how it develops.
 
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hk2000

TS Booster
MS may have failed, statistically, but not for lack of quality or versatility, instead it was the lack of enough smart people in the world- that's what happens when we let the least common denominator decide the success or failure of new ideas. BTW, I still use windows phone and it's amazing- I wouldn't give it up for all the iPhones and Androids in the world.
 

Irata

TS Booster
MS may have failed, statistically, but not for lack of quality or versatility, instead it was the lack of enough smart people in the world- that's what happens when we let the least common denominator decide the success or failure of new ideas. BTW, I still use windows phone and it's amazing- I wouldn't give it up for all the iPhones and Androids in the world.
Same here: pefectly happy with my Lumia 950 XL. Sadly, the end of the year will mean an end of Whatsapp and possibly Threma support.
Will probably need to go for a secondary phone with Android for apps (only) but compared to Windows phone Android just does not feel and look good imho.
 

3volv3d

TS Addict
I personally just don't like iPhones.
Back in the day anyone who was in I.T. who had an iPhone was scoffed at for liking an overpriced inferior product.
My brother loves them, and will always have one, because he says, they just work. He doesn't want to be able to flash roms, customize etc. He just wants it to work. Which I find a bizarre statement to overspend on anything that does the bare minimum. And the iPhone is minimalistic.
They are for laptop users, people who buy preconfigured machines, who expect stuff to work without any effort, made for a lazy unintelligent breed.
That said in comparison to Android, the latest samsung flagship phone will have better parts than its rival counter part iPhone. Yet the last bit of juice is squeezed out of the inferior Apple device, according to all reviews it's camera and video, surpasses the Android variant.
Which means either Apple pay everyone off to lie, or Android is like others have said, unpolished and incomplete.

So I look forward to a new windows phone, this does look like something I would love to try out.
 

m3tavision

TS Evangelist
MS may have failed, statistically, but not for lack of quality or versatility, instead it was the lack of enough smart people in the world- that's what happens when we let the least common denominator decide the success or failure of new ideas. BTW, I still use windows phone and it's amazing- I wouldn't give it up for all the iPhones and Androids in the world.
This^

Elite x3 and waiting on the surface phone. Which is just going to be a SQ1 ARM, in something like the Duo. So they will have both Android, or Windows phones within the Surface portfolio.