The smartphone market is getting more crowded by the year as more tech companies vie for a slice of Apple’s lucrative iPhone pie. However, one noticeable absence is Microsoft, who discontinued the Lumia series and Windows Mobile and stepped back from the smartphone market – until now.
While Microsoft refuses to officially call it a phone, here’s everything we know about Microsoft’s foldable, dual-screen device that works much like a mobile…
When is the Microsoft Surface Duo released?
Microsoft has announced that the Surface Duo will arrive in Holiday 2020 – which for means we should expect a release around November or December 2020.
This release window was announced when Microsoft officially unveiled the Duo at a Surface event in October 2019, making the rare move of revealing a new smartphone over a year before sale to the general public.
How much will the Microsoft Surface Duo cost?
Microsoft did not reveal a price point at the Surface event – but with two screens, it’s not going to be cheap. Samsung sells the similarly dual-screen Galaxy Fold for an eye-watering £1,900, and with a bigger screen, the Surface Duo may cost even more than that.
As Microsoft seem intent on not classifying the Duo as a phone, it may not even be available on a monthly contract through a mobile carrier either.
Latest Microsoft Surface deals
Can’t wait for the Microsoft Surface Duo? We’ve rounded up some of the best Microsoft Surface deals for February…
Currys has the Surface Book 2 in silver with an Intel Core i7, 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage for £1,499.
What might we expect from the Microsoft Surface Duo?
In short, the Surface Duo is a mix between a phone and a tablet, featuring two screens connected by a 360° hinge – so yes, it can be folded all the way around.
Interestingly Microsoft unveiled the device a year before release at the October 2019 Surface event, so this is a rare occasion when we actually have some official information ahead of a phone launch. However, there is still plenty we don’t know that will be based on speculation and rumour…
Storage is one feature Microsoft didn’t cover. 128GB seems to be becoming the norm these days and would match the base memory capacity of the Surface Pro X – though Microsoft is aiming high-end and may go as high as 512GB, much like their competitor the Galaxy Fold.
The Surface Duo presented by Microsoft only appeared to have once camera, located on the top-right screen, which is becoming a very outdated practice in mobiles (for comparison, the Galaxy Fold had six). If like Google before them they are resisting the trend of multiple cameras, we expect the single camera to be high-end and of significant resolution – and several rumours and a patent application certainly point towards this.
Hurrah – a feature that Microsoft has actually confirmed! The Surface Duo will use a speedy Snapdragon 855.
Microsoft is keen on not classing the Surface Duo as a phone, but if it can make phone calls it is likely to support a data network of some sort. All major smartphones launching this year are thought to be supporting 5G – even the iPhone 12 – and the Snapdragon 855 chipset can work with 5G with the right modem.
The Surface Duo would stand out for all the wrong reasons without 5G – so it remains to be seen if Microsoft will dismiss the data network, either to cut costs or combat the mobile phone label.
Another confirmed feature! The Surface Duo will have two 5.6-inch screens, which when unfolded can work as an 8.3-inch tablet.
The Surface Duo is confirmed to use a USB-C charger. It is unknown at this point if the device will support wireless charging.