Would you call it a phone? It’s more of a foldable tablet (with phone functionality). Wait! I’ve just created a whole new category … foldable tablets! Remember, you heard this new term from Funky Kit 😛
Taken from Engadget … the Surface Duo features two screens connected by a 360-degree hinge. It’s meant to be an adaptable device: You can fold it up to use it like a normal smartphone, hold it open like a booklet (similar to Microsoft’s long-lost Courier project), or splay the two screens open like a tablet. And yes, you can even use one screen as a stand to prop it up on a table. Microsoft is taking the same approach with the slightly larger Surface Neo, a portable PC that’ll run Windows apps (and is reportedly delayed until next year). But the Duo is the potentially more interesting device, since it marks Microsoft’s return to smartphone hardware after Windows Phone fizzled so spectacularly.
The Surface Duo features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM and starts with 128GB of storage (you can get a 256GB model for $1,500). Its two 5.6-inch AMOLED screens sport a resolution of 1,800 x 1,350 each — together they form a 8.1-inch display (with a hinge in the middle, of course). Microsoft says it’s the thinnest Surface device yet, measuring 4.8 millimeters when it’s opened. At 0.55 pounds (250 grams), it’s a touch heavier than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But really, what else did you expect from a device that’s wrapped in Gorilla Glass around two screens?
The Surface Duo might also seem a bit quaint now that Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 2, its third attempt at making flexible phones work. But Panay, ever the company man, thinks there’s a very clear reason why Microsoft opted to build devices with two separate, hinge-connected displays. “I do believe in windows,” he said. “I believe in windowing.” The company has found that users multi-task differently when they can organize their work across two separate displays, instead of a single screen. And of course, it also helps that the Duo is much cheaper than the original Galaxy Z Fold, which cost well over $2,000 (we still don’t know the pricing of the Z Fold 2). The $1,380 Galaxy Z Flip is a bit more reasonable, but it’s smaller screen isn’t nearly as useful as the Surface Duo’s.
You can pre-order the Surface Duo at the Microsoft Store, AT&T and Best Buy.