Updated: September 23, 2021 12:04:24 pm
The first-generation Surface Duo, Microsoft’s dual-screened device, didn’t set the market on fire. But the new Surface Duo is a much more polished device, and Microsoft made several changes to make the dual-screen phone-tablet more appealing to end consumers. It’s still powered by Google’s Android mobile OS and features dual screens that combine to become a tablet. The device also doubles as a smartphone, so you can make calls and access the internet at 5G speeds. In every sense, the Duo 2 is better than its predecessor — bigger and better displays, the flagship Snapdragon 888 processor from Qualcomm, a new glance bar for notifications and a triple rear camera module.
Lots of people have asked questions about the new Surface Duo 2, and we have done our best to find definitive answers.
What is a Surface Duo?
The Surface Duo is a new type of mobile device that is a cross between a tablet and a smartphone. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 which is a foldable phone, the Duo has two side-by-side displays supported by the hinge. The whole idea behind the Surface Duo is to have two big screens designed to get work done, something you struggle to do on a phone with a traditional form factor. You can run one app on one screen and another on another display. Or, you can stretch a single app across both displays and take advantage of expansive 8.3-inches of screen space. This is an executive-level device, and that shows in its asking price of well over $1400.
How many different Surface Duo models are there?
Microsoft offers two models in the Surface Duo lineup: the OG version and the second-generation Duo. At the time of writing, the first-generation Surface Duo continues to sell on Microsoft’s official store in the US, starting at $699 (down from $1400). Microsoft has not discontinued the original Microsoft Surface Duo.
Does the Surface Duo 2 look different from the previous model?
The Surface Duo 2 looks similar to the original Duo except for few minor changes. The new Duo 2 is slightly thicker and heavier than the first Surface Duo. But the new model is more sturdy, and the glass on the rear now gently curves into the edges. It’s still a big and wide device, like your passport. When folded, the Surface Duo fits comfortably in your back pocket. This time around, Microsoft has added three cameras on the rear of the Duo 2, so it is easy to differentiate the new model from the old model.
I heard the Surface Duo 2 has bigger displays. Is it true?
While there are sizable bezels on the Duo 2, we do get to see two 5.8-inch displays (up from 5.6-inch displays on the previous model), 1344 x 1892 OLED displays connected by a hinge. And yes, the new displays support a 90Hz refresh rate which should make scrolling and moving apps buttery smooth.
Are there multiple ways to use the Surface Duo 2?
No surprise, really, given that the Surface Duo has a 360-degree hinge. The device is light, and it’s very easy to hold it one-handed in Book mode, or prop the device on a flat surface and watch movies on the Duo 2 in Tent mode. There is also an option to use the Surface Duo as Nintendo 3DS. The company says 150 games, including Asphalt Legends 9, Modern Combat 5, and Dungeon Hunter 5, are optimized for the Duo 2.
How fast will the Surface Duo 2 be?
The Surface Duo was criticized for its weak performance, so it’s good to see the latest Snapdragon 888 inside the Duo 2. This is the same processor that powers the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. So yes, it’s a pretty fast device. It also supports 5G connectivity( Sub-6 and mmWave 5G radios supported). In fact, Microsoft says the Duo 2 is the thinnest 5G device on the market. Microsoft has also added a fingerprint reader which is housed in the power button. Microsoft offers three internal storage capacity options of 128GB/256GB/512GB with the same 8GB of RAM available in all three models.
Does the Surface Duo 2 has built-in rear cameras?
Yes. In fact, there are three cameras: a 12-megapixel f/1.7 primary camera with OIS, a 16-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide and a 12-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto with OIS and 2x optical zoom. This is a big improvement over the original model, which had a single camera on the outside and it was a bad one. There is a huge chance the new triple-camera module on the Duo 2 will be comparable to modern phones. Plus, it can shoot 4K video up to 60fps and HDR video.
What about the external display?
No, the Surface Duo 2 does not have an external display like the one you get to see on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. But there’s something called “Glance bar” which is the part of the display showing between the hinges. It takes advantage of the curved screens and can be configured to show incoming calls and notifications down the spine and acts as a heads-up ticker when the device is closed
Does the Surface Duo 2 run on Windows 11?
No, the Surface Duo runs Google’s Android mobile operating system. And of course, Google’s apps run smoothly on the Duo as well as Microsoft’s own apps.
Does the Surface Duo 2 charge wirelessly?
Does the Surface Duo 2 support dust or water resistance?
What about the battery life?
Microsoft hasn’t specified how big the battery is, but the company claims the device has an “all-day battery life.”
And finally, what about the pen support?
The Surface Duo 2 supports different Surface Pen models. The new Surface Pen 2 is supported on the Duo 2 which attaches magnetically to the device.
How much do I have to pay for the Surface Duo 2?
The Surface Duo 2 is an expensive device. It has a starting price of $1,499 (the top-end model costs $1800), a $100 increase over the launch price of the first generation Surface Duo.
Will the Surface Duo 2 be available in India?
For now, Microsoft is making the Surface Duo 2 available in the following countries: US, UK, Germany, France, Japan and Canada. You can pre-order the Surface Duo 2 now and it will ship starting October 21 in the following markets. Unfortunately, the Surface Duo 2 is not available to buy in India.
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