Microsoft reveals more details about its pricey Surface Duo
Microsoft has finally announced the availability of the Surface Duo and with it, the pricing details and specifications of the device. For an Android device priced from US$1,399 for the 6 GB/128 GB entry model through to US$1,499 for the 6 GB/256 GB top-end model, it has got the internet buzzing about what it has and doesn’t have at the price point. Clearly, Microsoft believes that it has priced the device correctly, particularly because of the way it has properly customized Android to work in unique ways with either one or two apps running at a time across two screens -- see the video embedded below.
In terms of its strengths from a hardware perspective, Microsoft is calling its dual-display arrangement an 8.1-inch (2700 x 1800) PixelSense Fusion Display (2x 5.6-inch OLED 1800 x 1350). Microsoft says that it features a custom pixel stack that has been specially calibrated for color and luminance so that both panels are perfectly matched helping the device feel like it is a single screen. It also calls the design a dual-system architecture that leverages its custom 360-degree hinge to connect both sides of the device with custom cables so it works in a variety of postures. It also appears to bear the traditional high-quality Surface fit and finish.
On the downside, however, it runs last year’s Snapdragon 855 mated to just 6 GB of RAM in either 128 GB or 256 GB variants. From a multitasking perspective, while this is probably adequate, it is a long way off the 12 GB or even 16 GB that is standard on high-end Android flagships in 2020. Its dual battery combines for a capacity of just 3,577 mAh, which is anaemic by today’s flagship standards of 4,000 mAh plus capacities for devices with single displays. It also forgoes NFC, Wi-Fi 6, 5G, stereo speakers (it is only fitted with a single mono speaker), and has a solitary 11 MP f/2.0 PDAF camera.
Views on the Surface Duo on the blogosphere range from ‘It’s dead on arrival’ through to it could be one of the most interesting Android devices of 2020. At the moment, the Surface Duo is only available in the US with details on any international availability yet to be announced.