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Microsoft's Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone now available starting at US$1399, early reviews unimpressed

The Microsoft Surface Duo is now available. Image via Microsoft.
The Microsoft Surface Duo is now available. Image via Microsoft.
The Surface Duo is now available. Microsoft's dual-screen Android phone has been hotly anticipated, but early reviews suggest the device needs a bit more time to bake; while the design is good, the software is buggy. The phone starts at US$1399.
Sam Medley,

For those that have been anticipating Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo, today is the day. The Android phone is now available, but it definitely doesn’t come cheap.

The Surface Duo’s main feature is its two 5.6-inch 1800x1350 AMOLED displays. The phone has a 2-in-1 style hinge that allows it to open into a tablet. In this mode, the full display area has an 8.1-inch diagonal with a combined resolution of 2700x1800.

Other specs include last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6 GB of RAM, and either 128 GB or 256 GB of non-expandable UFS 3.0 storage. The Surface Duo runs Android 10 and comes with a bevy of Microsoft and Google apps pre-installed.

Prospective purchasers can buy the Surface Duo either unlocked from Microsoft or from AT&T for US$1399 (128 GB) or $1499 (256 GB).

Along with the official launch, the first wave of reviews of the Surface Duo went live today. Initial impressions are fairly mixed; while many outlets praised the phone’s design and form factor, several found the software to be undercooked, resulting in numerous bugs. Reviewers found that several Android apps simply aren’t designed for dual-screen support, and others exhibit odd and buggy behavior. Even the built-in system tools, such as the keyboard, were found to act erratically.

Considering the hype surrounding the Surface Duo, it’s likely Microsoft will iron out many of these issues in a short time. However, it seems that at launch, the Surface Duo is an expensive phone for early adopters that are fine with testing software rather than enjoying a fully fleshed out dual-screen experience.

What do you think of the Surface Duo? Let us know in the comments below.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 09 > Microsoft's Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone now available starting at US$1399, early reviews unimpressed
Sam Medley, 2020-09-10 (Update: 2020-09-10)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.