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Surface Duo smartphone could launch as soon as July

The Surface Duo is focused on delivering the ultimate multitasking smartphone experience. (Image: Microsoft)
The Surface Duo is focused on delivering the ultimate multitasking smartphone experience. (Image: Microsoft)
Microsoft’s Surface Duo Android-based smartphone looks like it could be coming sooner rather than later. According to the latest rumor, the device could be set to launch as soon as next month as Microsoft is said to be keen to launch it ahead of the Galaxy Fold 2.

Long rumored originally as the Microsoft Surface Phone, the Surface Duo as it has been officially named, could be hitting the market as soon as next month, according to the latest rumor. @zacbowden from Windows Central tweeted that he has heard Microsoft is keen to launch the Surface Duo ahead of the Galaxy Fold 2. With the second-generation Fold set to debut in early August that would put sometime in July as the likely launch Window.

That said, Microsoft’s official website still has the Surface Duo scheduled to launch in the holiday season, deep into Q4 this year. Although Samsung’s Galaxy Fold does put forward multitasking as part of its value proposition, it is still most focused on delivering a more immersive entertainment experience for movies and gaming akin to a tablet experience. The Surface Duo, on the other hand, is quite specifically aimed at creating a multitasking user experience focusing deliberately on a dual-display approach joined by a hinge, rather than going with a foldable single display.

If anything, the Surface Duo is more like the approach adopted by LG with its dual-screen case accessory seen on its most recent flagship handsets. Unlike LG, however, Microsoft’s approach is not only more integrated, but it has also actively courted developers to take specific advantage of its approach to “windowing” as it were. If there is likely to be any drawback to the Surface Duo is that it is expected to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, rather than the newer Snapdragon 865.

We think the idea certainly has potential, and nearly every review of LG smartphones with the dual-screen accessory all comment on how effective it is at multitasking compared to a regular smartphone. However, the dual-screen accessory cases have typically been to bulky for reviewers to give the concept their whole-hearted recommendation. With the Surface Duo designed from the outset to adopt this approach with a display that can fold around completely to the rear so it can be operated with one hand as well, it could be a game changer. If the price is right.

(Image: @zacbowden via Twitter)
(Image: @zacbowden via Twitter)
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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-06-15 (Update: 2020-06-15)