Tech giant, Microsoft seems to be returning back to the smartphone market again ever since it killed off its Windows 10 Mobile that was launched back in 2015. Over the years the market has itself shifted along with buyer preference and choices from favoring flagship features to going towards more value for money brands. There has also been an unprecedented growth in the smartphone segment that Microsoft has to compete with, now that it is making its return. This is also Microsoft’s very first Android phone as well- the Microsoft Surface Duo!
The upcoming Microsoft Surface Duo was announced around October 2019. Now, after what is almost a year later, the tech company has released details regarding its launch that has brought in new enthusiasm in the Microsoft community and smartphone market. While Microsoft generally always holds physical and in-person events and conferences for their products and other news, this year was a bit different. This year’s press conference was actually a virtual version of their normal physical Surface event. Very recently, they had published a full 35 minutes long press briefing of the virtual conference that was held, featuring Panos Panay, the Chief Product Officer at Microsoft.
While initially planned to be made available for the holiday season in 2020, it seems that the latest device will hit the markets much earlier than expected! The Microsoft Surface Duo is now already available for pre-orders. Further, it is expected that the US sales will start by 10th September as well, less than a month away. It is perhaps one of Microsoft’s best smartphones and definitely a more memorable one than its predecessors.
Currently there are 3 options to make pre-orders, which are AT&T, Best Buy, and the online Microsoft Store. While starting at $1,399 (about Rs. 1,04,656) for the 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage version, the 256 GB variant will be available for $14,99. Alternatively, choosing the Best Buy option will allow payments to be made in 24 installments as well for each variant, $58.34 for the 128 GB one and $62.5 for the 256 GB model, but it only sells the unlocked version. Pre-ordering through AT&T allows you to make a lump sum payment or 30 installment payments of $46.67 for the 128 GB and $50 for the 256 GB. It only comes in one color variation i.e. Glacier. The device supports connection networks of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Coming to the device’s features, the Microsoft Surface Duo will be powered by the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC chipset, running on the Android 10 software right out of the box. The screen has two 5.6 inch, 1,800 x 1,350 pixels Full HD+ resolutions with an OLED display with a 60 Hz refresh rate that are joined by a hinge allowing a 360 degree movement. Accordingly, the two displays can be joined together for a bigger one when opened fully. Once joined, it features a 8.1-inch Dual PixelSense Fusion AMOLED display with 2,700 x 1,800 pixels resolution and 401 PPI. The display screen comes protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and the device weighs about 250 grams.
It even includes an 11 MP camera for clicking pictures and shooting videos.
The device runs on a 3,577 mAh battery and supports 18W charging through its USB Type-C port. It also supports users that use any surface pen including the likes of Surface Slim Pen, Surface Pen and the Surface Hub 2 Pen.
While this is surely an unconventional smartphone, it aims to improve work productivity and even opens up new possibilities for better dual screen smartphone devices as well.