Microsoft’s Surface Duo foldable phone attempts to reinvent the Surface Pro-style tablet experience for a portable world. And while the first gen stumbled on usability, Redmond is back with an updated Surface Duo 2, a sign of the company’s commitment to the concept.
The second-generation device, unveiled on Wednesday, adds key features missing from the original, including support for 5G networks, NFC for contactless payments, and a triple-lens camera. The phone, which has a flip-up hinge in the middle, now also has slightly larger 5.8-inch twin screens, up from 5.6 inches in the first generation.
The Surface Duo 2, which runs the Android 11 operating system, is now available for pre-order for a whopping $ 1,500. Yes, that’s almost as much as the new Surface Laptop Studio that Microsoft also unveiled on Tuesday as a powerhouse for creative professionals, with an Nvidia RTX graphics card.
While the Surface Duo 2 obviously lacks Nvidia graphics – it’s a phone, after all – it has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 5G support and the image signal processing (ISP) capabilities needed to process. simultaneously images from all three camera lenses.
In fact, while twin screens are the main feature of the Surface Duo 2, the upgraded camera might be the phone’s biggest improvement, given the disappointing issues with the first-gen, single 11-megapixel camera. . The new three-lens configuration can handle wide, telephoto and ultra-wide photos.
Missed a call? Check the hinge
The foldable design of the Surface Duo 2 offers a lot of innovative possibilities, especially since many Android apps are now optimized for dual-screen devices. Microsoft also notes that you can run two apps side by side and even drag and drop between screens in supported apps.
There are also plenty of less innovative but still interesting uses for the phone’s foldable designs, including the ability to display the clock and call and text notification in a thin strip along the hinge when the Surface Duo 2 is closed. .
Finally, the Surface Duo 2 adds a new Obsidian Black color scheme, while the Glacier color of the original will continue to be available on the new model.
We concluded that the original Surface Duo was not competitive against current foldable phone competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, and noted that the Duo 2 couldn’t get there soon enough. Microsoft recognizes the difficulties of starting the first generation, the chief of communications, Frank Shaw, explaining Tuesday that the new entries in the mobile space are “rightly considered”.
Since launching last year, the company has “reinvented the product,” he said, noting that “there is still room to redefine mobile productivity.”
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