New form factor

Surface Duo release date confirmed for September 10

Surface Duo is arriving on September 10. It'll be only available in the US (initially), and it'll cost $1399.

Surface Duo (source: Microsoft)

Microsoft is expected to launch its Surface Duo on September 10, 2020, and it’ll cost a whopping $1399. Surface Duo is the first dual-screen Android device that the company is manufacturing, and it’s available for preorder starting August 12 in the United States (via Surface IT Pro blog and The Verge).

Unlike the traditional foldable phones, the Surface Duo includes two separate 5.6-inch OLED 1800 x 1350-pixel displays with a 4.3 aspect ratio protected with Gorilla Glass that connect using two hinges (like a laptop), and when together, they create an 8.1-inch canvas with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

The device features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of memory and up to 256GB of internal storage. Also, it includes a 3577mAh battery that splits between the displays, and while it’s a relatively small battery compare to other similar devices in the market, the company claims up to 15.5 hours of video playback, up to 27 hours of talk time, and up to 10 days of standby battery.

In addition, Microsoft has equipped the Surface Duo with a single 11-megapixel f/2.0 camera, which includes up to 7x zoom, HDR multi-frame captures, and auto modes for low light. You can also record video in 4K and 1080p at 30fps and 60fps.

In the box, you will find a 18W power brick and a USB-A cable for fast charging and data transfer, and there’s even a bumper cover to protect the device.

Surface Duo will run the latest version of Android, and Microsoft will be offering updates for the operating system. Also, because it runs the Google’s mobile operating system, you can expect all the apps available in the Google Play Store to work with the dual-screen device without modification.

However, Microsoft has modified its Office apps, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive to span correctly across the two screens, and third-party apps, such as the Amazon Kindle app have been adapted to make it like if you were reading a real book.

Furthermore, the company has created algorithms to predict how to open apps on different displays. For example, if you’re on one display and you’re opening a link, it’ll fill the other display.

Although it’s a Microsoft device, Surface Duo needs to comply with Google’s policy (via Petri), and this means that out-of-the-box the default search engine will be Google, and Google Chrome and Google Assistant will be pre-installed on the device.

You can get it with LTE on Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, but 5G isn’t supported nor you’ll get NFC with Surface Duo.

Surface Duo is expected to start shipping on September 10 for $1399, and you can preorder it now at the Microsoft Store online, Best Buy, and AT&T only in the United States.

Although it’s an interesting new device, the question still remains whether the dual-screen design will be adopted and help to make people more productive. Or if it’s going to be another flob like the Windows Phone.