For Microsoft and Android users

Surface Duo tech specs

Surface Duo features a dual-screen design powered by a Snapdragon 855 CPU with 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and 3577mAh battery. Here's the complete tech specs for the device.

Surface Duo homescreen (source: Microsoft)

In collaboration with Google, Microsoft has created its first dual-screen Android device, the Surface Duo. The new “foldable” phone costs $1399, and it’s available starting September 10, 2020.

The Surface Duo is not an attempt to reinvent the phone, instead it is a pocketable device with two screens that brings together the Microsoft 365 services, some of the familiarity of Windows 10, and the full library of Android mobile apps to help you be more productive on the go.

The new device features two 5.6-inch OLED displays connected using a 360-degree hinge design that creates an 8.1-inch canvas, which you can also use individually or together, across a variety of modes. The displays are designed to work like a multiple monitor setup, which in theory should help you be more productive.

It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of memory and up to 256GB of storage. Also, there is a two-piece 3577mAh battery that sits behind the two screens, and according to the company, you’ll get up to 15.5 hours of video playback, up to 27 hours of talk time, and up to 10 days of standby battery.

Surface Duo specs list

Here’s the list of specs for the Surface Duo:

Surface Duo specs 
DimensionsOpen: 145.2 mm (H) x 186.9 mm (W) x 4.8 mm (T)
Closed: 145.2 mm (H) x 93.3 mm (W) x 9.9 mm (T at hinge)
Weight250 grams
DisplayDual PixelSense Fusion Displays open: 8.1” AMOLED, 2700x1800 (3:2), 401 PPI
Single PixelSense Display: 5.6” AMOLED, 1800x1350 (4:3), 401 PPI
Display Material: Corning Gorilla Glass
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform optimized for the dual-screen experience
Memory6GB DRAM
Storage and memory128GB UFS 3.0
256GB UFS 3.0
NetworkWiFi-5 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz)

Bluetooth 5.0

LTE: 4x4 MIMO, Cat.18 DL / Cat 5 UL, 5CA, LAA. Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 150Mbps Upload

Bands Supported:
FDD-LTE: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,14,19,20,25,26,28,29,30,66
TD-LTE: 38,39,40,41,46
WCDMA: 1,2,5,8
GSM/GPRS: GSM-850, E-GSM-900, DCS-1800, PCS-1900
Location: GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS
Camera and video recordingAdaptive camera 11MP, f/2.0, 1.0 µm, PDAF and 84.0° diagonal FOV optimized with AI for front and rear

Photos:
Auto mode with low-light & HDR multi-frame photo capture and dynamic range scene detection
Super resolution zoom, and super zoom up to 7x
Portrait mode with adjustable depth control
Panorama mode
Burst mode

Video recording:
4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps
1080p video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps
HEVC and H.264 video recording formats
Gyro-based digital video stabilization
Video conferencingMicrosoft Teams and Skype video conferencing up to 1080p at 30fps
High CRI LED Flash for both front and world facing photo and video scenarios
Battery lifeUp to 15.5 hours of Local Video Playback
Up to 10 days of Standby Time
Up to 27 hours of Talk Time
Battery capacity3577mAh (typical) dual battery
Battery chargingBattery charging using 18W in box power supply
SIMOne eSIM
One Nano SIM
(AT&T locked device will not support eSIM)
SensorsDual Accelerometer
Dual Gyroscope
Dual Magnetometer
Dual Ambient Light Sensor
Proximity Sensor
Hall Sensor
Fingerprint Sensor
ConnectionsUSB-C 3.1
Security and authentication
Biometric lock type: Fingerprint reader (1:100K FAR <3% FRR)
Lock type: Swipe, PIN, password

Security applications pre-loaded on device: Microsoft Authenticator
ExteriorExterior Material: Corning Gorilla Glass
Color: Glacier
Operating systemAndroid 10
SoftwareMicrosoft preloaded applications:
Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office Lens, PDF Reader, and more
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Teams
Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft Edge
Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft To Do
Microsoft News
Microsoft Authenticator
Microsoft Bing Search
Intune Company Portal
LinkedIn
Microsoft Solitaire Collection
Surface Audio

Microsoft Surface Duo UI core features:
Dual screen windowing
Adaptive modes
App Groups
Microsoft 365 Feed
Dynamic dock
Universal Search
Adaptive Camera
Microsoft SwiftKey Adaptive Keyboard
Your Phone Companion - Link to Windows

Google preinstalled apps:
Google Search
Google Assistant
Google Calendar
Google Drive
Google Duo
Google Photos
Google Play Movies & TV
Google Play Store
Google Maps
Chrome
Gmail
YouTube
YouTube Music
Contacts
Messages
Phone
Files
Clock
Calculator
Sound recorder
Spotify (Unlocked)
HBO MAX (AT&T)
AT&T TV (AT&T)
My AT&T (AT&T)
Call Protect (AT&T)
Amazon Shopping (AT&T)
NBA (AT&T)
Video playbackVideo Playback Formats: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM

Wireless: Chromecast support

Wired: DisplayPort over USB-C. Supports video out when connecting via HDMI Adapter
AudioMono speaker, Dual Mic noise suppression and echo cancellation optimized for productive use in all postures

Best-in-class Full Duplex communication for voice calls in hands-free mode

Audio formats supported: 3GP, MP3, MP4, MKV, WAV, OGG, M4A, AAC, TS, AMR, FLAC, MID, MIDI, RTTL, RTX, OTA, IMY

Qualcomm aptX Adaptive
Pen and inkingSupports all in market generations of Surface Slim Pen, Surface Pen and Surface Hub 2 Pen
Simultaneous Pen and touch are supported
Countries, carriers, and compatibilityCountries: U.S.
Unlocked device: AT&T and T-Mobile
Locked device: AT&T
Language supportAndroid 10 supported languages
In the boxSurface Duo
Surface Duo Bumper (Color: Glacier)
Surface Duo USB-C Power Supply (18w)
Quick Start Guide
Warranty and Compliance Guide
SIM Ejector tool

Although the tech specs hardware should be enough to use the device as advertised, the Surface Duo includes a 3577mAh battery which is relatively small compared to the 4380mAh on the original Samsung Galaxy Fold. Also, the Duo does not include 5G or NFC support, and it only includes a single 11-megapixel camera.

In addition to the hardware, Microsoft has also made a lot of tweaks to the version of Android that comes with the Duo. For instance, even though, it’s running Google’s mobile operating system, the interface has been tweaked to have a Windows-like feel with the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, desktop-like experience with shortcuts, square icons, and the ability to work with apps side-by-side.

The main reason Microsoft went with Android is because of the app ecosystem in the Google Play Store, and it’s committed to support the device and apps with updates for three years, similar to other companies like Google and Samsung.

With Surface Duo any Android app will run out-of-the-box without any modification. However, Microsoft has updated 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. Developers can also tweak their apps to take advantage of the new display layout on Surface Duo and other devices coming in the future.

The company has even 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. You’ll also find other interesting features, such as an onboard keyboard that will appear on the screen with the input field that shrinks slightly to the edge, so the letters are within reach of your fingers. Also, there is a feature known as app groups that allows you to create custom shortcuts to launch a pair of apps together on each screen at the same time.

Surface Duo app group (source: Microsoft)
Surface Duo app group (source: Microsoft)

Of course, the Office apps have been customized to help take advantage of the new layout. For instance, when using the Microsoft Edge browser, you can drag text to the other screen and drop it on Microsoft To Do to create a list.

All these hardware and software ideas are not new, since we have heard and seen various attempt, but it appears that out of the collaboration between Microsoft and Google, the Surface Duo may just be the first device to pull it off.

The new software implementation won’t be exclusive to the Surface Duo, since the company revealed that the tweaks have been implemented in the Android codebase, which means that they will be available for any company that wants to create similar experiences.

The Surface Duo is the thinnest Surface that Microsoft has ever created, and you can order it now from the Microsoft Store, Best Buy, and AT&T.

It’ll be available first in the United States starting September 10, and only in the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks.