Android 11 will come to the Surface Duo later this year
Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 yesterday, presenting it as a major upgrade in almost every way over its predecessor. In addition to upgraded internals, a bigger display with 90Hz refresh rate, and design tweaks, one of the big new features is that it runs Android 11 out of the box. Of course, Android 11 has been out for a year and Android 12 is around the corner, so that doesn’t sound particularly exciting. However, the original Surface Duo launched with Android 10 almost a year ago, and it still hasn’t been updated to Android 11.
That’s set to change before the end of the year, however. As reported by The Verge, the original Surface Duo model is set to receive the upgrade to Android 11 before the end of the year. The information comes from a Microsoft spokesperson, which is reassuring, but there’s still no set date, or even a more specific timeframe. A report earlier this year suggested that the update would arrive sometime in the summer, but that window has come and gone with no signs of Android 11.
What Microsoft didn’t say is what we can expect to be added with this update. The Surface Duo 2 does have some new features based on our hands-on time, but they’re designed around the new hardware, so they’re not likely to be ported over. For example, there’s a new dual-screen view for the Camera app where you can see your gallery on one screen and the viewfinder on the other. The only way that would work on the Surface Duo is for selfies since you can only use one screen when taking pictures of what’s in front of you.
While it’s good to hear that Android 11 is still coming to the Surface Duo, it might be too little too late. After all, Android 12 is set to be released very soon, and soon the wait will begin for that update to roll out. On top of that, Microsoft now has two Android devices to keep up to date, and that might delay updates even further as they need to be optimized for the two devices.
Considering the premium price Microsoft charges for this device – and with true foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 getting more affordable – one can only hope that the company gets better at supporting the Surface Duo line with software updates.