Microsoft’s dual screen Surface Duo gets shown off on video
One of the biggest tech surprises in 2019 was Microsoft’s announcement of the Surface Duo in October. The Surface Duo launched alongside other Surface products at a big Microsoft hardware launch event. The Surface Duo is the culmination of the long-rumored “Surface Phone”. Don’t call it a phone, though. Microsoft wants to call it a new type of dual-screen device, even if it can make phone calls. It’s not a traditional slate phone. It’s also not a foldable phone like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. That’s because it has dual 5.6-inch displays connected by a hinge. They are the flagship feature of the device, as Microsoft has an ambitious vision of dual screens helping increase productive output in the same way dual monitors are beneficial for productivity. The Surface Duo, despite being a Microsoft Surface hardware product, is powered by a customized variant of Android that looks like Windows 10X. At its launch, it generated a lot of curiosity, but its release was still a year away. According to Microsoft’s schedule, the device is on track for a launch in Holiday 2020. Now, it has been shown off in a hands-on video for the first time.
The video shows a person, likely a Microsoft employee, using the Surface Duo in both portrait and landscape orientations. He folds the device, showing off the hinge. The video also shows a flash for the front camera. This wasn’t there in the prototype Surface Duo that was shown off in the October Microsoft event. The front-facing flash indicates that the final Surface Duo may skip a proper rear camera, opting to go only with a front camera. The front camera can double-up as a rear camera, of course, but it shouldn’t be expected to match modern smartphone cameras from the likes of Google, Samsung, Huawei, Apple, and others.
Zac Bowden from Windows Central said that he is hearing the Surface Duo might launch sooner than expected. According to him, Microsoft is now seeding Surface Duo devices to more employees internally, encouraging them to use and test the product.
We still don’t know anything about the Surface Duo’s internal specifications. It’s rumored to pack in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, but that’s it. It has two 5.6-inch displays, but their resolution is still unknown. The specific changes that Microsoft made to Android to make it look more like Windows 10X haven’t been detailed. We expect to learn more about the product in the time leading up to its launch.