Microsoft’s new Surface Duo 2 is a big step up from its outdated predecessor

Microsoft’s new Surface Duo 2 is a big step up from its outdated predecessor

But you can't lay it down flat anymore

Microsoft made a comeback to the smartphone space last year with the launch of the Android-powered Surface Duo. The device wasn’t well-received, as it came with a hefty price tag, year-old hardware, and several other shortcomings. But many praised its slim dual-screen design and its multitasking capabilities. Microsoft has now unveiled its successor, the Surface Duo 2, and it brings some much-needed improvements over the older model.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2: Specifications

Specification Microsoft Surface Duo 2
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on displays
  • Corning Gorilla Glass on the outside surfaces
Dimensions & Weight
  • Closed: 145.2 x 92.1 x 11.0mm
  • Open: 145.2 x 184.5 x 5.5mm
  • 284g
  • Dual PixelSense Fusion displays
    • 8.3-inch AMOLED, 2688 x 1892p
  • Single PixelSense screen:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED, 1344 x 1892p
  • 401 PPI
  • HDR
  • 100% sRGB, DCI-P3
  • 90Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • 800nits peak brightness
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB LPDDR5  + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
  • 8GB + 512GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,449mAh dual battery
  • 23W fast charging support
  • Fast charger sold separately
Security Fingerprint sensor with enterprise-grade security
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 12MP f/1.7, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Telephoto: 12MP f/2.4, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • Ultra-wide: 16MP f/2.2, 110° FoV with distortion correction
Front Camera(s) 12MP f/2.0
Port(s) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual mic AI-based noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • 5G-NR NSA (mmWave) US only
  • 5G-NR NSA (Sub-6)
  • Gigabit LTE, 4×4 MIMO
  • GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS
Software Microsoft Surface Duo 2 UI based on Android 11
  • Glacier
  • Obsidian

As you can see in the specifications table above, the Surface Duo 2 is a major step up from the original Surface Duo. While it may not look a whole lot different on the outside, it packs larger displays, a more powerful SoC, better cameras, and a bigger battery.

Surface Duo 2 displays open on gray background

Starting with the displays, the Surface Duo 2 features two 5.8-inch AMOLED displays with a resolution of 1344 x 1892 pixels each. These join up to form a larger 8.3-inch Dual PixelSense Fusion display with a resolution of 2688 x 1892 pixels and a 401 PPI pixel density. Much like last year’s model, these displays offer 100% sRGB and DCI-P3 coverage. In addition, they also come with HDR support, a 90Hz adaptive refresh rate, and 800nits of peak brightness. Both displays are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus.

Surface Duo 2 internals on black background

The Surface Duo 2 packs Qualcomm’s latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 888, instead of an outdated SoC like the previous model. This should result in even better multitasking performance, which will surely attract more buyers. The SoC is paired with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB of storage.

Surface Duo 2 back with camera module on gray background

As we saw in a couple of leaks earlier this year, Microsoft has included respectable camera hardware on the Surface Duo 2, unlike the sub-par cameras found on its predecessor. The phone packs a triple-camera setup on the back, consisting of a 12MP primary camera with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS, a 12MP 2x telephoto camera with PDAF and OIS, and a 16MP ultra-wide camera with a 110° FoV. On the inside, the device has a single 12MP selfie shooter.

As far as the battery is concerned, Microsoft has managed to include a substantial 4,449mAh dual battery on the Surface Duo 2 despite its slim profile. It supports 23W fast charging, and it’s rated for up to 15.5 hours of local video playback and up to 28 hours of talk time.

Microsoft has also made some noteworthy improvements on the connectivity front. The Surface Duo 2 now offers 5G support (mmWave limited to the US), Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, and NFC. The phone also packs a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port for charging, data syncing, and video output; a stereo speaker setup; and a fingerprint sensor with enterprise-grade security.

Surface Duo 2 hinge with notifications on gray background

On the software front, the Surface Duo 2 runs Microsoft Surface Duo 2 UI based on Android 11. It comes with a bunch of preloaded Microsoft apps, including LinkedIn, Intune Company Portal, Microsoft Authenticator, Microsoft Edge, the Office Suite, Microsoft Start, Teams, and more. In addition, the software includes a couple of cool features to help you make the most of the dual screen setup. These include App Groups, Dual screen windowing, the ability to span apps automatically, and universal search. The software also makes use of the curved parts of the display peeking through the hinges to show important information when the phone is closed using the Glance feature.

Pricing & Availability

The Surface Duo 2 is available for pre-order starting at $1,499.99 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and UK. It will be available in two colorways — Glacier and Obsidian. The device will start at $1,499.99 for the base 8GB+128GB configuration, going up to $1,599.99 for the 8GB+256GB model, and $1,799.99 for the 8GB+512GB model. It will be available starting October 21.

    The Surface Duo 2 is the latest foldable from Microsoft that comes with some much-needed improvements like updated internals and a dedicated camera module.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.