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Foldable Smartphone is now a thing and Microsoft Surface Duo is trying to prove it

    The Microsoft Surface Duo foldable Smartphone with a 5.6” FHD+ PixelSense OLED displays with 4:3 aspect ratios that open up to create one expansive 8.1-inch PixelSense screen, Snapdragon 855, 3,577mAh battery goes on pre-order.

    Around October 2019, Microsoft showcases the company’s upcoming foldable phone, which is known as Microsoft Surface Duo, and promised to be made available during the 2020 Holiday, and today, the company has started taking pre-orders in the US.

    The Microsoft Surface Duo is only available in a single Glacier color option, and it is starting at $1,399.99 for the 128GB storage and $1,499.99 for the 256GB storage. You can order the device via MicrosoftStore, AT&T, and BestBuy from September 10th.

    As of this time, international availability was not detailed. Notably, the Surface Duo foldable phone does not support NFC, IP rating, and comes with supports for nano-SIM + eSIM (no eSIM on the AT&T model).

    Surface Duo

    The design of the device is quite impeccable, where we’ve got two separate 5.6-inch OLED displays (1800 x 1350) with a 4:3 aspect ratio that connect together to form an 8.1-inch (2700 x 1800) with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

    Windows and devices chief Panos Panay said: “I believe that two screens are coming, I think they’re needed.” “It’s probably one of the sexiest devices we’ve ever built… It does things that single-screen devices can’t do, period.”

    Microsoft is using real Corning Gorilla Glass protection for the Surface Duo, which is totally unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. In order to provide a smart working space, the Surface Duo works in a similar way to multiple monitors on a Windows PC.

    It comes with support for side-mounted Fingerprint Sensor, and the company is also shipping a bumper cover in the box, designed to protect the Surface Duo.

    The Dynamic 360-degree hinge allows you to use each screen individually or together, across a variety of modes. Both screens come with support for Microsoft’s Surface pens.

    With that, you can open up two apps side by side, cross-reference information, and drag and drop to effortlessly move images, text, and files between screens so you can get things done quicker.

    Microsoft has reprogrammed its apps such as Office, Outlook, Teams, Edge, OneNote, OneDrive, Microsoft To-Do, and more apps to be used in two screens. Developers can also optimize the layouts of their apps to really take advantage of the two displays and span across them.

    Panay says that “Any app has to run,” Amazon has also done some work on the Kindle app to make it feel like you’re reading a book by flicking pages across the two screens.’

    Within the dynamic 360-degree hinge, custom-designed cables connect the displays to work together, across a variety of postures. The company is using algorithms to predict how apps will be opened on different displays.

    “There is an algorithm in there that’s very smart and trying to be predictive,” Panay explains further “If you’re on one screen and you’re invoking a link, it will fill the other screen.”

    With the app tweak and optimization, you can simultaneously be on a video call, and chats, or something else totally. Other optimization includes clicking on a link in an email app on one screen, it will open on the other so you can continue to read the email side by side with a webpage.

    Microsoft Surface Duo with bumper cover in the box
    Microsoft Surface Duo with charger, bumper cover in the box

    The Surface Duo uses the new dual-system architecture that promises optimal performance and battery life within the thinnest, lightest design possible. Which makes the Duo a pretty slim device at 9.6mm when folded.

    Duo multitasking prowess powered by Android 10 and running a customized interface that Microsoft believes will be a game-changer for productivity on the go. Microsoft hopes that this new form factor will change mobile productivity and usher in a new era of dual-screen and foldable devices.

    When it comes to camera-optics, the Surface Duo’s single camera is capable of recording 1080p / 4K videos at up to 60fps and comes with EIS (electronic image stabilization).

    Where the 11-megapixel f/2.0 camera acts as the only camera on the Surface Duo with auto modes for low light, HDR multi-frame captures, and a “superzoom” up to 7x. It can be used both for video calls and also as the main camera.

    Despite the fact that other foldable phones are announced with top-tier specs, the Surface Duo does not come with 5G support at all. It comes with LTE on T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon.

    Other connectivity includes Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / GLONASS, and DisplayPort over USB-C. Microsoft has uploaded a 35-minute Surface Duo press briefing video.

    Inside the device, the Surface Duo is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform optimized for the dual-screen experience, 6GB RAM, 128GB / 256GB built-in storage. The company used LPDDR4X for RAM and UFS 3.0 storage.

    Yea, Android 10 is running inside, Panay said “We had a conversation with Google… the partnership has been crazy fun. I think at first there’s a little bit of getting to know each other, but then very quickly we saw what’s right for our customers and what can be possible. I think it’s great for Google and Android, and I think it’s great for Microsoft.”

    The Surface Duo is fueled by a 3577mAh dual battery, that is split into both display with 18W fast charging tech. The battery life is questionable, but Microsoft is promising “all-day battery life,” up to 15.5 hours of local video playback, up to 10 days of standby time, and up to 27 hours of talk time.