Microsoft Surface Duo: $1,399 price, Sept. 10 release date, no 5G, and how to preorder

    Microsoft’s Surface Duo is an open guide.
    Microsoft’s bringing the Surface Duo to market Sept. 10, with preorders beginning yesterday. The $1,399 Surface Duo, powered by a modified model of Google’s Android software program, places a special spin on the foldable cellphone pattern, becoming a member of Samsung’s not too long ago introduced Galaxy Z Fold 2, the Galaxy Z Flip and final 12 months’s Motorola Razr reboot. The Surface Duo’s hinge is the important thing distinction, bringing collectively two 5.6-inch screens as a substitute of counting on one large show that may be folded. Microsoft created the Surface Duo over 5 years, creating the hinge in a manner that is simple to open however exhausting to by chance shut. The hinge permits the super-thin screens to rotate 360 levels. Microsoft does not need to name the dual-screen Surface Duo a cellphone, per se. Instead, it desires us to consider this as a brand new kind of product.  “When we designed it, the intent was, ‘How do you make something so thin, beautiful, light and super elegant that when people pick it up they can feel that emotion in the product,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer and head of Surface units, mentioned in an unique interview.

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    Inside the Microsoft Surface Duo: We did not use it, however…


    The system brings new concepts to the cell world, together with software program Microsoft wrote to make the 2 screens work together. You can drag a photograph from one display screen to the opposite and it really works due to a mixture of pc programming that follows your finger throughout the screens. There’s additionally an array of sensors that observe the place the shows are relative to one another, together with in the event that they’re open, closed or someplace in between. While CNET Editor at Large Scott Stein — a famous dual-screen skeptic — says the system felt good in his fingers, he says $1,399 is some huge cash to ask of individuals on a standard day, not to mention in the course of an financial downturn fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.
    GIF by Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET
    Still, Microsoft invited us to speak with its engineers about how the Surface Duo was conceived, the know-how invented to make it doable and the way it’ll work once we get it within the mail (be careful for CNET’s overview within the subsequent few weeks). In I’m already folding in love with the texture of Microsoft’s Surface Duo, Stein shares what it was like to carry a Surface Duo prototype. Microsoft shipped us a near-production prototype system with the screens changed by clear glass so we will see the inside working and study the way it works. Stein additionally talks about why he hasn’t like dual-screen units earlier than, and why the Surface Duo will be the system to alter his thoughts. In Microsoft’s two-screen Surface Duo is not an iPhone or Galaxy Fold. That’s the purpose, we take a look at the place the Surface Duo matches on the planet, and why Microsoft is selecting to make a brand new handheld system after a sequence of embarrassing multibillion-dollar makes an attempt that led to failure. Here’s how Microsoft’s Surface Duo compares to its foldable rivals: Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Razr. Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Razr

    Microsoft Surface Duo

    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

    Motorola Razr

    Display measurement

    Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED; Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED; 2,700×1,800 pixels

    Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED

    Internal: 6.2-inch, foldable OLED; External: 2.7-inch glass OLED


    1,800×1,350 pixels; 2,700×1,800 pixels


    2,142x876p pixels; 800×600 pixels

    Dimensions (Inches)

    Folded: 5.72×3.67×0.399 inches / Unfolded: 5.72×7.36×0.19 inches


    Unfolded: 6.8×2.8×0.28 inches / Folded: 3.7×2.8×0.55 inches

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    Folded: 145.2×93.3×9.9mm / Unfolded: 145.2×186.9×4.8mm


    Unfolded: 172x72x6.9mm / Folded: 94x72x14mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    8.8 oz; 250g


    7.2 oz; 205g

    Mobile software program



    Android 9




    16-megapixel exterior, 5-megapixel inside

    Front-facing digicam



    16-megapixel exterior

    Video seize





    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855


    Qualcomm Snapdragon 710


    128GB, 256GB







    Expandable storage





    3,577 mAh

    4,500 mAh

    2,510 mAh

    Fingerprint sensor



    Below display screen





    Headphone jack




    Special options

    Dual-screen show; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)

    5G, Foldable show, 120Hz refresh fee

    Foldable show, eSIM, Motorola gestures, splashproof

    Price at launch (USD)

    $1,399 (128GB)



    Price (GBP)

    Converts to about £1,070


    Converts to about £1,160

    Price (AUD)

    Converts to about AU$1,960


    Converts to about $2,090

    Here’s what else you’ll want to know concerning the Surface Duo. How a lot does the Surface Duo value?Foldable telephones aren’t low cost. Last 12 months, when Samsung launched its Galaxy Fold after a sequence of design failures had been found by reviewers simply earlier than launch, it value $1,980. The (additionally delayed) Huawei Mate X went for the equal of $2,400 when it was launched. Microsoft is charging $1,399 for the 128GB model of the Surface Duo. There can be a 256GB model as nicely. Is the Surface Duo a cellphone?That query is among the issues that is surrounded this units because it was introduced final 12 months. Wired’s take again then summed the state of affairs up nicely: “It folds, but the screen isn’t foldable. It sort of fits in your pocket. It has a camera. And it makes phone calls-but don’t you dare call it a phone.”Ultimately, in case your definition of “phone” is it takes and receives calls, then sure it’s one. But so is your PC, pill and probably your recreation console too.So, possibly “phone” is extra a frame of mind than a label.Is the Surface Duo an Android?This is less complicated than asking whether or not the Surface Duo is a cellphone. This system is an Android, in that it runs Google’s cell software program for tablets and telephones, and it’s designed to run just about all of the apps you need to use on a normal non-Apple system. In reality, Microsoft mentioned it selected to construct the Surface Duo utilizing Android as a substitute of its Windows software program due to the big base of a whole lot of 1000’s of apps that exist already within the Android retailer. Why reinvent the wheel? Will the Surface Duo have 5G?Nearly each main cellphone launch this 12 months, together with Apple’s forthcoming iPhone, is predicted to assist 5G wi-fi capabilities. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, introduced earlier this month for $1,300, has 5G. So does its cousin, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, whose worth and launch date can be introduced in September. The Surface Duo, alternatively, will work with 4G networks. Microsoft mentioned the explanation comes right down to tradeoffs — the corporate selected to stay with the earlier technology wi-fi tech to permit for higher battery life and a thinner system. The hinge that makes the Surface Duo doable.
    Scott Stein/CNET
    Where will it promote? Microsoft closed almost all its brick-and-mortar retail shops, so you will not be capable of discover them there even should you’re prepared to enterprise out throughout the pandemic. It’s obtainable for preorder on-line by Microsoft’s web site and Best Buy. You’ll be capable of purchase it from AT&T, too.If the $1,399 beginning worth is simply too steep for you, Microsoft mentioned it will supply a 0%, 24-month fee plan by Dell financing. AT&T equally will help you pay in installments by its Next Up program.

    Discover the newest information and greatest critiques in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s cell specialists.

    We received to look contained in the Surface Duo, beneath the screens, to see the way it works.
    Richard Peterson/CNET
    How nicely do apps run within the cellphone? Microsoft made some extent of exhibiting us that normal Android apps run on the system simply fantastic, due to its two screens being the equal of two normal cellphone shows. For apps constructed with the second display screen in thoughts, they are often designed to “span” throughout the 2 screens, which means an electronic mail app may have your inbox on the left and opened messages on the fitting. They may be programmed to open new hyperlinks or companion apps within the reverse display screen you are . Microsoft demonstrated Amazon’s Kindle guide studying app, which was designed to appear to be a guide with textual content on the left and proper. When you swipe your finger throughout the display screen, an animated web page follows alongside. At launch, it seems Microsoft’s apps will primarily be those constructed with the Surface Duo in thoughts. Those embrace Microsoft Office, Outlook, Teams, OneNote and Authenticator. Oh, and you may’t neglect Microsoft Solitaire Collection too. The firm mentioned that it is working with Google to combine a number of the software program it developed for the Surface Duo again into Android so different two-screen units sooner or later will profit from Microsoft’s work. That additionally means extra apps might finally be programmed for the Surface Duo in consequence. Will the Surface Duo run Windows apps like my PC?The Surface Duo runs Microsoft apps, together with Office, Teams and Outlook, however it does not run the identical software program as your pc. That’s one of many tradeoffs Microsoft needed to make when constructing this system.Its bigger cousin, the Surface Neo, will run most of the similar apps your pc has as we speak. That’s as a result of it will be powered by Windows 10X, a variant designed for dual-screen PCs. But that system, which brings collectively two 9-inch screens doubtless would not slot in your pocket as simply because the Surface Duo. The firm’s additionally delayed till not less than 2021.  How many folds can the Surface Duo take? We’ve examined just a few folding units at CNET utilizing a particular robotic developed by SquareTrade. The Samsung Galaxy Fold started failing after about 120,000 folds throughout our take a look at final 12 months. That was a lot lower than the 200,000 folds we estimated it will undergo throughout 5 years of use. (Although we’re simply beginning to find out how folks use folding telephones and that might change with the totally different designs firms are inventing). When we put the brand new Motorla Razr by FoldBot’s paces final 12 months, that system did not make it to 28,000 folds. Microsoft preemptively mentioned folding take a look at robots do not simulate actual life utilization the identical manner its personal labs do. Still, it would not say what number of folds the Surface Duo may final by, besides that the corporate expects the hinge mechanism to final past the Surface Duo’s personal pure lifecycle. The Surface Duo’s particular person screens are thinner than an iPad Air.
    Richard Peterson/CNET
    Does the Surface Duo have a digicam? Many firms releasing premium telephones justify their $1,000 or extra costs with the attractive images they are saying you possibly can take. Apple has that Shot on iPhone billboard marketing campaign, and the iPhone Photography Awards contest. Samsung boasts about how its units can ship beautiful zoom with their cameras. And Google proudly says its superior programming makes photographs on its Pixel telephones in contrast to rivals, providing shockingly nicely captured low-light photographs. They may even {photograph} stars within the sky. By comparability, Microsoft’s largely talked about how the Surface Duo is constructed for productiveness and higher interplay between apps. Translation: Its digicam is not going to be a killer function.  CNET will nonetheless take a look at the digicam in opposition to different premium telephones once we do our critiques. A peak on the Surface Duo’s digicam.
    Richard Peterson/CNET
    Will it get fast Android updates? One of probably the most vexing elements of proudly owning a cellphone powered by Google’s Android software program is Android itself. Manufacturers routinely fail to ship well timed updates to customers, even with Google placing out take a look at variations of its software program months forward of the everyday fall launch. Microsoft says it is working with Google straight on the Surface Duo, which naturally led to questions on whether or not which means it will get up to date extra usually and extra rapidly. Microsoft says the system will get software program updates, however did not decide to timetables about when. It is available in a field that is very harking back to a sure fruit firm that additionally makes telephones.
    Richard Peterson/CNET
    Other particulars concerning the Surface Duo A 360-degree hinge means you’ll be able to fold one display screen flat in opposition to the opposite to carry it like a notepad.You get a complete of 8.3 inches of display screen actual property.There’s no outer display screen — it’s a must to open the system to make use of it.It helps the Surface Pen, which you’ll want to purchase individually for not less than $99.The Surface Duo has thick display screen bezels, however which may assist maintain you from by chance tapping when you maintain it. Microsoft mentioned the bezels are a tradeoff from miniaturizing elements and making the screens so skinny. It’s additionally Microsoft’s manner of claiming smaller bezels are doubtless sooner or later.You can drag and drop objects, like a cellphone quantity, from one display screen to the opposite. Surface Duo specs Two 5.6-inch AMOLED shows operating at a decision of 1,800×1,350 pixels separately8.3 inches of complete display screen actual property when opened totally, operating at an efficient decision of two,700×1,800 pixelsSnapdragon 855, 6GB DRAMLTE 4×4 MIMO (Not 5G), helps AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless within the USFingerprint readerUSB-C charger128GB or 256GB of inside storageMono speaker11-megapixel digicam, f2.0 with digital picture stabilization 

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