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

    Microsoft’s Surface Duo is an open e book.
    Microsoft’s bringing the Surface Duo to market Sept. 10, with preorders beginning Wednesday. The $1,399 Surface Duo, powered by a modified model of Google’s Android software program, places a distinct spin on the foldable telephone development, becoming a member of Samsung’s lately 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 laborious to by chance shut. The hinge permits the super-thin screens to rotate 360 levels. Microsoft would not need to name the dual-screen Surface Duo a telephone, per se. Instead, it desires us to consider this as a brand new sort 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 gadgets, mentioned in an unique interview.

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


    The machine 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 laptop 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 machine felt good in his arms, he says $1,399 is some huge cash to ask of individuals on a traditional day, not to mention in the midst 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 attainable 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 machine with the screens changed by clear glass so we will see the interior working and study the way it works. Stein additionally talks about why he hasn’t like dual-screen gadgets earlier than, and why the Surface Duo will be the machine to alter his thoughts. In Microsoft’s two-screen Surface Duo is not an iPhone or Galaxy Fold. That’s the purpose, we have a look at the place the Surface Duo suits on the planet, and why Microsoft is selecting to make a brand new handheld machine after a collection of embarrassing multibillion-dollar makes an attempt that resulted in 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 dimension

    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 have to know in regards to the Surface Duo. How a lot does the Surface Duo price?Foldable telephones aren’t low cost. Last 12 months, when Samsung launched its Galaxy Fold after a collection of design failures have been found by reviewers simply earlier than launch, it price $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 will likely be a 256GB model as nicely. Is the Surface Duo a telephone?That query is likely one of the issues that is surrounded this gadgets 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 doubtlessly your recreation console too.So, possibly “phone” is extra a way of thinking than a label.Is the Surface Duo an Android?This is less complicated than asking whether or not the Surface Duo is a telephone. This machine 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 regular non-Apple machine. In truth, Microsoft mentioned it selected to construct the Surface Duo utilizing Android as a substitute of its Windows software program due to the massive base of lots of of hundreds of apps that exist already within the Android retailer. Why reinvent the wheel? Will the Surface Duo have 5G?Nearly each main telephone 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 will likely be introduced in September. The Surface Duo, however, will work with 4G networks. Microsoft mentioned the explanation comes all the way down to tradeoffs — the corporate selected to stay with the earlier era wi-fi tech to permit for higher battery life and a thinner machine. The hinge that makes the Surface Duo attainable.
    Scott Stein/CNET
    Where will it promote? Microsoft closed almost all its brick-and-mortar retail shops, so you will not be capable to discover them there even for those who’re keen to enterprise out throughout the pandemic. It’s accessible for preorder on-line by means of Microsoft’s web site and Best Buy. You’ll be capable to purchase it from AT&T, too.If the $1,399 beginning worth is simply too steep for you, Microsoft mentioned it’s going to supply a 0%, 24-month cost plan by means of Dell financing. AT&T equally will mean you can pay in installments by means of its Next Up program.

    Discover the most recent information and greatest evaluations in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s cell consultants.

    We bought 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 telephone? Microsoft made some extent of exhibiting us that commonplace Android apps run on the machine simply high-quality, due to its two screens being the equal of two commonplace telephone shows. For apps constructed with the second display screen in thoughts, they are often designed to “span” throughout the 2 screens, that means an electronic mail app might have your inbox on the left and opened messages on the suitable. They may be programmed to open new hyperlinks or companion apps within the reverse display screen you are taking a look at. Microsoft demonstrated Amazon’s Kindle e book studying app, which was designed to seem like a e book 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 embody Microsoft Office, Outlook, Teams, OneNote and Authenticator. Oh, and you may’t overlook 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 gadgets sooner or later will profit from Microsoft’s work. That additionally means extra apps might ultimately 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 would not run the identical software program as your laptop. That’s one of many tradeoffs Microsoft needed to make when constructing this machine.Its bigger cousin, the Surface Neo, will run lots of the identical apps your laptop has immediately. That’s as a result of it’s going to be powered by Windows 10X, a variant designed for dual-screen PCs. But that machine, 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 at the least 2021.  How many folds can the Surface Duo take? We’ve examined just a few folding gadgets at CNET utilizing a particular robotic developed by SquareTrade. The Samsung Galaxy Fold started failing after about 120,000 folds throughout our check final 12 months. That was a lot lower than the 200,000 folds we estimated it might 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 completely different designs corporations are inventing). When we put the brand new Motorla Razr by means of FoldBot’s paces final 12 months, that machine did not make it to 28,000 folds. Microsoft preemptively mentioned folding check 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 might final by means of, 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 corporations releasing premium telephones justify their $1,000 or extra costs with the gorgeous pictures 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 gadgets can ship beautiful zoom with their cameras. And Google proudly says its superior programming makes pictures on its Pixel telephones not like opponents, providing shockingly nicely captured low-light photographs. They may even {photograph} stars within the sky. By comparability, Microsoft’s principally 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 check the digicam towards different premium telephones once we do our evaluations. A peak on the Surface Duo’s digicam.
    Richard Peterson/CNET
    Will it get fast Android updates? One of essentially the most vexing elements of proudly owning a telephone 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 check variations of its software program months forward of the standard fall launch. Microsoft says it is working with Google immediately on the Surface Duo, which naturally led to questions on whether or not which means it’s going to get up to date extra typically and extra rapidly. Microsoft says the machine 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 in regards to the Surface Duo A 360-degree hinge means you may fold one display screen flat towards 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 — you must open the machine to make use of it.It helps the Surface Pen, which you have to purchase individually for at the least $99.The Surface Duo has thick display screen bezels, however which may assist maintain you from by chance tapping whilst 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 gadgets, like a telephone 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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