Microsoft announces Surface Duo will arrive on September 10

Yolanda Curtis
August 14, 2020

It's not as if Microsoft won't have competition for solid new phones in September, either: between the next iPhone or three possibly seeing announcement then, not to mention the Surface Duo and details of Samsung's next foldable, September seems like it's all about the next-generation of cool and insane phones.

In the blog post announcing the upcoming release of Surface Duo, Microsoft's Chief Hardware Officer Panos Panay made it clear that the company is just getting started with Surface Duo, and the first generation device released in September won't be flawless.

The Surface Duo will launch with the full complement of Microsoft apps as well as the mandatory Google apps. Still, the dual-screen design might interest some people, and the Duo looks like a great phone for anyone deeply embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Despite its decidedly mid-range specs, Microsoft is planning to charge a premium for the Surface Duo.

Microsoft's dual-screen Surface Duo is finally available for preorder, having been first shown off back in October 2019.

Microsoft's hinge-and-two-screen approach is less futuristic than devices from the likes of Samsung Electronics Co. with a single screen that folds in the middle. Developers will be able to optimize the layout of their apps to take advantage of the dual displays.

"Since each of the screens is roomy on its own, working in two apps offers an impressively desktop-like experience, not just for Microsoft's own apps but other productivity tools as well". There's a 360-degree hinge for folding it back like a Chromebook. "Use Surface Duo in Compose mode to quickly respond to an email, or tilt it into portrait for a more immersive way to scroll through web pages or photos", Panay said.

"It's probably one of the sexiest devices we've ever built", Windows and devices chief, Panos Panay, said in a media briefing.

Users can create app groups - a blend of two apps that open with one click.

The Surface Duo is such an unusual device that calling it a phone doesn't really paint an accurate picture. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone SE and Surface Duo are very different devices, but these basic features are included in a device that's a third of the price of the Surface Duo. Prices start at US$1,399.

Over in the USA, pricing for the Surface Duo sits at either $1399 United States dollars for 128GB or $1499 USD for 256GB of storage, translating to just under $2K before tax for the 128GB or just over for the 256GB. There is one 11-megapixel f/2.0 camera, 4K and 1080p video at 30fps and 60fps, low light filming, a 7x "super zoom" feature, and HDR multi-frame captures.

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