Microsoft Surface Duo release date, price, features and news

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Microsoft's Surface Duo is challenging folding smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 by introducing an alternative to traditional foldables. The Surface Duo is a productivity-focused Android smartphone with an impressively thin design, sporting two glass-covered displays held together by a hinge. This is opposed to relying on the currently more fragile folding display technology.

After many teasers from individuals at Microsoft and even a Google exec, the Surface Duo was officially showcased in a press event video in mid-August of 2020, and released on September 10, 2020.

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Microsoft Surface Duo release date

In June 2020 we heard optimistic rumors suggesting a limited early release of the Surface Duo during summer. As September got ever so closer, it became clear that those rumors were false, and in August Microsoft itself confirmed the official US release for the Surface Duo to be on September 10, 2020.

This is still ahead of what Microsoft initially claimed, which was that the Surface Duo will be coming during the 2020 holiday season.

Microsoft Surface Duo price

As it's competing with expensive folding smartphones, the price of the Surface Duo was anyone's guess until Microsoft officially announced it. The base Surface Duo with 128GB of storage was priced $1,399.99 at launch, while the 256GB Surface Duo was $100 more – $1,499.99.

Although this is still much more affordable than a $1,980 Samsung Galaxy Fold or the $2,299 Huawei Mate X, it's still a substantial amount of money. The price is especially surprising considering that the Surface Duo is not employing expensive folding display technology, nor is it packing 2020 flagship specs. But it does have a lot going for it in other areas, which we'll explore in the next sections.

In late October of 2020, Microsoft put the Surface Duo on sale at $200 off, which sparked controversy for users who purchased it at its initial price, some of whom demanded $200 refunds.

Microsoft Surface Duo design and displays

The Surface Duo is unique in that it employs two 5.6-inch AMOLED displays held together by a hinge, as opposed to a single flexible display. Each display's resolution is 2700 x 1800. When closed like a book, the Surface Duo doesn't have an outside screen, so it can't be interacted with unless opened. On the opposite side of the glass screens are just glass backs, one of which has a centered Microsoft logo on it. Currently there's only a white version of the Surface Duo, with no other color options.

When opened, the two displays make up a total of 8.1 inches of screen estate. There are large bezels above and below the screens, with the top-right bezel housing the only (11-megapixel) camera found on this phone.

The hinge holding the two displays is strong and capable of positioning them in any angle, unlike the limited viewing positions of the Galaxy Z Flip, for example. The Surface Duo can be opened all the way, or propped in tent mode, or positioned like a laptop – with one display facing you and the other laying flat. The latter is also a good scenario for typing, as a keyboard can be active on one display while the other is free for showing written text.

The Microsoft Surface Duo also prides in its extremely thin and light build for such a tablet-sized smartphone, weighing 8.82 oz (250.0 g).

Shortly after its release, some users shared that the plastic surrounding their Surface Duo's USB Type-C port was cracking, while others had issues with touch gestures not registering.

On November 23, 2020, Microsoft released a Surface Duo ad starring former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, showcasing how users of the phone can create app groups for quick multitasking.

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Microsoft Surface Duo software

The Microsoft Surface Duo was released running Android 10 with Microsoft Launcher. Although it didn't come with a stylus out of the box, the Surface Duo is compatible with Microsoft's Surface Pen.

Microsoft Surface Duo specifications

Below are the more notable Microsoft Surface Duo technical specifications:

  • Two 5.6" OLED displays, each at a resolution of 1800 x 1350 pixels, covered by Gorilla Glass 5
  • Snapdragon 855 processor
  • 6GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB storage
  • Single 11MP camera
  • 3577mAh battery with 18W charging

Specs-wise, The Duo is definitely right out of 2019, especially when compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which has a 6.2" external and 7.7" internal folding display, 12GB of memory, 256GB of storage and the Snapdragon 865+ processor.

8.1 inches
71.93 %
360° folding, Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
System chip
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SM8150 (7 nm)
Octa-core, 2840 MHz, Kryo 485, 64-bit
Adreno 640
Internal storage
128GB, not expandable
Android (10)
3577 mAh
Fast charging
Talk time
27.00 hours
the average is 8 h (480 min)
Stand-by time
10.0 days (240 hours)
the average is 14 days (336 h)
Single camera, Doubles as a selfie camera
Main camera
11 MP (PDAF)
Aperture size: F2.0
Video recording
3840x2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (60 fps)
7.36 x 5.72 x 0.19 inches (186.9 x 145.2 x 4.8 mm)
8.82 oz (250.0 g)
the average is 5.8 oz (166 g)
Back: Glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 5)
Fingerprint (touch)
Buyers information
$ 1399
See the full Microsoft Surface Duo specs comparison or compare them to other phones using our Specs Comparison tool.

Microsoft Surface Duo news

Latest Surface Duo News

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