Keeping the buzz around an unreleased mobile device alive for an entire year is obviously no easy task, but then again, the Surface Duo
is certainly not your everyday Android smartphone.
Unveiled (or rather teased) all the way back in October 2019 ahead of a "holiday 2020" commercial debut, the dual-screen handset mostly disappeared from the limelight shortly after its original announcement. It was only last month that Microsoft's top executives started building hype
on social media
, and following a few recent leaks, rumors, and regulatory approvals, the Surface Duo is now being promoted by none other than Hiroshi Lockheimer.
If you're not familiar with that name, then... you must not be a big enough Android fan. A Google veteran, Lockheimer currently oversees the company's entire range of mobile products, from Android to Chrome OS and the search giant's Play Store.
Naturally, the Google SVP's vote of confidence
means a lot for an experimental device many people expect to be pretty rough around the edges when it eventually starts selling. If someone like Hiroshi Lockheimer is using the Surface Duo around his house, that strongly suggests the foldable phone is fully functional and potentially quite refined already in addition to undoubtedly versatile.
The somewhat unexpected endorsement probably also means Google and Microsoft's relationship is closer than ever before, with the former treating the latter tech titan as more than just another hardware-making partner. In case you're wondering, Lockheimer rarely engages in this type of social media activity (or any type of social media activity, really), with his Twitter account often staying silent for months on end and currently featuring less than two dozen tweets in total in 2020 so far.
Clearly, there's something about the Surface Duo that made a particularly great impression on the software engineer, and judging from the picture posted to contribute to Microsoft's hype-generating campaign, that something might be the handset's advanced multitasking skills.
The two 5.6-inch screens of the decidedly unconventional Android device can be used to simultaneously run two different apps or perform two different tasks, like play music and help you browse the web in search for the perfect Japanese recipes.
Expected to begin shipping in the US by the end of the month
, the Surface Duo is unlikely to come with the perfect specifications by conventional high-end smartphone standards, instead combining last year's Snapdragon 855 processor with 6 gigs of memory while accommodating up to 256 gigs of data internally and packing a 3,500mAh battery. Let's hope these compromises will allow Microsoft to undercut Samsung's glorious Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G
, although you obviously shouldn't expect anything less than a flagship-level price point.