Microsoft's one-of-a-kind Surface Duo gets a US release date and price tag at last

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Microsoft's one-of-a-kind Surface Duo gets a US release date and price tag at last
UPDATE: Chief Product Officer Panos Panay has confirmed in a new Windows Blog post that the Surface Duo offers both T-Mobile and Verizon support in addition to 4G LTE compatibility with AT&T, which is indeed Microsoft's exclusive carrier partner at launch.

Available in a single Graphite Grey color, the dual-screen device will not include a stylus in its base $1,399 price, although the Surface Slim Pen is pretty aggressively marketed as a key productivity-enhancing accessory. For what it's worth, you will apparently get a handy protective cover at no extra charge, but for some reason, Microsoft, AT&T, and Best Buy's pre-orders still haven't been opened. Our original story follows below.

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One of the most uniquely exciting mobile devices of the last few years is finally unveiled in full, more than 10 months after Microsoft first acknowledged its existence, teasing its then-distant and vague "holiday 2020" arrival.

As it turns out, the Surface Duo will be ready for primetime earlier than initially anticipated, making its US commercial debut on September 10, which is well ahead of the upcoming holiday season. Pre-orders are apparently supposed to kick off at some point today on both the manufacturer's official website and a couple of other places, although that doesn't seem to be the case just yet.


As rumored not that long ago, AT&T will be carrying the dual-screen handset stateside, with no word on other major wireless service providers getting a piece of the action for themselves as of now. Officially priced at $1,399, the foldable Android device is also headed for Best Buy, presumably in an unlocked variant compatible at the very least with T-Mobile in addition to AT&T.

While that's significantly lower than what we expect Samsung to charge for the gorgeous Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, for instance, Microsoft's first foray into the fledgling foldable segment is not exactly what we'd consider a conventional flagship. That's because the Surface Duo comes with no 5G support, as well as last year's ultra-high-end Snapdragon 855 SoC under the hood paired with a modest (by 2020 flagship standards) 6GB RAM count.

The dual-screen device also sports a single (and unimpressive-sounding) 11MP camera while packing a battery capacity of less than 3,600mAh. That's going to have to keep the lights on for two 5.6-inch displays capable of working together or independently from one another to improve your mobile productivity, enhance the multitasking experience of traditional Android smartphones, and maximize the flexibility of the user experience.


Connected by a "revolutionary" 360-degree hinge, the two screens extend to a total usable area of 8.1 inches when working in tandem, aiming to bring the best of both the Android and Microsoft 365 worlds together with the operating system's "full ecosystem" of apps, as well as a number of special integrations with productivity-centric software like Office, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, and more. 

The Surface Duo is a pretty eye-catching product too, despite the massive size of its screen bezels, tipping the scales at an incredibly lightweight 250 grams while "opening into the thinnest mobile device on the market", at an absolutely mind-blowing 4.8mm. That explains the relatively small battery, which does at least come equipped with 18W fast charging capabilities.

By the way, Microsoft boldly (and somewhat unrealistically) promises that the Surface Duo will stay charged "all day", delivering up to 27 hours of juice for talk time, at least in theory. The rest of the specs and features are nothing special either, especially by $1,400 standards, including 128 and 256GB internal storage options, a USB-C port, fingerprint recognition, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and 4K video recording support at 60 fps for the "adaptive" 11MP camera pulling double duty as both a selfie and rear-facing shooter, as well as a lot of pre-loaded Microsoft stuff in addition to Android 10 software.

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Surface Duo
  • Display 8.1 inches 2700 x 1800 pixels
  • Camera 11 MP (Single camera)
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3577 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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