Microsoft hints at Surface Duo 2 with support for 5G

Microsoft hints at Surface Duo 2 with support for 5G
Microsoft's Surface Duo, the company's dual-screen Android phone, was something of a disappointment when it was released last September 10th. Powered by a one-generation old (at the time of launch) Snapdragon 855, the device also was not 5G enabled. It runs on Android 10 although a long-awaited update to Android 11 should finally be disseminated by this summer. Two 5.6-inch AMOLED displays (1350 x 1800), when open at 180-degrees, connect to become an 8.1-inch display with a resolution of 1800 x 2700.

Microsoft job post hints that a 5G enabled Surface Pro 2 is on the way

Other specs include 6GB of memory, and 128GB/256GB of storage. Two batteries combine to deliver 3577mAh of power and Microsoft is marketing it as a productivity tool. And as such, the Surface Pen does work with the handset although it is an optional purchase. Speaking of purchases, Microsoft has the device on sale with the 128GB unit available for $949.99. That is a $450 or 32% discount from the original $1,399.99 price. It can now be purchased by making 30 monthly payments of $31.66. The 256GB model is also reduced by $450 to $1,049.99. With the 30% reduction in price, the 256GB model can be yours for $34.99 a month over 30 months.

But if you're considering purchasing the Surface Duo, you might want to wait. According to Microsoft's Careers site (via Windows Latest), job listings posted by Microsoft reveal that a sequel to the original device is on the way and this time, it will support 5G. The listings also indicate that the Surface Duo 2 has a code name of "Zeta," and while most of the job listings have been removed, one is still online. It is a job for an SW/FW Engineer II in Taipwi, Taiwan. Microsoft is no longer accepting applications for this job although it still shows up on the internet. Listed under qualifications is a familiarity with "telephony/5G radio technologies." The job listing also says, "Microsoft Devices Software team is on a journey to create new experiences with Surface Duo. We believe in building devices that fully express the Microsoft vision. Fundamental part of our strategy is having desirable and powerful devices that enable the experiences people want."

The listing, "Job responsibilities will encompass working across a team of high impact individuals who are designing and coding RF drivers, RF board bring up including LTE and 5G technologies, factory tools, modem protocols, mobile operator certifications and PTCRB/GCF certifications on Surface Duo devices. The job is highly dynamic and involves working across various disciplines to successfully deliver the product with the Surface Duo experience and quality."

Hopefully Microsoft decides to use a more recent chipset on the Surface Duo 2 (the 5nm Snapdragon 888 would do just fine, thank you), and by all appearances it certainly seems that 5G support will be included. Many Surface Duo users would love to see a larger capacity battery on the sequel. As a productivity device, perhaps 512GB of storage would be useful. And while it doesn't apply just to a second Surface Duo, perhaps developers could come up with some more ways for their apps to take advantage of the dual-screen set up.

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While the Surface Duo is not a foldable phone in the same way that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G are, it does open and close like a book. As a result, when closed, the Surface Duo is quite pocketable and gives consumers the opportunity to carry a large-screened device wherever they go. And because it uses Android instead of Windows Phone, you don't have to worry about not being able to find and install your favorite apps.

So far, there is no clue as to when Microsoft might unveil the Surface Duo 2.

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