Surface Duo users are complaining about a very serious hardware problem

Surface Duo users are complaining about a very serious hardware problem
With Microsoft's Surface Duo available for purchase, the dual-screened productivity tool just might be the best phone to own if you're out in the field trying to get things done. First of all, it does fit in a pocket or purse when the two separate 5.6-inch AMOLED displays are closed. When you open the two displays to 180-degrees, you suddenly have an 8.1-inch tablet-sized screen at your disposal. With Google and Microsoft optimizing their Android and enterprise-based Office apps respectively, the Surface Duo is more than just a handset that happens to have two displays.

The Surface Duo has had some issues. Just yesterday we told you that some of the plastic surrounding the USB-C port on the device is cracking on several unit. That is not what you want to see happen to your brand new phone, especially after paying $1,399.99 (6GB of memory/128GB storage) or $1,499.99 (6GB memory/256GB storage) for it. Other problems have, ahem, surfaced with the 11MP camera and others have shouted to anyone who would listen that touch gestures on the screen are not being recognized.


During the waning days of September, we told you that Microsoft was internally testing a software update for the phone. One feature that Surface Duo users were supposed to receive in the update delivers a lag-less live preview that shows the user on hos displays what the final version of a photograph shot using HDR will look like. And Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) capabilities were said to join the Duo's photography system. EIS will prevent an over-caffeinated user from shooting video or taking photos that jump around all over the place.

Microsoft is now rolling out the update for the AT&T carrier-locked version of the Surface Duo. According to the company's support page for the phone, the update includes the October Android Security Patch putting it on a par with Pixel models made from 2017 through 2020. It also will improve call stability and experience, touch and device stability, and improves the Facebook Messenger single-screen experience when launched via a Facebook chat bubble. However, the changelist on the Duo's support page notably doesn't include any camera-related fixes so we will need to see whether the update includes the aforementioned improvements to the lone snapper on the device.


Microsoft says that it releases the update in stages. This means that not every unit will receive the latest update at the same time, but all Surface Duo phones will be updated. Microsoft notes that software updates cannot be uninstalled or reverted back to an earlier version. When you do install the latest version, your Duo will also receive all previous updates as long as your phone does not already have them installed. Only those portions of the update that relate to the Surface Duo will be loaded on the device.

Besides the cracks found around the USB port, Reddit users are beginning to experience issues with the revolutionary hinge that makes the Surface Duo work. Some are feeling what they call "grittiness" when opening and closing the screens and one Surface Duo owner says that he has to push down the screens in order to make both displays lie flat. The Surface Duo is available unlocked from the Microsoft Store and that variant will work with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. A picture accompanying one of these posts shows something wrong with the top hinge preventing the left and right glass from lining up with each other.

The Surface Duo is powered by the previous generation's Snapdragon 855 chipset and includes a 3577mAh battery. Android 10 is pre-installed with an update to Android 11 expected to be coming soon.

Related phones

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

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