Microsoft Launches the Surface Duo 2, a Dual-Screen Device You’ll Actually Want to Buy

Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off of the new Surface Duo 2, the company’s second-generation dual-screen Android smartphone mobile device, at a launch event on Wednesday. The Duo 2 was among several new Surface devices that Microsoft announced at the event.

While the original Surface Duo didn’t exactly live up to the hype, Microsoft seems determined to address those shortcomings with the sequel. While the design is essentially unchanged from the original, the most notable difference can be seen on the outer chassis; the Surface Duo 2 is equipped with a rear triple camera setup.

It features a 12MP primary sensor, a 12MP telephoto lens with 2X optical zoom, and a 16MP ultrawide camera, along with a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor. It may sound a bit paltry compared to some of the best Android phones on the market, but it’s a huge step up from having zero rear cameras and the unfortunate 11MP sensor on the original. Speaking of, that front-facing camera has received a slight upgrade to 12MP.

On the inside, the device features two 5.8-inch PixelSense AMOLED displays that “combine” to provide an 8.3-inch 2688×1892 PixelSense Fusion display with a 90Hz adaptive refresh rate. Similar to the first model, those displays can be used in tandem or separately for multitasking and in various configurations.

Microsoft has even equipped the displays with a new trick called Glance Bar that allows them to show notifications when the Surface Duo 2 is closed, thanks to the slight curve at the end of each panel.

Surface Duo 2 Curved Screen
Surface Duo 2 Glance Bar Notifs

There are quite a few notable upgrades internally as well. The Surface Duo 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, which sees Microsoft equipping its foldable with a modern chipset instead of settling for the previous year’s model as was done with the original Duo. It also means that it gets 5G connectivity, with support for both sub-6 and mmWave, at least in the U.S.

Other notable upgrades include Wi-Fi 6, NFC, and stereo speakers. The battery capacity has increased to 4449mAh for “all-day battery life” with slightly faster charging at 23W, although you won’t find a charger in the box. RAM has also been increased to 8GB, which should handle multitasking and gaming better, and there’s now a 512GB storage option.

The Surface Duo 2 comes in the same Glacier white as its predecessor and a new Obsidian black. It’s available for preorder now and retails in select countries for $1500. It will ship on October 21 with Android 11, although hopefully, it will get Android 12 sooner rather than later.

Microsoft also announced the new Surface Slim Pen 2 which can be used with the Surface Duo 2 and attaches magnetically thanks to a new bumper case. While it’s attached, the Duo 2 will wirelessly charge the pen.

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