Will you buy a Surface Duo for $1,400?

Joanna Estrada
August 14, 2020

Microsoft has launched the Surface Duo smartphone today and it will start to ship from Thursday, 10 September.

On Thursday Microsoft finally announced a release date for its long-awaited Microsoft Surface Duo. Surface Duo supports Microsoft's Surface pens and comes with a protective bumper cover. Together, the two screens create a viewable area measuring 8.1 inches diagonal at 2700×1800 (a 3:2 ratio).

In an enterprise-oriented blog post, Microsoft also pointed out the Duo's ability to integrate with Microsoft Intune for managing multiple devices through the cloud. The Duo is also pretty slim, measuring just 9.6 mm when folded.

There's no wireless charging included, meaning you can only charge by cable, and that Qi charger you have around your home is useless with Surface Duo. Developers can optimise layouts and screen options to take advantage of the twin display design too. "We developed new manufacturing processes to actively align pixels across screens". Even if they don't buy one right away. This was reportedly done to conserve battery life. Given Australian pricing is rarely a 1:1 conversion, we're expecting that a Surface Duo Australia release will likely see the device from $2099, though won't be surprised if it pushes over. "The Snapdragon 855 was the flawless solution when Surface Duo was first in development more than 2 years ago, and the stability of the platform and performance in the market allowed us to get to market in a timely manner, delivering the productivity-focused performance that our customers are looking for".

"Our internal research shows that three out of four people report struggling to complete complex tasks while away from their computer".

The Surface Duo has two screens and a 360-degree hinge that lets the screens fully rotate. In Microsoft's Outlook email app, clicking a link in the body of an email opens the link on the opposite screen, so the user can continue reading or responding to the email.

"I'm not trying to reinvent the phone", Panay said. "Easily copy and paste content between your Surface Duo and PC - no more sending yourself emails or texts to transfer information".

The Surface Duo is such an unusual device that calling it a phone doesn't really paint an accurate picture.

Capabilities touted for Surface Duo for Business include "enterprise-level chip to cloud security", Microsoft said. Even when laid flat, the two displays are visually and obviously separated. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone SE and Surface Duo are very different devices, but these basic features are included in a device that's a third of the price of the Surface Duo.

RAM is 6GB while storage comes in 128 or 256GB varieties.

The device weighs a little over a half-pound (0.55 of a pound) and measures 0.39 of an inch thick when closed.

Microsoft said pre-orders for the device begin Wednesday at its own site, AT&T Inc and BestBuy Co Inc. Prices start at $1,399.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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