The Surface Duo is one of the biggest hardware in recent memory, but Microsoft is still moving forward with a sequel to the device, and now we have the first credible picture. The story here is a bit strange. We’re actually not sure where the picture came from (they were uploaded to this random YouTube channel with other uncredited content), but Zac Bowden of Windows Central says that the picture is legitimate, and since he has an excellent history of nailing Surface Rumors Duo, the assertion is good enough for us. Bowden called the two devices shown in the leak “near-end prototypes.”
The most obvious change in the picture is the large camera hump on the back of the device. The bump houses three cameras, along with one that looks like an LED flash on the right and another sensor, possibly a laser autofocus, right below the flash. The stand-alone fingerprint reader next to it is gone (Windows Central speculated that it would be integrated into the power button), and the USB-C port at the bottom is now centralized. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know what it’s like inside.
The Surface Duo 1 has never had a good camera solution – in fact, it has no rear camera at all. The camera is one of the biggest thickness claims on the phone’s body (hence the camera hump), and the Surface Duo, being one of the thinnest phones ever made (only 4.8 mm thick for each half), has no room for a nice camera. The device only gets one low -quality front camera, and because the phone is foldable, it can also pull double duty as a rear camera.
Skipping the rear camera for the Duo 1 isn’t the only solution Microsoft has tried, but early prototypes show a rear camera with a divot that fits on the other half of the device, allowing the proto-Duo to have a rear camera hump. and still folded flat. This Duo 2 prototype has a large camera hump but no divot on the other side, so apparently it won’t fold flat? The Duo’s first big selling point is the 360 hinge and the ability to use it in single -screen mode if you want, but it seems that feature is being compromised.
Another problem with the Duo 1 is the weird and outdated spec sheet, but many of the device’s technical shortcomings will be fixed in its sequel. Windows Central says that the phone will ship with a modern SoC – the Snapdragon 888 – along with NFC, one of the Duo’s more bizarre relics. This phone will ship in September or October.
Has Microsoft changed enough?
The Surface Duo 1 is Microsoft’s first branded Android phone and the first company to use a smartphone since Nokia Windows Phone. By all accounts, Duo 1 was a disaster. Currently, we are experiencing a lot of bugs and notable software shortcomings, such as a bad keyboard. But our big effort is that the form factor doesn’t work. Although folded up, the Duo 1 is much wider than other devices on the market, blasting even historically large phones like the Nexus 6 x 10 mm, making it uncomfortable to hold or tuck in a pocket. Android doesn’t scale well to ultra -wide screens (height isn’t good, width isn’t), so the phone doesn’t show much content.
The two -screen design is also not very attractive. Tablets or folders can offer similar side -by -side app actions and also provide the flexibility of one large screen for video and tablet apps, which cannot be used on a split screen Duo. The duo also doesn’t have a front screen for notifications, which is a standard feature on every other folding device like the Galaxy Fold and Flip, the Moto Razr, and the Xiaomi and Huawei folds. When your phone beeps, you want to glance at it to see notifications without having to use two hands to open and close the device. It seems that this issue will not be addressed in the sequel.
The Surface Duo also failed in the market, with price cuts starting right away. Today, the sky -high $ 1,400 MSRP is down nearly $ 1,000. The hottest fire sales saw the Duos loaded for $ 409, but today, these items just sit in Amazon’s warehouse for $ 419, and they’re still not sold out. You’d think that a serious market failure like the Duo 1 would lead to a dramatic change in the sequel, but Microsoft doesn’t seem to be bothered.
The company could at least fix some of the buggy software and outdated hardware shipped with the Duo 1. But if you didn’t like the previous concept, the Duo 2 doesn’t try to do much to change your mind.