Following numerous delays, Microsoft's returnee Android flagship – the Surface Duo – is finally available for purchase in the U.S. Nearly a dozen Surface Duo accessories hit the Microsoft Store alongside the long-anticipated device, as was expected. The vast majority of those are pretty compelling gadgets in their own right; devices promising to do much more than just enhance the experience of owning Microsoft's dual-screen smartphone.
The caveat, of course, is that they cost a pretty penny. Which is pretty par for the course, whereby "the course" is a $1,400 smartphone. Luxury seems to be in this year, just ask Samsung. Ultimately, most existing Surface Duo accessories are in the ballpark of what flagship owners have been paying for years. The highlights of the lineup include a $59.99 InvisibleShield GlassFusion+ screen(s) protector, and a so-called Bumper. Priced at $40, the said piece of silicone allows the Surface Duo to do its best Surface Pro impression. Oh, and it also comes in a Business version that costs the same, looks the same, and makes us question Microsoft's product strategy all the same.
In all seriousness, there are are some excellent gadgets in the mix here. Though the only one that's already sold out is arguably the most compelling of the bunch. Of course, we're talking about the $349 Surface Headphones which already have a great reputation irrespective of the Surface Duo.
Most day-one Surface Duo accessories are fairly promising – but costly
If you're eagerly awaiting an opportunity to purchase the Surface Duo outside of the United States, don't hold your breath. Because recent reports indicate an international launch won't happen prior to 2021. And by then, the Surface Duo should already complete its transition from a curiosity to a ludicrosity. Don't forget Microsoft announced its dual-screen handset way back in 2019. And a year later, it's still releasing it with the old Snapdragon 855 and a modest 6GB RAM configuration. Asking $1,400 for what a cynic would describe as a fancy ZTE Axon M, but without NFC support.
Oh well, here's to hoping the inevitable Surface Duo 2 makes up for its predecessor's shortcomings. Because, let's face it, there's no way Microsoft is giving up after just one attempt. It's not like the original Surface Pro set the world on fire, either. In fact, most products launched as part of the Surface family eventually carved a niche of their own primarily thanks to such intelligent, iterative design. With a little luck and a lot of economies of scale principles put into action, there's no reason to believe the Surface Duo can't become such a success story, as well.