Microsoft is just days away from releasing its first Android smartphone – the Surface Duo. The dual-screen phone arrives next week, on September 10, starting at $1,399. However, despite that steep price tag, the device has a lot of shortcomings in terms of hardware.
Firstly, Microsoft may be marketing the Surface Duo as a foldable smartphone, but it doesn’t feature a bendable (foldable) display. Instead, it has two separate display panels connected by a hinge. It also features outdated internals, such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and a paltry 3577mAh battery.
The Microsoft Surface Duo also lacks NFC, wireless charging, and 5G support. On top of it, the entire unit features just one camera sensor, without OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). You aren’t getting expandable storage either.
These shortcomings may overshadow the device’s productivity capabilities, and Microsoft will be itching to address many of them with the next iteration. Now, according to the latest round of rumors, the second-gen Surface Duo will take care of at least one of them.
Tipster WalkingCat claims that the Surface Duo successor will come with 5G connectivity. This is certainly not a surprise, given that the device will not likely arrive until Q3 or Q4 next year, and pretty much every mobile SoC will be 5G-capable by then.
The Surface Duo successor, which will reportedly be called the Surface Duo V2, is apparently codenamed Zeta. Now, before you get your hopes of a triple-folding smartphone flying, Zac Bowden of Windows Central have claimed that it’ll be a dual-screen only.
Hopefully, it’ll also address many other gripes people have with the current model. Bigger battery, more powerful cameras, newer SoC, and other features like NFC are standard for a device that costs more than the best of flagship ‘candy bar’ smartphones.
Surface Duo should impress in the software department
The Surface Duo marks Microsoft’s return to the smartphone market, after failed efforts with Windows-powered phones a few years back. It is also the Windows giant’s first Android-powered mobile device. The company has been relying on a Finnish software engineering firm called Movial for developing the Surface Duo’s flavor of Android.
But it recently acquired the Romanian, Taiwanese, and American operations of the firm to bolster its in-house Android expertise. Microsoft has also worked closely with Google to develop Android for Surface Duo. The company has created APIs for dual-screen apps to work in the Android codebase, so developers can modify their apps to take advantage of the two displays which are designed to work as multiple monitors on a Windows PC.
On top of it, Microsoft is also promising three years of Android OS updates for the Surface Duo. Clear enough, the company is putting in lots of effort in the software department for its first foldable smartphone. Hopefully, it’ll give as much importance to hardware on future models for a better overall experience.