Microsoft’s first-ever Android smartphone was the dual-screen Surface Duo, which launched in September last year. The company is now gearing up to launch a successor to it, likely called the Surface Duo 2. The device might arrive around the same time as last year, i.e. in September or October. Ahead of that, we have our first look at the new Surface Duo, thanks to leaked images that appeared in a YouTube video (attached below). The video was posted last month and according to Windows Central, the images shown are legitimate.
The first-look images of the Surface Duo 2 already show a major upgrade in the camera department. The upcoming device seemingly features three cameras at the back. The original model only had one – an 11-megapixel front-facing camera without OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). Yes, that’s the only camera you can find on the Surface Duo, a 2020 phone priced as high as $1,500.
Microsoft is now seemingly looking to address that shortcoming and make the Surface Duo feel more like a 2021 phone. It’s apparently a combination of the main shooter, a telephoto lens, and an ultrawide camera. Detailed specs are unknown though, neither do we have any information about the front camera. The leaked images don’t show the front of the device, perhaps because it’s a prototype rather than a functional phone.
The rear cameras are aligned vertically in a rectangular bump of the top-left corner. The LED flash sits outside of it. Unlike the original Surface Duo, this device seemingly doesn’t have any indentations on the edge for a capacitive fingerprint. Perhaps Microsoft has moved it into the power button, or maybe we’ll get an in-display fingerprint sensor, who knows. A USB Type-C port can be seen at the bottom edge though, on the right-hand side.
The rest of the design looks identical, at least from the back. We are still getting two separate displays with a 360-degree hinge holding them together. The YouTube video says the device might get a bigger display with thinner bezels but unfortunately, we can’t see that just yet.
Aside from cameras, Microsoft has plenty to improve with the Surface Duo 2
Despite all the hype, the first-gen Surface Duo didn’t have a smooth ride in the market, with complaints coming from every corner. There have been reports of issues with the revolutionary hinge, display, camera, charging port, and whatnot.
But more than that, Microsoft itself messed it up big time with outdated specs. The device featured an older Snapdragon 855 SoC, lacked NFC, wireless charging, and 5G connectivity, didn’t offer expandable storage with onboard storage topping up at 128GB in some regions, and, of course, a single camera sensor on the entire unit.
Microsoft would now be looking to set things right with the second-gen Surface Duo. And early leaks and rumors look quite promising. Not just an improved camera system, we are expecting a Snapdragon 888 or 888+ processor which will bring 5G connectivity. NFC chip could be making its way as well.
By the looks of it, the Surface Duo will arrive not too long after Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldables. We know these are two different types of foldable, as Microsoft’s offering doesn’t feature a foldable screen but two separate screens. The Windows giant is betting on multitasking features with customized Android software. Of course, Samsung offers its own suite of customizations as well. It will be interesting to see how the Surface Duo 2 stacks up against the two foldables from the Korean behemoth.