Microsoft Surface Duo To Cost $1,400

Microsoft’s dual screen smartphone device, dubbed the Surface Duo, is now available for pre-order for customers in the United States.

Microsoft has continued to saddle its Surface portfolio with ‘premium’ purchase prices, and the Surface Duo is no exception. The 128GB version costs an eye-watering $1,399.99, whereas the 256GB version will cost a staggering $1,499.99.

Meanwhile the starting price of an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max is just $1,099 in the United States in comparison.

Multitasking mobile?

But Microsoft believes that the unique selling point for the Surface Duo is the fact that it offers two screens for multitasking.

This means one screen can have Twitter open for example, and the other screen can be running Office 365.

Microsoft had already released the specs for the Surface Duo in May this year, after having previewed its Surface Duo, as well as dual-screen tablet called the Surface Neo, in October 2019.

Surface Neo

Both of those devices had a hinge in the middle for a mechanical fold, rather than utilising a bendable screen like the Samsung Galaxy Fold does.

The release of the Windows-powered tablet device (Surface Neo) remains in limbo, whereas the dual screen Android-powered smartphone (Surface Duo) will launch in the US on 10 September 2020.

Duo specs

So what do people get for the all that money?

Well, on the surface the specs are not exactly cutting edge. The Surface Duo is a two-screen folding phone, that features two 5.6in screens (resolution of 1800×1350 each) joined together with a hinge that folds a full 360 degrees.

Essentially, the phone opens up like a book, but can then fold all the way round.

It support Surface Pen, and that the device itself is 4.8mm thin.

The device will run Android 10, and whilst it can make calls and send SMS messages, Microsoft is not describing it as a phone as such.

It will be a 4G device, and is not 5G compatible, offering Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 5.0.

The Surface Duo ships with a ‘tried and tested’ Snapdragon 855, as well as a surprisingly tiny 6GB DRAM.

There is a single 11MP camera sensor above the right display that will be used for both front and rear-facing photos and videos.

The displays themselves are AMOLED panels with a pixel density of 401.

Battery wise, the Surface Duo will come with a 3577mAh battery.

Other features include USB-C fast charging and a fingerprint scanner, but there will no wireless charging or NFC capabilities.

Doomed device?

To many observers Microsoft faces big hurdle in convincing users to back its idea with the Surface Duo.

Indeed, the consumer market was burnt by Redmond’s abandoning of Windows Phone and Microsoft’s many other failed hardware initiatives over the years.

With the hefty upfront purchase cost of the Surface Duo, its fairly lacklustre specs, and with it being limited to the United States at the moment, Microsoft has given itself another difficult mountain to climb in the mobile sector.

Quiz: How well do you know Microsoft?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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