Microsoft’s puzzling foray once again into hardware gained a modicum of momentum this week when the specifications were revealed for its folding phone device called the Surface Duo.
Redmond had previewed its Surface Duo, as well as dual-screen tablet called the Surface Neo, last October, but remained coy about the exact specs of the devices.
Both these devices have a hinge in the middle for a mechanical fold, rather than utilising a bendable screen like the Samsung Galaxy Fold does.
And it seems that plans for the release of the Windows-powered tablet device (Surface Neo) remains in limbo, whereas the dual screen Android-powered smartphone (Surface Duo) is still expected to be released sometime in 2020 (most likely for the Christmas holiday period).
The Surface Duo is a two-screen folding phone, running Android, and 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.
Microsoft has previously pitched the Surface Duo as having the benefits of a phone, but also a computer on which you can do more because it has two screens.
However, with folding devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which have one continuous flexible screen that opens like a book instead of two screens bolted together, the Duo may be out of date before it ships.
And now Windows Central has been able to glean the specs of the new device thanks to its sources.
The device will run Android 10, and whilst it can make calls and send SMS messages, Microsoft is not describing it as a phone. It will be a 4G device, and is not 5G compatible.
The Surface Duo is expected to ship with a Snapdragon 855, as well as a tiny 6GB RAM, 64GB or 256GB storage option.
There is a single 11MP camera sensor above the right display that will be used for both front and rear-facing photos and videos, Windows Central reported.
The displays themselves are AMOLED panels with a pixel density of 401.
Battery wise, the Surface Duo will come with a 3460mAh battery, which according to Windows Central sources is enough to get Surface Duo through the day.
Other features include USB-C fast charging and a fingerprint scanner, but there will no wireless charging or NFC capabilities.
However, the software giant faces big hurdle in convincing both consumers and the developer community to back its idea with the Surface Duo.
Redmond will also have to contend with a hugely sceptical developer community that this hardware venture has a future under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, who is notoriously focused on his beloved cloud offerings, and has very little interest in anything hardware related.