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Monday, January 25, 2021

All Set For Another Round

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After months of waiting and teasers, Microsoft has finally launched the Surface Duo for the masses. As we all know, Surface Duo is a dual-screen smartphone powered by Google’s Android OS, although Microsoft likes to call it a communication device.

The company said in a blog post that Surface Duo would start shipping from September 10, available at a price tag of $1,399. The device does fall into the higher price tier, but that was expected given the form-factor and the newness it brings to the saturated smartphone ecosystem.

The Surface Duo launch comes just days after Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 2 — its third foldable smartphone in the market.

Surface Duo Specifications

Surface Duo Description
SoC Snapdragon 855
Display Each Screen: 5.6-inch AMOLED (1800×1350, 401ppi)
Opened: 8.1-inch AMOLED (2700×1800)
Storage 128GB/256GB (UFS 3.0, No microSD support)
Camera 11MP (F/2.0, PDAF, HDR), Video up to 4K60
Connectivity USB-C (3.1), WiFi-5, Bluetooth 5.0, additonal eSIM
Battery 3,577mAh (18W Fast Charging
Stylus Surface Pen
Biometrics Fingerprint Sensor
Price $1,399 (128GB), 1,499 (256GB)

Dual-screen devices are now being hailed as the flag bearers of modern multitasking. With that said, the Surface Duo comes with two 5.6-inch panels that combine to form its 8.1-inch PixelSense Fusion display.

The two panels are connected via a 360-hinge that allows the device to sit in different orientations. It goes without saying that each display works individually or together to make the most out of the dual-screen device. For instance, you might want to check your mails and get a daily dose of memes at the same time.

Under the hood, the Surface Duo packs Snapdragon 855, which was Qualcomm’s flagship SoC in 2019. Other specs are also fine, if not anything out of the world. However, Microsoft has been working on the device for years now, and it knows the software is equally important as the hardware.

That’s why Redmond started preparing the software front years ago and even hired third-party experts to do some of the groundwork. Microsoft already has its fleet of Android apps and is counting on Microsoft 365 integration to give the Surface Duo a special place in the market. By adding productivity benefits to the Surface Duo, it expects to lure enterprise users.

Additionally, with the cloud-powered Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft will provide the traditional Windows OS experience on its Android device. Another major weapon in the Surface Duo’s arsenal is the Your Phone app, designed to bridge the gap between Windows and Android.

However, many of its features are currently limited to Samsung devices. Hopefully, Surface Duo will be an exception.

Other than that, Microsoft says that Surface Duo comes loaded with enterprise-grade security that it achieved “by writing or reviewing every line of firmware code in house.”

Nonetheless, Microsoft has entered the smartphone market again after the Windows Phone debacle; let’s see how the company performs this time.

Surface Duo will ship from September 10th, and pre-orders will start soon. However, its initial offering will only be limited to the US markets only, which could disappoint potential buyers overseas.

via Windows Central

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