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Do you still want a Surface Duo after seeing the Galaxy Z Fold 2? (poll)

Galaxy Z Fold 2 Press Image
Galaxy Z Fold 2 Press Image (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung showed off its upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2 at its Unpacked Part2 livestream today. During the stream, Samsung showed off the foldable phone that features several improvements over the original Galaxy Fold, including a much larger cover display than its predecessor and greatly reduced bezels. It also packs the spec sheet with a 120Hz display, multiple cameras, 5G support, and a Snapdragon 865+ processor.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 comes with a hefty price tag of $2,000. While that is significantly higher than the $1,400 price of the Surface Duo, we couldn't help but ask if the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will steal some of the Surface Duo's thunder. While the two devices take different approaches to providing people more screen real estate, there are enough similarities to warrant a comparison.

The Surface Duo has a hinge that remains at any angle, allowing you to freely use the device in different modes. Samsung aimed to deliver the same thing, focusing on improving the hinge and allowing it to stop throughout its rotation.

The Surface Duo is optimized for multitasking, featuring smooth transitions when folding and unfolding the phone. Again, Samsung has aimed to deliver a similar feel. During its livestream, Samsung showed how the Galaxy Z Fold 2 can seamlessly continue videos and app content on its outer cover when closing the device.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 can also rotate into landscape mode and span multiple apps across two halves of its display separated by the fold. The Surface Duo also focuses on being able to work in portrait or landscape mode and spans apps across both of its displays.

The most obvious difference is that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has a large display that folds and an outer display while the Surface Duo has two displays that can flip around for a single screen experience. Samsung and Microsoft have taken two different approaches to multitasking on the go.

Which device do you prefer? Do you still want a Surface Duo after getting a closer look at the Galaxy Z Fold 2? Let us know in the comments below and by voting in our poll.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

55 Comments
  • I was very interested in both the Duo and the Fold 2, but will be going with the Fold 2. It looks like they are using the work Microsoft did with their apps to use the same features as the Duo has. Add to that the wireless charging, outside screen, and uninterrupted inside screen and I am sold for the Fold.
  • It looks alot thicker than the surface Duo which means alot more bulk in your pocket. Idk seems like they just bolted on a bunch of stuff. Doesn't look well thought out.
  • The Fold 2 is an impressive device on the spec sheet, and in it's 2nd iteration, definitely deserves strong consideration. I like the adoption of Microsoft's UI work, making multitasking much friendlier/easier. I'm still not quite shut off on the Duo, though. The Fold 2 is still a bit of a brick. I understand the external screen is what brings it additional flexibility in use, but the folding mechanism seems stiff now that we've been introduced to the Duo. Lastly, the Fold 2's screen aspect ratio just doesn't cut it for multi-tasking. Microsoft has hit a bit of a sweet spot with not only the screen size, but the aspect ratio - it's more like having 2 monitors. All of that without me even mentioning the technological marvel that is the Duo - that thing is a fully inkable, touch screen sliver that can fit in your pocket. SMH
  • Great points! The aspect ratio choice the DUO utilizes is far more useful.
  • And the pen support can be a significant plus.
  • I think the Duo strikes a more concise balance. Even as a first gen device. The fold appears impressive on paper for sure. I just wonder if they made appropriate concessions in trying to strike a balance... cant wait for hands-on review!
  • I would be surprised if there was anyone out there having trouble deciding between these two devices.
    The Fold2 is a multimedia device. The Duo is a productivity device.
    Neither will be particularly good inside of the other's niche. You aren't going to be folding out your Duo to watch a movie spanned across the two displays, or grabbing your pen to mark up a pdf on your Fold2.
  • I disagree with that. The Fold would be fine with productivity even if the Duo would be better and the Duo would be fine with media consumption even if the Fold would be better. Both phones would be better than both things than a typical smartphone due to their form factor.
  • I think the Duo is actually better for multimedia situations under many situations. what if you wanted to watch a youtube video on one screen and a tiktok video on the other? what if you wanted to play a game on one screen and do a discord or teams chat on the other? split view mode on the Fold 2 is okay but it's so manual. you're going to be resizing manually on your own each time and not all apps support split view. the only situation where the Fold wins is if you want 1 big screen. but 1 big screen is just 1 big screen. that said, either device would work well for their owners. I just find it excited that we can move away from the typical slab phones.
  • Honestly, the design of the devices make them fit the exact opposite categories to what you listed, the duo is better for multimedia and the fold is better for productivity.
  • Watching demos - it certainly looks like a very fun device (Fold 2) - but from a portability perspective, that thickness is a real issue. I think MS focusing on a supremely thin design is the right approach. Add’ly for this price I can get the DUO and an iPad Air. Since Android still isn’t a great app ecosystem for tablet based apps; it just becomes less interesting. The DUO takes into account the majority of apps you use will be phone apps that are optimized for smaller displays (and also a single display). I’m a long time fan of the iPad Pro 12.9 - and even with this big laptop size display - multi-tasking is still a little funky. I like how the DUO will always beg you to multi-task - I think this is fundamentally the right approach and the more unique one. But man, folding screens are certainly very cool.
  • Your poll doesn't seem to be working, or is it just me?!
  • Not working for me either - might be in need of some min number of votes first?
  • You aren't alone, and I tried voting several times. (Getting ready for Nov)
  • That is voter fraud, my friend.
  • Not when the vote count is still zero ... it's trying multiple times to register a single vote. But props for trying.
  • Your humour detector is broken.
  • One's $2000 and has no pen support so ...
  • This and the Fold 2 is too thick imo. Honestly with the recent news that the Duo's camera is pretty ok (I think preview from OnMSFT) it is a better deal than the Fold 2 unless you need wireless charging or nfc.
  • I'll stay with the Duo. I admit that I would love for the screens of the Duo to come together seamlessly, but I honestly prefer a gap to the slight wave of a folded screen ... in other words I prefer a gap to distortion. I also feel like the outside screen of the Fold is now basically a standard phone and so I'd rarely open it up. So I'd be carrying a big brick of a cell phone from 2002 to be able to have a bigger screen occasionally. The Fold seems to back off from being all-in on the folding screen experience which sort of turns me off.
  • You know, that's a good point. The Duo will force you to use it the way it was intended. Ultimately that may not work for everyone, but you won't know if you don't try. I've often said Windows 8 was to force the issue of touch and pen support. We'd actually had that since Windows XP Tablet edition, but nobody did anything with it because you didn't have to. Win 8 put touch screens on OEM's and developer's radar, and look where we are now. At least the hardware has progressed.
  • Two different classes. The Fold two will excel at making one thing large, but the screen aspect means that multitasked apps will be narrow and not really as practical. The Duo will excel at multitasking, especially since the unusual screen aspect makes each side wider than a standard phone screen. I am looking more for a pocketable productivity device and don't live in an area with good 5G, nor do I need NFC in the phones, so I ordered a Duo.
  • Considering the prices of the Note 20 Ultra, the Duo and the Fold 2, it's really about want vs need for me. If I'm going to spend that kind of money, I have to decide which device is the most practical for what I need and want. I do use the Spen on my Note to enough to want that feature. So, comes down to the Note 20 Ultra or Duo. As much as I want a Duo and it's a beautiful device, but I will need to play around with one to truly decide if that's what I want. Otherwise, Note 20 Ultra will likely be the choice.
  • The Note 20 Ultra, the Fold 2, the Duo, or the Nikon AF-S 200-500mm VR 5.6E? Guess which one's the cheapest? Ha! I know which one I'm getting. (Granted, Nikon's trade-in deals are nowhere as generous...)
  • Yeah but f5. 6...yuck
  • Yuck at 500mm? Do you work for NatGeo?
  • Both are similar in portability I believe. I would say the Duo if want you more screen and the Ultra if you want a flagship camera (vs the good midrange camera of the Duo). OnMSFT has a preview with quite a bit of info about the Duo because they did not need to sign a nda (/they just recently tested the device in a shop instead of getting a review model).
    I do personally think both are expensive though.
  • Great idea for MS to send out review units two weeks ahead with a two week embargo. This might just get some reviewers to spend some time actually using the device in real world scenarios, run the camera through some variations in subjects and lighting, maybe see if it fits with their workflow. 2 Hours at Best Buy probably doesn't do it justice.
  • fold 2 looks very sweet but to have old cameras on it, i am having a hard time justifying it. same with the duo. i don't want two devices with me, i want one. duo is a piss poor phone, but great note taking device. fold2 is a great phone and possible tablet, but again cameras :(
    i want to whip out my phone and take great pictures. i want to take notes if i want. i want big screen real estate.
    so far nothing delivers all this.
    might be a note 20 ultra then.
  • Duo is not that bad though performance wise. People focus to much on the specs, while cpu optimization and camera postprocessing etc is very important too if not more important than having eg the latest cpu. Granted Duo's camera is not as good as the Note line obviously but it is also 500 bucks cheaper than the Fold 2 so it makes sense MS had to cut on a few things.
    Good hands-on of the Duo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc1U9lrxJXc In your case I would just wait for a duo 2 though or fold 3, than you most certainty will have all your check-boxes ticked. :-)
  • The devices are trying to achieve different things. The duo feels like having two monitors. The fold is trying to be a foldable tablet. I’m also not entirely convinced that we’re ready for bendable touchscreens, even if OLED can take the beating. I also remember one reviewer mentioning something I hadn’t thought of, but in a world of feeds and media panic, there’s something that feels “final” about being able to just shut the device “off” without losing your ability to make/receive calls and texts. Anyone who still wants that can either fold it screen-out or get a smart watch. But this thing isn’t going to be constantly lighting up with some idiot on Facebook. It’s basically a smartphone for folks who want to shut off social media on a whim.
  • Do you imagine someone preferring the Fold over de Duo? 🤣
    Is like someone picking a random overpriced plastic convertible over a Surface Pro.
    A joke.
  • Despite the fact that I'm getting neither, I still prefer the Duo. When it comes to Android apps, and my general workflow, two screens would be more useful than one large screen. And while the Fold can support two apps next to each other, IMO, setting that up has always felt cumbersome on Android.
  • I still want the surface duo despite its android .
  • poll not working
  • $2000 plus pre-installed Samsung crapware are deal killers. I've owned an S8+ and an S20+, and I'm ready for a clean start...Will be curious to see how they compare in benchmarks and battery life though...
  • That has been my biggest complaint about my Note 10. All of the Samsung crapware that you can't uninstall. I love having it nag me constantly about a Samsung account that I don't want or need. Who the hell uses Bixby anyway? I wonder if the Duo would perform better just for the fact that it doesn't have to deal with all of that bloat.
  • Hands down Fold 2 is the superior device. The only advantage the Surface Duo has is pen support and thinness. The increase in cost for the Fold 2 is worth it considering the additional features you get with the Fold 2 and because both are already expensive products.
  • I don't think, given the aspect ratio of most movies, that watching a movie on the Fold (which would arguably be the main reason for a larger single-screen) would be any bigger than on the 5.8 single screen of Duo. Plus that Fold is so heavy, and so thick when folded, you might as well put an actual brick in your pocket. That said, are any "foldables" really worth the additional expense?
  • The poll is not registering any votes. That is voter fraud.
  • You really need to look up, read, and understand what 'voter fraud' means. I can only hope you are using the term sardonically based on current events in politics.
  • That's... not... really... funny. More confusing than anything.
  • If I had an interest in dual screen devices like these, it would definitely be the Duo. the single folding screen technology is STILL not there and are still are do fragile to be used as a daily driver. Those phones are seriously more just for those who find them "status symbols" and who are more interested in looks than functionality.
  • You have to respect the improvements that Samsung has made but those complaining about some of the Duo's weaknesses should also take that into account. What improvements will Microsoft make in the Duo in the next iteration? Of course, if you're only considering what's available right now then it doesn't really matter what iteration it is; only what it can do. Microsoft is obviously trying to keep the Duo thin and that will cause some limitations. That the Fold is so thick when closed is definitely a mark against it, but obviously something that many will be prepared to live with for the other advantages. If I was a Samsung user and price was no object, I'd get a Fold 2. I'm not and it's not though, so I'll be saving my money for a while and hoping that the Duo 2 at least has NFC and Qi.
  • I'm still excited for my 256GB Surface Duo preorder to come in. I'm not at all excited for the Z Fold 2. Sure, it's improved on the first Fold (which I've played a lot with), but I don't think the devices are comparable at least in terms of what I want to do with a device. At its core, the Z Fold 2 is just a single big screen that can fold to be put away. You can use split view to do multitasking, but it's not automatic and not all apps support split view. It becomes tedious to have to manually adjust each time. Plus, the Fold/2 is a brick. It's so thick when folded up. The aspect ratio of each half is so tall and narrow. They made the outer display actually useful now but it's still so tall and narrow. The cameras are still not as good as the Note line or the S20 line. I do like how the Fold can now be unfolded into more than 1 position now (before it was basically fully open or fully closed). And the Fold/2 is friggin expensive. $2K for a phone is just another stratosphere.
  • I think the Z Fold 2 looks like an awesome device, I am still going with the Duo (feels odd because I have been on notes since the 1st one) For me the Duo is moving in a direction that feels right to me. Here are a few of my thoughts on current generation devices:
    -Not a fan of Tall Narrow screens.
    -I like the ability to use a Proper Stylus. (S-Pen & Surface)
    -Not a fan of the Camera Bumps that keep getting bigger.
    -I am very used to working with Separate Screens (I use a 3 screen setup at work)
    I like the Duo and am looking forward to using it and seeing how this will evolve. Cheers,
    BR
  • Looking forward to my duo. I think the Sammy is beautiful but I do not want to worry about the crease down the road. I like ms take on the two screens for multi-tasking.
  • Yes for me, I've been sold on the Surface Duo since it was the Courier project, and now with the Surface Duo being an Android OS device just makes a great deal of sense from an apps standpoint. The aspect ratio is better versus the Galaxy Z fold 2, and I also like the heavier emphasis on two screen device instead of one big fold out screen. I love the two screen kindle book mode and would get the Duo just for this if it had nothing else going for it. I've been an reading addict for a very long time and bringing back the two pages from physical books is killer app territory for me. I saw the 30 min something demo release by Microsoft and it furthur sold me on the design and implementation, it is almost like it was build with the way I've wanted to use a mobile device in mind. Can't wait for the general release as I'm poor so I got to finance this purchase. Though I got the military discount that will help getting an additional Slim Surface pen, earbuds, and so on for the same price I would shell out for the Samsung Z fold...As for user background I used the old Sharp organizer clamshells, the palm and Treo devices, iPhone until iPhone X, thereafter switched to Samsung Galaxy Note 10+5G which I plan on keeping as secondary device. Was a MacBook Pro user and then switched to Surface Pro X which is a phenomenal device and sold me instantly for all things Surface.
  • Hey Kevin H - you may be able to get a decent trade-in on one of your old phones after getting the Duo. It's via a 3rd party on Microsoft's website, here: https://microsoft.cexchange.com/online/Home/CategorySelected.rails?enc=9... For a iPhone X, $400; for a Note10+5G, $650. Either of those should help significantly :)
  • As a software developer I work with multiple screens every day. Having 1 screen dock multiple windows is not the same as having 2 separate screens. I have tried ultra wide monitors instead of 2 separate monitors and I end up spending half the time messing with the docking.
    I am sticking with the decision to pick up a Duo for this same reason. The Fold 2 still looks way too bulky and fragile. Folding screens still doesn't have wide enough reach to show that it holds up well over time. I still have 0 desire spending $2000 for a phone. $1400 isn't a ton better but I can get good deals due to my job.
  • The Fold 2 does seem very interesting, however when compared to the duo what sticks with me is how narrow it is. As such the individual halves of the inside (that seem to attempt to mimic the duo functionality) seem too small to really do anything on, then when unfolded is nearly square. That means the individual sides are too narrow for video or websites or when expanded watching videos will have pretty severe letterboxing. That's before even considering cost and fragility concerns.
  • The fold 2 was going to be my next phone..until I started watching videos of the Duo. I still write the majority of my notes by hand. The Duo will FINALLY allow me to get rid of all the notebooks that I have lying around & have all my important notes & items with me at all times in one device. It will also e my new Kindle. This is the device I’ve been waiting years for.
  • OK. I'm really losing it. How do you vote in this poll? Or has it closed already? And if it is closed, where can I view the results?
  • The Duo had thunder?
  • I lean towards the Duo for a few reasons:
    1. Cost. This is summed up in the following points but at the end of the day, I don't see the Fold being worth an extra $600.
    2. Durability. I'm still not sold on the durability of folding displays. I'm not going to sink that kind of money into something I'm not confident that it will survive for 6 months without showing wear and tear.
    3. Size. The Fold 2 is 16.8mm closed. That's rather sizeable and would be obnoxious to have in a pocket.
    4. Functionality. I like that the Duo is effectively two phones slapped together. I don't have to deal with managing windows.
    5. Apps. I don't want Samsung's add-in apps. I'm invested in the Microsoft app ecosystem so for that to be included is nice. This is obviously a personal preference but it matters and in my case, Microsoft wins out on this.