Best answer: The Surface Duo works on all major carriers in the United States. You can purchase the device unlocked through the Microsoft Store and Best Buy. You can also buy the Surface Duo directly through AT&T.
- Dual-screen fun: Microsoft Surface Duo (From $1,400 at Microsoft)
Does the Surface Duo work on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile?
The Surface Duo supports all major carriers in the United States. It has all the bands required to work on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and more networks in the U.S. You can purchase the Surface Duo unlocked through the online Microsoft Store or through Best Buy. If you prefer to purchase the Surface Duo through a carrier, you can grab it through AT&T.
Deciding which carrier to get the Surface Duo on depends largely on if you're already on a contract or if you have a carrier preference. If you already like your network or have a SIM contract, you can just purchase the Surface Duo unlocked.
If you're looking at new plans or want to take advantage of spreading the cost of a Surface Duo out over some time, AT&T is a nice option. The Surface Duo costs $1,400, which is a lot of money to pay at once for a device. If you pay for it over time as part of a contract, it could make the cost easier to swallow.
If customers buy the unlocked model, it should also work on any mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), e.g., Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile, etc.
Microsoft notes that if you're coming from Sprint's network, you'll need to swap to a T-Mobile SIM.
If you use the Surface Duo on Verizon, you'll have to go through one extra step to get SMS messaging to work. People have run into issues with SMS messaging on Verizon with the Surface Duo, but you can easily fix the issue by switching your account to CDMA-less. You can do this by contacting Verizon online or over the phone.
Is the Surface Duo available outside the United States?
The Surface Duo is not launching outside the U.S. at this time. That could change in the future, but the Surface Duo is U.S.-only for now. Microsoft states that the Surface Duo will be available initially in the U.S. and that it will share information about market expansion in the future.
Luckily, there are some ways that you can order the Surface Duo and have it shipped outside of the U.S. A retailer called Big Apple Buddy ships products from the U.S. around the world, including the Surface Duo. Unfortunately, the price you'll pay to get the Surface Duo outside of the U.S. can be significantly higher than in the U.S. Big Apple Buddy includes a service fee, and you'll also have international shipping rates and likely have to pay customs fees. These put together can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of the Surface Duo.
If you grab a Surface Duo outside of the U.S. and take it to another region, it may work, but it's worth checking before you spend any money. For example, the Surface Duo that's on sale in the U.S. supports many bands that work with top UK carriers. Check the full list of hardware specifications and cross-reference those bands with your carrier.
Note that even if the Surface Duo supports some bands needed in your region, it might not work optimally on your network. It also won't have carrier aggregation profiles for most combinations, meaning the U.S. version of the Surface Duo probably won't get the best speeds abroad.
Our sources indicate that the Surface Duo could begin shipping outside of the U.S. in the first half of 2021, but that plan could change at any time. At that point, some of the internals of the Surface Duo will be old in terms of mobile device standards.
Does the Surface Duo support 5G?
The Surface Duo does not support 5G. It runs on a Snapdragon 855 rather than the newer Snapdragon 865 or other processors that support 5G. That means if you're trying to decide which carrier to use the Surface Duo on, 5G isn't a factor.
The Surface Duo supports the 4G bands required to work on all major networks in the U.S. but it doesn't have any 5G capabilities.
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