This is Microsoft's canceled Surface Duo 3 foldable smartphone

Surface Neon patent
The folding phone would have supported magnetic accessories. (Image credit:

What you need to know

  • A new patent has revealed the design of Microsoft's now canceled next foldable phone.
  • The device would have featured a folding screen, external cover display, and magnetic accessories.
  • Codenamed Neon, this device was scrapped in spring 2023 after Microsoft cutback on experimental Surface hardware.

Back in January 2023, I reported that Microsoft had scrapped plans to ship a dual-screen Surface Duo 3 and had instead pivoted to a more traditional foldable phone design with an internal folding display and external cover screen. The device would have featured a 180-degree hinge, triple camera array on the back, and a taller aspect ratio.

The device was codenamed Neon but was also unfortunately scrapped once Microsoft cutback on experimental Surface form factors in spring 2023. It's unlikely we'll ever see Surface Neon ship now, but thanks to a newly discovered patent (via Patently Apple,) we can finally show you what the device would have looked like.

The back of Surface Neon with a magnetic kickstand accessory attached. (Image credit:

My sources say the device detailed in this patent is exactly what the next Surface folding phone would have looked like. We can see the back of the device featured a triple camera array positioned similarly to the iPhone's camera module. These lenses were placed to the left of a camera bump area that spanned the very top portion of the back of the phone.

The cover screen and inside foldable screen were edge-to-edge and featured in-display camera sensors for selfies and video calls. At the time, sources said the device would feature magnetic accessories that would attach to the back of the phone, and this patent details that exact aspect of the design.

Specifically, the patent outlines a kickstand accessory that would magnetically attach to the phone in different orientations depending on if you had the phone open or closed. It's a cool idea, and very similar to the Magsafe ecosystem that Apple has developed on the iPhone.

The magnetic kickstand could attach in different ways. (Image credit:

Sources also tell me the device would have featured a power button that could pop open the phone without having to pry the two halves apart with your fingers. This is a concept I first heard about when Andromeda was in development, and it would have been awesome to see it finally ship. 

Unfortunately, this patent is likely just an echo of a project that will never see the light of day. Microsoft has abandoned its Android smartphone efforts, with no plans to deliver any more major Android updates to its Surface Duo 2 smartphone that's still in an active support window.

Plus, even if Microsoft did have secret plans to launch a new phone, how would anyone be able to trust them after how it has handled the Surface Duo post launch?

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads

  • Jcmg62
    No doubt, what little trust remained after the abandonment of Windows phone was well and truly wiped out with the mishandling of Duo, but let's be honest here, if Microsoft dropped a windows powered folding phone tomorrow, we'd all be in the queue
  • tom bae 2023
    Android is meaningless , if MS made surface duo with windows 10x mobile or windows 11 mobile , many of us bought it .

    and , most important thing . MS should not have dismantled Windows phone . It was the biggest mistake Microsoft ever made.
  • GraniteStateColin
    tom bae 2023 said:
    Android is meaningless , if MS made surface duo with windows 10x mobile or windows 11 mobile , many of us bought it .

    and , most important thing . MS should not have dismantled Windows phone . It was the biggest mistake Microsoft ever made.
    While I'd jump on a phone like that, I also would have been very happy with a successor to the Duo 2 running Android. The MS ecosystem was alive and optimally supported by those devices, plus they had the benefit of running all the Android apps, including general support for local services like banks, travel companies, store shopping tools, etc. that never would have made it to Windows Phone (cost of supporting 3 OS's just not worth it to a non-tech company).

    Meanwhile, even Samsung is ignoring MS AI efforts in favor of Google's. Once again, MS hurts its own strategic initiatives due to a lack of ensuring they always have some smartphone on the market.