I want *to want* a Surface Duo 2, but Microsoft isn't making it easy

Surface Duo 2 Paired Apps Dual
Surface Duo 2 Paired Apps Dual (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Surface Duo 2 Vs Surface Duo1 Screens

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

I am sold on the idea of folding phones, that much is true. I've tried the Surface Duo 1, and I recently wrote about how, ironically, the Surface Duo 1 made me go out and grab a Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. Why? Because Microsoft has shown time, and time again, that it cannot execute software. This is a wild thing to write given the fact that Microsoft is very much known for its software.

Our executive editor Daniel Rubino recently put out our full Surface Duo 2 review, explaining that while it's a massive improvement on the original, it's still not quite there yet. I was very almost considering selling off my Galaxy Fold 3 to grab a Surface Duo 2, but the reviews ultimately swayed me otherwise.

After using the Galaxy Fold 3 for a few months now, it's apparent that the Duo 2 hardware may actually be preferable for me as a multi-tasking-oriented device. I think Microsoft (and Samsung, for that matter) are entirely on the right track with these devices. And sure, they may never be the mainstream form factor people want, but for certain types of users, they take the concept of a smartphone to the next level. The problem is, right now, I know that Samsung is able to deliver in those crucial places where Microsoft simply, well, can't.

Why is that? And can it ever be solved? Or are we once again at the precipice of another Windows Phone-style disaster scenario?

Where the Duo beats the Fold

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

I'm a heavy phone user, spending several hours a day glued to this rectangular hell portal we call the internet. Judgments of my life choices aside, at the very least I can bring you an in-depth perspective of both devices put head to head.

The Duo 2 has Corning Gorilla Glass. The Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 has a plastic outer layer and a micro-thin flexible glass layer underneath. I shouldn't have to go deeper than that to explain which device is sturdier.

My Galaxy Fold 3 has picked up scuffs, bumps, and scrapes just from sharing a pocket with a loose coin. This phone is just so damn fragile, and it's annoying having to carry this phone around with a painstaking fear of it spontaneously combusting. I haven't had a phone this fragile, like, maybe ever. My friend's Nokia Lumia 920 survived a fall from a multi-story car park relatively unscathed. With the Galaxy Fold 3, I'm worried I'll shatter the screen if I look at it the wrong way.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

There's also been plenty of criticism leveraged at the Surface Duo's multi-screen setup, with people calling it impractical or unintuitive. And sure, at first, it's a bit tough to adapt years of mental training for how phones work. It's harder still if you're not someone who would use those kinds of features often. I am, however, a chronic phone addict. Being able to side-by-side Reddit and Telegram is great for me, and it's something I do frequently on the Galaxy Fold. Ironically, though, the Duo 1 was arguably better at it.

The Duo software gives you more control over how and where links open. Since it knows and expects two specific regions of the phone where apps can open and interact with each other. The Fold 3 method is an extension of Samsung's built-in multitasking feature. The virtual screens work in silos, and can't interact with each other easily. If I open a link in Telegram, I want it to open up separately to the conversation I'm having. On the Fold 3, it opens in the same panel every time, which defeats the point of multi-tasking scenarios for me. On the Duo, it will try to more intelligently open links on the screen you're currently not using.

The problem is ... Microsoft removed this functionality on the Duo 2, which is maddeningly confusing. The Duo 1 even had a cool animation when you opened a link, shifting the content onto the unused screen. Is Microsoft even testing their own phones? And no, I won't leave a report in the Feedback Hub. How about testing your own devices, Mr. Trillion Dollar Company?

Does the Surface Duo have enough investment?

Surface Duo 2 Notification Shade New

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The thing that makes the Surface line so unreliable for me is the inconsistent support. We're still a year into the Surface Duo 1 not having the promised Android 11 update. The Surface Duo 2 shipped with weird animation bugs that Microsoft itself said would be fixed by launch, yet they are still broken. The Surface team doesn't communicate very well either, which is not a great way to build up a community around the devices. Your early adopters are your front line of marketing, and if you can't give them a good experience, how do you hope to entertain the masses?

The Galaxy Fold also has the benefit of a much larger team, already working with a far more mature OS. For what it lacks in good multitasking features, the Galaxy Fold 3 makes up for it with a wealth of expected features like wireless charging, a non-Google payment alternative system, its own app store, full theming, and skinning options, and much more. The Duo 2 barely reaches beyond stock Android. We do now have a non-Google photos app through a new OneDrive feature, and a more robust camera experience, but it's nowhere near enough.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The problem with the Surface Duo, as I've argued before, could be a lack of investment. For Samsung, Galaxy is its bread and butter, so you might expect it to get more serious backing. The Surface Duo feels like a side project, within a side project, which is not exactly reassuring. Sure, it's a multi-billion dollar side project, but when Microsoft can't even land the basics at launch, I'm left feeling how I felt when I unwrapped the Lumia 950 XL, with half-baked software, rammed with bugs and unfinished features. Unlike the Lumia 950 XL, though, the Surface Duo 2 is $1,500. 1,500. Dollars.

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You could argue that the price is so high to offset the costs of R&D. That hinge system is by no means simple, and would've been incredibly costly not only to develop but also manufacture. You could also argue that, because the Duo is pure hardware, with no software upsell like a Galaxy Store or a Google Play Store, Microsoft needs these types of prices to keep the dual-screen Duo even vaguely profitable.

Those are business considerations, though. As an end-user, even as a tech enthusiast and a frequent early adopter, I'm left wondering whether Microsoft is actually serious about the Duo line, or if it's some kind of vanity project that will die in the same drawer as Razer's ill-fated phone line.

Can Microsoft fix this?

Microsoft doesn't have a good history with phones, for various obvious reasons. They've also failed to make a good first, and now second impression with the Duo lineup, with many YouTubers and tech reviewers lining up to bash it. Even the heaviest Microsoft apologists likely have bad memories of Windows 10 Mobile fresh in their minds, left wondering if, indeed, Microsoft is serious this time around.

I desperately want to believe that like the Surface Pro, the third time may be the charm.

Folding phones may not be how the mainstream wants to use their devices, but dangit, it's how I want to use my devices. I want seamless multitasking. I want the boosted screen real estate. I want the big-screen media experience. And I want inking capabilities. I also just love the uniqueness of the thing. Phones used to be fun, and foldables make them fun once again for me, in a world of relentless iPhone copycats. The Duo fails to put the fun in fundamentals though, given that it misses the mark in far too many ways for a $1,500 handset. The battery life, camera performance, and software quality are nowhere near where it needs to be.

The Surface Duo 2 like its predecessor is a vision of a truly amazing phone, gradually coming into focus. It reminds me of the Surface Pro line in a lot of ways. It wasn't until the Surface Pro 3 that Microsoft truly nailed that form factor and changed tablet computing forever along with it. I desperately want to believe that like the Surface Pro, the third time may be the charm.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Sums it up nicely.
  • I have the surface duo 1. For me the only criticism is Android not really being optimized for duel screen. I think Microsoft has done a good job to try to force a square peg into a round hole. Hopefully Android 12L will improve that and therefore improve the experience. I really think it is the OS that is really the limiting factor. The hardware in my opinion is amazing, and every where I go people actually stop and ask me about the phone. I don't believe this is a Windows Phone issue of the past. But let's see what happens after the update to Android 12L.
  • Well said. Android 12L looks truly built for dual screen. Time will tell.
  • Even if you are, at least in part, correct Android 11 would have been a step in the right direction...
  • I bought a Duo 1 for $400. It arrives later today. I'm going to use it as a wifi device and save me from having to carry my XPS 17 9700 around (I hope). We'll see how it goes.
  • Hey, sorry but I sleepily clicked on the "Report" button while trying to click on "Reply". Closed my eyes a bit for a moment. So sorry about that. I hope Daniel and the team see this apology and disregard the unintended reporting.....
  • The biggest problem I have with either the Duo 1 or 2 is that they are HUGELY inaccessible for anyone that either doesn't have AT&T (Duo 1) or doesn't have the cash to drop for it all at once. One of the biggest advantages that the Galaxy Folds have is that, even as expensive as they are, they are still around $50-$60/month for people through their carriers which makes it accessible for way more people than the Duos will ever reach. I wanted a Duo 2. I will never have one unless Microsoft gets off their ass and works with these carriers to carry these devices so more people can get them. For now, I'll continue to pay off devices I have currently and then just get the Z Fold 3 at $50/month through T-Mobile.
  • Microsoft offers financing options when you buy the device. It may or may not solve your problem, but it is available. Here is the landing page from the link right under the sale price on the Duo 2 product page: https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
  • You can get financing through Microsoft and through Best Buy though.
  • There’s no doubt Microsoft is all-in with “Duo 3.” I just wish they would explicitly say, ‘Duo 2 is only for hardcore enthusiasts with a lot of disposable income who don’t mind being beta testers.’ I think we would trust Microsoft a lot more if they were just honest.
  • Hysterical. No company has ever launched a product with such messaging. I thought it was common knowledge to never buy a Gen 1 or 2 product unless you are an early adopter. That goes for cars, appliances, whatever. You probably forget how bad the 1st iPhone was. MS definitely has its faults yet I think it's odd how MS is consistently held to different standards than other tech companies. All that being said, like Surface Pro 3, MS needs to deliver more on SD3 or just go another direction. 3 revs is enough. It's a nice product but it's odd that a software company consistently stalls on the software part.
  • No matter what they do in Version 3, at $1500 starting price point it's not going to sell. Lower the price and things will be completely different.
  • If I recall, they didnt do it for marketing specifically but the messages MS put out about the duo 1 implied this is for the fans, not the masses.
  • Except...how do you know this? They dropped the Kinect after its second attempt. They dropped the Surface RT after its second flop. Band got two attempts, then disappeared as quietly as it arrived. They basically did two half-hearted MS Mobile launches (830 and 950), then tossed the whole thing in the trash. MS has had quite a few "two-and-done" consumer products. There's no reason to believe this is different, particularly when they're doing SO LITTLE to provide support or communication that they care.
  • Keith, MS has indeed dropped a lot of products (and I personally resent that I can't talk to my Xbox Series X to turn it on and control my TV because they dropped Kinect and the HDMI-in port after describing the Xbox as the core of an entertainment system), but that does not apply to the Surface products. The Surface RT is what evolved into the Surface Pro X, so that didn't really die (but the software platform for RT did). In other words, I think it's important to distinguish between MS hardware as a whole and the Surface line, which is what's relevant here. They have an excellent, Apple-like commitment to the Surface hardware. Further, just recently, MS gave the Windows software team to Panay, merging it with the Surface line. I don't think we're seeing the full fruits of that yet. As a product intended to serve MS ecosystem users, I think there's reason for optimism that MS will deal well with the Duo over time. They just announced a big change for Launcher on Duo, changing it to be part of the monthly Duo updates so they can better integrate it into the experience. I take that as a very good sign.
  • Why isn't att carrying the surface duo 2
  • Low sales volume with SD1?
  • Probably due to the same old thing with Microsoft, no advertising
  • After reading a handful of reviews I may trade in my Duo 1 for the Google Pixel 6 Pro, then wait for maybe the Duo 3, if that ever comes to light? I like the folding phone / screen concept, but don't need it.
  • That doesn't make sense brotha. If you enjoy your Duo 1 you'll damn sure love the Duo 2. Come on now!
  • Where did he say he enjoyed his Duo 1? I did just that. Traded in the 1 for a Pixel 6 Pro. Didn't hate the Duo 1, just didn't solve any problem I had. Fun to play with for a year though.
  • Where did he say he didn't, Tito?
  • When he said he doesn't need the second screen and is considering moving to a Pixel until MS does a better job.
  • Yes this is what I meant. I already have plenty of devices on hand so the Duo is not / was not a necessity, but more of a novelty, plus I really wanted to like the Duo 1. I'm ok waiting. In the meantime I'll try out the Pixel 6 Pro just for the heck of it.
  • "I like the folding phone / screen concept"....
  • if you liked the duo 1 I just cant see going back to a single screen. I really like the duo 2. It is def not perfect. we had patches on day 1 and day 2. I see a couple issues but the camera is so much more friendly to use and a much higher quality
  • For work I am looking at dual screens all day. It's even harder going from 24 inch plus screens to the Duo 1. but doable and fun and productive when I'm not at home. I'm still open to getting the Duo, just not now and not at this price point for a device I am not certain of of its future, which I was really open to support.
  • Microsoft needs to put windows 11 on a phone... (Run windows apps and Android ones on a phone)... That would be my perfect phone!
  • No need for a full fledged Windows operating system on a phone brotha. Lol....
  • Never going to happen. Don't hold your breath.
  • The Ship has sailed though, no signs of Windows 11 even going to have a UI that is optimised and fits to a smartphone-sized displays. Not to mention they currently even have problem working with Android to work with Duo, let alone actually building new OS especially as bloated as Windows. They had Andromeda project, it was shelved/scrapped.
  • I know this has been mentioned but next duo should have windows 11. Even if the screen is 11 in I believe this will solve many of the problems this phone faced with Android. I wished even the first Duo got windows I am not sure Android 11 or 12 will solve the issues and if last year is any indication, yes it got better but there are still bugs. I love my duo 1 cant pay for the duo 2 but hope that the next one will be a windows device.
  • Microsoft couldn't even get Windows working on the Duo. Imagine the bugs if they ever released it with Windows! It would be a mess.
  • I think for the Duo to ever take off Microsoft has to trim the width a little so it's easier to hold as a phone. The current form factor is great for a small tablet, but not good at all for a combination device. If they can get the closed width to 80-82 mm instead of 92 that would go a long way in my opinion and they can maintain the same diagonal size by raising the height a little. Most people can't afford to buy this as a separate device and it just seems too awkward to use as a phone in it's current design. You might as well just keep your phone and buy an iPad mini for your small tablet if you're going to carry 2 devices.
  • No need for that. Just lower the freakiest starting price and things will be completely different.
  • No need to trim the width, it's easy enough to hold as it is. I have average size hands and have no issues. That extra few millimeters width makes a huge difference to usage.
  • As a Duo user, I would resent that change. One of the many things I LOVE about the Duo is the width of screen in single screen mode. To me, that distinction is what makes the keyboard easy to use in portrait mode (single or dual screen). I always grumble now when I have to briefly use anything other than a Duo. Other phones feel absurdly cramped, like working on the side of a pencil in comparison. While I usually talk on Bluetooth, I have never had a problem holding the Duo to my head to use as a hand-held phone. I don't think of myself as having particularly huge hands either.
  • “I want seamless multitasking. I want the boosted screen real estate. I want the big-screen media experience. And I want inking capabilities.” Get an iPad Mini. It does all of this AND is from company that is deeply committed to mobile computing. It is not a side project with flaky software. It has a real app store. It is 8.3” and does split screen with two 5.8” windows side by side. Sound familiar? With no distracting line down the middle when you want the big-screen media experience. For less than half the price of the Duo 2. It won’t drop to $300 six months from now due to lack of sales. “It wasn't until the Surface Pro 3 that Microsoft truly nailed that form factor and changed tablet computing forever along with it.” No, what changed was laptop computing. A laptop without a keyboard - running a desktop/server OS and apps - does not a tablet make. Windows is a horrible tablet experience. Again, get an iPad if you want a tablet.
  • Few things (especially since I know Jez): He'll never buy an iPad. He really does not like Apple. There's no chance. That may extreme, but there are people who just do not like Apple (same goes for Android/Google), so we must recognize that. I think adding a third device (PC, phone, and now tablet) to one's arsenal is not a trivial decision. Some people want the phone/tablet experience so they only have 2 devices to manage. This issue multiplies when you consider he'll have a Windows PC, Android phone, and Apple tablet, with little overlap in UI, apps, and UX. iPads don't fit in your pocket. There's value in having your phone being a tablet when you need it and always having it with you vs. an iPad, which suddenly needs a bag when you leave the house. Personally speaking now, I've always dabbled with iPads and adore the HW. But I just never found a way to work it into my workflow despite how "good" it is. Simply put, it's not for everyone.
  • There's only one major problem with the Duo 2 and it's the insanely high price. $1500 starting price point is ridiculous and Microsoft knows better. $999 would have been an incredible deal and alot more people would buy it.
  • Agreed, the price is what's holding me back for now. I've put the 256 GB in the Best Buy cart a couple of times but I get to the checkout and see $1799.99 total with tax and I just can't do it. And it'd be an expense through my business, too. I wouldn't consider it for a second at the current prices if I was personally paying for it.
  • It's not the only problem, but it's definitely a big factor. At $1K, I would have bought the first Duo immediately. I was ready to buy it at $1,200, to get a 256 GB model. When that came to $1,500, I was out. This time, I said "if they fix the problems and leave the price the same, I'll buy it." Instead, they raised the price $100, took out the wall charger and the bumper (nearly $75 to get back), and didn't fix everything (still no NFC, no improvements to the MS Launcher). They keep doing their best to chase people away for such small gains.
  • There is NFC though, but no Qi Wireless charging still and there is an improved camera, sacrificing the ability to completely flip 360 flat. But yeah, the buggy software at launch with uncertain commitment support and huge asking price is still a barrier for this device. Sure the form factor isn't for everybody, that's given, but other concerns like price and software makes it a hard to buy for enthusiast as well.
  • Yeah, that was a misstatement on my part about the NFC/Qi thing. I was thinking the latter, but said the former. The buggy software isn't what bothers me. I can live with it and watch the platform grow (I did it with Insider builds of WP8 and lived through W10M's launch just fine). Software can be improved, but the fact that Microsoft charges consumers a premium while treating the product like a second-rate device is what concerns me. Given the state of the first Duo after a year on the market, I feel no more certain that MS will improve the Duo 2 than I felt with their Windows phones. I'm all for the form factor. I'd buy it, if Microsoft showed any serious commitment. They've done nothing to prove they're serious.
  • Keith, I think they indicated they're serious by putting the Surface brand on it, something they never did with the Lumias, even when Panos Panay introduced the final round of them (and you could tell he didn't like them by the complete lack of passion -- felt like he he was doing a favor for a friend, but didn't want to be too committal). Also, what are the software problems with the Duo 2? Always room for improvement, of course, but seems just about perfect even now, right at release. If it improves half as much as the Duo 1 over the next year, that would be remarkable. And this is all before we see the benefits of the big recent announcement to move Launcher updates out of Google Play and into the monthly Duo updates. That implies a deeper integration into the device, which is excellent news.
  • For me, that will bother me alot especially if I going to use this as a primary smartphone device, replacing my old one. Having inconsistent and unpolished software experience will adds up and will makes me question spending more than a grand for a device that feels like it can be surpassed by something cheaper when it comes to software polish. Especially here in Australia, this will be even more expensive than it should be. But yeah, what is even more concerning is how Microsoft is treating Surface Duo project. Well in some way, I give them a bit of a slack due to being them unexperienced with Android, but on the other hand this is their second attempt and still having problem even on basic things is concerning. They don't even have to create from scratch with Android, but to customize it and optimize its experience for the form factor they created. Though I'm saying this with simplification. The dual-screen form factor is very interesting and I can go with that. The advantage of able to 360 (almost) degree and more confident about the proven long term durability of the glass makes me want it bit more than Galaxy Z Fold 3, and it is slightly cheaper. But Fold 3 overall package at the moment is much better and feels more finished than Duo 2. Microsoft just needs to fix the problem, and we are just left choosing between dual-screen or folding display, not choosing between one has lesser bugs than the other. Oh and please the pen experience, this is clearly better on Fold 3 for now since they have pen interaction done better thanks to their Note line for years.
  • Even at £999 I wouldn't consider it, especially when my £249 Nokia 8.3 5G has more features like NFC for a start.
  • No one cares even a little bit. The Nokia has an inferior SoC. It has half the storage (though microSD support, which is nice). Its one screen is inferior to ether of the Duo's, of which there are two. It doesn't have inking support. It doesn't have a dual-screen accessory (like LG offered on the V60 and G8X) to get the form factor addressed. It also doesn't retail for £249, but it seems like nonsensical statements are your go-to here.
  • Duo 2 got both 5G and NFC, what features are missing?
  • Well, Qi is missing. I love the Duo and Duo 2, but I really do miss Qi.
  • MSFT knows this and picked the price deliberately. They are not chasing the consumer market. They want the price to reflex the productivity and cost they foresee in delivering the form factor. They will maintain this price and keep investing in the form factor for the foreseeable future (they will deliver a generation 3 device and work through the software issues for another 3 plus years.) Could they invest more? Sure, but they are working on a time frame and budget. Will the Duo team succeed? Obviously, the hardware tram has done a ton of work over the last 24 months. The software team still has a ton of work to do and they should perform as the months move along. I can wait another year before I buy this premium device
  • I know some don't care, but they need to make the screen bezels go up & down more, the more screen the better imo. I don't even really use my DUO 2 with my hands on the bezel parts. The OS needs a little more work although mines was running great until the most recent update.
  • Yep the the bezels are a deal breaker for me. I just can't see why they couldn't of extended the top bit of screen, so what if it wouldn't be full width because of the hinge they could use this space for the notification bar/time/battery monitor etc. I have an s20 it has almost no bezels, to me nowadays I would give buying a phone with big bezels the same consideration I would give buying a CRT TV or monitor.
  • Interesting point about the hinges. It would be pretty cool if they put the control bar/navigation in the bottom bezel and notifications in the top, freeing up apps to get most of the full 3:2 display space. The precedent for this is the camera notch in so many phones these days. I like your idea!
  • Yeah, I feel this. The hardware, the capabilities, form factor.... At this point I really do not want to go back to a single screen phone. They've nailed a niche here. But they really, really need to put way more into the aesthetics, the ease-of-use, the bugs, etc. I've been screwing with computers since I was like 8, and most frustrations and bugs don't register much with me because I'm used to tinkering and fixing, but way too often I get a jolt of "ummm, if the average phone user ran into this issue they'd throw this phone at the wall". That kind of thing is just unacceptable. I know what I'm getting into with devices like this as far as extras and cutting edge capabilities and I'm not going to compare it to the 13th edition of the iPhone or whatever it's at now. But just the basics of getting around the device and using it for what everyone uses a phone for, they have got to stop releasing things which don't meet that low bar. I'm going to pay for these things when they come out because they work for me, but they can't expect to grow like that. Gotta get the basics polished. No excuses, on an already polished OS.
  • Expected results when there is no dedicated quality assurance division and no programmatic testers. To save time with testing and reiteration, devs are gutting useful features. As long Microsoft refuses to rehire them, expect even more useful features to be gutted under the guise of telemetry “this feature isn't used much so we cut it”, or “we made things more efficient because we noticed people do xyz”. The latter was used when they removed Panoramic views in the photo hub and made it so that it directly loaded the photo gallery. Sure, you would typically navigate to the photo gallery after going to the photohub but telemetry doesn't indicate the smiles you'd experience when you saw your favourite memories. There are countless examples of the former, i.e kids corner, apps corner, rooms and so on. So, yeah expect to have more delays with o/s features and updates. I reckon the bean counters who pushed for the axing of the mobile division after the acquisition of Nokia's D and S division - really want to kick themselves back into time.
  • I strongly agree that telemetry data can lead to bad decisions (but only absent a leader with some product vision, making that a leadership issue, not a QA issue), and also that the disdain with which MS treated the Nokia D&S acquisition after Nadella took over was foolish -- regardless of your thinking on the merits of that acquisition, you should always leverage your strengths and MS basically just threw that strength in the trash. However, I believe each business team has its own QA group, expert enough in that area to be efficient at testing it. Surface was never part of Nokia. Windows testers probably don't also test Android phones and vice versa. I think your comments on QA are at least partly misdirected here.
  • Well, if each group had QAs then why have cumulative updates for Windows have caused issues for Surfaces, laptops and custom pcs? Hmm? The hardware engineering at Microsoft is top notch. You don't really need QA for hardware as that's usually done through prototyping and usability testing. You, however need QA as well as programmatic testing for software to iron out usability issues and bugs.
  • I bought a Fold 3 but returned it because visual voicemail didn't work and the Galaxy Watch 4 doesn't support navigation. If the Duo 2 doesn't work out, I may just hang on to my iPhone 11 and see what comes next year.
  • As a former Windows Phone user I'm also left wondering if Microsoft are serious this time round and the indications don't fill me with confidence. Microsoft have a very poor track record when it comes to mobile devices. Take Zune for example, here they had an iPod beater in every respect, they refused to release it outside the US and as such they canned it due to poor sales or Windows Phone and with the 950XL, they had a competitor to the Galaxy Note with the active covers and Surface Pen support but bottled it before launch. Don't even get me started on the complete lack of advertising of any of their products as well. Someone has already said this, Microsoft seem to have a two and done approach, the exception is the Zune which had various models before it was discontinued.
  • neo158, the change here is that MS has the Surface line, which has top executive support and a long-term perspective in a way that other non-Surface products never did. That doesn't guarantee they don't drop one, but the track record so far on Surface has been excellent. It has lived up to its goals as a premiere brand for MS.
  • The hardware on the SD1 was never the problem for me. It was, and still is the software.
    It is mind-boggling to me that Microsoft can't get the software right, but as of now, they can't. Screen going randomly blank, orientation losing its mind, keyboard covering up textboxes, launcher not working, pull down menu going bonkers, gestures not registering, fingerprint unlock being slow, camera shutter being even slower, and don't get me stated on getting the camera to open where I need it, I've learned to live with all of it over the last year and I've lived with it because the 2 screen phone is what I want and need. I'm not ever going back to a slab. Ever.
    I will, however, also not upgrade to the SD2. I wanted to, desperately. But the camera is just good, not great and Software still seems a hit and miss, the glance feature is more gimmick than useful.
    I won't spend that amount of money every year to hope for an eventual fix.
    I'll stick to the SD1 until a SD3 arrives and hopefully really nails it in every aspect. And if there is no SD3, I can always pick up a SD2 for cheap as soon as they make that known. I've bought into Zune, windows phone, and Band. This time it's up to Microsoft to show me they really mean it.
  • Those are hardware problems. My first Duo did those. Then MS replaced it. Same software, new phone. None of those problems.
  • These are my sentiments exactly...
  • stick to xbox and gaming news jez. i dont know why ppl keep comparing fold 3 to duo. its not trying to be a foldable tablet. its a 2 screen phone that mimics 2 monitors.
  • He is sharing his take on the devices that he already used. Good thing this actually highlighted so hopefully Microsoft would realize something before this gets worse. The comparison between Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 with Surface Duo 3 is fair since both are under a foldable mobile devices, but just happens to one use folding screen to other one with 2 separate displays. He even mentioned its differences and pros and cons between them.
  • Actually he stated that he prefers, as well as I do btw, the two screens concept: " it's apparent that the Duo 2 hardware may actually be preferable for me as a multi-tasking-oriented device. "
    Great concept, poor execution though.
  • Regardless of how much it upsets you, comparing it to the Z Fold 3 is completely valid. The market is so new and niche that the Fold and Duo are basically the only options for people who want to consider any kind of large-scale, folding device. If you're unwilling to compare those two, then there's literally nothing in having a discussion on whether or not you should buy either that interests you because you become completely devoid of an alternative device.
  • That's fair, but in comparing, it's important to explain their differences in purpose. While yes, both are foldable, and you're right that the whole market of foldables is still quite small making comparisons inevitable, they serve VERY different purposes. I'm not saying Jez is guilty of this, but many other reviewers rated the Duo based on the Fold's use case (especially with respect to app spanning), without also explaining how the Duo crushes the Fold for its own use cases (multitasking). All the comments about an external screen are another example of this -- the external screen is the hacky solution the Fold needs to approach the external screen function of the Duo (just fold it around open), and it's still nowhere near as good, because it's obscenely narrow.
  • Fold multitasks just fine and can actually run 3 apps at once. It is superior to the Duo for multitasking.
  • I don't see any real problems reported with the Duo 2 from those who recognize it's a dual screen multitasking device, not a foldable tablet, other than its price. Criticism of the price is fair, of course, but at the same time, that means the Duo 2 is great, just too expensive. Same reason I don't drive a Maserati. But I don't usually see complaints or anger at Maserati for making it too expensive. The Duo 2 is a high-end aspirational device that has a very specific set of skills. If you want to watch videos on a large screen, need Qi (my biggest complaint with the Duo), or prefer the feel of a soft plastic screen, then the Duo is not for you. On the other hand, if your primary goal is getting work done, especially using tools from the MS ecosystem, while on the move, and want it all in an easily pocketable and gorgeously engineered package, the Duo is peerless. It is the Maserati of mobile work and multitasking. And it's cheaper than the Fold by $300? What a bargain! In addition to Dan's excellent review here on Windows Central, here's another good review from someone who actually reviews it for what it is: https://youtu.be/nvqjkV9n6zE.
  • "that means the Duo 2 is great, just too expensive." I don't think that's true. It means the thing is too expensive, but it doesn't offer any proof of being great. The hardware still leaves some questions (is the charging port ACTUALLY sturdier?). Though the camera is greatly improved from its predecessor, it's still probably the worst on the market for any flagship. The MS Launcher support is really poor. The faith in software support is non-existent. It's an intriguing device that can fit a lot of people's wants and needs, but the price isn't at all justification that the device is great. "On the other hand, if your primary goal is getting work done, especially using tools from the MS ecosystem, while on the move, and want it all in an easily pocketable and gorgeously engineered package, the Duo is peerless." I can't agree here either. Other than the Slim Pen, there's really nothing that the Duo offers from the MS ecosystem that you can't get better. MS Launcher and Your Phone integration is BETTER on Samsung's devices than on the Duo. You're not really getting an ecosystem boost by having a Duo, since all of the software is on Android, and usually running as well or better away from the Duo. "And it's cheaper than the Fold by $300? What a bargain!" $200, if you compare the 256 GB Duo to the 256 GB Fold, and the Fold's had actually good promos that have made it the same price, or less, than the Duo. "It is the Maserati of mobile work and multitasking." This, I agree with. Maserati is a brand that has been known to share parts with Chrysler and Dodge vehicles (same parent company). It's a brand that some still see as prestigious, but it's nowhere near the luxurious offering that its reputation used to suggest. Few people are seen in them, and those that are usually have a Ghibli, a sub-$80K car that does absolutely nothing to promote the brand as elite. It's nothing special, more a shell of its expectations.
  • Keith, I think you make some good and fair points, but a few counters: While you are clearly correct that it would be a logical fallacy to conclude that just because the criticisms of the Duo are mostly on price, that means it's great except for the price, but I support that conclusion with the fact that most of the actual reviewers' comments (excluding those who seem determined to span apps because they see that the Fold does that, which is just bad testing, like testing a bicycle for how well it stands up with no one ridding it), do indeed praise most of the HARDWARE. I think you're right to say the camera is a bit below the camera in the iPhone 13 and latest Galaxy phones. That is indeed a negative, but in my post, I focused my comments on what it does that nothing else does. I completely acknowledge that it's a niche device. The Duo is NOT for everyone. For many, there are better devices. On the software, unlike the hardware, I think you're right that there has been a fair amount of concern expressed, based on MS' mediocre support for Duo 1 -- they did updates every month, but mostly security updates after the main fixes. Now, here I'll bring personal experience in: I had a Duo 1 with all the same problems Zac describes. They absolutely seemed like software problems, but MS suggested they send me a new one. I accepted, not expecting any change, but the new device (same software) fixed ALL of the problems. So, I think that what many ascribe as software problems with the Duo 1, especially the issues with the keyboard and posture orientation, gesture controls, and unlocking problems are actually widespread hardware problems, which is why MS couldn't fix them with software updates. But even with those problems, and whether they are hardware defects endemic to the Duo 1 design and fixed with the Duo 2's, as I now believe, or software, for those of us who live in the MS ecosystem and use our mobile devices to do work and care about pocketability (admittedly, a niche group), the Duo is the ultimate flagship. NOTHING else even does what the Duo does. Could it be better by adopting some things that are commonplace on cheaper phones, like Qi? Absolutely, but even absent those features, it's the most valuable phone/mobile workstation available to me. For me, I'd pay more for the Duo than the Fold, because the Duo fits my work needs much better, hence the comparison to the Maserati (I was thinking of the MC20 or older top models, like in the Joe Walsh song -- it's overpriced to most, but delivers amazing performance to those who care about that; if you don't like the Maserati analogy, pick something else that serves that role). That's not unique to me. It's true for many of us with those needs. That it's cheaper than the Samsung device that comes closest, but still doesn't hit all the critical points that the Duo hits, it is indeed a bargain.
  • I think it's obvious Android 12.1 is the real target for Surface Duo 2, it's a shame they didn't delay the device until the optimized dual screen OS came out. I hear it will be out early next year, so there's a chance it will stabilize before V3, but it's still 90% stable as is. I've had more problems on my 5 year old iPhone than I have on this, but is that saying much?
  • The shame isn't that they didn't wait. The shame is that no one is certain they'll actually be quick to market with the update. If Microsoft provided consistent, reliable support for the first Duo, to where there was faith that Android 12.0 or 12.1 would come to the Duo quickly (like we know will happen with the Fold), then missing it now would be fine. Instead, the first Duo has left us to wonder if the Duo 2 will get a major Android update or if it'll have a successor released without any real hope for support...like the first Duo.
  • Keith, I agree with you on this. MS has failed to take actions that would engender good will for the product line. This is a textbook case for why it's important to provide good support -- it builds trust which is a key ingredient for driving sales of future products. MS (and many other companies) doesn't seem to understand this seemingly obvious point.
  • Microsoft is serious about surface hardware. That's why they appointed Panos Panay as executive vice president. It will take some time for him to fix issues related to surface devices. He can do what jhonny ive did to apple. [My personal opinion]
  • You do know Panos has been in charge of Surface for a while, right? I think it's been 10+ years so he's been part of the good and the bad all along.
  • Well, he became head of the division in 2015, so not exactly 10+ year.
  • In 2015 he became head of all devices including mobile. Based on his LinkedIn profile, it looks like he's been on the Surface team since the beginning and I'm assuming he's always had a senior position. He became the head of Surface in Feb 2013 which means he's been the head for almost 9 years so congrats, you're today's "distinction without a difference" winner. Putting aside whether it's been 10 years or 5 or something in between, he's been the head for a while. The original comment makes it sound like he's a fresh new voice who will be the savior, given time. Whether Surface needs to be "fixed" is very debatable but if you believe it does, then you must also acknowledge Panos is part of the problem.
  • Now he advises Microsoft CEO directly. That will be a different story. I hope they have bigger hardware plan outside laptop. Smart AR glass is going to be next gen computing. Microsoft definitely doesn't want to lose next gen platform like they did with mobile phone.
  • I never understand the obsession with animations and cosmetic bs that adds no real usability value. I'm glad on the 2, I don't have apps behaving strangely to force a restart. At this point it's apparent Android is the limitation on behavior and unless Microsoft is spinning up an Android team full scale, I understand the phased approach. Also, the price is the price. Go buy an iPhone without a payment plan. I never see a review saying iPhones cost too much without payment plans. Consider Microsoft has a smaller demand and market, there will be added costs in the supply chain because of that, hence the inflation out the gate. Microsoft hopefully will focus on making this product sustainable for them and not try to be the top selling. A lot of people like Bentleys yet, they will never be the number one car sold. Not saying Surfaces are one in the same but you adjust for your market and profit, not always volume dominance.
  • I agree with you on your points on price and Duo's role, but I also think that animations are important (or at least can be). They're not just cosmetic. They make the OS more intuitive. They can help understand what's happening. Imagine if you pressed a button and it didn't depress or display a "working" animation (rotating circle, hourglass, whatever). If there's no instant reaction, you're left wondering if it even recognized your action. Animations, if used properly, convey that kind of information. Similarly, if touching in one place causes a change somewhere else on the display, animating motion between the two (like the shrinking and expanding window from Windows Taskbar) helps understand the connection between user action and OS action.
  • I am so very tired of hearing about the Fold 3 (or the M1) when talking about Surface devices, especially in surface-specific reddits. I know they're competitors, but I don't care. The Duo 2 is fantastic and I'm loving it.
  • Yeah, and while these is overlap in some functions, the Fold does things Duo does not (turns into a tablet) and Duo does things the Fold does not (instant, automatic multi-tasking and multiple displays). They're as different from each other as both are from a candy bar smartphone.
  • Having a gap in your screen is a huge disadvantage for the Duo. It isn't a positive as you are trying to make it.
  • I am beginning to think Microsoft is making a (serious) strategic mistake here. It isn't really about whether they are making the Duo as good as possible, but rather, the serious part, whether the Duo is the thing they should be making at all. I get why they are on the Duo: mobile is too big and too central, it is a gaping hole that seriously constrains their degrees of movement. But I think it is possible that in order to get back to mobile, they have to walk back much further than they think, and it is important they get the entry products and sequencing right, and at the right time before the windows close, Since they are a sort of hail mary challenger in this space, they have little room for error. So here is my take: they ought to paying far more attention than they are to trying to lead new wearable categories at this point in the game, rather than trying to break into phones. I think there is just not enough that is new in phones, and the incumbents are far too entrenched with massive advantages. The rule of thumb is if you can't make it 10X better you will not unseat the incumbent. Is Duo now, or potentially 10X better than stuff the incumbents either have, or that they could rush out if need be? So that is why Microsoft needs to rejigger their approach. The idea should be you need to come out with new product categories. VR & Holographic, any sort of visual wear thing is obvious potential area of strength for them because of their Hololens R&D investments. Why are they not far more aggressive there. They have the productivity and the gaming sides of it. By now they ought to have come out with something for heavy productivity, which they have, but also light glasses, and gaming. 2 out of 3 are missing. It is by dominating a future new "mobility" category like that that they'd most likely be able to find their way back into phones. There isn't enough new and useful discoveries available within the phone itself to sustain a new entry.
  • They should force Panos and Satya to use these as their daily drivers, we might get the software updates we deserve then...
  • I'm pretty sure Panos does, and he's the one leading the product development, so that's good. The problem is that the use case that works great for one person, isn't necessarily the same use case that appeals to everyone. For me, the Duo 2 is just about perfect. The Duo 1 was close, but camera was so bad it required using something else for pictures, plus some other minor (to me) issues. Duo 2 solved these. Only thing I resent about Duo 2 is missing Qi charging. If your goal with the device is to do work in systems that are part of the MS ecosystem, it truly is a peerless device. NOTHING ELSE can do what the Duo does, but not everyone needs those features.
  • Z Fold 3 mainly for entertainment. Surface Duo 2 mainly for business. SD2 should be sold to businesses not individuals. I would really like the SD2 as my company device.
  • That's a fair distinction. Certainly for typing and doing work, NOTHING is as functional as the Duo. But I also find the Duo to be the best gaming device because of the 3:2 individual displays and the way it folds around your hand to grip your holding hand while you play -- even w/o a case, it's easier to hold than any other phone on the planet. Then there's the dual-screen advantage to Game Pass cloud games.
  • Fold 3 is more functional, especially for work. You can open more than 2 apps and an app/document/drawing/schematic on a single large screen. Duo can't that, the only advantage is maybe being a bit more intuitive for dual apps. That doesn't matter when you get used to the Fold or if you have used Samsungs split screen functions. Fold 3 is a better work device.
  • Hey Jez ... totally spot on, on every single point you touched on. What are the chances your esteemed colleagues, Dan and Zac, can present this write-up - if not in-whole, then at least the ones ya all deem to be the most significant, that will have impact - to your team's contacts at Microsoft, in general, and the Surface team, in particular? Thanks!
  • Hard time understanding why MS is adding Amazon store to Windows / Windows Store when they could add Samsung Store to instead and use the Samsung Store on Duo as well as the Google Store. They do have a partnership they could easily expand upon.
  • I think it's more matter of an individual user's tolerance. I came to the original Duo from a Galaxy Note 10 and I upgraded to the Duo 2 on day one. Personally, I would find it incredibly painful to go back to a single screen mobile device no matter how big the single screen may be. If I summarize what I understand his 'issues' to be I think it boils down to the following:
    1. There is currently a multi-tasking bug where the second app being invoked does not open on the opposite screen.
    2. There are no 'cool animations' when opening apps
    3. There is no wireless charging
    4. There is not a Google Pay alternative
    5. Vague reference to battery life and software quality (touch) For me, #1 and 2 will be easily addressed in a future software update and are in no way, shape or form hindering my productivity. #1 is a bit annoying but, is remedied with a half-second swipe of the app to the left or right. #3 is annoying but, having lived the past year without wireless charging I don't really think about it anymore. #4 I guess that's a personal preference...I happen to use Samsung Pay on my Duo 1 and my Duo 2 via my Galaxy Smart Watch. #5 I easily get all day battery life and, while I've read others reports of non-registered touch, I'm yet to experience it. I guess at the end of the day, I bought in to the Surface Duo experience and the productivity gains it brought me with the first Duo. I'm 100% in the Microsoft Office ecosystem and the Office apps on Duo are incredible. Nothing out there offers a better inking experience. And, Duo 2 improves on Duo 1 in every single way. So, I'm happy as a clam...just wish there was no camera bump 🙂
  • I think the question should be "Why isn't Microsoft serious about Surface Duo"? If they are going to do anything why wouldn't they do it to its fullest? Especially mobile devices, with them needing total effort to be competitive. That leads us to more questions like "Why is Microsoft even trying a mobile device if they intend to fail", "is Microsoft even capable of making Duo successful" and, does Microsoft have the means to manage a successful mobile business"? 🤔🤔🤔
  • Microsoft knows the Duo will never be successful. However, a version 3 rebranded “Surface Scribe” might have a shot.
  • Ideally in A5 format.
  • Lol.. I still like the Scribe name.
  • They aren’t serious about it because it really isn’t a great form factor. It seems like some weird part of Microsoft is pushing the Duo, they don’t have the full company behind it. That is part of the reason it will be canceled early next year.
  • People complain about price relative to perceived or actual value. Yes, iPhones are expensive, but Apple's track record of device support, device reliability, device longevity, consistency, & customer support make the price justifiable for a lot of people. As a current Duo 1 owner, I can say that, for me, price and value are not in alignment with this device. It's a niche device that even their niche market is hesitant to invest in - never a good sign. Look at the results of the poll on this site - a MS/Windows enthusiasts site. I love the idea & form factor, but the execution still needs work. I'll be skipping the Duo 2 & waiting to see what the Duo brings to the table. Until then, I'm swapping my Duo 1 for a Fold 3. I just feel that the Fold is a much further along device. Zfold 3 is already in line to get Android 12L - Duo 1 is still on Android 10...
    The value proposition for Duo is not yet in line with where the product is actually at in its life cycle - for me.
  • I don't understand Microsoft. I was a tester for the T-Mobile Sidekick - I am not associated with T-Mobile, Danger, Microsoft or any other company - as a true outside person. I found a lot of glitches etc. that no one else found and I am not IT or computer person either. Plus, I live in the Midwest, far away from Microsoft. Anyway, Microsoft bought Danger/T-Mobile Sidekick for a half a billion dollars then it came out with Kin and I got to try it...It had a pretty good camera. What the heck was that? It was just the wrong product at the wrong time. and with its resources, I don't get it. How could all the talent be at Apple, Samsung, and other companies. I guess it could. I would like to have a Duo but I don't think I would be that impressed and besides Microsoft has had years to develop Duo. Perhaps I need to be testing the Duo like Sidekick.
  • I have the Duo 1 and the software/update experience has been frustrating at best. Microsoft has regularly dropped the ball with the Duo 1 with software improvements and even just getting it to Android 11 that it is difficult to drop $1499 on the Duo 2. It also doesn't help that the Duo 2 gets a giant question mark on still needing more software improvements to really make it work well as a multi-tasking device and it even lost some positive funcitonality from Android 10 and Duo 1 (how links work w/dual screens). I'll hang onto my Duo 1 for now and see what Android 11 brings when it gets updated this Winter. Personally, as a Duo 1 owner photography was never important for me so the Duo 2's camera bump is actually a bit off putting vs. being able to fold over the device flat. I'd rather have slimmer bezels and taller screens vs. a camera bump. If I upgrade it'll probably be a Duo 3 iteration assuming Microsoft figures out all the small details and really shows some dedication to software updates with the Duo 2. It does suck that as an early adopter you got saddled with a device that is lucky to get 1 major OS update with fingers crossed that it won't be dumped for anything but security updates at the 2 year mark. As always, avoid a 1.0 device from any company because you are probably just going to be paying a lot of money to be a guinea pig.
  • Good bye Windows Phone 10 Mark II. I've lived through this story before and learned my lesson. This device was already a neglected child before it was even born. Just waiting for how abruptly and spectacularly Microsoft will utterly abandon the device and the rubes that fell for it.
  • So I'm not sure if the reviewer has the second one like I do or had the first one. First I'd like to say they did address the bugs for the demos that was out there while you boot the phone up it's does. Then we had a second one a day later. I have not had any issues at all its been over a week. Second I have the fold 2, s21 ultra, pixel 5 and iPhone 13 I'm a gadget person always have been. The second duo is everything I need it to do. It's a productivity device first, that has the specs for everything else. Microsoft will support this one due to the first one not even supposed to have been a phone running Android, Why it had a web cam and years old specs. Also keep in mind this Microsoft launcher skin on top of the duo that's been tweaked is just a place holder for android 12l which will better implement with Microsoft tweaks this dual screen experience. I use this device all day every day the battery by the way is really good comparable to my Ultra. I use my ultra or iPhone as well for I always use two devices tho. The camera is comparable to my fold 2 which is the same cam as the fold 3 as we know. I won't make this too long but the device is fine and I look forward to using it for my business needs going forward.
  • Do you think Duo 2 will get Android 12l before 2023? I wouldn't make that bet.
  • Didn't MS hire a bunch of android experts to specifically work on the Duo? Doesn't seem to be helping much..
  • From what I read at Windows Central, the Android team that originally worked on the Duo were originally outsourced and then brought into Microsoft as employees. This is a fairly recent development. Considering the relatively small amount of experience MSFT has with creating drivers, etc for Android, plus the unusual form factor of the Duo, issues should be expected.
  • Best article so far, sums up perfectly the current state for the Duo line.
    You forgot the confusing price drop from 1500-400, from flagship to budget!
    That f..ed up nicely all resale value for early adopters... #notappreciated
    Was it a panic move? Did they almost pull the plug on the project and tried to sell all stock fast?
    And how do you get back to the original price again and raise it by another 100$?
    How confident can someone be that another price drop won't happen with Duo 2?
  • You need to send this article and the comments to Microsoft. Everybody here has highlighted everything wrong about the Duo. If they just focus on these points they can turn this to a success.
  • Dual screens will never be a success. It is doomed to fail as the form factor is way too awkward.
  • If you want to take pics of your family, friends, or food, don't get the Duo.
    If you want to watch YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu don't get the Duo.
    If you want to scroll through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, don't get the Duo.
    If you pay for your smartphone via installments, don't get the Duo.
    If you are a white-collar professional or business person who want a small, light,
    portable mini-touchscreen laptop with pen support that can also make/
    take calls, the was made for Duo for you. Sadly, too many people on here fit #1-4, and too few fall under #5...
  • I can do every single one of these with the Duo with no issues at all. In fact, scrolling through things is arguably better because I can span it across both screens and see more content. For watching videos, tent mode is amazing and not something you can do with any other phone. Installments I can use a credit card and do the same thing. Or if I get it through the Microsoft Store they offer installment payments. Seems like you've never actually used a Duo from your comment.
  • My iPhone has "tent mode" via a magnetic popsocket. Phones have had kickstands for years. The LG dual screens can do twntkde I think. Your claim makes no sense.
  • I think R K7's point is that the primary use case for the Surface Duo is productivity like a micro-laptop. I don't think R K7 meant to imply that you cannot use the Duo for YouTube, etc. I just completed a group meeting on Teams using the Duo. I liked using the two screens for that purpose. I"m glad the Duo exists, even if it isn't (and might never be) a mainstream product.
  • I wonder if the new Android 12 L announced the over day would sort a lot of Duos problems when it comes to software?
  • I was in for Zune, WP7, WP8, WP10. Had 3 Lumias, loved my 950xl but all was cancelled, loved my Surface RT....goodbye, my Band 1 was shortly replaced by Band 2 which was shortly cancelled.
    I won't buy any MS product until 3 or 4th gen when they have ironed out the bugs and proved it is not just a live testing or mud against the wall and hope it sticks project.
    All those things could of been a success if backed with money, marketing, common sense and time.
  • Mr. shaunydub, I feel your pain. Please bear in mind that the Microsoft of Zune, Windows Phone, etc. is gone, along with the managers/executives who championed those products. Personally, I think the push into consumer products was a strategic mistake on the part of "old" Microsoft. That being said, I perceive the Surface division as being almost and R&D group. And I think of the Surface team's products as being production proofs of concept or minimally viable products. If you want traditional, tried-and-true products that will never be abandoned, then Surface might not be the brand for you. And that is totally fine, sir.
  • Where is my MS Courier? Been waiting since 2008. Duo is good, but not quite. I need better size/form factor. A Duo size that unfolds to mini iPAD size. Also, how about a mini iPAD size that unfolds to a iPad Pro size. Speaking of which, wheres my Neo? ? :) The Lenovo Fold laptop is tempting but too heavy. I want a Neo , Microsoft !! This is a productivity product, but the size is not quite there for PEN use, unless as above. Will ditch my mini iPAD and iPAD Pro when my wish comes true. Camera is ok. Phone is ok. Just need the right sizes, more memory, and some better software. Please, pretty please, Microsoft? ??? I have a Duo 1 and a Galaxy Fold 3. Something about the size of both makes writing not quite right or satisfying.
  • The thing is that the Fold can do everything that the Duo 2 can do, the same can't be said for the reverse.
  • This is objectively untrue. The fold cannot do fully I dependant dual screen multi tasking without resizes and faff.
  • Foxkii is right here. Sin Ogaris is incorrect. This comment section is filled with examples of things the Duo can do that the Fold cannot.
  • It absolutely can do split screen multitasking, and open more than two apps at once. Having a gap in between your apps isn't really an advantage as you are trying to say.
  • This is a product line you need both an open mind, patience and understanding for. You can't expect it to just become perfect overnight. Nobody has done this before so it's uncharted territory. It will likely take a third device to perfect it. Personally I'm loving my Duo 1 :). I daily drive it.
  • Kyocera Echo, Axon M, and LG have all made dual screen phones. They all sucked for the same reason the Duo sucks. The form factor isn't worth the inherent awkwardness created by the hinge and screens. It isn't uncharted territory at all.
  • You know the irony here. When Microsoft first released the Duo, they were UPFRONT about the messaging with it. It's a mobile companion device. to be productive on, and you can use as a phone. Period. That was a it. But some reviewers, a few influencers, etc. Were obsessed with calling it a phone. Then in reviews, they bash it for not being a good "Phone". They like the productivity and the versatility of it...but they complain about the phone function seeming, "secondary". That was the entire point. This isn't for people who simply want a phone. That was Windows Phone was for, and it didn't work it. This isn't trying to be that. It's trying to carve out a different path, and niche. Just like the surface pro was never trying to be a conventional laptop. The sooner people acknowledge and accept that, the sooner the device can live up what it was made for, and be successful. I'm buying the duo 2. Because I want a productive companion device. To read my news, take news, listen to webinars, and handle my business calls. I don't care about the phone aspect, or the camera. I barely take pictures as it is. The Duo 2 fixes the only reason I didn't get the 1st one, which was it now has NFC and 5 G support. So, in that regard, MS nailed it. As far as the bugginess...Meh. It's an android phone. I have a Oneplus 9 Pro, it's fantastic, but on occasion has minor hiccups. MS is at the mercy of google, and I knew this going into it. maybe if this device gets support, it will encourage MS to try again with software in house, but, these are cards we're dealt, and given those cards, I think MS did a fine job
  • A $1400 companion device is the dumbest idea ever. Of course it is supposed to be your main phone. If Microsoft actually thought that, which I am quite sure they didn't, it was a terrible idea. Bugs on the Duo aren't Google's fault. They are all Microsoft. I don't have any noticeable bugs on my Android 12 Pixel. It is maybe even less buggy than my iPhone 12. Manufacturers are the only ones responsible for getting Android on their device. Google gives them a great starting point.
  • With all due respect, I think all you have to do is read the article here at Windows Central about the history of the Duo. Its previous incarnation, Project Andromeda, really was meant to be a companion device instead of a phone. Putting Android and telephony capabilities seemed to have been a fairly late decision.
  • Micrsooft never said that. That was WC trying to make an argument for a device that wouldn't have mobile apps. Duo is certainly supposed to be your primary device and is more than capable of doing so.
  • If money was no object I would buy the Duo 2 in a heartbeat. I genuinely think it is the most interesting phone on the market at the minute in terms of form and function. I already use a heavily customised version of Launcher10 on my Oneplus 7t Pro and I have seen good things with it on the SD2 on Reddit, with the tiles on one side and the a-z app list on the other. It would be the Windows Phone of my dreams! I'd happily use it alongside a smartwatch for notifications and quick replies and I already carry a mirrorless camera most places anyway so the camera isn't an issue.
  • I have no desire or need to buy a dual screen phone, but damn the Duo 2 looks good. Microsoft could sell tons of these if they got the software right. But mobile isn't their priority.
  • The form factor is awkward and not really worth it. Previous dual screen phones have already proved they don't work. Expect them to cancel it by spring.