Microsoft finally releases January update for Surface Duo [Update: AT&T too]

Surface Duo January Update
Surface Duo January Update (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Surface Duo has a new update that improves the device in several areas.
  • The update improves the Surface Duo's stability, audio quality, and touch stability.
  • The update brings software version 202.1211.85

Update Feb 9, 2021: The same January update for AT&T Surface Duos is now live as well after undergoing AT&T testing. That update is only for Surface Duos sold through AT&T, not unlocked Surface Duos with an AT&T SIM installed.

Microsoft's Surface Duo has a fresh update that includes several improvements. The update improves the stability, audio quality, and touch stability of the Surface Duo. It also addresses important security scenarios and adds the ability to add a caller to a conference call in certain situations.

The update brings software version 202.1211.85 and is 576 MB. The Surface Duo update history page (opens in new tab) outlines all of the changes:

  • Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin - December 2020 and January 2021.
  • Improves Surface Duo UI stability.
  • Adds the ability to add a caller to conference calls in certain conditions.
  • Improves audio quality when using speaker mode.
  • Improves touch stability.

Surface Duo owners have waited some time to receive an update. Microsoft didn't ship an update for the device in December and it's almost the end of January. The most recent update for the Surface Duo before this one rolled out on November 16, 2020.

To check for the update, use the following steps:

  1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Select Settings on your Surface Duo's home screen.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select System Update.
  5. Select Check for update.
  6. Select Restart now.\

For those with an AT&T version of Surface Duo (not unlocked and on AT&T), we expect that update to ship likely next week as it gets approved.

Microsoft Surface Duo

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

27 Comments
  • It should be noted that Att users will need to wait a little longer
  • Thank you, WC ❤️
  • Downloading the update for my AT&T version now...
  • Just tried it and bricked my Duo. Forced me to do a factory reset. Advise others to wait and see
  • Worked fine for me, no issues.
  • Worked for mine. BTW, 'bricked' is stated a little strong. If you did a factory reset and recovered, that's not bricked. Bricked = trash.
  • This is true.... But, I'm pretty sure they can recover a bricked device in service.
  • Froze my device too on reboot. Did a hard reboot then restored my profile. It fixed my Bluetooth speaker problem during phone calls.
  • Jaimito, can you check and see if you can backup your phone? I lost the ability to back my phone up to Google Cloud. It says "Waiting to backup". Apparently a known Google issue which can be resolved by removing the PIN for screen locking. A PITA, but everytime I need to back my phone up, I have to go through these steps of removing the PIN, backing the phone up and then restoring the PIN.
  • No problem here either.
  • When for a release in France ??? WC spoke of this in december but since no more news...
  • Lol this "pocketable" android smartphone. Seems like an odd thing to need to say, most Android smartphones are pocketable.
  • Not odd at all, considering this is a brand new form factor, and many people doubted that it would be pocketable.
  • In the article it says "phone".
  • I guess it's a pocketable Android tablet. 🤷🏽‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️
  • I can pocket mine. I don't wear my pants skin tight.
  • Worked fine for my Duo as well... Anyone hear a time frame on when we can expect Android 11?
  • The way I see it, my Note9 hasn't received 11 (if it's even planned for the N9) and I think it would get it before Duo does. Maybe? IDK. 🤷🏽‍♂️
  • My Note 10+ on Verizon got Android 11 on January 15th. Not sure when and if the Note 9 will get the update.
  • Note n9 only getting security updates since the last major/minor point release, and won't be refactored for android 11 (by Samsung).
  • The perfect Lumia 950 has been dumped and now there's a new gadget to ditch.
  • So the Lumia 950 was "perfect". No, and it received years of updates before its update cycle finished with the OS. And as this is about a phone that hasn't been dumped and is receiving updates I think this is a crass statement.
  • What I think he meant was: "It is just a matter of time before it too gets dumped." I tend to agree. Satya has been great for Microsoft pushing into enterprise services and has done well as a result for MS stock holders, he at the same time has been terrible to mostly consumer products.
  • I miss Windows Mobile so much. 😥 Android just doesn't compare, IMO. (cries tears of sadness, daily).
  • Yep, I miss mine, too. I had charged up my old 950XL just to be randomly reminded by Cortana that it's no longer supported on Windows Mobile. lol I was thinking about seeing if I could find a version of Windows 10X to flash onto it, since it's only really good for experimenting with, at this point. I don't know how difficult it would be, but what else do I have to do with it
  • It is actually build 2020.1211.86 article needs to be fixed. 2020.12q1.85 was previous version
  • Sorry 2020.1211.
    85 was previous version