MrMobile gives a long-term review of Microsoft's Surface Duo 2: 'I keep coming back …'

Fisher Duo2
Fisher Duo2

What you need to know

  • Michael Fisher (aka MrMobile) gives a new long-term review of Microsoft's Surface Duo 2.
  • Fisher last reviewed the phone upon release and like many reviewers, was frustrated with its software issues.
  • Five months on, Microsoft appears to be finally figuring out Surface Duo 2's software, though other non-software issues remain.

Microsoft's Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 are some of the most fascinating phones to come out in the last few years, which made reviews of them so disappointing. While many praised the hardware, the software execution was … rough.

We recently re-visited Microsoft's dual-screen phone and noted that the last three updates have substantially changed the product for the positive. It's now, basically, where it should have launched back in late September. That's perhaps a low bar, but it's progress nonetheless and something we find encouraging.

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

Michael Fisher, better known as MrMobile, is also taking another deep dive to investigate Surface Duo 2 in his 13-minute video "long-term review."

Fisher is, as he admits, "so predisposed to embrace the unconventional," that he can overlook a phone's shortcomings for "doing something no other device does." And that is the crux of Surace Duo: It lets you multitask on a pocketable computer that's simply unlike anything on the market.

The video gives kudos to Microsoft for enhancing the pen functionality and, in general, improving the overall software experience.

Of course, not all is perfect, either. Fisher still believes Surface Duo 2 is too expensive, with $999 feeling more appropriate. As many have noted, the cameras are still below expectations for a device in this price category. Typing, something even we said, could still be much better. And, of course, Android itself is still in its infancy for the dual-screen/foldable world (something which Android 12L should begin to rectify later this year).

The video is, as usual, an excellent, balanced look at Surface Duo 2 five months on with lots of insight. But the bigger story is the conclusion that Fisher reaches: he "genuinely thinks the idea of a dual-screen phone deserves to exist," even if he believes folding screens are the way to go.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I watched this and I felt that it was a very good review/ 2nd take on the duo 2. Most reviewers will not see how much this phone has improved, and kudos to Microsoft for doing their best to "stand by their products." I felt this should have been the 1st one, and the original was just a proof of concept.
  • I agree with his assessment. For me, it's almost good enough to be my daily driver.
  • What does it need to cross that threshold for you?
  • The core apps I use have to work quickly and consistently. It has to be able to work in my existing ecosystem of mixed devices/apps. It's almost there, but not quite.
  • Great reassessment of the Duo 2. Although, I never noticed the SwiftKey formatting, until this video. I definitely agree that SwiftKey can use some upgrades to properly utilize dual screens better.
  • He actually states in his YouTube comments that he was incorrect and it can be resized
  • I love the Duo 2. As I type this on my "pocketable computer" the only thing I'm not happy about is the cost of ownership. 🤑
    I got the $1599 256 GB model
    I paid for two years of Microsoft's coverage as well.
    Bought the pen cover (I did get that for a discount). Love it!
    I Bought the slim Pen 2, love that too.
    The Otter box Cover (normally $99 I got it for about $69) Man, I don't even want to add all that up!!!! 😄🤑🤑🤑 But I am still quite pleased with the device and find it extraordinarily useful to my workflow as a business owner in social services and in pastoring a church. This is really an amazing tool. 👍👍👍 And it's so cool😎😉
  • I was rely happy to see Mr Mobile's revisit to the Duo. It is a format that I'm rooting for even if it as it is now not anything for me. The ability to "multi-task" is more or less totally uninteresting for me, i t can have some fringe uses but as a selling point it gives me nothing. On the other hand we have the case when apps are becoming aware of the format and for example in a email client presents the list of mails in one window and the highlighted email in a reading window. That is a real selling point for me. Also the more useful the pen gets the bigger chance that I will go from the Note to the next Duo. I also agree with Fisher in that I see a fold-able screen with a software crated divide as a better solution, then I think we have a better compromise between the use case of having a big screen spanning ability and the use of multi-screen functionality.
    Finally, would still use this kind of device in a one screen mode and would like to see it as a three screen device, one outer and two inner screens. I have high hopes for a Duo 3 and even higher for a Duo 4 that may be my next device in a couple of years. For now I think I will be happy with my "Note" 22 for the coming 2-3 years.