Surface Duo one year later: Slow progress, mixed bag

Surface Duo 2020
Surface Duo 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft's Surface Duo has been available to buy for one year today. Announced almost two years ago at an event in New York City, the Surface Duo has been a polarizing device for being both Microsoft's re-entry into the phone market and its first "foldable" device.

I've been using the Surface Duo as my only smartphone for an entire year, so I'm pretty familiar with it at this point. So, one year on, how is the Surface Duo today? Has Microsoft been good to its customers? Have all the issues been ironed out? Are dual-screens the future?

It's complicated.

Microsoft is right about dual-screens

Galaxy Fold 3 Surface Duo Vs

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

I was a Galaxy Fold user for about 10 months before I picked up my Surface Duo in September 2020. So, I've had ample time to experience both foldable screen and dual-screen form factors. When the Surface Duo was first announced, many criticized Microsoft for opting for a dual-screen setup instead of the technically superior foldable screen, but I think Microsoft was right in its decision.

After one year of using dual screens, I don't think I could ever go back to using a single-screen foldable, let alone a standard slab phone. The "defined real-estate," as Microsoft Surface chief Panos Panay put it, is no joke. It really does make a difference in your overall productivity and workflow. It's not something you notice when using the device, but this defined real-estate forces you to multitask in ways the Galaxy Fold doesn't.

For example, on the Surface Duo, I often open up both Telegram and Twitter. I'll be scrolling through my Twitter feed while checking my missed messages in group chats. If I need to type out a long paragraph, I just fold back one of the screens and begin typing. This experience on the Galaxy Fold is not so straight forward. I have to open Twitter, then manually initiate multitasking mode before I can even see Telegram next to it. It's a process that I have to think about first.

Surface Duo 2020

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

I don't have to think about that process on Surface Duo. It just happens. It's instinctive when you have an entire secondary display just sitting there waiting for you to interact with it. I don't deny that the Galaxy Fold can functionally do everything the Surface Duo can from a multitasking perspective, but the difference is the Duo makes it seamless; it makes it natural. This is not the case on a device like the Galaxy Fold.

But even when you do multitask on the Galaxy Fold, the apps become super cramped because of the Fold's aspect ratio. The benefit of the Surface Duo is that you have two full-sized phone screens that display phone apps perfectly. The displays on the Surface Duo are only 5.6-inches, but I've never once felt like they are too small. That's all thanks to their aspect ratio.

Surface Duo's displays are uniquely shaped, but never feel too small.

The Galaxy Fold's biggest issue for me was that most Android apps aren't really designed for tablet-sized screens, so many apps look weird or spread out when on the Galaxy Fold. There's no such problem on the Surface Duo, because you're only ever using 5.6-inch displays at any one time.

Some say the displays on the Surface Duo are too wide, and I can see where that idea might come from. Yes, it's too wide to comfortably hold and navigate with one hand, but the real-estate that the keyboard has when in single-screen mode really makes up for that when using both thumbs to type. I've never had a more comfortable typing experience than I have on Duo when in single-screen mode.

The hardware has been a mixed bag

Surface Duo 2020 Battery Status

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

Dual screens aside, other aspects of the Surface Duo have been a mixed bag. The overall design is contemporary, minimal, and super thin. It's beautiful to look at, and I admire the Surface team for being bold and omitting common smartphone features to achieve this design. That said, those omissions have gotten old really quickly, and I'm now at a point where I wish this device had things like NFC and a better camera system on the outside.

But there are issues with some of the materials that Microsoft has used on the Surface Duo. It became apparent pretty early on that the polycarbonate edges around the Duo aren't all that durable, and the color yellows quite significantly over time. After one year of use, my Surface Duo looks dirty, even though it isn't.

Duo 1 Yellowing

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

The edges also dent super easily. I have several minor scuff marks all around the device, and I've never dropped mine. The thinness of the device also means the plastic around the USB-C port cracks easily. Mine is cracked, and I've been very gentle with my USB-C port.

Another issue that I've noticed, though I've not seem many people talk about, is that the oleophobic coating on the inside and outside of the device wears off quickly. I've never had a phone that attracts fingerprints more than the Surface Duo does. White glass on the outside usually hides fingerprints pretty well, but this device picks up so many you can usually see them. This is amplified with the inside glass since those are black.

Touch response has been mixed too. Sometimes it's fine, but other times I notice the device trying to keep up with my tapping on the keyboard or swiping through apps. Everything else on the Duo has been a joy the use. The hinges are still perfect, and don't feel any less tight than they did on launch day. The displays are crisp and clear, though I do wish they had a higher refresh rate.

Microsoft is the problem with Surface Duo

Surface Duo March2021 Update

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

While I do think Microsoft is right about dual screens, that doesn't mean the Surface Duo is perfect, because it isn't. The device launched in a notoriously buggy state. While Microsoft has fixed many of those initial software quirks, it did so at a pace which I find unacceptable, and it still hasn't fixed all of them.

I paid $1,399 for my Surface Duo at launch, and 365 days later, it is still frustrating to use at times, all because of the software bugs that Microsoft still hasn't fixed. Everything from the device just locking up and not responding, to the Microsoft Launcher or App Switcher glitching out and refusing to go away when opening apps.

This device should have received multiple bug fix updates a month, but Microsoft has only shipped one update every month, and it's even had the cheek to stop shipping bug fixes for the last four months as it waits to ship Android 11. It's just unacceptable, and it's not helped by the fact that Microsoft refuses to talk to its customers about this.

There's still no way to submit bug reports on to Microsoft on Surface Duo, and there's so place to check on the progress of bug fixes or to find workarounds for issues I continue to encounter every single day. We still don't even know when Android 11 will launch for it. I've written about this a handful of times throughout the year, and absolutely nothing has changed.

And that's not even mentioning the fact that we've had very little new features or apps show up for Duo, and in the case of the Microsoft News app, actually remove functionality specific to the Surface Duo form factor.

Swiftkey Spanned Typing Surface Duo

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

It comes across as if Microsoft has abandoned this device, and that's not helped by the fact that it can now be had for over 50% off. It just looks liked a failed experiment that Microsoft doesn't want to talk about anymore. It is so Microsoft to ship a device and then refuse to communicate with customers about its roadmap for a year. I would've thought Microsoft would want to avoid this kind of behavior considering its shoddy track record with phones.

Luckily, we know from sources that Microsoft is committed to the Surface Duo. But, I shouldn't have to result to "sources" to find out that information. Microsoft should be open about when Android 11 is coming and what features it will bring. It should be open about upcoming fixes, and let us know ETAs or give explanations for why certain issues aren't fixed yet.

Surface Duo 2 has a lot to prove thanks to Microsoft's treatment of Duo 1.

If Surface Duo 2 launches in the same state as Surface Duo 1 did, I don't think I could handle another year of buggy software and no communication. It's been tough, and it's been frustrating. Many average users would've put this device down months ago, but I soldiered on.

At the very least, Microsoft should be more open with its customers and fans who own Surface Duo devices. Let us know when the next update is coming, give us a list of known issues and possible workarounds, just be more transparent with us. Convince us that this device is more than just a pet project, and that you care about it once it's shipped.

I should clarify that Microsoft has fixed bugs on the Surface Duo since launch. It's a much more stable experience today than it was 12 months ago. However, it's still not perfect. I still frequently encounter bugs that force me to reboot at least four times a week, which just shouldn't be the case 12 months later.

Will things improve with Surface Duo 2?

Surface duo 2 Leak

Source: YouTube: Tech Rat (Image credit: Source: YouTube: Tech Rat)

Overall, this year with the Surface Duo has convinced me that Microsoft is right about dual screens, and if it can nail the software and hardware with version two, I think the company will be on to a winner. But there's no denying it: progress on the Surface Duo has been slow. Too slow, in fact. For a device that's been on the market for a year, it is still unacceptably buggy.

If Microsoft can fix most of the software issues with Android 11, all will be forgiven. But the lack of communication with its customers is still an issue that it needs to solve before I can recommend any Duo device to a "normal" person.

Unfortunately, I think the high-price tag is going to continue being an issue for many people as well. If I were Microsoft, in 2022 I would try and figure out ways of bringing down that price tag. Make a mid-range model and try to get it out to a more mass-market audience. People need to use Surface Duo to realize its potential. Just being told about it isn't enough.

For now, however, I will be buying the Surface Duo 2 when it launches next month. If I was able to survive an entire year with the first Surface Duo, I think using the Surface Duo 2 is going to be a cake walk. Surface Duo achieved its goal of convincing me that the dual-screen form factor is a viable option, and that's a win for Microsoft.

Now it just needs to work on making the OS as stable as possible, adding new features that differentiates the Duo from other devices further, and improve its communication skills.

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: @zacbowden.

161 Comments
  • Zac, would it even be possible to make a mid-range Surface Duo? What do you think Microsoft could cut? Screen and camera resolution? How low could they go with a CPU without hurting the experience too much?
  • I think the Duo 1 could be that midrange device if they manage to fix it up and keep it around.
    While the hardware is admittedly dated, it still performs on levels surpassing many mid range phones.
    Fix the cracking charging port, make the SW really stable and sell it for around 600 to 700 bucks. That's more than it is being sold now.
    That could be the solid mid range option to get people familiar with the form factor and then maybe move up to the Duo 2 or whatever comes next and where they might be willing to pay the premium for the best in class specs.
  • Sell it as a Mobile TEAMS appliance.
  • It's very possible when you look at Surface Duo 2 (not v1). Drop from 3 rear cameras to 1 Drop processor from 888 to 768 Drop high-refresh display for normal 60Hz Reduce RAM from 8GB to 6GB Remove NFC Remove [announced feature that we haven't seen yet for the display] etc.
  • Interesting. So there's an unannounced feature with the display? Like, an under screen camera or something? I have been thinking it's weird with all these pictures leaks they've always hidden the screen on Duo 2...
  • @OcupiedLeach it is probably the wrap around/curved screen so when it is folded closed you will be able to see notifications.
  • Might work on the hinge side, but on the outside that would preclude any sort of case/bumper.
  • Yeah these things could be ommited and especially SoC to make it midrange. Though I don't agree with NFC removal, that feature has becoming a necessity from mobile payment, device pairing to public transport. I think every smartphone devices should have that hardware feature. I'm sad that we are at this 202X and NFC is still missing on many new smartphone models. It kinda feels like early 2000's not having such feature now.
  • I think that depends a lot on where you are, in the US or the world. Middle US I don't see people using phones or watches for NFC payments much. I do understand many places it is ubiquitous, but those may not be the places MS was initially targeting.
  • Home Depot does not do NFC for Android. It works only with Samsung Pay (for some reason). The US has big retailers (read 1,000 plus stores), and I don't think they can justify replacing all their card readers to institute Tap and Pay/touchless until they depreciate their current hardware.
  • "Remove [announced feature that we haven't seen yet for the display]" Surely they showed you the edge display notification panel, right?
  • I bought a OnePlus for like $600 three years ago. One year ago it fell off my bumper and got crushed by a car (interestingly, it would still connect to my Bluetooth hearing aids and I could accept a call. So I spent $220 bucks on a moto phone. Lost that one last week, so I bought a new moto phone for $160. Why should I buy a $1,000 phone if I know I will lose it or break it within 12 months? Could I afford $1500? Easily but I would rather spend my $1500 on something I won't break or lose.
  • Sounds like a personal problem ;)
  • Duo 1 is basically on the high mid-range. and theyre on sale.
  • Agreed on all fronts, and from the hints you and Dan have dropped, I assume there *will* be a Duo 2 -lite maybe coming next year. I'm not happy about the reputed camera bump for Duo 2 (I don't use a bumper on Duo 1 because it ruins the elegance of the device, so pointing out the camera bump's not much worse than the bumper is not a winning argument), but I'll see how it goes when they announce it in a few weeks.
  • They can barely justify 1 model. Asking for 2 is a bit of a stretch. That's not going to happen this time around.
  • They could justify it off the form factor didn't suck.
  • My name is Bleached.
    I just came to say the opposite of people & to type letters & numbers like a big boy (damn I hope they don't realize I'm 12)
  • I have been on this site for nearly 12 years, or maybe more?! The Duo form factor just isn't good. There is a reason no one else is pursuing it. There is a reason ZTE only made one Axon M, that the Kyocera didn't catch on, and LG's dual screen failed. Why didn't Samsung make one years ago when they were trying everything? You know they had prototypes. It just isn't worth having dual screens for all the trade-offs. The benefits are far outweighed by the weaknesses.
  • u dont own a duo. pls stop talking.
  • I have used one. The form factor is awkward and useless the majority of the time.
  • So, you played with one in a store?
    Sorry, but that's not using one.
  • 12 years? I've only been on this site for roughly 4 years and I'm aware of your reputation for always being negative about anything Microsoft does.
  • Is bleached wrong here? I get what Zac is saying, but fundamentally fold can support every duo use case and then some. If Samsung made a software switch that would treat the folding display as separate virtual displays Zac’s arguments re software would end. Microsoft can’t make w separate displays act as one. Duo can have a future as the discount foldable if ms wants it, but otherwise I think it will die.
  • I am not negative about everything, but it is hard to be positive about their consumer products since I am a consumer. Can you find anyone happy with their consumer offerings?
  • The dude has serious sociological issues.. I mean, who would complain this much about a device they aren't forced to buy? His mind is seriously warped.
  • I have been following Microsoft for 20+ years and will continue. I wish they would stop making dumb decisions and wasting time with stuff like the Duo. Just make something practical. Dual screens have been done before a few times. They don't work and there is nothing you can do to fix it. It doesn't matter how nice the hardware is, dual screens are just awkward.
  • Yea, imagine where MS could be today if they stopped making dumb decisions.
  • I have to agree with bleached on this one and take it a step further. The foldable device is a product trying to fill a gap that doesn't exist. I want to be productive I use my laptop / surface or desktop. I want to make calls, message or take a happy snap use my mobile. There is simply no reason to want your mobile phone to be a productive tool. I can use it if i must for a quick work email etc. Obviously the above is my opinion as I try to separate my work time from my free time. I detach myself from work once the day is done. Laptop is off work is over.
  • I'd go with what xsikal said, rodneyej.
  • Well, sounds like yall know something. I'm a believer now. The question is when? Generation 3?
  • Version 2 can't afford such slow progress on the software side. Besides the camera, the hardware on version 1 has been just fine. The overall experience has been good. But, SDV2 has to have a much better software experience. We'll see. I've been using Duo for my everyday device for a year now, and it's been a good proof of concept. Just needs some tweaking and more features. My Note9 is never lacking features, and Duo is pretty much stock android compared to it. Nevertheless, the experience is never cluttered like Samsung products, and I'd hate to see it go there. Middle of the road would be nice. The camera experience on SDV1 has been a total nightmare. Looks to be fixed with version 2, though. Based on my year using SDV1 SDV2 is definitely worth a try.
  • I agree with everything you said. They have no excuses for the software and where is the promised Android 11? They are horribly and woefully behind.
  • Do you use Duo? I don't really think they are behind much as far as the software experience goes, it's just bugs.. From my experience with my Note9, Android just became really good with version 10. From a polished standpoint, and using iOS, and WP8.1 on a daily basis, Android is what's really behind. I think that's why Microsoft needs to just make their version of Android more stable and add more exclusive features. But, the lack of clutter has been nice. Did I mention that the camera experience has been a nightmare? I can't say it enough times. Lol
  • Why would you continue using a device you call a nightmare? There are so many good ones out there. Fold 3 blows Duo out of the water.
  • Did I call the device a nightmare? 🤔 🤔 🤔 Of course the Fold blows Duo out of the water. Why wouldn't it? 🤔 And, besides the fact that you can't afford better, why do you use the bottom of the barrel device you use? There's better options out there. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
  • There is nothing about my iPhone 12 Pro Max that I would call a nightmare, although I wouldn't mind a consistent back button and better notifications. I guess next week the new iPhone 13 Pro Max will be better, or maybe the Pixel 6. We will see.
  • Nobody here believes you even have a phone period. I really should be saying 15 year old low end PC.
  • I have a Surface Pro 4, gaming PC with a RTX 3070 and 3700X, and an iPhone 12 Pro Max. This is my first iPhone and I have been liking the experience. The hardware is unbeatable, but I kinda wish it was Android. Not sure why you would attack me there? Nothing else to say?
  • this guy gets a whiff of adrenaline being a troll here. i dont understand WPC has kept him aroudn this long. Annoying ****. he doesnt even own a Duo. LOL
  • Can you imagine what people in real life who have to deal with him think? Lol They're like "Dude, just shut up and put my groceries in the car"... SMDH 🤦🏿‍♂️
  • Great article. I totally agree. As a day one duo owner I love the dual screens and the hardware. My hope is the same software they ship for duo 2 will also be available on the OG. This way I can test and evaluate if the hardware updates are worth the upgrade... Don't have many bugs to report other than one screen turning off from time to time. The device is way more stable that when it came out last year. Number one complaint is shutter speed fix that with a software update and I will be a happy camper...
  • This is the kind of article that reminds me that WindowsCentral.com lives in an alternate reality. I ditched the Surface Duo. What a lousy piece of garbage. The software is a joke. The dual screen functionality - when it works as expected - is great. Everything else is absolutely and utterly terrible. $1,400 is what I paid for it and on launch day. This is the worst thing I have EVER paid for. I mean that. I sometimes pick it up and try to use it and it glitches out so bad that I get frustrated. I own a Surface Studio, Surface Pro (multiple used by the family), a Surface Go 2 LTE. I love Surface devices. But the Duo is just plain awful. It is borderline criminal what Microsoft did to their fans with this device. No Android 11. No fixing of any of the major bugs. The launcher is a terrible mess. The software must have been a college intern's side project after they picked up coffee for the real developers on Azure.
  • You're entitled to your own opinion, but your opinion isn't any more of a "reality" than windows central's opinions are.
  • Zac paid for his too and he's buying Duo 2 🤷‍♂️ It's fine to have differing opinions on things. Yours is in no way more valid than Zac's.
    "The software is a joke. The dual screen functionality - when it works as expected - is great. Everything else is absolutely and utterly terrible."
    This is literally the tl:dr of Zac's article. I'm not sure where the disagreement here is.
  • Sorry - I guess in my mind - those are inexcusable for a product like this. The conclusion drawn with the difficulties he posed should not equate to - "I'm spending my hard earned cash on Duo 2 after Duo 1 is effectively abandonware". I am sorry, I am a bit frustrated with this device and how much I paid for it. I apologize if I came off too harsh.
  • I guess the point I was trying to make didn't come across clearly. The Duo 1 is flawed, definitely, but it proves that dual-screens as a concept can work. The reason I am excited to buy Duo 2 is because it should be an improvement over the Duo 1 in every way. Microsoft is also the only phone maker on the market making dual-screen devices right now. The Duo 1 has sold me on the dual-screen concept, and the only device coming out in the near future with that form factor is the Duo 2. If Samsung or OnePlus were bringing out a dual-screen phone, I'd be as equally excited and "ready to buy." But sadly, that's not the case.
  • But they should not be selling a "concept" to customers unless they say its a beta test not the **** show we have been living through for the last year.
  • That's the reason why Microsoft barely markets the device. Only those who are more than average consumers will buy it. Would you buy a first generation device you've never heard of from a new Android device maker, without getting any information on it first? 🤔 🤔 🤔 There's plenty of information out there about Duo where anyone making a $1500 purchase can be comfortable making a decision 1 way or the other. I don't think there's anything misleading to admit here.
  • I'm sorry, but this set of comments tells me the type of workflow you have or how you haven't optimized it for mobile
  • What does workflow have to do with Microsoft's software failures?
  • I actually don't see the level of software failures you imply. Used as it was intended, a dual screen, separate app device, it seems to work fine. Regardless of what you say, there are lots of folks who actually like the way it works. Real folks, not 2 hour reviewers. If you are working with e-mail and opening documents on the other side to get information for your response, it's fine. A TEAMS meeting with document it's fine. News app on one side and searching the web on the other screen, it's fine. OneNote is great. In single screen use, it has way more screen than the outside of a Fold, which is how many fold users use theirs. The biggest issues are in the transition between the various modes of operation, book, tent, laptop, etc., options a fold like device doesn't really lend itself to. People use those full open, or full closed. It's a tall skinny phone, or a tablet. The functionality for use with one camera is unique, and needs polishing (well, grinding, sanding and polishing), but it has never been done before. Maybe manual selection would have been better than trying to make the device intelligent. So workflow has everything to do with it. If your workflow doesn't run afoul of the things the DUO needs work on, it's wonderful. If your primary use case is camera and movies, you picked the wrong device.
  • Still a Pile Of S... We should not have to purchase another 1500.00 device after ours had the worst depreciation of any technology in history. Early adopters should be given a v2 replacement device for being the guinea pigs that did not even get added features to a ground breaking device just fixes for **** they broke along the way and the obligatory monthly security updates, what a CROCK!!!!!!
  • I'm not angry myself at Microsoft over the Surface Duo 1. I think it's overall been a pretty decent device and a form factor that I'm going to want from now on. But it obviously has its issues, like a below average camera, older processor, no NFC, and a lack of attention & transparency from Microsoft when it comes to fixing the remaining bugs & adding new features. I absolutely agree though that Microsoft should & even must provide a replacement Microsoft Surface Duo 2 for the early adopters who purchased the first one. First, I doubt that they sold a ton of them so it shouldn't be too difficult to do. More importantly, it would generate a ton of goodwill for the people who helped by buying the Surface Duo 1 and essentially being beta testers which helped them with identifying bugs & providing feedback that went into developing the Surface Duo 2.
  • That would just thrill the pants off me. Absolutely don't expect this though. I do recall one such instance but it wasn't directly MS. SUUNTO built a SPOT watch when MS was pushing that tech. Anyone who bought the V1, got a free V2. This was a $300 watch in 2003. Loved that thing.
  • I have been wondering if such a program will reveal itself for Duo1 users. A generous trade-in program for the Duo1 when you buy a Duo2. Given that Duo1 feels like it was a beta-test. It would seem smart for Microsoft to encourage owners of Duo1 to upgrade making the Duo1 beta disappear. I won't lie that I've been tempted to buy one with the hopes that this is the case. I think the only reason I haven't bought one yet is because I've promised myself not to buy until version 3.
  • I wouldn't hold my breath for a "generous trade-in" unless it's only for pre-ordered Duo's - you can buy them new for $400 right now - and a generous trade-in should get you $800 - too much opportunity there for uptrading...
  • I would. They gave everyone that bought an Invoke through their store $50 when they turned off Cortana and made it a Bluetooth speaker. They also refunded every dollar I paid buying books through their store. I really preferred their reader interface over the kindle app (a pretty poor piece of software). So yes, MSFT will spend the money if they believe there is a fair (read legal liability) recompense to their customers. I also think that MSFT would recognize that V1 was more of a beta test than an actual product. But who knows, maybe all their current work over the last 4 months will "fix" Zac's complaints with V1.
  • Considering the Invoke wasn't even a MS product, that was very nice.
  • I bought my first duo for 700 sold it, and bought it again for 370 ATT model and was able to unlock it through microsoft. I feel at that price its a great introduction to duel screen devices, probably the cheapest. I also feel that this would be better if it had windows 11 instead of Android, unless android 11 really fixes this device. We shall see. I am being hopeful.
    I really commend Microsoft for making this device taking a chance with a duel screen vs folding screen.
  • A chance on a devices other manufacturers tried and quickly gave up on because the form factor isn't viable?
  • Bleached, what are your feelings again? I can't quite make out if you like it or not.
  • Bleached... Are you a Dou owner? The article, I believe is speaking to owners of the device. Although, you are entitled to your opinion. You may not be qualified to comment on this particular write up, which by the way is 100 percent on point.
  • Your comments show that you have no clue as to how the Duo works. I'll add that I have owned the LG V60 Dual Screen and the LG G8x DS as well. I have a Duo I got on release day and I also have an iPhone 12 Pro Max which you claim to have. The other manufacturers you speak of have NOT released anything like the Duo. The LG Dual Screens do not behave anything like the Duo. Multitasking on a display as narrow as the LGs is the definition of a clusterf**k. The Axon M was an abortion that lived so please don't bring that one up. I realize trolling is your de facto reason for living but you're so hopelessly clueless that you really ought to find a different forum. Maybe Good Housekeeping would work better for you.
  • Good housekeepers troll? 🤔
  • You have two screens side by side. In reality there isn't much difference, even if the Duo hardware is a bit better. I thought the Axon M wasn't even that bad. The Duo is just a bit sleaker and polished. The overall experience is the same and not worth the hassle/awkwardness. The rest of the world agrees. No one is copying the Duo and no tech reviewers are saying it is the future except for the biggest Windows shills.
  • Nobody copied Samsung fold yet either and its been out for several years? Motorola copied the Flip. If copying is the measure of success foldables are doing just as bad.
    Maybe there is even more that have done dual screens. Reviewers have shown to not be able to see benefits of something that would change their workflow or understand how some peoples work flows look like. They are almost solely looking at phones from a content creator/consumer perspective, which is fine, but thats not what suits everyone.
    Its always been true that reviewers are mostly negative toward new things until the new things have been normalized, meanwhile they are hyped about incremental spec upgrades.
    This have been true for several break through moments in history of phones. Additionally, we get it you dont like the Duo. I dont understand why you are even commenting since you say the form factor is completely dead and yet feel the need to comment more than even the biggest fans of the device. Its just weird at this point. I bet you would feel better if you just stopped reading and commenting about this device.
    I dont fancy the LG Wing, Galaxy flip, or Motorla razr, but I have no intent to seek out news about them and spill my guts on potential new versions of them, I simply dont care, they cant hurt me by existing.
  • Don't think anyone but MS could build something like the DUO other than Samsung or Apple. The physical engineering is remarkable. Samsung has their own direction, and Apple is still waiting it out, as they are wont to do. I do imagine others could make something similar, but it would likely be two regular phones duct taped together, making a package too fat to attract much attention. Even the current fold genre is considerably thicker than the DUO, folded.
  • "Microsoft is the problem with Surface Duo" "Surface Duo 2 has a lot to prove thanks to Microsoft's treatment of Duo 1." This is sadly an issue with Microsoft. When the fans seem to believe more in the product than the company. Every fan-favourite device that was discontinued (WP/WM, Band, and so on) always showed a glimpse of what was possible from a pure experience and integration standpoint, but the higher-ups seemed to always lose sight of that and the body language of the company belied what they said about continuing with the product line until it was all over. I hope that is not the case with Surface Duo. Panos being promoted to Senior Leadership bodes well for the survival of a critical element of the Surface line, but they still need to deliver on the experience to make it stick, including the hardware (from your comments). Being first to the market with a unique idea then losing the potential market years later to another player who just imitates the best of what you didn't believe in in, the first place, is a position Microsoft has been in far too many times. Microsoft is too big for one big failure to take it down but they do add up over time.
  • Lack of communication with its customers is the key point. Microsoft fans are willing to put up with a lot, but bring us along for the ride. Be transparent. Don’t lie. Communicate (both good and bad developments). There is no way Microsoft is going to be dependent on Google for an OS long-term. It may have been necessary short-term, but just communicate that.
  • maybe Microsoft should get their devices in the hands of power users instead of paid influencers who cut and run as soon as their NDA expires
  • Maybe they should make good devices that people want to use, so that they don't have to pay them.
  • Microsoft is the problem with everything it touches. Let's just get that out of the way first. This is a software company that's better at hardware than they are the software they are known for. The Surface devices from a hardware standpoint are amazing, and the Xbox line is so good it's as if MS isn't the company behind it. The software and updates that MS should be able to get right, are the problem. Their commitment to consumer products and their decision making is an even bigger problem. I have the Duo. I absolutely love the device itself while being just mostly OK with the experience. The camera bump on the Duo 2 will alienate a significant portion of Duo users. A quick look at comments on WC, YouTube, and other articles will show that. Whether they can attract enough new customers to make up for those they will lose will be interesting to see. I actually agree with another poster here and think there is a chance we see 2 devices this year. The "Pro" model we have had leaks about that will have the camera bump and come in around 1500 bucks, and a base model with the same design as the original with just a slightly improved camera that would come in around 800-1000 bucks or so. Throw an 865 in the base model if you need to. I think this is what they need to do in order to reach every possible Duo user they can.
  • They can alienate the entire Duo 1 user base and it wouldn't matter. Those couple hundred people won't make a difference when the Folds are selling so well.
  • The Fold is an excellent Consumer device. Poor for work. BUT, many people do a lot of consumption on a work device, although that is a different topic and discussion. If you have meetings, take notes, and share content, the combined effort and flow is superior on the Duo vs the Fold, both of which are superior to a std phone. It's not for everyone, but it is a very "Enterprise" oriented device.
  • The Fold is superior in every single way as it will break itself up into dual and even triple screens when needed. What if you want to view a document or schematic on a big screen? What if you need to draw or take notes on a bigger screen? Duo doesn't meet those work scenarios, while there is nothing that the Fold doesn't do. Even if it isn't quite as straight forward to use, it still works and has more use than the Duo. You see reviewers praising the Fold and it's form factor. You don't and won't see that with Duo. Only Microsoft shills claim to like it and that is only because Microsoft made it. If Microsoft made the Fold, they would be saying the same thing I am.
  • These are lies or ignorance - could be either or both considering the source. The Duo offers better "big screen" experience on docs/schematics/etc. That's from experience with both. You open the Duo and turn it portrait; it is better for docs. It is much more like a full page. Big screen media consumption is a whole different story. The Fold offers a superior experience in this regard, including gameplay as well. I'm not going to even go into the dual app or multi-app experience. If you've used both devices and feel the Fold is superior in this regard, something else is behind that assessment.
  • Why has it convinced you that dual screen is the future and not the rest of the tech world? All reviews were luke warm, especially on the form factor. No one else is building dual screens anymore. Everyone else stopped at their first iteration. Where is the disconnect? Because you are on a Microsoft blog and have to praise it? Only thing I see.
  • You underestimate herd mentality. The reality is that this form works extraordinarily well for a business environment (non-IT). Consumers can have fun (I do see reviewers as more Prosumer than business related - small companies / individual entrepreneurs just don't have the same workflows). The wider screens and having 2 is excellent if you use for work. Poor for watching Netflix, but I don't consider that work.
  • The fold isn't much better for watching Netflix due to the huge difference between aspect ratios of movies and that device's screen. (Movies - 16:9, 21:9 vs Fold - 4.3:3) Don't believe Samsung's advertising showing movies filling the entire device. There are huge black bars top and bottom when watching a movie. Watching Netflix on one screen of the Duo will be nearly the same actual size than stretched out across a mostly square Fold screen. It's like watching Netflix on an old CRT monitor. The winning benefit? The Duo at least can stand on it's own while you're watching a movie.
  • Yes, watching on 1 screen does use that advantage. I was thinking in dual screen / "span" mode. The line in the middle does not work in that case. Nonetheless, for email and work related items the wider 2 screens, stabley connected in a folio (unlike other company iterations Bleached references), it is an excellent device.
  • The Duo is a single 5.6" 4:3 screen while the Fold is a 7.6" 4:3. Movies are going to be way better on the 2" larger screen since they are the same aspect ratio. Doing anything is going to be better on the larger screen and the rare times you need to dual screen, the Fold can do that too. The Duo form factor is inferior. Microsoft needs to compete on price. It needs to be cheap, like well under $1,000 and even then it will be a struggle to sell.
  • I would argue a mobile phone is never good for work. It can be used to assist for a quick email, or check of calendar etc. But to do any meaningful and efficient work it is simply terrible. A phone can never compete with the flexibility of a laptop / portable type device and nor should it. For me a phone should fit easily in the pocket, have good battery life, take a nice photo, can be used as my wallet and most importantly have good calling and messaging features.
  • Well, bless your heart for using it for the year. "It's complicated.", seems to sum it up nicely.
  • Every time I see "It's complicated." in connection with the Duo I see that scene between Harry Potter and the Goblin...just before they nearly get killed in the movie...
  • I love my Duo, the hardware is simply beautiful, if Apple had made it everyone would be raving about it. Admittedly I bought after the price drop... But feel I could never go back to a single screen device now... Even the wide form factor, which I thought would annoy me is great for reading articles and typing on the wider keyboard... The only frustrating thing is the transition between dual to single screen which seems very buggy and just ruins the flow... I don't even mind the camera which can take perfectly acceptable shots in the right light and ultimately means that the screens can fold back on each other...
  • Version 2 will be much better.. Version 3 will be where it's at.
  • No it won't. There is nothing Microsoft, or anyone else can do to make a dual screen phone not be super awkward. Sales will be horrendous, and I predict Microsoft will kill development internally by Christmas. We will hear it is dead by February.
  • Just like the surface pro? I still remember buying the first iterations of the surface pro and all the haters predicting its demise. And the early ones did suck, but they had promise, just like the duo. I agree with rodneyej, Version 3 will be the winner. The duo is not 'super awkward', it was just born a bit premature.
  • If Apple made this - you wouldn't have the complaints you have above. Say what you will about Apple - their execution in the core user experience is pretty much flawless. Microsoft could have made a very Apple'esque product (leaving out things like NFC/Wireless charging/etc.) IF they got the core software right. But they did not.
  • "If Apple made this" we wouldn't "see" it for another 5 years while they let everybody else do the hard innovation work & swoop in with some cosmetic changes, then try to convince the world they invented it.
  • Exactly this. It's easier to execute when others have gone through the pains of opening the way.
  • Following a trail is always easier than cutting it.
  • Guess who gets the glory. It isn't Microsoft. Which is the smarter approach? It is not Microsoft's. We can smugly say - Microsoft or Samsung or Google did it first. But customers and shareholders do not really care... They just want a great experience. MSFT really does not seem to get it.
  • MS may not get the glory but at least Surface / Samsung Fold fans do not have to wait years for a folding or 2-screen phone. Besides by the time that Apple will have released their version the Duo and/or Fold have been further improved anyway. Its just like touchscreen & digitizers on laptops, with Apple you jusr cannot have them while with Windows you can at least choose whether you want it or not.
  • If Apple had made it, it would be less buggy before it hit store shelves. Shipping it with the bugs it had really hurt the momentum, though I understand why they did it.
  • Apple wouldn't make it because the form factor doesn't work in reality. Even Samsung hasn't made a dual screen and they were making all kinds of weird stuff. You know they had a prototype and decided to not pursue it.
  • It's a 1st gen device of a new form factor running software not designed for it.
    Try not to lose sight of the potential of the device, not the initial, fixable issues.
    I swear most of the haters must think that engineering is as simple as their job at McDonald's
  • Well said.
    I'm watching as it plays out like Surface Pro.
  • Android is made for it. There have been several dual screens before it as Android was designed to be flexible. It isn't a new form factor in the least!
  • I think what Fuzzy is referring to is this hardware was originally created for Windows 10x and changed to Android at the last minute. The device was not originally intended to run Android.
  • Either way, android was NOT made to run on multiple screens. Google is JUST now making concessions for it on a version that is not running on this device. Bleached's statement is false. Any dualscreen device thus far has all been hacks. As far as making android seem to be made for multiple screens, Microsoft's implementation is definitely objectively the best...especially when you realize, they're really just using a screen mask and integrated it into a launcher. Yea, it sucks there hasn't been updates for the last 4 months but as far as engineering resources, I get why they aren't putting resources into it when the resources would essentially be wasted in a very short time bc that work is getting thrown out. Sucks for early adopters but that's the nature of early adoption.
  • Android was made to be flexible, which is why Microsoft could get Android working on it in couple months and not 10X even after years.
  • Android wasn't made for multiple screens working in tangent on one phone device. Period. If by flexible you mean different screen sizes, then yes. But you can't mean that bc that would be contextually irrelevant to anyone's comments here and the article. So you must have meant multiple screens, which is unequivocally and objectively false. You lost this one, Bleached. Tuck tail and Move along. I'm not Rodney, I'd embarrass you here. And for the record, the version of Android running on the Duo at time of writing, believes it is running on a single screened device. The mask is the launchers doing.
  • There have been dual screen Android phones in the past. From old reviews, some seem to handle it better than the DUO. My guess is the functionality was deprecated as folding screens became more available. You no longer needed to concern yourself with split or mask treatments of the inter-screen space.
  • "There have been dual screen Android phones in the past. From old reviews, some seem to handle it better than the DUO. ", not really, like that LG phone they kind of sucked. It often felt like they just tackled on the 2nd screen with the end result a clumsy thick and unwieldy device. Not to mention bad update support (which LG and these other brands are quite notorious of, at least till it was to late with their rep. and they gave up with making phones).
  • LG just cloned the android instance. It wasn't a single device experience. That's why it sucked...along with all the stuff you mentioned.
  • The first dual screen device that caught my eye was the Kyocera Echo. What device do you think is a better dual screened device than the Duo?
  • Unfortunately, I do think reviewers miss the boat on this and are more consumer oriented vs the target audience intended. I have 2 Android devices, 1 is the Duo. Since I connect to Enterprise through work, I exclusively use the Duo for work, and not simply by intent. I naturally grab it for work related items and what I need to do - and the type of dual screens fit. The Fold does not (waaayyyy too narrow). Single screens and the Fold are for consumers / media consumption / "writer / reviewers". The form factor of the Duo clearly fits a "God, I'm in meetings and calls all day" business user. I originally purchased with the intent to return if it didn't feel "natural" to my work related activities. When it comes to MS related (think O365) apps, there is no "janky" work wrt the timing of the workflows that occur in a corp environment (non-IT). In this fashion, it actually is great.
  • That is a tiny market. Business users who don't want iPhones is small enough, then you have to compete with Samsung. Microsoft has no where to go with this device. It will be canceled early next year.
  • Hi Zac and Daniel, I'm keen to hear any thoughts you have on something I saw earlier today... I was on the reddit surface duo forim, and one reviewer was discussing Microsoft's decision to drop the news app and create an app that doesn't really work on a dual screen. He was particularly annoyed because the news app was one of the "halo" apps that Panos used to showcase the duo. This reviewer feels that what we're seeing is Microsoft losing interest in the duo form factor. Like many windows central readers, I was around for the rise and fall of Windows phone. For me, I always felt that the death of Windows phone was when they started releasing apps for iOS and Android that worked better than the Windows phone variant. Indeed, we eventually reached a point where MS were straight up developing app features for competitor platforms that Windows phone never got. That started to happen over a year before they released the lumia 950. Its like they gave up on the software before abandoning the hardware. I'm rolling the bones and trying to see what future Microsoft has planned for the duo. I'm your own minds, does Microsoft see a duo in the surface lineup, say 2-3 years from now?
  • MSFT recognized that WP was never going to gain a sustainable market share. Further they realized that iOS and especially Android would be the dominant mobile phone ecosystems. They knew they had to extend the Office ecosystem to these mobile platforms. Hence they dedicated the resources. They then realize that the dream of WP was a dream and they had to move on. Surface Duo is just a small effort within the Surface lineup to expand the form factor of the Windows ecosystem. This (combined with Surface Pro X) is the ARM/RISC answer for Windows. And MSFT will keep investing in these form factors and the mobile device markets (iOS and Android).
  • Even with all the problems mentioned I would have taken the chance on it. I just can't get past those horrible bezels. Every time I see a picture of the duo I think it looks like a phone that's 5 years old. If Microsoft fixes that issue on Duo 2 before the Samsung fixes the soft screen issues on the Fold 4, than the Duo 2 will be my next phone. I prefer Microsoft's form factor over Samsung's. Especially now that the Galaxy Note line looks like its on the way out. I am looking for the next best thing before I give up my Note 20 Ultra.
  • Well according to Zac, the bezels have been reduced, but not on the same level on typical smartphone. We will see how much it has been reduced on actual product release if it's similar to Note 9 bezels or just a slightly smaller bezels from Duo 1. For me, if they can achieve a bezel similar to latest Sony Xperia, which still has one, but just small enough for the camera, sensor and stereo speakers, that is perfect for me. In the near future, under-display camera should be matured enough to be used and really make true full screen design. I think also why the bezels is there is due to the hinges that shares the space within that bezel. They really have to come up with different hinge design to achieve that.
  • Hahaha and I will definitely buy it. FYI I just bought another SD1 and I also been using the SD1 I have for almost a year now.... I can't go back to a candy bar phone anymore. Loved the article. Can you please asked panos to make the exact same phone just single screen I like the width 🤷🏾‍♂️
  • This!!! One screen with the same width and pen support. I'd be all in.
  • I agree with this the screen width is what attracts me besides MS generally making thinner phones than other (Android) competitors while still offering good update support, this would also make it cheaper since they can than cut the 2nd screen to save costs.
  • “People need to use Surface Duo to realise it's potential. Just being told about it is not enough”. That brings about a whole lot of deja vu with WM10 / Wp7/8.x lol. Also, the 950 series launched in a moronically buggy mess too. Though that was understandable considering the entire mobile division was axed prior to the launch of the 950 series. Had Panos Panay been in the SLT prior to the launch of the duo. It wouldn't have launched in such a buggy mess either. Microsoft went the android route for “apps” but lets face it... that didn't pan out it either. The irony is just too much for me. It's like Microsoft is actively trying to sabotage it's own mobile efforts. What else would anyone call it? Or are we talking about gross incompetence? I think not. If Microsoft had not axed the entire mobile division they would not be in this mess. But that's neither here nor there as it's ancient history now. The only way out of this rut is a WoA version along with an Android version. As at least then we'd finally get a showcase device for WoA. Plus with WoA users won't be left waiting for O/S updates and bug fixes. Microsoft shot themselves in the foot here as they will be stuck making Android version for awhile and for what pay off? Should have stuck with WoA, Cshell, Core OS etc. SMH. lastly, improve communication skills? You joke Zac, Microsoft has always been terrible on that front for consumers. Xbox is not the norm, it's the exception.
  • They need to make it water proof dropped mine in pool and I cried for weeks
  • Microsoft will present the Surface Duo with Android 11 and with a big update for Microsoft Launcher, and these new features will also be available to Surface Duo 1 owners. I am confident that a year of running-in served the company to fix the software problems. And I believe that the flaws of the hardware will also be corrected with Duo 2.
  • Don't bet your kids education on Microsoft doing what is right by the customer. Too many products brought to market and abandoned leaving many with useless unsupported devices.
  • Bought the SD1 on sale a couple of weeks ago, and im loving it, a true leap in phones from slabs. A couple of bugs found, really crappy that bugs hasnt been ironed out in a year.... Still, this is an amazing device that i wanted when it was released but never would have paid 1900 for (cost in usd when it was released here in sweden). Form factor is a masterstroke, havent noticed slowdowns (yet) due to hw being a tad on the old side. Camera is ok, but the app / folding when taking pictures is atrocious......
  • My only complaints : camera (I actually stopped using it), screen switching (one screen turns off when that was never intended), plastic edges (should be aluminum; too many cracked USB ports to speak of), laying flat (when I lay the SD flat on a surface, the screen doesn't seem to want to respond to interaction, no matter how deliberate). Want v2, but not at the same price - unless trade-ins are generous.
  • Yepers. The camera experience with version 1 has been a issue, just like I said it would be when it was revealed. I said it needed a top camera, and many disagreed because "it's supposed to be a productivity device"... Pffftfftftttfffttt SMDH 🤦🏿‍♂️... If I knew that would never fly surely Microsoft should've known better. Granted, version 1 was all about form factor, but I was surprised so many fell for that BS. Nevertheless, the camera has been the biggest complaint between the 2000+ members on our Surface Duo Facebook Group (the largest gathering of Duo owners on the web), even before the software experience. Good thing version 2 appears to have a better camera experience, so far. 💯
  • all the criticisms aside, it is a beautiful device. i would get it if i could afford it. no criticisms there. neither do i mind the sub-par camera. but the software part would be a big deterrent.
  • Just some perspective.. Our Surface Duo Facebook Group (Surface Duo Central) has 2.2k members and that's only including version 1 adoption so far. The general Fold group has 6k members, and the separate Fold 3 group has 8k members. According to the time Fold has been around, and considering the fact that Fold is at version 3 and Duo is only nearing version 2, it seems to me there is relatively the same amount of interest for Duo as there is Fold.. That, and considering the fact that Fold is heavily marketed and Duo definitely is not, the numbers look even better for Duo so far.. Samsung didn't really start pushing Fold until version 2, with an even heavier push for version 3. I imagine Microsoft will do the same thing. Nevertheless, the 2 device are both awesome, and both have their merits and shortcomings. I don't understand why anyone would position 1 above the other, or compare them in a negative light towards each other. Some people will like Fold, some people will like Duo, and end the end Apple will come invent the segment and it will be all history. 🤷🏾‍♂️ Long story short, just buy what fits you and STFU. Lol. 💯💯💯
  • Why can't we comment on Microsoft's mistakes?
  • There's a difference between commenting and trolling like a broken record for the sake of being an idiot year after year
  • Even though I have been right every time? I even predicted the killing of 10X this spring! It is just easy with Microsoft because they just make and do such dumb stuff. They make no sense with their products.
  • You were wrong about MS supposingly shutting down the consumer Store, while in contrary they updated it heavily 😉 Most of the goodies of 10X were added to W11 so I do not really see in an issue with that.
  • Lol, that's exactly why the Duo is selling at firesale prices right now...because it has the same interest level as the Samsung Fold...smh
  • You obviously missed the entire point of why I said that.
  • [Quote=rodneyej}
    Long story short, just buy what fits you and STFU. Lol. 💯💯💯
    Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:33am
    [/Quote] Why do you think that's an appropriate response to folks calling out Microsoft for shoddy hardware, shoddy software, and almost zero communication about this device's future? It's another aborted effort by Microsoft. Even a version 2 device is no guarantee Microsoft will stay the plan. Heck, Windows Phone Had Windows Mobile 6, then Windows Phone 7 (a reboot), then Windows Phone 8 (a reboot), then Windows 10 (an upgrade as many former Windows Phone 8 devices could work with it) and it still got abandoned.
  • Why do I think it's an appropriate response? Because of exactly what you just said... If you have no faith in Microsoft's mobile efforts why waste your time commenting and arguing to the point of trolling about it? There's plenty of other options. Either buy Duo or don't. I own Duo, and voice my complaints freely... But, I don't have a Fold and I wouldn't waste my time on a Fold article talking about why I don't want one? What kind of sense does that make? 🤔 Some of you act like you're being forced to adopt a certain product,,, or is it the fact that some of you just are bored and need something to complain about? I mean, what's the point? Nevertheless, I meant and stand by what I say.. Take it or leave it. 🤷🏾‍♂️
  • You are confused. People aren't complaining about Duo because they are being forced to buy one, we are just commenting on Microsoft's strategy and products. There is nothing wrong with that. If Microsoft's name was on the Fold and Samsungs on the Duo, would you still be cheerleading for the dual screen? The answer is obvious. You would follow the Microsoft product regardless. You are heavily biased, same as most the authors on this site. You guys are outside reality. That is why you see me as trolling and not just asking hard questions.
  • "If Microsoft's name was on the Fold and Samsungs on the Duo, would you still be cheerleading for the dual screen?", I would. I prefer the idea of 2 screens that for now will allow a thinner device with bigger screens, I just disliked the bad value for money the Duo 1 offered at launch price. The Duo 2 is a much better deal if the launch price remains the same.
  • "It's another aborted effort by Microsoft. Even a version 2 device is no guarantee Microsoft will stay the plan. ", who cares? This is Android not WP so you can keep using the device regardless of how many future Duo's MS will make.
  • When Panos pitched the Duo as a productivity device that would essentially make you use your phone more 'efficiently' I saw that as an embellishment...that is until I started using the device. Granted there were some growing pains and some things that seem like they will not be improved (looking at you camera, how hard would it be to force open the camera on the left screen by default, user directed?) I also know that I am not your typical cell phone user. I probably would be regarded as an MS fanboy (going back to the Pocket PC days) but the Duo has been my daily driver since purchased (October) and no regrets. For work it has been a dream and I will jump on the Duo2 day one come hell or high water. I believe MS has put the Duo1 improvements on hold (Android 11, bug fixes, and tweaks.) so more folks will jump on the Duo2 train. Just a theory but if specs aside the Duo1 improves on Android 11 a lot of the Duo2 purchase base gets potentially lost as I see the largest segment of pre-orders coming from existing users (those early-mid adopters) who use Duo1 as their daily.
  • Hey Zac, I wouldn't say the apps fit perfectly, like Instagram is too tall for the duo, stories get cut off. It doesn't resize down unless I'm doing something wrong. Similar with a game I play. Otherwise I like my duo, my galaxy note 10 sits around. While I do miss the camera, that's about it. I'm not a huge NFC user. I really like the hardware, software is a bit bland but serviceable. I didn't realize dual app clone was not native Android... Xbox Game streaming is pretty neat on this thing. I need to find time to game more lol Yea camera is all I really miss from my note 10. Wife has the A52 so her phone is responsible for pictures lol
  • Regarding the screen aspect ratio, it sounds like it is perfect for work (email, word, note taking, pdf's etc.) and not always perfect for consumption.
  • My issue with my Duo is dealing with the screens. After several months of use my screens have seemingly reversed with regards to being in dual screen mode vs single screen mode. When the device is fully open it often only activates one screen. When I fold the screen back both screens become active and therefore make the top screen not operate correctly because my hand is touching the other now active screen. What's worse is that this can happen automatically and randomly and has now made my Duo experience a nightmare and sometimes to the point of making my device unusable. It's very frustrating. The camera is another nightmare. The screen constantly flips around and makes something that should have only taken a second and turns it into a minute fight. Also, how can Microsoft feel comfortable releasing an Android project such as this and only giving us a highly reduced version of their launcher? The Duo should have been the device to release the latest and greatest version of their launcher but instead we can't even customize our icons. Such a joke. Don't get me wrong, I love the form factor and the idea of a Surface phone. Microsoft has been garbage under this current management. Half baked ideas and releases which then become abandoned months later. We paid premium price to be Microsoft's internal testing crew, which is unacceptable. This device should have only been a few hundred dollars to be released in the state it was. I won't be purchasing another Duo in the future.
  • I just bought a 128gb one, since it's half off! Can't wait to try it :3 Been sad about my 950XL toooo long.
  • I have a 128GB version that I picked up a couple of months ago for around $600. For the money I paid for it, I find it an intriguing device. It is not my primary phone, but I use it for work, where integration with Teams, Outlook, and my Windows 10 laptop is great. The hardware is good, but the plastic around the USB-C port has cracked off. However, the software is still buggy (even with all the updates applied), the camera is only good for video calls and taking snapshots of documents and objects in bright light, and it is a little clumsy to use at times. I'm hoping that Android 11 and some Microsoft updates will fix a lot of things. I also think that Microsoft should keep Surface Duo 1 around at this price point but with Android 11. Then have a Surface Duo 2 with updates to fix some of the problems with Duo 1, update the processor and camera and price it around $999, and then a Surface Duo 2 Pro with a second, more competitive external camera (like the leaks with the big camera bump). Only then will I think that Microsoft is serious about getting back into the mobile market.
  • The pandemic changed the workflow at MSFT. Then they saw different and higher engagement with Windows and the WinTel ecosystem. So they reset their strategy. Windows 11 is born and Azure and Teams become priorities. Surface Duo? Well not so much. You need people working on the bugs. But if you are also reconfiguring the software in partnership with Google to have Android 11 have better native support for dual screens, then you are not going to place a lot of time and effort in Surface Duo running Android 10. 6 months ago working the Surface Duo team was focused on bugs. But then MSFT focused the team on Surface Duo 2 and Android 11. I would further assume that MSFT identified the "top 10" bugs on version 1 to resolve and once resolved they moved people to version 2 and android 11. If you buy Surface Duo 2, expect another 12 months of buggy software, but also expect better communication and more consistent updates, as the team remains focused on Android 11 and the Duo ecosystem. So I will wait until next summer to see if your opinion of Duo has improved.
  • i went to go play with zfold 3 the other day. the hinge and the way u open it just feels really cheap. it doesnt have the smooth and flexibility of duo hardware wise. i was concerned about dirt or sand getting inside the hinges, but so far its still smooth af. im really trying to find an excuse to upgrade to duo 2, but so far no problems hardware wise. im a lite user, so i dont need anything high end. i will probably get Duo 3. cant stand the really thick camera bump.
  • agree on all points. zfold feels cheap and the screen seems easy to damage. writing on plastic is not ideal. Duo 2 with the bump is a disappointment although I get why they did it. i can afford to upgrade but most likely wont given the bump unless there is another compelling feature. I love the elegance of the Duo 1 hardware. It is buggy, but I LOVE this device and get a huge number of comments/questions on it when I use it in public.
  • I guess I still don't get why Microsoft feels the need to make the Surface Duo. It is now the only phone they make, and it is running Android. There is nothing like this in all of Microsoft. I don't see them sustaining this. After a bazillion man years that went into the Andromeda phone, I guess they felt they had to do something with this device, so they quickly hacked Android, and hoped they could recover some of the bazillion man years.
  • This is more about extending the Office ecosystem into more form factors. Specifically, into the android mobile ecosystem. Also, Duo is about extending the Surface ecosystem into more form factors. Also in conjunction with Surface Pro X, extending the Surface and Microsoft services into ARM-based devices.
  • The expression "The greatest thing since sliced bread" applies to many discussions about technological developments. Is the Duo or the Fold the greatest innovation in mobile computing? Doubtful. MSFT has limited resources and the big money makers are Azure, Office (with all the different iterations), and Windows. MSFT will allocate resources to these main drivers as the needs of the customer change. Last year MSFT noticed that Teams was a critical service. Then they realized that Windows needed some changes. MSFT knows how many Duos it sold. MSFT knows how much resources they need to allocate to make Duo "great". They also know if they have the leadership to succeed. The elevation of Panos to the executive committee is important. Panos is tasked with leading Windows into the cloud-based mobile-first future of the post-pandemic world. As part of his responsibilities, he leads the Surface team as well. Surface needs to make money and each form factor needs to move the user experience in the right direction. In other words, people buy devices that allow them to use technology to accomplish their goals. Surface Pro does, but will Duo? It is still early in the process and MSFT will allocate the necessary resources. Ultimately, IF version 3 is not selling like Surface Pro in 2024, then the form factor will wither away and or be replaced with a new device--similar to what is happening to Surface Book (apparently). If the 50 (maybe more, maybe less) employees dedicated 100% to the Duo software development succeed in building a great mobile experience with Duo, then it will succeed or fail in the market. Clearly having buggy software is a problem and MSFT knows this better than we do. They also know if it can be fixed with a reasonable level of resources. We will know in 6 more months-12 tops, which is why I will use my $160 Moto Phone until I see improvements in this form factor. There is also a simple truth that people forget. If technology is truly "the best thing since sliced bread", it should be easy to accomplish by a reasonable level of effort once the idea is discovered. Is the Duo the next obvious iteration of the smartphone? If so then this device, once the necessary tech is available to be integrated together with the correct software developments, should sell by itself. Maybe the Duo will not work because Android is not conducive to dual-screen devices, which may explain the efforts by Google to improve Android 11. This would also explain why updates have stopped flowing for 4 months. Maybe MSFT is just wasting money and the form factor will not succeed. But MSFT is allocating the necessary resources to fix the technology to produce a functioning device people can buy. Once they have determined that the device is close to meeting the goals implicit in the form factor, then they will see if the device sells on its own. Clearly, they are not there with version 1 and they know version 2 should be significantly better. by version 3, if the form factor is not selling, then they will know all their internal research was pointless. Who knows, maybe the post-pandemic world is a world where people don't want a $1000 mobile device that fits in their pocket. Maybe they want something different that costs $200. But there is one thing I need above all else--a nice ultra-wide photo lens. I am just not willing to spend $1000 to buy a new phone at this time.
  • "It's complicated." How unnecessarily Microsoft.
  • What does the Duo use for its photo gallery app?
  • The Google Photos app mainly, runs fine within their Launcher.
  • I use Simple Gallery to avoid google, would like it though if MS would add the WP 10 Photos app to the Duo.
  • Leave it to WC to call the Duo a “mixed bag”. 🙄 It is a colossal failure. Microsoft can’t give them away. For obvious reasons. Perhaps the next version will sell. Perhaps not. But to call the current model anything less than grossly overpriced junk is pure fanboy delusion. After one year, the worst you can say is that “it is still unacceptably buggy”? Are you really that afraid of MS that you can’t be intellectually honest?
  • love these comments from people on the sidelines. i have used this device for a year as my daily driver and love it. yes, it's buggy but compared to the boring, single screened IPhone I have (and don't use) it's a joy. I will not go back to single screen and tried the fold and don't find it as a better device. Hardware matters.
  • If you are actually using the MS Android phone, then YOU are "on the sidelines".
  • I'm actually having a really good time with my Duo, received it yesterday and it's a genuine pleasure to hold, open and peruse content. Likely going to make this my daily driver pretty soon, once everything's authenticated over.
  • We here just need a Surface Phone on MS mobile os. 😂
  • There is no "MS mobile OS". The "world's largest software company" can't figure out mobile.
  • I don't have any of the issues with the Duo's sides or screens mentioned in the review after four or five months. Mine still looks brand new. I only paid 600 for mine, though it's more than 100 bucks less than that now. I also have never had to reboot because of some software glitch. The only real issue has been the (usually) left screen going dark. I'm hoping the latest September update fixes that problem. But I love the Duo. It is so radically different than any other phone. Those two synchronized yet independent screens are extraordinary. The thinness of the thing and that incredible hinge are endlessly pleasing. It looks so great and literally everyone asks about it. I also love it's complete integration with MS Office and OneDrive. I could never go back to a regular phone. It's just such a joy to use. It does everything well. I'm hoping that the Duo II will not sacrifice that thin unspoiled beauty for the sake of a better camera! But I'm sure the next one will be back at that original stratospheric price which makes me think that my Duo I and I will be together for some time to come and that's just fine with me!
  • Only if Microsoft had their own OS to put on a mobile device that they could update themselves instead of Google... Oh wait, huh well... I guess they did it to themselves.