Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off its second-generation Surface Duo, featuring upgrades in every single department. Surface Duo 2 has bigger and better displays, support for 5G and NFC enabling wireless payments, the latest flagship processor from Qualcomm, and a new Glance bar feature that shows notifications down the spine of the device when closed.
Microsoft has also made improvements to the Surface Duo 2's design for a better fit and finish, and the device is more sturdy now too. Surface Duo 2 is a huge upgrade over the first Surface Duo.
Surface Duo 2 price and availability
Surface Duo 2 has a starting price of $1,499, a $100 increase over the launch price of the first Surface Duo. The device is available in more markets at launch, however, and is expected to start shipping on October 21 in the following markets:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Surface Duo 2 can be had in both Glacier White or Obsidian Black colors, in either 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage configurations. The pricing for each spec is $1,499, $1,599, and $1,799 respectively.
Surface Duo 2 specs
|Category||Surface Duo 2|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888|
|Network||Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax (2.4/5GHz)
LTE: 4x4 MIMO, Cat 20 DL / Cat 13 UL | Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz)
LTE: 4x4 MIMO, Cat.18DL / Cat 5 UL
|SIM||Nano SIM + eSIM|
|Network bands||FDD-LTE: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,14,19,20,25, 26,28,29,30,38,39,40,41,42,46,48,66,71
GSM/GPRS: GSM-850, E-GSM-900, DCS-1800, PCS-1900
|Display||Single: 5.8 inches (1892x1344), 401 PPI, 4:3 aspect ratio
Dual: 8.3 inches (2688x1892), 401 PPI, 3:2 aspect ratio
AMOLED, HDR, 800 nits, 90Hz
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Camera||Front-facing: 12MP, ƒ/2.0, 24mm, 1.0um
Rear-facing wide: 12MP, ƒ/1.7, 27mm, 1.4um
Rear-facing telephoto: 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 51mm, 1.0um
Rear-facing ultra-wide: 16MP, ƒ/2.2, 13mm, 1.0um
|Ports||USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)|
|IPX Rating||Yes, IPX1|
|Dimensions||Open: 145.2mm (H) x 184.5mm (W) x 5.5mm (T)
Closed: 145.2mm (H) x 92.1mm (W) x 11mm (T at hinge)
The Surface Duo 2 is slightly thicker and heavier than the first Surface Duo, which Microsoft says actually helps with the overall robustness of the device. It's much more sturdy, and the outside glass now gently curves into the edges for a better fit and finish.
Microsoft has also increased the size of the displays to 5.8-inches each, which means the bezels are now slightly thinner. Microsoft has also combined the fingerprint reader with the power button, centered the USB-C charging port.
It has also been confirmed that Surface Duo 2 has some basic IPX1 protection, which is the equivalent of some light, non-windy rain for ten minutes.
Surface Duo 2 features
Surface Duo 2 has a whole bunch of new features over the Surface Duo 1. Thanks to the slight curve in the displays down the middle, the screens are now slightly exposed down the spine when closed. This has allowed Microsoft to build a new feature it calls "Glance bar" that can be configured to show incoming calls and notifications down the spine, acting as a heads-up ticker when the device is closed. The Glance bar also provides visual indicators when plugging in the device to charge and when phone calls come in.
There's also a new lift to wake feature that automatically turns the displays on when you pick up the device. This feature makes the Duo 2 feel faster, as the displays will already be on by the time you've opened the device. You can now also configure certain apps to automatically open across both displays instead of having to span the app once it's open manually.
Microsoft has also updated the Launcher with an updated "activity feed," which includes a new UI, a little more similar to the Widgets panel found on Windows 11. We don't know if there are any other changes present in the Microsoft Launcher on Duo 2 at this time, but here's hoping we get some more customization options!
There are also new ringtones and text tones, default wallpapers, and Microsoft now has its own Photos app powered by OneDrive that provides helpful editing tools. Microsoft has also rebuilt the Camera app from the ground up exclusively for Surface Duo 2.
Microsoft is also selling a new Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover that can attach to the front of the Surface Duo 2 and enables wireless charging for the Surface Slim Pen. The magnets are now also stronger, so the Surface Slim Pen can actually attach to the Surface Duo 2 without falling off.
Surface Duo 2 cameras
Surface Duo 2 features an entirely new camera array consisting of a 12MP selfie shooter on the inside above the right display and a new triple-lens camera setup on the device's backside, housed in a typical smartphone camera bump. This external camera setup includes a 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto, and 16MP ultrawide sensor.
Microsoft says the Surface Duo 2 supports low-light and nigh photography aided by computational processing via a new camera app exclusive to Surface Duo 2. Microsoft says these cameras will provide a flagship camera experience, including support for features such as portrait mode with adjustable depth control and low-light and Auto HDR photography improvements.
The bump on the back of the device isn't as intrusive as first thought. When in single-screen mode, the device now sits flush with the top of the camera bump. While that does mean the device won't lay fully flat in single-screen mode, this didn't hinder usability at all in our brief testing.
A real phone
Surface Duo 2
Upgraded in almost every way
Surface Duo 2 is a significant upgrade for the dual-screen form factor, featuring larger 90Hz displays that curve down the middle, the latest Snapdragon 888 processor with 5G, 8GB RAM, NFC, and can even charge the Surface Slim Pen via an optional case accessory.
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