Microsoft is currently working on the next version of its dual-screen Surface Duo productivity device. Codenamed Zeta, we believe Surface Duo 2 will launch in the second half of this year, likely in the September or October timeframe, and feature the latest specs, more features, and be a better smartphone overall.
We don't yet know much about the specific details around Surface Duo 2, but as we learn things, we'll be sure to update this post, so check back frequently!
Surface Duo 2 release date
Microsoft has not yet announced Surface Duo 2, so we don't have official word on when it will ship. However, according to sources and word on the rumor mill, Microsoft is hoping to ship Surface Duo 2 this fall, likely in the September or October time frame. It will ship with Android 11 out of box.
Surface Duo 2 what to expect
I expect the next version of Surface Duo will continue evolving the dual-screen form factor, with small tweaks the overall design of the product and bringing it more in line with other Android smartphones on the market. Microsoft tried to position the first-generation Surface Duo as "not a phone," but that hasn't worked too well for the company.
So with Surface Duo 2, we expect Microsoft will embrace what makes a phone a good phone, and apply those practices to Surface Duo. We expect Surface Duo 2 to ship with typical smartphone things such as NFC, a competent camera system, the latest specs, and more.
Surface Duo 2 specs
I'm told that Surface Duo 2 will ship with the latest flagship SoC for 2021, which presumably means it will have a Snapdragon 888 SoC with 5G capabilities. I also hear that it will feature NFC for wireless payments, an external camera system with a bump for better photography, slightly bigger displays with rounded corners, and slightly thinner bezels for a more streamlined fit and finish.
The overall shape and size of the Surface Duo is expected to remain similar to the first Surface Duo. I don't have exact measurements unfortunately, but I understand that the changes in shape and size are mostly unnoticeable unless you have a Duo 1 to compare side by side.
Surface Duo 2 price
There's no word on how much Surface Duo 2 will cost, but considering it's going to ship with the latest specs and more features, we'll be interested to see whether it costs more than the first-generation Surface Duo, which started at $1,399. Hopefully it doesn't.
Surface Duo 2 what I want to see
I would love to see a Surface Duo 2 with more RAM choices, with 8GB RAM being the standard and 12GB RAM for those who want to splash out with more headroom for multitasking across both displays. I'd also love to see official support for the Surface Slim Pen that includes magnets and wireless charging so that I can carry the pen with me.
I also hope to see a better focus on unique and first-party OS features built by Microsoft. The first Surface Duo is basically stock Android, with no real flair in the OS done by Microsoft. It would be great to see new pen features, or unique Microsoft productivity enhancements come to Android on Surface Duo 2.
I would also love to see Microsoft adopt a metal material for the frame of the device. Surface Duo V1 uses plastic, which is fine, but it can yellow over time and isn't as structurally sound as metal. Many Surface Duo V1 customers have complained about their USB-C ports cracking, and switching to a metal frame would fix this. Plus, it would make the device feel more premium but also more heavy.
Finally, I want more colors for Surface Duo 2. Surface Duo V1 is available only in "Glacier White," which just isn't all that nice. I'd love to see a Poppy Red, Ice Blue, Platinum, and Black color option.
Surface Duo 2 latest news
June 1, 2021: A recent patent filing from Microsoft suggested that the company was experimenting with adding a kickstand-like feature to its dual-screen form factor. Windows Central understands that Surface Duo 2 does not feature this kickstand design, so don't expect to see that when the device ships later this year.