Skip to main content

Surface Duo 2 fails to win over the majority of Windows Central readers

Surface Duo 2 Hero
Surface Duo 2 Hero (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • We ran a poll asking whether the readers of Windows Central plan on buying a Surface Duo 2.
  • The majority, to the tune of over 52%, said "no."
  • Almost 34% said "yes," while roughly 14% stated they'd already bought the foldable.

In a neck-and-neck race of Surface Duo 2 supporters and abstainers, it seems the abstainers have established dominance, at least for now. With the launch of the Surface Duo 2 in the rearview mirror, we fired up a poll asking readers whether they'd be grabbing Microsoft's second-gen foldable or if they'd be skipping it.

Roughly 14% of respondents said they'd already purchased the device, while nearly 34% said they were planning on doing so, meaning that over 47% said they either planned on buying the product or already had. On the flip side, a little under 53% said they weren't doling out cash for it.

As of the time of this post, 218 votes have gone to the "already bought" option, 524 went to the "planning on buying" choice, and 814 were cast in favor of not grabbing the Duo 2.

The poll garnered not only votes, but many, many comments. A lot of those comments highlighted the cost-prohibitive nature of the Surface gadget as the reason they weren't jumping in. Others cited mistrust of how Microsoft will handle and support it in the coming years, based on how the company dealt with the Duo 1.

The official Windows Central review of the Surface Duo 2 gave it a favorable score and outlined its many positive aspects as well as its drawbacks. Other outlets were less kind to the device. One common comment among most of the reviews was that there's still a ways to go before Microsoft strikes absolute gold with its Duo line.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

62 Comments
  • Mine still says pre-ordered, hasn't shipped yet. From Microsoft in USA... Price is definitely the hardest part to swallow.
  • It sure is!
  • That's why I'm waiting a year and getting one on a fire sale.
  • I was in the same boat, showing pre-ordered. I called the MS store and they said it was a problem on their end and they had to cancel & re-process the order. 3 days later, status is still "pending". I should have just gone to Bestbuy.
  • Update.. Still says pre-ordered. I'll give it a few more days, if not I can save some money buying literally anything else lol.
  • Update October 26, spoke to microsoft support, they said best they can do is cancel the order and replace it. Even though I pre-ordered to get it right away. People who didn't Pre-order already have one in hand. 1500 dollars for this service. Just to make one less sale..
  • I really wanted to get it, but not right away. I figured I'd wait a few months.
    The more I see and read about it, though, I am leaning towards sticking it out with the SD1 until maybe V3 comes out.
    It's simply a lot of cash to fork out every year for something that's still not quite ready on the software side on things.
    If the SD1 gets Android 11, I'd expect enough improvement to the SD1 to make it another year.
  • In the same boat. Hope the SD1 gets some love until I switch to maybe SD3 or later, but it's a very capable device for me so far.
  • Add me to the list for the Duo 3, I'll skip the second generation and hope that Microsoft has fixed all the software bugs and annoyances with generation 3, asa OG Duo owner, I'm still pissed that we don't have Android 11 on these devices, in regards to the Duo 2,looking at the reviews on the software from some well known YouTubers, like MrMobile, it's still the software that is the issue, which is disappointing.
  • Agreed. Keeping SD1 for now and see what happens later.
  • The way I have used the Duo for a year I saw the upgrades being substantial enough for my use case. I won't be buying a new one every release that's for sure (coming from someone still rocking their non pro Surface 3.)
  • For the most Part mostly due to the frustrating software, I mostly used my Duo as a dedicated book reader,I tried to use it as a sole device, but just to FN frustrating, but as a secondary device lol 😂 I lived with it.
  • In the same boat. Love the form of the original Duo. Unfortunately, for me, between software issues & being able to quickly use it on the go it's much better as a secondary device. Waiting to see what Duo 3 offers...
  • For me it's still comes down to the price. A decent gaming laptop is cheaper than the Duo2. I would get it if the price went down AND it because available via AT&T as a device upgrade.
  • If and when it becomes available on AT&T, the price will still be the $1,500, starting. The only good thing with that is, you can pay monthly. I don't have an issue paying this way, because I would likely keep it for at least 3 years, before looking for another upgrade.
  • I've been using it for a few days now and I am quite pleased with it. The hardware is definitely ready for prime time and the software has to my surprised worked quite well with almost no issues that I can discern. The gesture navigation takes a bit of getting used to, but they make sense after a bit of an adjustment period. I expect that software updates will keep adding features with dual screens in mind especially once Android 12.1 rolls around.
  • I would have bought it but the camera hump causing an inability to fully flip the device back along with the added thickness and weight are something that for me personally, not anyone else just me, are things I can't get around. I love photography, I own 3 way too expensive cameras, and I still don't think changing the form and elegance of this device was worth it for a better photo taking experience. Adding to that is the cumbersome way you have to take photos now. I always thought it was absurd and unintuitive to take a photo with a tablet and I'm not going to change my mind just because I was hoping to like a device. I will stick to my SD1 and if they can't find a way to eliminate the bump in version 3, I will just move on from this line of devices all together.
  • I have to reluctantly agree. SD1 is an engineering marvel. The demographic for SD doesn't value photography. The cam just needs to be good enough. Hopefully the camera technology for SD3 can improve enough to shed the bump. They need to focus on getting the user experience down pat so stuff does what you expect. Oh, ...and I wish they'd address better pen input.
  • While I completely agree about the negatives of the camera bump and loved my Duo 1, I am definitely in the the camp of users who cared a great deal about the bad camera in the Duo 1. For me, it was not "good enough" and was my chief complaint. With that fixed, I'm a happy Duo 2 customer. Now if they can just add Qi and shrink that camera bump for Duo 3, I might buy that at launch too...
  • We are saying the same thing. I didn't say the SD1 cam was sufficient. I said we don't need a premium cam. Just need a good enough cam ...and SD1 cam is not good enough. That said, 75% of the problem was software, not hardware.
  • The issue with the camera, at least for me, was mostly the software.
  • It's like asking the readers of a car magazine if they are to buy the new Lamborghini model. What are you expecting in regards to the poll? Nobody is expecting to see a Lamborghini on every corner on day two.
  • Agreed. All polls of this type should have "Want one, but can't afford one" as an option when answering. (I didn't see the original poll so I don't know if it did.)
  • Well, yeah. The fact that no carrier is offering it for affordable monthly payments is a huge reason, at least for me, for why I'm not getting it. Just can't drop $1500 for a phone like that. Microsoft should have been working with T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, all the other carriers, etc to make sure this device was carried everywhere. Otherwise, just going to flop like the Duo 1 until it's half-price or lower.
  • Microsoft offers flexible payment options FYI. https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
  • Why does it show a girl using an iPhone on that page? Lol
  • I don't buy premium devices. Has nothing to do with the Duo itself. I'd love to have one, but high-end phones aren't part of my budget.
  • at $1500 I'd rather get a pc that can run Windows 11 and do some moderate gaming instead. not that I would be running windows 11 yet.. even so it would do me better.
  • Scary thing is reviewers are still complaining about software bugs on the duo 2. Im sure they will get better when more updates come out, and hopefully we will see a flash sale. 1500 is a lot to ask for a device like this.
  • Looks like many of the "not buying" are happy enough with their Duo 1 to wait for Duo 3 due to cost. So it's not like they don't want it or are buying a competing device. Just that at $1,500, the Duo is not a buy-one-every-year kind of device.
  • There won't be Duo 3
  • I see most of the comments are from people who haven't bought the Duo 2. Most of the comments are regarding the price and rightfully so. But many of the OG Duo buyers were Day 1 owners like myself so I don't see the argument for not buying because of price. Didn't have a problem dropping $1,400 last year in the middle of a pandemic on an unknown commodity but $1,500 for a very well updated successor is too much? My suggestion, get one and try it out. Both Microsoft and Best Buy have return policies (Microsoft's is much better) so there's little to lose. After a few hours of using the Duo 2, the OG's time was clearly done. Listen, we're all family here. I'm not going to waste my time trying to convert an Apple user or a Samsung aficionado. We dig the Duo line because of what it is, not what others wish it could be. The Duo 2 is decidedly better on so many basic fronts it more than justifies the additional hundred dollars over last year's model.
  • That high of a price for a camera notch that doesn't allow the Duo2 to sit flat. A camera notch which by reports doesn't give the phone a fantastic camera. An awesome notification concept which doesn't allow third party app notifications. Bumper sold separately. Not sure if all of this was thought out correctly at Microsoft. I'll be more inclined if the price decreases.
  • Best Buy is offering trade in value of at least $400 on the original Surface Duo. That will offset the cost and bring it down to $1199 just right above in pricing to the iPhone Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
  • Absolute fact!!! I'm like "$1500??" Microsoft gave the best trade in value for my OG Fold. The upgrade to the Duo 2 was only $1000. I can understand all of the OG Duo owners from that perspective though. I just didn't see enough of an upgrade value to purchase the next version.
  • They also give you an extra $250 off coupon!
  • It's not the price. There are two reasons. First, it's an Android phone. Windows phone may not be coming back, but if Win11 allows running Android apps (and it does), there's no reason not to use Windows as the OS on the phone. Second, we all know that patent filings showed a "third screen" that closes the gap between the two when the phone is opened flat. Build THAT, and the resulting Windows OS "Trio" would sell like hotcakes.
  • Android support on windows 11 use VM technology, and 8G RAM requirement, so I don't think it is possible to do the same thing on windows phone.
  • It also doesn't support Google Play Services. Not to mention, W11 is not designed to scale down to small screens. This obsession of wanting a square peg forced into a round hole continues to baffle me.
  • Because people want a powerful OS to fit in a phone shaped hole…at least be phablet sized. Microsoft had an opportunity to make the Duo 2 a phablet when closed and fold out into the minimum 9” size tablet to run Windows 11. This would make the Duo 2 the ultimate productivity phone to fit in a Windows work environment.
  • It's not the price, eh? I will tell all the people in these very comments citing the price that they are categorically, objectively wrong in their opinions, then. Thank you for the update.
  • Loving mine so far and very impressed. If this thing had a different logo everyone would be praising its engineering and design. No issues or hiccups; the only "problem" is obsidian is a bloody fingerprint magnet 🤣
  • I just have zero interest in the Duo. If I'm going for a folding phone, I think the Galaxy Fold is much closer to ideal, but it's still a long way off. I was interested in the Neo, but that got nixed. If Microsoft couldn't even ship their own OS on a bigger version of the dual screen form factor, I have no faith that they'll be able to shoehorn Android into a smaller dual screen with any success. For now, I'm happy with my Surface Pro 8. Maybe Microsoft will wow me with the third generation Duo.
  • Gonna roll with the 1st one for less than 1/3 the price of the 2. Hopefully next year the Surface team will get it right and price it more competitively from the get go.
  • For me it's not just the price, look at Microsoft's track record with mobile devices and it doesn't fill me with confidence that the Surface Duo will be around for very long 😐
  • I bought mine Saturday. Completely happy with the upgrades and updates. For a Duo it is a fantastic piece of machinery. 52% who decided against this had not fully understood what Microsoft was intending.
  • I don't think people fail to understand Microsoft's intentions. I believe that, while the Duo2 certainly is an improvement over the SD1 in every aspect, it's not polished enough for many people to invest into it again, knowing that it will probably take V3 to make it what it needs to be.
    Maybe a SW upgrade in the near future will deliver and prove me wrong. In that case, I'll happily reconsider. For now, the incremental improvement, at least for me, doesn't justify the investment.
    My issue with the SD1 over the last year was always SW and until the really nail it, I just don't see a justification to upgrade. That's why it's a no for me at this point in time.
  • If I was rich, I'd buy it, but it's way too expensive. If it comes down to $500 or so, I'll jump on it for sure.
  • The Duo has such a specific use case that it would surprise me if the majority was going to get it.
  • The percentages weren't too far off from that reality, all things considered.
  • If it weren't so hard to find, I would probably have one. I want a 256 GB Obsidian. Of the 25 Best Buys within 100 miles of me, only ONE got that model, they only got two, and the place is over an hour away. It's easier to hold off on buying it when it means having to wait a week for it to get shipped, if not more, because Microsoft only sent 128 GB models out in any sort of meaningful quantity.
  • I've got the samsung galaxy s21 ultra, but would like the Duo 2 for work. But the price against what you get is throwing me off. It should be around a thousand dollars.
  • I like the idea of the Duo 2. However,
    * As a hobby photographer with a better camera, the Duo camera is not essential. I kind of liked better the Duo 1 without bulky lenses
    * I tend to have the smart phone in my shirt pocket. I am pretty sure the Duo phones are too wide to fit in
    * I have loads of music, and my (HR) music fills up more than half a TB on a dedicated micro SD card. The Duos do not have room for a micro SD card.
  • Way to much money for a device that will be dead and buried after 3 years of support
  • To be fair I have no issue with the pricing. I absolutely loved the versatility of the first one. I am always an early adoptor of everything so the bugs did not bother me nor does a reboot. Infact i think its all about ******** about it and not using it first. That said I just dont have the Cash this year to get V2 even with trade in. And I do need wifi calling. Im hoping by christmas enough is paid off and ATT has launched it with special upgrade pricing to sd1 owners that i can upgrade. Fingers crossed. I would absolutely love to have one.
  • I bought it from Best Buy and had to return it. On the third day I noticed the color temp on both screens was no longer the same. The left was blueish on white page and right was amber, (like the Night Shift filter was on).
    And yes before you ask I had the same page spanned over the two displays.
    Best Buy took one look at it and said "Yeah that's not good!" and immediately started to process the return.
    My Surface Duo 1 still is correct color temp at almost a year. (Yeah I preordered it at full price).
    I loved the device but you know the saying, "Once you see it, it's all you see".
  • I look at these poll results as a huge win for the Duo. This is an expensive niche product. To have that high of a percentage interested in buying it is much higher then I would ever expect. I'm not interested in it at all, especially since I love my Fold 3, but that looks like a great poll result for a phone priced over $1,500!
  • The results are miserable. It means more than half of the core fans won't get it. So. It will fail
  • Too many reviewers were coming from their own new phones they got this year, what kind of realistic comparison is that? Most people buy their phones more infrequently. My iPhone was 5 years old, so this thing is a beast of an upgrade in every way. If the form factor doesn't match your lifestyle that's important to know, but all the talk of bugs is so overblown to me. Then again I have only had it for 2 days.
  • Fantastic device. Using it as my daily driver. Significantly improved from Duo 1.
  • Have a Z Fold 3, more refined, preferred foldable screens, cover screen and Samsung Dex. I know it’s not going to happen, but if the Surface Duo 2 had Windows 11 that would have completed changed the game, but to me it’s just another Android phone with a niche separate screen gimmicks.
  • If Android 11 on my original Duo yields favorable results, then I'll purchase one. Otherwise, what's the point?