Surface Duo 2 actually has some basic water protection with IPX1 rating

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

What you need to know

  • Surface Duo 2 does have some very modest water protection.
  • The Microsoft Surface Twitter account confirms the IPX1 rating for Surface Duo 2.
  • It should be protected in some light rain, so long as it is not too windy.

One of the challenges with new form factors is catching up to existing standards for current devices like IPX ratings for dust and water protection. It took Samsung three versions to get any Ingress Protection (IPX) rating with its Galaxy Z Fold 3 (it finally got IPX8), which then makes you wonder about Microsoft's new Surface Duo 2.

While we all thought it simply didn't have any IPX rating, as it turns out, it actually does — it's just not very impressive.

According to the official Microsoft Surface Twitter account, Surface Duo 2 gets a massive IPX1 rating. That translates to "dripping water with vertically falling drops ... when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM" for 10 minutes. The amount of water equals 1mm of rainfall per minute.

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That's not amazing, but it is something. It's basically rain coming down vertically at a rate of 2.3-inches per hour (which is a lot). But IPX2 is the same, but with a 15-degree angle (so, windy rain), IPX3 is a water spray, and the scale goes up from there.

While you may want to avoid using Surface Duo 2 while it is storming, at least for long durations, you should be OK for some basic rain situations.

I have used my Surface Duo briefly in the rain (I had to relaunch the Tesla app to open my car!), and I never had an issue with water or damage. At least now, Surface Duo 2 gets a bit more protection than before, which is nice to know.

Thanks, Javid M., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

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

  • but it needs toilet protection !
  • Lol your comment made me think of Nokia 920 I had. First day of having it, I accidentally knocked it I to the toilet. Despite not having any official IP rating, not a single drop of water got in, despite being totally submerged for about 30 seconds of my initial shock. That thing was a tank. very well built. 😂
  • I feel like protection against 1mm of rain per minute for 10 minutes actually sounds better when you perform some basic mathematical analysis (I'm from the UK so excuse the UK examples): London records an annual rainfall of approximately 690 mm per year (a quick google search), that work out at 690 mm / 365 days = 1.89 mm per day. 1440 minutes per day, so 1.89 / 1440 = 0.0013 mm per minute on average across a year. That means that IPX1 protects against (1 / 0.0013) 769.23 times the average daily rainfall in London. To take a more extreme rainfall example, the Boscastle floods in 2004 that destroyed the lower parts of the village saw 89mm of rain in 60 minutes which is (89 / 60) 1.48 mm rain per minute. Whilst clearly protection against being submerged in water is better and I suspect the hinge is a natural weak point for water protection, it's probably also true that rainfall, short splashes of water or wet/damp surfaces are probably more common risks.
  • I think this is good because naturally Microsoft is going to improve on this in the next version of Duo. So, eventually we will get proper water resistance.
  • One of my Duo got damaged from water sprays from washing my face by the sink. The hinge area is susceptible. Good thing I had complete care and got a replacement.
  • I am still amazed that Samsung was able to achieve IPX8 on the Fold 3. That was one reason I purchased it. It took Samsung three iterations to add water resistance - so perhaps Duo3 will have full on protection. I am hoping that Duo3 will be great (and that there is one).
  • Technically I consider the Duo 2 the "first" real iteration of Duo while Duo 1 was essentially a pricey beta test. Duo 2 was built from the ground up for Android and to be a phone, whereas Duo 1 was a pocketable Surface that originally ran Windows. So I think I can forgive Microsoft if it doesn't happen until Surface Duo 4.
  • "Technically I consider the Duo 2 the "first" real iteration of Duo while Duo 1 was essentially a pricey beta test. "
    I agree with this. The first version is effectively an older prototype that got mass produced. V2 is built with more purpose in mind and yes, as an Android phone this time (original, as you mention, was supposed to be a pocketable Surface with Windows, not a real phone).
  • All it needs now is a Windows OS.
  • Happy to hear this. It's still a delicate device, but I'm ok with that. Keeping my Note10 for the beach/pool.