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Surface Duo 2 still isn't an instant buy at $999, according to Windows Central readers

Surface Duo 2 Vs Surface Duo1 Screens
Surface Duo 2 Vs Surface Duo1 Screens (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Surface Duo 2 recently saw a price drop that shaved off $500 of its cost, bringing the 128GB variant down to $999 and the 256GB model to $1,099.
  • As this is the first time we've seen Duo 2 dip below four digits sans special trade-in offers, we asked readers if $999 was a compelling enough price to get them on board.
  • Over 43% responded that the current price point still isn't enough to get them to consider the device.

What's a Duo 2 to do when a 33%-off sale still isn't enough to lure in a large portion of people? That's Microsoft's question to answer in the coming months and years, since we've now seen that even a sizeable chunk of the tech enthusiasts on WC aren't sold by the idea of a $999 Duo 2.

Because Surface Duo 2 recently saw its price drop by $500 across Amazon, Best Buy, and Microsoft's own storefront, it seemed like a good time to ask readers if this was an enticing enough price point compared to the device's original starting tag of $1,500, which many have cited as prohibitively high. As it turns out, even $500 off isn't enough to sway the majority.

Over 43% of voters still said that a $999 price wouldn't make them consider a Duo 2. Just over 40% of respondents said it would. A little under 11% voted that they'd bought a Duo 2 before the discounted price, and 5.7% voted that they had, in fact, put money behind their words and actually bought the Duo 2 as a direct result of the price drop.

A couple of commenters in the poll post noted common sentiments that have been brought up since the dawn of Duo 2: That they'll save their pennies and wait for a superior Duo 3 to come along, or buy Duo 2 if/when it starts having fire sales much like Duo 1 did back in 2021. After all, why spend $1,500 or even $999 when, with a little patience, you may not have to spend more than $500?

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.

27 Comments
  • microsoft store show out of stock for many models so i guess many were waiting for a deal.
  • A couple of considerations come to mind, in addition to the price drops to get people to buy. 1. The use case and need for such a device. Many aren't convinced it's better than having one signal folding screen. 2. Many feel that Microsoft will abandon the device. While this is always a possibility, at the end of the day, it's still an Android device and you will still be able to use the Duo for some time to come. Especially, with 12L coming to the device in the future. Unlike Windows Phone/Mobile, you will still have access to the apps you like to use, with the acception of a few that may not be optimized for the device. So far, I've only come across one. I just use the web instead. 3. Many still compare the current specs to other phones within that price range and do not consider the cost of this device is more about the engineering it took to create such a device and still squeeze in relatively modern specs. 4. Then there are those that simply do not want to spend a large chunk of money on any phone, let alone one they may not have a use for.
  • Very well based questions. Honestly there isn't a "need" for any foldable phone device. The greater question is do you "want" one? I think Microsoft should make the phone more available on display for the consumer to actually get a chance to try it out. Whether at Best Buy or a cell phone company that is carrying the Duo 2, you just can't find them out for display.
    Microsoft's track record is well founded when it comes to longevity of support, so I completely understand the hesitance surrounding the buy in to this device. I will say that signs point in a promising direction at least for the near future that support will continue, and with Android 12L supporting folding devices, it appears the appetite for screens that fold is growing not shrinking.
    I will say that with the exception of the camera, most of the specs are pretty on par with the other flagship phones. Of course the whole concept of this phone isn't just about specs. The only phone you really can compare it to is the Z Fold 3 which is more expensive.
    The last statement is pretty much most of the consumer space..lol.
  • Definitely agree with this. Given the niche nature of the product and the other issues you mention, 43% of WC readers expressing no interest is no big deal. Plus, a lot of people are just happy with their current phones. This is the longest I've ever owned a smartphone!
  • I'm waiting for Duo 3. If there is one.
  • A popular stance.
  • I'm waiting on WoA version lol. Since Microsoft has already allowed Android apps on W11 via Amazon store or side loading. Getting WoA to run android apps wouldn't be an issue. As much as I want Microsoft to focus on UWA but like a stubborn mule will continue to bury their heads in the sand. So, android apps on WoA would still allow the duo to leverage the duo optimised android apps. It's a mess but the mess is salvageable.
  • I'd get one except they seem to still be full price in the UK.
  • I'm too happy with my SD1 to rock the boat and migrate to a new SD2 which IMHO is not a significant improvement with just my needs in mind... I believe that most ppl who paid attention to the lower price are like me and already have either or both models already... a few of the existing users may have purchased the SD2 on sale last week, possibly for family members, or for the sake of upgrading to the Obsidian black with the improved camera setup... the majority of new phone shoppers are likely not even aware of the lower price since there is no longer any active media campaign, reviews, etc. A reasonably priced SD3 w/ 12L + proper marketing will likely yield significantly better sales.
  • The lack of a new device this year signals a risk for long term support. Now the next milestone is 12L slated for *soon* TM. April's release did no favors because no features were introduced. Original duo owners have already felt this before. Strong out the gate support, then trickling silence with no transparency. Pairing the lackluster release of April with a price reduction scares the crap out of me. And I am super interested in upgrading my Duo to v2.
  • I wanted to see what I might be able to get into this phone if I traded my Pixel 6 Pro. It wasn't listed so for fun I said Pixel 5. good condition. $86. Nope. I'll wait.
  • Another way to more easily afford it at $999:
    Trade-in current phone: $400
    Save up Microsoft Rewards Points: $400 Voila! A $200 Surface Duo 😁👍
  • How many points do you need to redeem $400, 1,000,000 points?
  • Rest assured, there will be further price drops. These things are not selling. At all. Remember, the first Duo 1 price drop was also to $999. We all know where that ended up.
  • In my pocket.
  • If it was running WoA, then yes. Otherwise no, many don't need another device running a android o/s. They are dime a dozen and beyond two screens and somewhat increased productivity it doesn't bring much differentiation to a stagnating landscape of slab devices. WoA would have done alot to change that especially through the ability to dock and run containerised Win32 apps with ARM64EC on a TV/Monitor/Display. This is where webtop (Motorola) and dex (Samsung) failed, they don't have a robust ecosystem of win32 applications to leverage. Microsoft does as well as Continuum.
  • Any information on price drop for Europe? In Germany Store it is still 1599€.
  • I'd never waste my money on devices like this. It's ugly and way overpriced for such a niche piece of flotsam.
  • As long it runs android it will be a niche device. For the cost of a duo (as well as other foldable android phones) you can build a PC and go on holiday with spending money left over. I finished putting together a PC with a total build cost of £540 for a family member's first PC. Brand new components. Unfortunately, they were off Amazon (direct - sold and dispatched)... We seriously need something like Microcenter in the UK lol. Anyway, including the 27 inch LG monitor total build cost is £761.89 and speakers. Parts list: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/TF1/saved/#view=FDkjnQ If the Duo ran WoA, with containerised Win32 apps with ARM64EC, docking via continuum. It would literally replace everything and could become the sole computing device for many. Which would also allow Microsoft to get additional revenue through onedrive subscriptions not to mention additional sales of accessories. So plenty of upselling opportunities.
  • Doing two things at once is not "flotsam" or doing one thing at once without having to hold your phone up at eye level. It's not meant to be a tablet. It's meant for productivity. I love it for that. Reading books and comics are also a good use. Or folding it so one screen is propped on your chest (laptop mode) while in bed is another (for watching movies or tv shows) (tent mode also works). It beats any other phone price point wise for use case scenarios.
  • I took advantage of this deal and purchased through MS store....received it rather quickly, and set up was smooth. The device is not for everyone, but it is definitely something that has proven to be nice in terms of productivity. I really enjoy using this device.....it's not all the time that you need the two screens but when it is necessary there is nothing like it.
  • I wonder how much the COVID pandemic and its impact on employment have affected sales of this device. Pre-COVID, this would have been an instant buy for me, but these days I work almost 100% from home. I just no longer need this level of mobile productivity. I don't spend time on a subway commuting, or walking around an office complex like before where the Duo would have been an excellent tool.
  • Can’t blame the “pandemic” for the lack of sales of this. It is the absurdly high price combined with the MS logo on it. It’s not like MS has a great history of phones in general, and $1600 Android phones in particular. The fact is, no one needs “this level of mobile productivity” from a $1600 MS phone. They MIGHT “need” it at $750. They MIGHT “need” it if it was an $1100 Samsung phone.
  • Samsung tablets are cheaper than Samsung phones. That's why expensive Samsung phones are stupid.
  • Whereas absurdly expensive MS phones are brilliant? Is that why they are selling so well? 🙄 The point is, Samsung could sell this phone at $1100. Because Samsung. The Surface Duo 2 is never going to sell, until it AGAIN drops to $500. Because Microsoft. BTW, Samsung tablets are cheaper because Android tablets don’t sell. Apple owns the tablet market, for obvious reasons. Samsung phones DO sell, thus the higher prices.
  • I don't buy phones that cost as much as a laptop because they are more prone to breakage and are used constantly. The DUO 1 fit my price point when it hit 438 on Amazon. If the Duo 2 hits that or near it, I may switch. But for now the DUO 1 is the best phone in my price point. If they make a DUO that is durable that can be dropped without the external glass breaking or be waterproofed, I will be all over that for close to 999.. Otherwise I'll just keep waiting for that fire sale.
  • While this price point is SO tempting, I think I'm going to hold off for the Duo 3 in hopes it gets rid of the camera bump. I'm still rocking a Galaxy S8, so I'm due for a new phone, an being I've held off on buying one for so long, I'll be fine accepting the price when it does drop.