Microsoft Surface Duo launches September 10 for $1,399 with preorders starting today

Surface Duo Press
Surface Duo Press (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced pricing and availability for Surface Duo.
  • It's launching September 10 for $1,400.
  • Specs and network support have also been unveiled.

It's finally happening! Microsoft's dual-screen Android smartphone that was first announced back in October 2019 should be available for preorder today, for an eye-watering $1,399, and should begin shipping to customers starting September 10. Microsoft has also revealed all the Surface Duo specs you need to know, including what powers things under the hood, network compatibility, and storage options.

Microsoft has spent the last year finalizing the hardware and software experiences for Surface Duo, and the company now feels like the device is ready for the public, ahead of the original "holiday 2020" timeframe. Unfortunately, the wait between October 2019 and today means that the hardware on the inside isn't using the latest and greatest.

Surface Duo specs

The Redmond-giant has confirmed that Surface Duo ships with a Snapdragon 855 and 6GB RAM that powers things under the hood. It also has a 3577mAh battery, and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. Although these are last years specs, the Snapdragon 855 is still a great processor which won't be showing its age anytime soon.

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CategorySurface Duo
Operating SystemAndroid 10
DisplaySingle: 5.6 inch (1800x1350), 401 ppi, 4:3 aspect ratio
Opened: 8.1 inch (2700x1800), 401 ppi, 3:2 aspect ratio
Type: AMOLED
Wide color gamut: 100% SRGB and 100% DCI-P3
Corning Gorilla Glass
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855
NetworkWiFi-5 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
LTE: 4x4 MIMO, Cat.18 DL / Cat 5 UL
SIMNano SIM + eSIM (no eSIM on AT&T model)
Network BandsFDD-LTE: 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,13,14,19 20,25,26,28,29,30,66
TD-LTE: 38,39,40,41,46
WCDMA: 1,2,5,8
GSM/GPRS: GSM-850, E-GSM-900, DCS-1800, PCS-1900
Memory6GB RAM
Storage128GB or 256GB UFS 3.0
Expandable StorageNone
Camera11MP, ƒ/2.0 1.0um, PDAF, 84.0° diagonal FOV
Optimized with AI for front and rear
AudioMono speaker
Dual mic with noise suppression and echo cancellation
Qualcomm aptX Adaptive
SecurityFingerprint
Ports1x USB-C 3.1
Battery3,577mAh
Up to 15.5 hours of Local Video Playback
Up to 10 days of Standby Time
Up to 27 hours of Talk Time
Fast Charging using 18W in-box power supply
PenSurface Pen (not included)
DimensionsOpen: 145.2mm (H) x 186.9mm (W) x 4.8mm (T)
Closed: 145.2mm (H) x 93.3mm (W) x 9.9mm (T at hinge)
Weight250 grams

Microsoft has also details Surface Duo's dual-displays, which are now confirmed to be AMOLED panels with a resolution of 1800x1350. They are also 100% SRGB and DCI-P3 color accurate, with a pixel density of 401 for a crisp and colourful viewing experience. Microsoft calls them "PixelSense Fusion Displays" and are designed to be identical so that images and apps don't look different on either screen. It also supports the Surface Pen, including the latest Slim Pen and older Surface Pen models.

Regarding the camera, the Surface Duo ships with a single 11MP sensor above the right display that's capable of 4K video recording. It's fair to say that this camera won't be an iPhone or Pixel competitor, as that's not what Microsoft has focused on with this first generation. The camera app does use AI for photo optimization however, which may improve things.

Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows + Devices, said the following about Surface Duo in today's announcement:

"When we created Surface seven years ago, we wanted to challenge convention by redefining expectations for what a productivity device should be, and what it should do. Put simply; we wanted to help people get things done. We didn't set out to combine two existing devices – the tablet and the laptop. We had a vision for how we could take the best elements of each to create something entirely new. To find that perfect intersection of hardware and software that unlocks a more intuitive way to work and create. We faced some skepticism, but ultimately a new category was born that drove growth for the PC industry. More than that, behaviors started to change. People's eyes were opened to the idea that touch shouldn't be just for tablets and phones. And the ability to get things done shouldn't be limited to just when you were sitting in front of a traditional PC.""Today, as we look ahead to the next wave of mobile productivity and creativity, we see that same opportunity to create something new with Surface Duo – not to reinvent the phone, but to inspire people to rethink how they want to use the device in their pocket. Available for preorder in the US starting today, Surface Duo brings together the power of Microsoft 365 experiences and the full ecosystem of Android mobile apps into one device, with two screens that you can take anywhere."

Carrier support

The good news is that Surface Duo will be available to buy unlocked from day one via the Microsoft Store or BestBuy, and will work on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. This model will include eSIM in addition to nanoSIM, too. US customers also have the option to buy a locked Surface Duo through AT&T if that's what they prefer.

Surface Duo availability

Surface Duo will be available in the US starting September 10 at a starting price of $1399 for the 128GB model. Unfortunately, Microsoft is not announcing the availability of Surface Duo outside of the United States today. Also note that, according to CNET, Microsoft is offering zero percent interest financing through its store, while AT&T will offer Duo on its Next Up program.

For more information about Surface Duo, make sure to check out our comprehensive Surface Duo FAQ, which should answer all your questions.

Microsoft Surface Duo

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Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

85 Comments
  • They can sell some of those only if they bundle the grass they were smoking while they thought this is interesting.
  • Yeah.... They will sell a few, but at this price it will ultimately flop. What you have here is an overpriced tablet. As a phone it falls really short (Can't use it with one hand, can't quickly look at notifications, can't fit into a lot of pockets, mediocre camera, mediocre processor, etc.). The fact that they showed it in someone's backpack instead of someone's pocket tells you a lot. If you need to put it in your purse or backpack and it costs more than a surface, then you might as well get a surface at that point. I've been a MS fan for a long time, but the Galaxy Fold 2 pretty much mops the floor with this. If I was seriously in the market for a dual screen device. I would spend the extra $500 for a Fold 2, because I could get more use out of it and I wouldn't be stuck with all the limitations that the Duo has. Sure it's thicker, but with the outside screen you can use it with one hand, get notifications, and because it has a slimmer width it still fits in your pocket. This should have been sold as more of a companion device for a phone priced at $500 rather than a phone replacement. I'm waiting patiently for a dual screen Surface Pro....
  • At long last it's not only as expensive as we thought it would be, it's MORE expensive! Shaking my head. You'd think after all these years we'd get used to Microsoft hubris, but they continue to amaze. Hubris.
    Fancy word I know, but the shoe fits.
  • Okay, so after watching the video I'm impressed. But still. $1400?
  • So how do y'all feel about that price? I want to press that button but that is a lot. I just feel there is going to be a deal on it soon in like November. The cost of being an early adopter, I suppose.
  • I'm easy with it, as I can write it off as a business expense so it'll cost me nothing to use. I'll be using as it's supposed to be used, business centric activities and not for the latest social media craze. I need a device to work with me instead of carrying around a tablet.
  • Just one hint - as far as I understand apps will work in tablet mode only if they are made specifically for Surface Duo, meaning nearly all of apps except for the built-in won't work. That's due to hinge and the weird effect it would have on non-optimized apps (imagine a button split across the screens with hinge in the middle). If you need that Samsung Flex 2 will be a much better investment as all the apps work in the tablet mode.
  • Wait, huh? How did you come to that conclusion?
  • That's in the developer documentation.
  • I'm going to go look now. Thanks
  • So I'm seeing outlook being used on single screen. I'm not sure if your interpretation is for inbox apps having to be used to dual screen mode. That just doesn't sound correct
  • OK, for example you have a 3rd party e-book reader. If Surface Duo makes this app think that both screens are one so that he can use them both even if it is not optimized, I believe you can imagine the result. The hinge in the middle of the paragraph text. Yikes. And most apps would have similar problems. That's why it is not even possible if the app is not optimized for Surface Duo. And it is hard to think that any non-built-in app will be optimized. You may check whether it applies to the vertical mode, not sure about that. Hinge won't feel that bad in the vertical mode even for most non-optimized apps.
  • This thread is the primary reason you wait 6 months. Wait for people to use the device and apps and wait for their comments. Plus developers will get a pretty good idea with the first adopters. The learning curve will be steep. If people like it and start using apps longer and more frequently, the app developers will see where the glitches occur. SO Give MSFT and the crew of 3rd party developers 6 months to improve the expereince and hopefully a better idea of version 2.
  • Most of Android apps are not optimized for tablet, that's a well known fact that you can check. Having that in mind thinking that developers will optimize apps for Surface Duo is a wishful thinking.
  • I don't care, e-mail and Office work with both displays, that's 80% of what I do on my phone. If an app appears on one screen flip the phone round. Simple's really. All apps appear single display unless dual screen optimised which is a better way to work. As to the Fold I still have issues with potential screen creases or damage as I only change my phone every 4-5 years.
  • Oh, I thought you said "I can write it off as a business expense so it'll cost me nothing to use" ;)
  • You can always fall back to use only one screen only. This device can use both screens, multitask between two apps, OR use it as a single screen device as you do today. So what you said isn't exactly true.
  • You, my enthusiastic peer, are the one! Look at you go!
    I'd have to come out of pocket ugh
  • Writing it off as a business expense doesn't mean it costs you nothing to use, LOL. That said, this device is already doomed. No sane person will spend $1400 on a device with specs that are bested by phones at less than half the price, especially from a company who has a long history of starting and then abandoning phone projects. The Surface Duo is dead in the water.
  • It's a cool phone, I'd like to have one but not at $1400. I think this maybe Nadela's first Balmer level failure. People are going to laugh at this.
  • Would is the highest acceptable price you would be willing to pay?
  • $850 would be a buy, no questions asked.
    At $1000 I'd need to see some reviews first. At $1400 they really need to have all the latest specs, snapdragon 865+, 120kh refresh rate, nice triple or quad cameras, 5g, Nfc, water resistance rating. They need to show people a phone they can keep for 3 years.
  • If anything was bundled in that price, how would it change your opinion about that price? Say with earbuds or pen?
  • Nothing is bundled. It is phone and charger.
  • I think most of their potential buyers already have surface pens and I also already have nice Bluetooth earbuds(not surface) that work well for me, so a $1400 bundle is still a no for me. Hopefully they'll listen to feedback and keep trying because this is the phone I would want to buy.
  • I could have bought a Surface Pro 7 with pen and keyboard for $799 at Costco, but they ran out of stock. A surface Go with an i3 and LTE runs about $850. The Duo form factor seems to offer more mobility but I don't think the price justifies the loss in screen real estate and impact on productivity. But if Costco can sell Surface at a healthy discount, I wonder if ATT will also offer a discount to switch. Also, if a new iPhone is around $800, I don't see the $1399 price reasonable. Clearly, MSFT is not trying to gain market share. They may have a basic pricing model. Manufacturing cost times 3. So if it costs $500 to make, then they charge $1500.
  • I was always committed to the 256 GB model, so I go off of that. At the reported $1,000 starting price for a 64 GB model, I was expecting $1,200 for a 256 GB model. I was iffy, but probably willing to bite. Realistically, I think the thing should have started about $200 under that, and I would have paid $1,000 for a 256 GB model for sure. $1,500 is an easy pass. If it included some Surface Earphones or a Slim Pen, I would probably still buy it, since I expected to have to buy at least one of those anyway. Realizing I would need to put up another $350 for the earphones and pen for the full experience is too much. We're talking $1,850 before tax. If it had wireless charging and microSD support, I'd probably still buy it. It's really not a missing feature or two or the price, it's the price WITH all of the feature compromises.
  • Yep. Pen should have been included, and it should slot into the body a la Samsung if they're gonna play that card. The ENTIRE reason the Note gets away with the stylus is that it's easy to stow with the device.
  • 128 GB isn't enough for me (my phone is currently using about 115 GB). I'd have to pay $1,700+ for this because I'd have to buy the Pen and go with the 256 GB model. If it included the Pen, I might have gotten it. If this came out a year ago it would STILL be a major hardware compromise, but at least it would be up to date on the core hardware. Instead, we have a phone with inferior hardware and a higher price than the Galaxy Z Flip's 4G model. This wem't from an exciting device to one of the easiest passes ever.
  • I have a go and a surface and several pens. I don't need more pens. Well, I lost the newer version and I keep forgetting to get a new battery for the older versions. So maybe I only have one pen that will work with my Surface Pro 5 and Surface Go. In any case, if you are a fully entrenched MSFT ecosystem member (Office 365, Teams, Surface, OneDrive etc.) I can see how the duo would be a big plus. I use a SAAS service, which can be used to perform all business functions over a phone, but easier on a desktop. But I can easily see how a dual-screen phone would dramatically improve my productivity if I did not have access to a desktop. The difference between using a Go versus a Surface is minimal. The difference between using a single screen versus a Duo would be much more pronounced. So all in all the Duo is more directed at the enterprise. Let's face it. The enterprise outfitting an increasingly mobile workforce means they are spending a lot less on rent for office space.
  • I'm a fully entrenched MS user. I actually have a standard Surface Pen now, but I'd still want the Slim Pen to attach to the Duo, rather than having to carry the regular Pen with me. I have Office 365 and use OneDrive and have an XB1X and use Skype on the regular. It's not about whether or not I support Microsoft or like the Duo. It's not even about whether or not $1,400 is something I can personally afford. I would pay $1,400 if the device didn't strip out so many features. It's about the fact that they've reached the financial stratosphere while missing out on so many things that we're used to as Android users--microSD, wireless charging, etc. It feels like we've got a 2015 feature set on a $1,400 phone. I can absolutely see use cases for me with the Surface Duo. I would use the heck out of the two screens. I'm just not paying $1,400 to do it. There are too many key features I use missing to where I'd have to keep carrying my current phone to supplement it. It doesn't do enough to convince me I won't need my laptop for more serious work either. The Duo looked like a device that should make you confident in leaving the house without your other devices. Instead, I'm left worrying about all of the stuff I'll need to carry to make up for what it's missing.
  • Early adopter? Of an Android phone?!
  • Not impressed with the price, but i guess I shouldn't be surprised. I think at this price the 2nd edition should NOT be more (or if it is it can be 1500 and not feel like a price hike).
  • Bezel seems way too big. Disappointed that it's not launching with WiFi-6 especially for the high price. Gonna wait for Duo 2 and stay with the Note 10+ for now.
  • The war on bezels is the tech industry equivalent of the war on terror. It was a good idea to start with that has left us all worse off. Hold a phone in one hand and your thumb naturally rests in the 2nd quarter up from the bottom. Bezels pushed the keyboard up to this level to make it comfortable to type. Getting rid of bezels was a 100% design choice and in no way related to ergonomics or user friendly engineering.
  • When you buy a product it's an investment on its hardware. If you buy hardware that is over a year old right from the start you are at a bigger loss that buying the latest hardware. Starting at $1400 is a lot of money to start at a loss. You can try to hide behind saying this product is for productivity but be honest. How much work can you get done with just apps? Then why did they always say iPads were for only consumption and not productivity? Are we really going to ignore logic just because of the Surface logo.
  • Yes, we are
  • Nicely played repartee.
  • You can easily get mobile OS work done on an 855. There is no revolution between the 855 and the latest and greatest Snapdragon. This product is not for spec fetishists.
  • Well said. So many commenters on WC seem to have never figured out that Surface devices are not about the hardware specs- witness the endless complaints from some about Thunderbolt for example. Surface is about new form factors (Pro, Studio) or new takes on exiting hardware (Laptop, Book, Hub). Duo seems to fit in both categories.
  • The idea of "[t]his product is not for spec fetishists" is nonsense. This isn't about JUST missing out on the latest and greatest. They've taken away years-old features like NFC and wireless charging. They aren't even adopting the newest tech of the last 2 years, like 5G and WiFi 6. If they put together a complete package of hardware features with a SD855, I'd be fine with it. Instead, they're using a chip that's over a year old AND taking away a lot of modern functionality on the way. They didn't fall sort of "spec fetishists," they're short of a lot of budget devices. They aren't even in the ballpark of missing out on the tippy-top of hardware features. In some very basic ways, this provides a downgrade from the Lumia 950 I bought in 2015 (no NFC, Qi, lower-specced camera, no microSD).
  • I'm a big fan of MS services and some of its Surface devices, but with those bezels it looks like two smartphones from 2010 glued together. Also, the specs are 1.5 years old. Maybe the next version will be better, but this one is a big nope.
  • Pretty sad no 🥺 Australia for the initial release, been waiting for this for half my life of seems.
  • Old spec and over price.. I was interested but what we get for that money is not worth it.
  • I want to want this, but I also chose to get the LTE Surface Go 2 and I LOVE that device.
  • No way. They'll probably sell out because of a super-limited supply or something, but I went from willing to suck it up at $1,000 to walking away QUICKLY at this price. I hoped the $1,400 rumors from last night were for a bundle with the Pen, but they want another $150?! Noooope. If they hadn't stripped out every modern comfort feature and put out a device that WASN'T compromised by 2019's standards, I'd have paid the cost. I could afford this but I can't justify giving Microsoft money for something so egregious. If supply holds, these should easily be discounted about 10 weeks after launch (Black Friday). If that happen, we'll see. Microsoft has, once again, shown they use Apple as their benchmark for trying to milk their customer with the worst pricing ever on their hardware.
  • While the price is indeed eye watering it is at par with other top of line iPhones or other brand. I’m not an early adopter (except for my Surface Pro X). So I’ll wait until the 3rd generation which would also show MS will stick with it. In my mind the price point is not that bad if it can replace a tablet and phone into one device. Then the price becomes somewhat reasonable. I’m a big fan of the Swiss Army knife approach and lugging a laptop, tablet, phone gets old very fast. My devices are all business and no play. Therefore, I don’t care if it doesn’t play games or if it takes selfies at 8k (or no K at all). As long as I get stuff done we’re good to go. But as I said I want to see MS will commit to the form factor before I drop some cash.
  • It isn't a tablet though. It is a dual screen phone, not a large single screen as you would expect of a tablet. Eventually folding screens will mature and you can buy this device with a single large screen. This is just a stop-gap.
  • The comment section is loaded with folks talking about price. The data is out. The majority of folks android or ios dont buy 1000 dollar plus phones. So by default you can assume this was way outside people's budget to begin with. Besides the only competition this device has is the old and new galaxy fold. Both cost over a thousand dollars new.
  • The huawei also competes and so does the LG phones. I agree with you. Most products have a bunch of people commenting on something they weren't going to get or couldn't afford in the 1st place. Everyone knows what a Lamborghini is and has an opinion on it