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Surface Duo owner replaces glass with metal, and it works surprisingly well

Surface Duo 2020
Surface Duo 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • One Surface Duo owner went all in on metal after shattering one of his Duo's glass panels.
  • The panel is made of aluminum and, so far, hasn't resulted in any negative effects.
  • Surface Duo is available now starting at $1,400 (opens in new tab).

We've seen plenty of skins pop up for the Surface Duo since it launched in October, but what if you wanted to replace the glass entirely? That's what one Surface Duo owner did after shattering one of the glass panels on their Duo. Surprisingly, it works.

Reddit user WALLY_MAMM0TH posted their creation to Reddit, showing off the new aluminum panel on the back of his Surface Duo. Here's how they described the process of replacing the shattered glass:

Took some measurements sketched it up in fusion 360, exported to silhouette studio for the stencil. Cut it out of some thin aluminum cleaned it up a bit and bam, an aluminum back glass Replacement. Still have full folding function, no signal loss, and I kinda think it's helped with the dispersion of heat (but that may just be a suedo effect).

If you're looking to try out a similar project for yourself, you'll have to practive some extreme patience. "I pain stakenly took the damaged back glass off piece by piece using a razor blade and tons of patience," WALLY_MAMM0TH said. "I would not recommend it lol."

It's definitely a mod that's not for the faint of heart. Still, it's cool to see what you can do if you want to spend the time and effort after an unfortunate accident.

Surface Duo is available now starting at $1,400, though there have been some holiday season discounts popping up here and there.

Microsoft Surface Duo

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

14 Comments
  • Personally I think it's ugly as hell.
  • Looks like a cutting board.
  • That's because he didn't buff it and added an protective surface layer, something that a professional manufacturer like Microsoft would be able to do. Maybe using a Dremmel tool and some buffing paste would add a bit of shine to it.
  • It would be interesting to see how it holds up over time. I'm guessing it will be prone to scratches and small dents.
  • Prefer the wear and tear of some scratches and dent comparing to glass breakage. Not all phone will break but the wider the glass pane is the easier it will break, the slippery the phone is the easier it will fall.
  • Don't drop it and it won't break. I think it would be weird to have a premium phone that is almost certain to look like crap after a few months. Glass will look great indefinitely as long as you don't drop it.
  • This is such a fake story (planted by Microsoft) to foreshadow a future version.
  • Lol ok then...
  • Just cover it with a nice skin and your all set.
  • What's a "sking"?
  • I was wondering about that too. 🤔
  • It has been corrected!
  • This bring into the light the fragility of glass. Surface Duo is even more prone to breakage as it is extra wide. I do understand the feeling Microsoft want to create where there is the same feeling of touch what ever the screen is on the inside or outside but I would prefers a back that scratch before break. Also a backside of polycarbonate or metal would protect the Duo's back from breaking when flipped open to forcefully. All in all it is better with one side made of breakable glass than both sides.
  • Current generations of Gorilla glass trade some hardness (scratch resistance) for flexibility so they don't shatter as easily when dropped or bent. You're still right that wide is more prone to cracking, but it's not like a sheet of window glass which will shatter if it falls inches or as soon as you put any twist on it.