Microsoft's Surface Duo is undoubtedly one of the more exciting technology pieces to hit the market in 2020. There is nothing like it, especially when it comes to its design and aspect ratio. With dual 4:3 displays that span to 3:2, but also being 9.9mm thin, it stands out from everything else available.
One question I hear a lot regarding Surface Duo and its size is pocketability – does the thing actually fit into your pants?
At first pass, it's a silly question. The Surface team built the Duo to be carried in your pockets like any other mobile device. But without seeing one in person, it is easy to see Surface Duo as some gargantuanly wide device. Here is the quick hit on the size of Surface Duo opened and closed in case you want to bust out a ruler to play along:
|Dimensions||Open: 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)
In real-life terms, Surface Duo is a smidge wider than a US Passport and slightly taller. The Duo is also about as thick as two passports when those passports are squished.
Contrasted to the standard iPhone 11 (not even the much larger iPhone 11 Pro Max), Surface Duo is wider at 93mm versus 76mm from Apple. The iPhone 11, however, is a tad taller at 151mm to Surface Duo's 145mm height.
Even compared to the popular Nokia Lumia 1520 (162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm), Surface Duo (145.2 x 93.3 x 9.9mm) falls into a similar comparison: Surface Duo is 18mm shorter and 8mm wider. The same holds for the largest phone I have used, Huawei's Mate 20 X (174.6 x 85.4 x 8.15mm). That phone is nearly 30mm taller than Surface Duo, and a meager 8mm narrower.
Turning to the question of men's pants, I have no issue carrying Surface Duo in my front jeans pocket, nor rear one. The same is even more true with cargo shorts or pants, where there is plenty of space. I have not had any issue related to modern pantaloons and Surface Duo, making the concern moot.
If you want more formal wear, suits get a little tighter, but most self-respecting guys don't put their iPhones or Galaxy Note 20s into their pants' front pocket, but instead the inner one of their jackets. There, again, Surface Duo has plenty of space with ample room on the sides. Its design lends itself another comparison of carrying around a passport against your chest. Reaching into your blazer to pull out Surface Duo is undoubtedly a satisfying and elegant feeling.
The ladies will have a different challenge, of course, where women's wear tends to feature small pockets making the rear one favored. Even there, a women's size 2 (petite) jeans hold Surface Duo in the back pocket without a hitch (I had a volunteer, thank you).
To wrap up, those who are worried about Surface Duo should have their fears now assuaged. Surface Duo is a well-proportioned mobile, which should not come as a surprise. While it is slightly wider than current high-end smartphones, it is balanced by being shorter. Surface Duo's hardware has been in development for five years, and being able to fit into a pocket was a key design goal. Having used Microsoft's dual-screen Android phone for nearly a week now, I cannot say there have been many places it does not fit (car mounts being the tricky exception).
Two screens are better than one
Microsoft delves into the future of foldables with an ambitious dual-screen device, featuring two ultra-thin 5.6-inch AMOLED displays bound by a 360-degree hinge. This pocketable inking-enabled Android smartphone marks the latest in the Surface lineup, geared for mobile productivity.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.