Does Surface Duo fit in a pants pocket? Let's find out.

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

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:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategorySurface Duo
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

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.

Surface Duo Passport Thick

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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).

Surface Duo Jacket Pocket

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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).

Microsoft Surface Duo

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Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

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.

90 Comments
  • The size of the Duo is not of concern. It's the huge price that empties my wallet.
  • You'll have even more room in your pocket after emptying your wallet. 😁
  • Agree. Would have been more literary as "price that EMPTIES my pockets".
  • Well you pay a premium for new and innovative tech. The Galaxy Fold is $2000!
  • Same price as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Both are more like PocketPCs than Smartphones.
  • It's rough the same size as the Nintendo 3DS XL, just a lot thinner.
  • Doing God's work here, Mr. Rubino.
  • I agree, this was about such a simple thing but so useful. The passport comparison really made it click. When wearing certain slacks I don't think the device will be comfortable in a front pocket (much like other big phones) but personally that's not a big deal. I already like big phones. One thing I am concerned about is one handed grip. I found my old Galaxy Note 5 just barely narrow enough to hold comfortably in one hand while walking around not looking at my phone. This chunky boy is a bit thicker. I and some other people may have to resort to using a bag/purse/murse.
  • Nice article. I always use the back jeans pocket. This won't be a problem. My Huawei rapid wireless car charger is a problem though. Maybe need to modify it.
  • The last sentence about car mounts is what I was nervous about. Does it simply not fit any currently available or is it not a good experience?
  • There are solutions out there, and we'll cover some in the coming weeks. But my Tesla's Jeda v2 does not fit due to the divider. There are some that snap/hold and we'll review 'em. I'm sure we'll also see third-party solutions that are made for Duo like how Kensington has a holster out, dBrand has skins, etc.
  • I'd love to see a dash mount that will hold it open to be able to navigate with spanned 2 screen maps.
  • That will probably require a custom job. It'll be interesting to see if someone develops that.
  • Have you by chance tried it horizontally so the screens appear stacked? I measured my mount and the Duo would fit this way with about 2-3mm to spare.
  • Of course he can't reply to that because of the embargo.
  • A Surface engineer I had a conversation with recommended this car mount for the Duo:
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B082SDVTWB/ Obviously I haven't tried it myself, but if he can recommend it...lol
  • Looking at the mount on Amazon, a phone can be grasped horizontally or vertically. So, I would imagine it can open wide enough to hold the Duo.
  • The problem with that mount is that it attaches to the air vent.. The Vents on my Mercedes E Class are like jewelry, and I would hate to have to replace one of those because of stress. I hope there are other options.
  • I found a mount on amazon that "squeezes" the device from top and bottom. It looks like it will for sure work with the duo opened, and should work closed as well. I am going to miss my magnetic anker mount though, there is nothing easier than stick and go.
  • The only advantage of the Surface Duo (simultaneous use of two apps) has just been usurped by Samsung's Z-Fold 2, which has support for simultaneous usage of 3 apps. The Z-Fold 2 absolutely blows Surface Duo out of the water. I'm still amazed by Nadella's decision to approve the launch of such a pointless device as the Surface Duo.
  • Sir, this is an article about Surface Duo fitting into a pocket, not Anthony's rant-playground where he gets to talk about Fold 2, suddenly. Stick to the topic, thank you.
  • Unless I'm mistaken, for that extra $600 you're getting current processor, double the storage, a phone that you don't have to open to check notifications, 3 cameras, simultaneous use of 3 apps, and that takes advantage of the main benefit of dual screens, namely using 1 app in a tablet sized form factor. I do like that Duo has pen support whereas Fold 2 doesn't. I don't usually agree with the folks over at Windows Weekly, but they are spot on that the Surface Duo serves no real purpose.
  • Can I be honest? I'm not at all interested in your buying decisions or reasoning. I wrote an article about Surface Duo's size and fitting into pockets, not "let's debate Anthony on a unrelated phone." You like Fold 2? Awesome! I'm happy for you and genuinely hope you enjoy it. The Fold 2 is a massive improvement, and it looks great. I hope it's the best $2,000 you spend on a phone. But this is an article about Surface Duo, so let those who are interested in that device have their say. Thanks.
  • Daniel, I'm sure you know, "There are persons with which one can not have a conversation..." Not too many people want to be around somebody like that.
  • While i'm not shure yet how far MS has improved Android to make it usable, i know that Samsung makes (horrible) Android even more horrible.
  • "Unless I'm mistaken, for that extra cost of one phone ..."
  • Lol you are such the ultimate company guy.
  • Resorting to personal attacks is below you.
  • Clearly not. I think the ability to use a pen on this device is a significant plus. As far as running three apps on the Z Fold, it appears that running two is exceptionally cramped already given the aspect ratio. Just because you can run 3, doesn't mean it will be useful. A Z Fold with pen support would potentially hit $2500, even if it were possible. A duo with all the bells and whistles would probably approach that mark. Delivering the DUO with what it needs to prove the concept/form factor while keeping the price relatively reasonable was the right move. Samsung is selling a luxury for the few. MS is selling a view into what could be a new category, as they did with the Surface. Oh, and it fits in my pocket.
  • I totally agree about using 2 or more apps simultaneously. I brought that up because that feature seems to be one of Panos's selling points with the Duo. Personally, I can't imagine using 2 or more apps simultaneously on any smartphone. Pen support on the Duo is definitely a big plus in Microsoft's favor.
  • Just because you have a short sighted view on whether someone would want to run 2 or more apps on a phone at once, doesn't mean they wouldn't, this industry is littered with stupid comments about a computer feature not being needed, only for it to become the norm. I have 2 monitors, because for me, 2 monitors are better than one wider one, but I wouldn't tell someone to get rid of their single monitor setup because they were wrong.
  • After they revealed the Duo last year I noticed so many times when having a second screen would have been awesome. Like being in a game and I have a question about it that I have to look up. Right now I have to exit the game and hope my phone doesn't close it while I'm checking the game wiki. Or I'm watching something on YouTube or Netflix and I want to make dinner with a new recipe. The combinations are endless. You need to think outside the box that companies have set up for years. Will there be times you don't need 2 screens? Absolutely. But I prefer having the option ready to go whenever I do need it.
  • I was trying to have a Glip meeting and looking at the agenda while in my car yesterday. Disaster. Duo would have been perfect.
  • Or, you're just off on a tangent about a device you claim doesn't serve any purpose. There are plenty of articles about the Fold 2 for you to cheerleader on. And trying to crap all over a product you've neither seen nor used, and self-admittedly won't buy, makes you look rather juvenile, a 'hater' as the kids might say.
  • Admittedly a tangent that is tangentially relevant to this article-albeit an article about whether the Surface Duo fits in one's pocket should include comparisons with competing and similar products like the Fold 2-but my fear is that the inevitable flop of the Duo will give Nedalla more justification to continue moving Microsoft out of the consumer market.
  • Lots of things to fear right now but the Duo isn't one of them. When was the last time a Surface product (that was actually released...don't try to be cute with the Surface Mini) didn't get at least a v2? Assuming a 2021 release of v2, I'm guessing we'll see a v3 before it's a candidate for the chopping block.
  • No. Whether a device fits into a pocket has nothing to do with whether any other device fits into the same pocket: It either fits or it doesn't and nothing is going to change that unless you change the pocket. It's a ridiculous thing to even say.
  • I think you are really over thinking this and putting way too much energy into this. The article CLEARLY states why Daniel wrote this article. It was based on questions about the Duo fitting in your pocket, not does it fit in your pocket, compared to say... the Fold 2 or Note 20 Ultra. If Satya wanted to gear the Duo to the average consumer, I believe the Duo would have been more geared towards that, with better specs and features. Besides, why spend millions to develop and create a device, just to have an excuse to move away from the everyday consumer market? His decision to focus more on enterprise was apparent early on. Hence, the Duo. The Duo isn't necessarily focused on the average consumer, it's focused on the business and enterprise consumers, despite some of us average consumers considering buying such a device. No, it doesn't have the top of the line specs, but the specs it has would serve most people just fine, especially in business and enterprise. Unless you are out here making films or trying to take professional level photos with your phone and truly put your phone through its paces, the specs are good enough. It doesn't need to compete with Samsung or any other company, because the market is different either company is focused on is slightly different, but the same. Samsung focus on the average consumer, with business and enterprise in mind. Microsoft is focused on business and enterprise understanding that some consumers will be interested in the Duo. Using the Duo as an excuse to "move on" would not be wise business practice at all.
  • Surface Duo is a product you will love after using it. Genuine question, how do you use 3 screens on that Samsung model together?🤔
  • Just stick to your brick of a phone. It's still 1 big screen. When you split it up into apps, each half is so skinny, it's useless.
  • Yup been saying the same thing for the past few weeks. Totally agree. I also believe that the Fold 2 fits pockets better and has much better one handed use. It may be much thicker than the Duo, but I believe the slim profile makes handling it easier.
  • Said my girlfriend: Is that a Duo in your pocket, or are you just really happy to see me?
  • I have always carried my phones (current 2-Lumia 950xl DSs) in a leather sleeve clipped to my pocket - inside the pocket. I'll do the same with this. I don't think I'll need the bumpers.
  • I've already decided my iPhone 8 is too big for a front pocket. Sure you can jam it in there, but it looks funny. So now I'm one of those stick it in your back pocketers when wearing jeans especially. But cargo pants or cargo shorts are my preferred clothing for large phones. Now I just need to decide if I purchase 70 pairs of cargo shorts or one Duo phone? ;0)
  • "Now I just need to decide if I purchase 70 pairs of cargo shorts or one Duo phone? ;0)" lol, or go old-school and get a Kensington Belt Clip!
  • Surely that puts so much strain on it as you walk. I've seen people sit down with their phone in their pocket still. Seems like an easier place for pickpockets too.
  • Excellent article, David! It is very informative and answers a major question of many. I'd like to point out though that the scaling of the picture caption captioned "Huawei Mate 20 X vs Surface Duo, US Passport" makes it look like the Duo is shorter and narrower than the US Passport. Thanks.
  • " I'd like to point out though..."
    So long as I can point out my name isn't David ;) re: the scaling, it's actually fine. You need to click the photo to enlarge it and see the whole thing. There, you will see Surface Duo with a Passport on top of it ;)
  • Yikes! I'm Terrible. I can't even blame autocorrect. Sorry about that, Daniel!
  • no worries, it can be confusing 👍
  • How does it look with dbrand on it and screen protector on both screens? would it affect how it closes or flips 360 in phone mode. Since the device is so thin it does not look like their is much room between the two screens. Does having skin and glass protector affect its operation/look. Pictures pleases if you can.
  • "How does it look with dbrand on it and screen protector on both screens? would it affect how it closes or flips 360 in phone mode." I'll address this in a short review I do on that later this week.
  • Each day clicking Surface Duo news reviews is very exciting. I have to say that I haven't been as excited to see a review of something for a very long time. (Possibly the Hololens V2 but I wasn't anticipating that!) I can't help but think it might be a game changer but .... I have to wait. It reminds me of when the iphones used to release the new phones that had noticeable updates. ie iPhone 2 and 3 and 4. Also hankering after a bit of Hololens v3 news... Delicious technology - how great.
  • Sounds like if you're buying this device you also need to start wearing "dad jeans", because anyone wearing skinny ones might be risking a bent Duo!! If I'm going to spend that much money on one, I'm totally going to wear it on a chain round my neck so everyone can see it B-)
  • Bruh, I sport a 30-inch waist and max-flex regulars, which is in the photo. Hardly "dad jeans.' If you're wearing "skinny jeans" (rolls eyes) just get flex ones and you'll be fine. I mean, if you can't fit a passport or iPhone in your front pocket, you have some other issues besides jeans 😂
  • 🤣🤣 I fear my skinny jeans days are well over, but one doesn't want an unsightly bulge in the front pocket regardless! Luckily I had a Mi Max 3 in there for a couple of years without anyone noticing, so I'm not afraid of anything, bring it on 😎
  • Or you're female, or you wear skinny jeans (you're dissing pieces of fabric?) or you wear leggings. Plenty of reasons why you might not put a passport or phone of any kind in your front pocket. Kind of a strange article anyway. You'll either care and get another device or not care and put it in your pocket. I put both on my pocket depending what I'm wearing but I expect a great many people never put either in their pocket. I've seen women using the elastic on leggings as essentially a pocket for all sorts of things 🤣
  • 🤣🤣 It's amazing where some women keep their phones, can't be comfortable!!
  • I don't think it's that strange of an article. One of the biggest critiques that "people" have complained about is that it's too big to fit in your pockets. This has disproved that.
  • A valid question that we need to ask.. is windows central going to be dual screen enhanced? And forgive me if this question was covered in the podcast I missed?
  • Daniel, when will you be able to post a review (not only unboxing / external stuff)?
    As you mentioned you have been using it for some time I am interested in what would be the most compelling use case. Thanks
  • The review embargo will be lifted on the release date, September 10th.
  • I'm nit picky, nostalgic fanboy - here's my thought - I wish they had squared off the edges, right angles like the 1520 or even the surface book.
    I have a note 20 ultra, and those squared off coners are vintage lumias which I love. The polycarbonate unibody seems to totally be gone, and don't expect it from the surface line...but corners 😊
  • I am sure I was not the only one to ask about this, but I do thank you for covering this. I would have included a wallet in the same pocket. But comparing to a passport made perfect sense. Thanks - Metric system for uneducated Americans is rough. Again, I appreciate you sharing this with us. I just hate that I thought to abandon Android for IOS this time around. But again, I LOVE Surface, and this looks like a fantastic device.
  • I prefer belt clips, keeps the phone out of the way from stress and impact damage if you bump into something. The main problem is the risk of clip getting pushed off the belt, so I wish more of them have a safety loop on them. Personally I've always used a belt holster. Then again I usually have a lot of things hanging off my belt, leatherman, keys, torch etc.
  • re: belt holsters I'll have some reviews of those soon.
  • Hope to see a deep dive review soon. Those in-store hands on videos taken @ Att or Best Buy stores are the opposite of what Microsoft wants to achieve by the embargo for professionals like Daniel.
  • LOL. Yes, it is too big. This is just too funny. It's not practical to carry as conveniently as most smartphones. There are reasons why devices as big as, say, the Galaxy Note are a pain in the rear to carry. This thing is way worse. What we're seeing is a desperate effort to change people's minds about this thing.
  • Me: I have this phone, here are some photos of it in pockets, size measurements, and comparisons You: Here's my hot take with none of the above, but trust me, bro. 🙄
  • Did you just assign the Surface Duo a gender? You can probably be sued for that in this day and age. I'm kidding of course but also not...
  • It's not actually funny because no one would be sued for that ever.
  • I’m getting dizzy from the spins.
  • Good article but the biggest concern going in is going to be a case and a pen. It would have been nice to have a pen slot like Samsung devices. The bumpers it comes with is not going to cut it so add a case and this thing will become a pocket hog.
  • ^ This about the pen.
  • Which Samsung device with built-in pen slot is 4.8 mm thick?
  • Appreciate you've added a section for women but the title and general wording is so skewed to men. More women in tech is a good idea right? Write articles with that in mind. Surface Duo is to big for the trouser (pant) pocket of over half the population of many countries.
  • I added three photos of Duo in women's pants/shorts. It's nearly impossible to cover all scenarios, sizes, styles, etc. I do what I can with the resources around me while being locked at home 👍
  • What about a shirt pocket?
  • What about the back pocket of pants worn by a stuffed animal? My dog's vest? An old moth-eaten change purse?
  • We'll get used to it. We got used to the Galaxy Note and other phablets.
  • What about the shirt pocket? I never understood the idea of putting the phone in pant pockets. I've seen people who have bent the phone in their back (pant) pocket while sitting down. The same may be problematic while putting it in the front (pant) pocket.
  • Microsoft wants to get inside your pants.
  • You win the thread.
  • the weight doesn't make your jacket pocket droop or bunch?
  • Whatever you do, don’t put the expensive device in your rear pocket. I have seen too many customers lose their phones to an untimely demise in the toilet.
  • Looks to be similar n width to the BlackBerry Passport. As long as battery life is better than just decent — I’m ALL in. Debating if I would use this as my only device or as a mini-tablet to go along with my phone. Carrying and iPhone Pro Max & Duo in each of my back pockets might be a little much... I haven’t been this excited about a device in a while.
  • Nice article. I always use the back jeans pocket. This won't be a problem. My Huawei rapid wireless car charger is a problem though. Maybe need to modify it.
  • The problem with front pockets is usually because a phone is too tall and thus makes it harder to bend your leg to sit down or, say, hop on a bike. That's a plus for the Duo. Also, thanks for the jacket pocket check! That's a definite must for playing dress-up and for every season that isn't summer. Another plus for the Duo.
  • Well it is glass all around....! Be careful it can break in your pocket and damage your manhood...!
  • I can't thank the author enough for including the picture of a comparison with a US passport.I grabbed my passport [granted it's a Canadian one but roughly the same size] .Great article.