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Microsoft wants to launch Surface Duo sooner than holiday 2020

Surface Duo
Surface Duo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Holiday 2020 is when Microsoft said to expect the Surface Neo and Surface Duo, two new form-factor devices that Surface fans have been waiting for with bated breath. But what if I told you that one of those products was ahead of schedule, and may be available to buy much sooner than anticipated? This is what I've been hearing from multiple contacts over the last couple of months.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft is hoping to launch Surface Duo much earlier than originally announced. This is because both the hardware and software are pretty much done. Android 10 has been complete since August 2019, so Microsoft is currently focused on finalizing the top-level OS customizations and in-box app experiences specific to Surface Duo.

I'm told that Microsoft is hoping to have all the software done by early April, and that Surface Duo could start shipping in limited quantities in the summer if everything goes according to plan. I expect that this initial launch will be aimed primarily at developers and enthusiasts, with its availability announced in the spring alongside the Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3.

Surface Duo specs

Surface Duo

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

I understand that Surface Duo will ship with a Snapdragon 855 inside, along with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage for the entry-level model. There will be variants with more RAM and storage, but the Snapdragon 855 will be universal across all Surface Duo tiers. This means that Surface Duo will be shipping with last year's flagship processor, but will miss out on 5G support.

Missing out on 5G support is a bigger deal than you might think. Although 5G doesn't seem to be all that important right now, 2020 is very much going to be the kick-off year for 5G as a whole. Most new flagship phones launching this year will include 5G capabilities in some capacity, and by the end of next year, 5G will be a much more widespread thing.

This is why Surface Duo needs to launch soon. If Surface Duo is releasing with a Snapdragon 855 and no 5G support, then this is a product that needs to launch before it's considered "too outdated" by the rest of the market. It's an unfortunate position for Surface Duo to be in, but not all that surprising if you're familiar with Surface Duo's development history.

A long development cycle

Surface Duo

Source: Marques Brownlee (Image credit: Source: Marques Brownlee)

Surface Duo has had a long, hard journey internally. Microsoft started working on it back in 2016 under the codename Andromeda, and the plan was for Surface Duo to be one of the first products to ship with Windows Core OS. Under those plans, the product was supposed to launch in 2018, but that changed when Microsoft dumped Windows for Android instead.

Because of this, the hardware has essentially been ready to go for two years, with only iterative changes being made to the device since. This might explain why Surface Duo doesn't have slim bezels or multiple camera sensors. These were only just starting to be a thing on smartphones launching in 2018. In 2020, thin bezels, 5G, and multiple cameras are pretty much the norm.

As always, plans can change, but this is definitely something that Microsoft is hoping to do this summer. The company recently announced that Surface might suffer from supply constraints in 2020 as factories in China are shut down due to COVID-19. If conditions don't improve, Microsoft may have no choice but to postpone or cancel these early launch plans for Surface Duo.

We'll continue to keep you updated on all things Surface, but in the meantime, what are you most looking forward to from Microsoft this year? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

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.

  • Bring it on!
  • No 5G support at launch? Not quite DOA, but now I'm reconsidering until a 5G version is available.
    The dual screen LG phone is already available and has been on sale for a little while at a mere $750 at Sprint. While the Duo may command a premier price tag, it has to have 5G and beat out the competition is get us on board at launch. Having a premium priced phone that will be out phased in a year is not a good look.
  • If there's one thing about the Duo I WOULDN'T be worried about, it's 5G... You'll likely have no need for 5G speeds the next 5 years, and 5G won't be widespread outside city centers for at least two more years...
  • Agreed, I'm borderline happy it doesn't support 5G. I like the camera capabilities of the 865 snapdragon, but otherwise I'm pretty sure 5G is just a battery-suck with little to no benefits for the foreseeable future.
  • you're confusing camera with 865. 865 is by Qualcomm. the camera tech is up to the manufacturer. so most are using Sony cameras and others are using their own.
  • No, I'm not confusing anything. The Qualcomm 865 has an upgraded image signal processor that supports 2 gigapixel/second image processing, which is 40% faster than the 855. Yes each manufacturer does their own spin on camera tech/software, but all of them that use Qualcomm chips are building off of the core features and limitations of the ISP in the chip. That's why all of the sudden most of the new phones this year can shoot 8K and dozens of megapixels. The Galaxy S20 series (with 865's) can shoot 8K but the Z Flip (with an 855) can only shoot 4K.
  • Exactly. 5G was launched in Wuhan China and look what happened.
  • I am with Tmobile they were smart to do their 5g with Sub 6 first vs Millimeter Wave. So, I am ready now! Not, having an SD 865 and 5g is a mistake for a device that still has a future launch date!
  • I doubt 5G will every get up to the Scottish Highlands and Islands!
  • 5G support won't be good for awhile. Right now, it's a repeat of the old 3G/2.5G situation where the sub6 is the 2.5G generation while mmwave is 5G speed but not robust enough to be nationwide. There's another upcoming 5G technology that has 5G speeds but has better reach than mmwave, making mmwave an interim technology.
  • 5G doesn't work inside buildings. The Verizon 5G is wicked fast but it has very short range.
  • Oh Andromeda. Goodnight sweet prince. What could have been. At least the hardware is seeing the light of day, even if the beautiful OS won't (at least on the Duo). Edit: It's so wonderful to be able to comment from the UWP app again.
  • The UWP app works now? My gosh!
  • So happy for this! Finally got logged in in the UWP app for the first time in a year, yesterday. 😁
  • Give it a good price and I'm game. 5g is completely useless for the next decade anyway
  • Hi Zac, thank you for a nice article. What's your opinion on using last year's 855 cpu Snapdragon? Most tech reviewers are obsessed with the latest and greatest CPUs for their gadget and will most likely destroy the Duo on arrival. Also do you think the overall usability and dual screen flow are ready for release?? Thank you.
  • I think the Snapdragon 855 is a very capable processor. The Galaxy Z Flip just launched with an 855, and reviewers haven't slammed it. I think the overall usability will be ready for release.
  • Of course the 855 is more than capable. I'm still using a Snapdragon 835 in my phones, and I don't even notice. I think the average consumer does not even know what processor is in their phone, whether it's even a Snapdragon or Helios or Exynos, let alone the specific model number. Just like Intel desktop processors released within a range of years, the performance difference is hardly noticeable in regular usage. The 855 is fine for the 'normal' consumer. But for tech 'reviewers' looking for 12GB memory, triple camera sensors, 512GB storage, latest snapdragon etc. this is not their device
  • I've yet to see who this device really is for. Too big to be single hand use, too clunky to be on the go convenient, and dual screen doesn't solve any real problems for a big cohort of customers. It has a couple neat tricks but I fail to see how it justifies the plethora of usability issues it introduces to achieve them.
  • It's for people like me. Graphic and web designers. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this and the Neo. I use dual screens every single day and having this capability in a phone will be life changing .
  • LG has been manufacturing dual screen phones for a year now, starting as an accessory on the v50. Why not get one of those?
  • the aspect ratio on the LG phones are like recent Android phones: way too tall and narrow. the LG phones are also thick. the duo closed is thinner than just one of the LG halves. now imagine stacking the 2 LG halves when closed and that's a monster. LG hasn't done enough customization to take advantage of the two screens. it's basically one app on one screen and another app on the other screen.
  • “it's basically... "
    You mean kinda like ms said the focus of app usage will be for the duo!?
  • Yes, but will the Duo have a quad DAC, or the camera experience LG has. Or IP68 and Military rated shock protection. Two screens are only one thing. To deliver the full android UX they will need to pull a whole lot more off than tweaking the UI and having a hinge.
  • The LG will be compatible with the same apps as the Duo.
  • You do graphic design on the Android platform? That can't be fun...
  • Do you think it will be capable enough for them to build and deliver that world class camera they committed to do? I am curious what they really plan with this device, if they are trying to compete for consumer share or are they trying to just put their name on it? There is no market yet for dual screens or foldables, however if they go the dual screen route they better heavily undercut LG or outperform them because LG is the only mainstream Global OEM doing dual screens at the moment as far as I can tell. Unless like mentioned they are not aiming for the consumer drive crowd...
  • I would guess the first version of the “Duo” will have a Snapdragon 7c or 8c processor. It will be a way to position it as a PC for your pocket, not a phone.
  • I believe those processors were built for Win10 but honestly I hope you are right. If you are that would be a surprise on the Duo.
  • The only issue with your statement is that no matter what manufacturers are doing, consumer are keeping their devices longer and not upgrading every year like in the past due to the iterative changes not being significant, high device costs, functionality of the OS & is the same, and that thing called throttling that allegedly went away : / but it's now disguised as coverage issues. Cell carries can manipulate device preformance from the office when they're ready to make you upgrade due to poor preformance of your current device. I'm holding on to my GS8 for now and the Duo will be a triple step up from it and will work for me and many others of it doesn't get snubbed by articles like this that non techie people read and don't get the reality of the situation "an upgrade over whatever device you currently use is all you need even if it's not the newest one"!
  • 5G is not ready in the US. Just marketing hype. More likely 2021.
  • That is weird. I can get 5g at my house. I wouldn't buy a phone right now without it. It is going to be standard for most all flagships this year.
  • Sure, at your house. But it will take a few years for the entire country to be covered by 5G. For most metro areas, much sooner. My 4G LTE reception at my house in Atlanta is not so great. Doubtful 5G reception will be any good. While I appreciate the utility of 5G in improving information services, the reality is it will simply take time for many locations be covered by a 5G network. I hope they release the Surface Duo in May. Sell it by the 1000's for 12 months and then release a new version in May of next year with a better processor and 5G and better cameras. My OnePlus will be closing in on 3 years old and I might buy a new phone. Plus 12 months of people using the Duo will get the market more familiar with the dual screen form factor. I don't like a 12 month upgrade cycle, but early adapters won't feel too jilted. Especially if the new version is a "big" step up in utility.
  • My house is in an urban area. It might not be much now, but I think 5G will be a big deal later this year, especially if the new iPhones have it.
  • The sooner, the better.
    Im fine with 4G until a second generation device in fall 2021.
  • D'oh. Been waiting for this, but shoving it out with an older processor and no 5g support for a phone/device I expect to use for the next ~5+ years is a killer.
  • 5G rollout is nowhere near as ubiquitous as necessary to become 'standard'. For the next 5 years, you will probably still be using 4G LTE quite commonly. Telecomm investments and rollout are extremely capital intensive, and especially in very vast land mass nations (like the US), it will be very slow to become the norm. Just keep going with 4G LTE.
  • Neither will have any impact on your usage of the device for the next 5 years.
  • Yup. That said, anyone banking on a gen 1 device from Microsoft being a 5 year supported device is kidding themselves. There is very low likelihood this will be a success.
  • Per the podcast, it also sounds like it won't have wireless charging.
  • You're going to use a first-gen device for 5+ years? And surely you know 80% of that time wouldn't be on 5G...
  • Your expectations for an Android based device are not in line with reality. Expect between 2-3 years of support, and only if you buy it on day one. Qualcomm does not support their CPU's longer than that, and no vender is willing/able to go the extra mile for support. Microsoft won't be the exception there.
  • You will get Play Services support for several years. Unlike with Windows phones, you won't lose app support even years down the line since Google has background updates through Play Services.
  • I can live without the 5G. Not only is coverage still fairly limited, I honestly can't find a reason for me to have it on a "smartphone." I can already stream video at 1080p. What sort of activity could I do enjoyably on a smartphone that would require more bandwidth? Until I'm given the user case, from a smartphone perspective, I still consider 5G all hype (however, it has obvious benefits in other use cases). As far as the device releasing sooner rather than later, I'm a fan of it. There's of course the obvious benefit of getting the use the device sooner. But there's another benefit. Between this, the Neo, and the Series X, my budget was looking to take quite the hit in Q4. Spreading it out makes it a little less painful.
  • How? That just means you aren't using basic budgeting strategies and surely can't afford both. If you can do it if the launches are separated then that means you'd have the money if they launched together by setting money aside along the way.
  • Not everyone runs their private economy like a business...
  • It's not a budgeting thing. Funds have been set aside already. It's more a perception thing. Despite budgeting, there's still something that happens in the mind. I recently paid cash for a house. I totally could swing it but there was still a little "ouch" in the back of my mind when my accounts dropped 6 figures collectively.
  • The hardware (in development for years) and OS are both mature, so I always thought it would arrive no later than Summer. Neo is the one that's a little more iffy.
  • Even if you don't need 5G, the problem is they are launching the phone with outdated hardware. Starting with a year old chipset for what is expected to be a high priced flagship phone is inexcusable. Microsoft could have had a great phone business, but they keep proving they have no idea of how the phone market works.
  • I can assure you that it's only the 'tech' community that cares about the chipset. Just ask anyone in your immediate environment about the hardware in any of their devices, you'll be surprised at the percentage that even have the faintest idea of the brand, let alone the particular model. The 855 is hardly an issue, I'd even argue that camera performance is a bigger challenge than the chipset.
  • maybe in your world. But all the people I know who are buying premium hardware are keenly aware of the technical specifications. Yes the people i know who are getting cheap phones, don't care that much.
  • Try the rest of the world; believe me, you and your friends are the exception...
  • One way to look at it is maybe the older chipset will allow them to hit a slightly lower price point.
  • Talk to the Hand because Satya ain't listening!
  • Maybe they will give them out at Microsoft Build? (if it doesn't get cancelled for coronavirus fears)
  • I'll be buying one, as soon as they come out!
  • Guess what! MS will launch only at 2020's holidays, with SD 855 - $1499
  • I think you're absolutely right. People are gonna flip a **** when the price is announced and the specs are revealed. There is no way to slice it: the device is either going to be ABSURDLY priced or just very expensive with middling specs
  • I'll be skipping gen 1 if it ships with last years processor. I shouldn't be giving the 855 a pass when I'm spending $1400+ on a phone.
  • If you think they will hit that price point with ONLY an uncompetitive chipset, you are in for a big surprise. The camera(s) and screen are also going to be a disappointment
  • Please name a phone in 2020 the nest galaxy note that had the newest processor? If it is released this year and 90+% of current devices also use the 855 chip, how's it inferior?
  • Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, and Galaxy S20 Ultra
    Sony Xperia 1 II
    Black Shark 3
    Lenovo Legion Gaming Phone
    LG G9
    LG V60
    OnePlus 8 and 8T
    Moto Z5 (will probably have a different name)
    Asus Zenfone 7
    Samsung Galaxy Fold 2
    Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Plus
    Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL
    Asus ROG Phone 3
    Nokia 10
    Xiaomi Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro
    Oppo Find X2
    ZTE Axon 10s Pro
    Vivo Apex 2020 Concept Phone
    Nubia Red Magic 5G
    Realme X50 Pro
    Redmi K30 Pro
    Sharp Aquos R5G
    FCNT arrows 5G
    iQOO 3
  • It does not really matter...1 months 2months or 5 years later.
    Android Surface Dual Screen Pocketable. No.
    Windows10x Surface Dual Screen Non-pocketable. No
    Windows 10x Surface Dual Screen Pocketable. Maybe
  • Agreed. Pocketable w/o Android.
  • These devices just aren't going to be pocketable and Windows 10x is DOA without app support. You can't magically force developers to make apps for yet another platform with paltry install base. Not sure how Microsoft keeps repeating that mistake but here we are
  • How's their no s app support? It's running Android out of the box, not 10X...are you okay?
  • It's would be a pc, with no need for apps. And even if it did... PWA's.
  • Yeah it is lol, but at least it is not a waste of time resources and effort like Android on a surface branded device.
  • Exactly. Precisely what I've been saying from the day they announced them...
  • Dude. Zac
    Tell Microsoft to focus on their own OS please.
  • How about tell Microsoft that developers aren't going to magically have the desire or resources to build for yet ANOTHER platform. Some argue that it was achieved when iOS and Android came on the scene, but that was due to a completely new market opportunity with mobile that was rapidly expanding. That mobile market is still massive and this isn't going to supplant it. It also doesn't introduce a dramatic shift in experience for the mobile market.
  • Another platform? Since when is Windows "another platform"? It's THE major pc platform, and running W10 the Duo would be a pc.
  • Thing running Win32 apps will not be ideal to run on a phone-size screen, too tiny to be usable. Well there a solution, dock it. Thing is more than 90% the device will be still used by itself and not when docked. Not to mention buying a laptop dock accessory. The big reason why it is Android is due to apps and most developers are already invested to it. Windows 10 X will have to prove itself and UWP again, which takes time. Which is why Neo only got Windows 10 X since you have a benefit of running Win32 apps since the screen is big enough for that and will be treated as companion device, not replacing a smartphone but can be a replacement to a 10 inch tablet.
  • Windows 10X. No worrying about win32 programs...
  • I agree. Microsoft sometimes seems like they are just throwing stuff at the wall. The past 5 years? What has really stuck?
  • Dude Microsoft doesn't make a mobile OS. They tried and failed...too late to get in that race again. Mobile for them is Android now!
  • No. They either do mobile or stay out. Why even build their kernel to support ARM to only drive backwards into Android. You don't see this?
  • Looks like an interesting device. Hopefully the price matches the features. With those bezels, no 5G (becoming standard for flagships), and last year's SoC means it will be a tough sell if it is priced above the GS20.
  • It's absolutely going to be more than the S20
  • There are certainly some tech reviewers who will dis the Duo for these "omissions." But if Microsoft is trying to get this 1st gen device out to developers and enthusiasts as Zac says, those items won't matter much. And don't be so hard on the bezels. Devices designed for touch input absolutely need some safe place for fingers to be that won't trigger a reaction. The bezels are also part of making the screen real estate fit the 3:2 aspect ratio. And if there were a multi lens camera array in that bezel, I doubt too many people would be complaining as notches suck way more than bezels do. This first gen apparently won't have such a camera, but I predict a version 2 with 5G will have broader release and a more robust camera and the bezel will be even more useful.
  • Bezels inflate the size of the device and are just a waste of space. It will look and feel ancient next to even flagships from 2-3 years ago. The price better reflect that.
  • They don't just do that, especially in this case. I don't think people are really paying attention to how thin this thing is. Screens have depth, and it's almost half as thin as an iPhone 11 unfolded. Components need space. By having bezels there's more internal space for those components to go in.
  • You are correct about the need for space for the electronics in the Duo. Those who have held the Duo have all mentioned its seemingly extraordinary thinness, which doesn't always come across in the photos. I also believe bezels are important for usability, and do not "inflate" a device or make it appear "ancient" expect to clueless reviewers who fail to notice the overall size of the device, and the unique nature of this phone with its 3:2 aspect ratio.
  • Bezels increase the over-all size of the device without increasing the screen size. $1,200+ will be too much with there specs and design. It needs to be $1,000 or under.
  • Bezels alone, without looking at other dimensions of a product, are an imprecise evaluation. Particularly on a device designed for touch, a "safe" place to hold the device without triggering an action is essential. You respond as though the bezels serve no purpose other than to increase the size of the device. That is not true at all. The bezel on my Surface Book 2 could undoubtedly be smaller, but at some cost to overall thickness of the removable display or with a loss of the Surface signature 3:2 aspect ratio. I suspect the same is true of the Duo, but I cant know for sure because I haven't seen it in person. Unless you have, you are making a generic argument that bezels are bad.
  • 'A safe place to hold without triggering an action' Gee, I wonder have all the others do it...?
  • Bezels are way better looking than a notch or hole punch any day. As a designer don't get me started on the poor look of notches and holes in screens, it's preschool design looking.
  • It will look antiquated with those bezels. Every other phone on the market, except the cheapest of phones, have next to no bezel. It won't look good on the shelf next to them, especially with a 4 digit price point.
  • When you hold a device like this, look how the majority of people will place there fingers. It's like a book. One handed you place your four fingers to the rear and your thumb firmly placed on the bottom of the front clear from blocking the screen. Same with holding it from the sides. The genius with bezels is you never have to shift your fingers or thumb to see the screen. Edge to edge is great for a monitor for the most part. You don't have to touch it. But a black or fixed border (like picture frames) has been studied to help your brain with color and motion calibration better. It's more pleasing to the eye (and brain). A nice bezel also helps with better gestures coming from the sides and away from the screen. There is many more pros to cons for a nice bezel. And there is even a study of correct ratio to screen size to bezel (frame), and from what I see it hits the sweet spot.
  • I don't mind 5G, that's not working for the next 5 years in the country only in city centres. Also the camera isn't a priority for me, a nice or good picture is good enough. What I want and is important for me is wireless charging, dual sim (with esim?), micro-SD card 256~512GB, Bluetooth LE, NFC, wifi 5 or 6?, USB-C Gen3.2 or newer connection, Windows Hello with face and fingerprints to login or verify payments (with NFC). And last but not least make it possible to set the phone without needing a Google account but just Microsoft account. THX! 👍🏼
  • So you're wanting a $2k entry price?
  • Microsoft lost me on these when they decided to go Android and not even skin it "A la Windows Phone".
  • Why would they skinbit with that sales destroying interface? Even the Neo looks nothing like the old devices.
  • I would argue that the SD855 is a good thing. The new chipsets use a 4G/5G combo modem separate from the main SoC, so they are far more power hungry, which would destroy battery life.
  • I agree with you and you do understand why the devices you mention have 4G/5G alleged capability? Because 5G really isn't ready, people are keeping older devices longer. 5G is currently a gimmick to make people believe they're getting something better and to generate business that's stagnated due to people Keeping devices longer.
  • Single chip, multi-chip I don't think it matters. Apple has always used a separate modern and had benefited with that strategy.
    Now, at least for this generation, Qualcomm had chosen the same design. I think this may have allowed Qualcomm to take advantage of multi-chip by decreasing heat, and spilling the power more strategically.
  • 😆 If this happens it will be so stupid without any 3red party apps optimized for it. Having an app on each screen is not a particularly powerful play and serves the needs of an EXTREMELY niche audience. The UI also seems extremely unpolished and I can't see it being bearable in comparison to other flagship devices.
  • The main things I want to know is how good is the camera and how do they plan on handling updates. The whole family is on Pixels for the camera and regular updates. If the camera is decent and they can guarantee updates, I'd consider trying it out, anything less would be a deal breaker for me.
  • I share your concerns, I use a Pixel 4 XL and my family are also on Pixels too, I also hope the battery life is half decent, I'm hoping Microsoft and Google can work out something in regards to the montly security patch updates, but it's probably in Microsoft hands to push them out obviously.
  • Hopefully I'll have the Duo in my hands soon then 😁!
  • Last years chip with a 2+ year old design, ah it's good enough ship it. Words never uttered by Steven Paul Jobs.
  • Maybe not his words, but certainly his life philosophy... IPhones were always two generations behind in hardware and design.
  • Yes, they believed in that small screen size then ll the sudden released a big one, they have noticed who annoying keep looking to it.
  • The Snapdragon 855 has 5g built in. Zac are they saying they will disable the 5g. SD855 specs
  • "The 5G functionality isn't a built-in feature on the Snapdragon 855 chipset. Instead, it's a part of the Snapdragon X50 modem, which is a separate add-in. So, companies that want to offer 5G services on their smartphones have the independence to opt (or not) for the 5G functionality.
    When it comes to the built-in modem, the 855 comes packed with the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem. This modem can enable theoretical download speed up to 2Gbps and upload speed up to 316 Mbps."
    It supports 5G but doesn't has it build in they would go with an external modem.
  • Nope, 865 has...that article is wrong. An 855 would need a separate 5g modem.
  • Of course they can if you want to pay 1800 dollars for it after that .
  • I really want the Surface Duo but I would caution anyone getting one for anything other than business and productivity. That's because Microsoft's current direction is to get away from consumer convenience (Cortana, Band, Windows Phone) and concentrate on business productivity (and it's profits). It will probably be Office centric and be a device to further push the Surface brand name. Any services or 'conveniences' that it may ship with could be short lived.
  • GREAT - sign me up - if it is Android you can add all the "consumer fun" that you want on your own. I just wish they'd have named it Surface Courier.
  • Surface Courier is a horrible name, but Surface Duo is even worse.
  • That's true too. Still, I like being able to use Microsoft Launcher on my current phone without having to rely on Google Assistant or anything Google other than Android. But that's getting harder to do.
  • I've never seen a Surface device in anything but a private environment... Besides, people like familiarity, even in business situations.
  • Bad move, don’t do it. I’d hold this back and fix the bezels, update the chip and add 5G. Read the comments online about the Duo - they are a harbinger of what’s to come if MS doesn’t release it’s A game. I’m a day 1 purchaser of the Neo, but not interested in Duo as it looks right now. And I’m all-in in MS. I want them to succeed, but please be smart about it.
  • Be prepared for Microsoft to abandon Neo and 10X within a couple years. No way it sticks with their strategy of only putting it on expensive folding devices.
  • Too early to say for a platform that hasn't officially released yet. W10X will not be limited to folding devices and will at least be available to laptops as well probably after a year or two of Neo's release. They just have to finish and polish the window management which is missing at the moment with W10X.
  • I am afraid that will be a losing strategy. Minimal sales because only super expensive folding devices are available will not be a good start. They need to bring devices capable of bringing high sales numbers, get manufacturers and developers moving on the platform.
  • Ditto.
    I want one mobile device with flagship specs at the time of launch.
    I enjoy my Lumia 1020 even though it was released with the previous years chip, but always and never loved the experience because it was just too slow.
    I will wait until MS either refreshes the design before launch it wait another 2 years for MS to release it's second Duo.
  • I concur with others who say 5G is not yet a have to have feature. In rural NH we still don't get full 4G coverage in our town. Lots of dark spots due to hills. And 5G implemented on mm wavelengths (a city only thing, I assume) sounds sketchy if it can't follow you inside buildings. I just don't need 100 Mb/s or 1 Gb/s data speeds on my phone but do want very reliable 10 Mb/s.
  • Zack, any Idea if Ms will be releasing it with a MS made phone case? I am still not sure exactly how it will fir in a phone which flips 360’
  • Dont ask about any accessories, we all have a bad experience with MS products accessories, maybe this time will be different.
  • 5G is pretty much the reason I would NOT buy a device until at least 2022, and if 5G and "big" top-down bezels are found to be enough of a problem to be included in a cons list for this thing while seemingly looking reasonable against its pros, they might as well cancel it now the SD865 is fatally compromised because it lacks the integrated 4g modem of the 855 instead relying on a separate 4g/5g chip, so I'm glad panos took the reasonable decision here, to the dismay of most loud fans
  • 5G is not a big deal till now and it takes time to be (the same idea of crazy internet home routers in the market, they deliver a crazy speed but they have no fuel), i would worry about how it will looks like, performance and accessories. Welling to see some real productivity in this device.
  • this device needs to work on Verizon networks.. and we would like to run windows on it as well.
  • is this a mid range device or high end?
  • I'm just so disappointed in MS these days for any devices they sell. It's the same with their flagship Surface Book's. They're still selling the Surface Book 2 (Fall 2017) with a two-year old processor (Intel 8th gen). I have an original Surface Book (Fall 2015) I would have loved to replace with a Surface Book 3, but they still haven't released it. They were slow to release flagship Windows phones with new versions taking more than a year to be released. It's as if they don't care about selling devices. So I bought something else. Now it looks like, I'm going to pass on this device that I had been looking forward to and wait until they can get their act together. I'll keep getting a new Galaxy Note each year as Samsung makes the upgrade process pretty easy with their trade-in offers. RIP Microsoft phones.
  • Replaced my Surface Pro 4 with a Razer Blade Stealth after my Surface Pro 4 battery was discharging when it was turned off... Razer has a thunderbolt port which all of the Surface products still don't have... Sounds like the Surface Duo will be over priced and too little too late again from MS, I for one will not be fooled into buying their products again... Will be buying the Huawei Mate Xs over this hamstrung effort...
  • Looking forward to Surface Book 3 and Surface Neo. Wondering if Microsoft will introduce an Intel version of the Surface Pro X. What I'm not sure I understand is why Microsoft will be using an outdated processor for the Surface Duo, as well as not having thinner bezels and multiple cameras. It's not like they don't have the time, or resources to tweak the hardware and processor before they launch. Microsoft was slow to add USB-C to any of their devices and totally dismissed Thunderbolt 3 altogether. It's 2020 and it would be nice if Microsoft would get with the times and add features that people want in/on their devices, as well as be more forward thinking in their approach to new hardware, that they introduce.
  • Hello Zac, do you think the final version of Surface Duo will have the frames presented in the prototype or will it have the thin frames?
  • Too little, too late and doubtless too expensive.
    I am not too fussed about 5G. But why would I want to buy a device with miserable base storage, no wireless charging, probably third rate photography, a stylus to loose and less connectivity than my Samsung Note 10? In exchange for a form factor that other companies have already improved upon? The idea is great but the execution appears to be mean and behind the times.
    Does the old rule with Microsoft apply - wait for the third iteration?
  • Single camera, old processor, no 5G, no PC replacement ... The only attraction seems to be for a double screen experience which nobody knows if it's worth it, at least before buying it. If they aim at selling beyond the enthusiasts' perimeter, they have to push aggressive prices below 500 $, just as Huawey did in the first years. Otherwise, they will stick with the enthusiasts, like the writer, and moreover IMHO they will do it while betraying their mission and the Surface essence.
  • I see a lot of complaining about the bezels. I'll admit that visually it's not that appealing but functionally, I see a big benefit. When I hold a book, my thumb sits on the fold to help stabilize it so it doesn't fall out of my hands. It'd be a little hard to do that if it was edge to edge screen. So for the purpose of manipulating the device in my hands, I'm glad it has larger bezels on the top and bottom. Now if I get my hands on the device and find that they serve no purpose, then I may join in on the critique. Until then though, I'm not upset about them.
  • Do you hold your books on the top as well as the bottom?!? Bit hard to read that way, no...?
  • 1. Since 2016, we've been hearing that Andromeda keeps getting delayed because it's critical to get it right the first time, so it can't be released until it's perfect.
    2. Today, it's finally about to be released, but with huge bezels, no 5G, an underwhelming camera, a previous-generation processor, and, oh yeah, no windows. But on the plus side, it will likely come at a premium price point. I'm a Surface fan, and I own many Surface devices. I may even get the Duo; I'll keep an open mind. But I'm more skeptical than I typically have been with the Surface line. So far, the rumored specs seem to suggest MS is just phoning it in on this one.
  • Agree completely!!! Plus leave it to Microsoft to invest in something only to completely abandon it and ditch the consumer
  • Surface customers have never been abandoned by Microsoft. This will also be the case for Surface Duo!
  • Don't forget Surface RT and Surface 2. Surface Duo won't be abandoned. Google will keep it updated for several years. It won't be left behind like Windows phone. Six years from now you will still be getting new apps and updates to Play Services.
  • Well it was mentioned that it will have a "world class camera". I still cannot believe they said this when they know well enough they are not consumer focused and there is no chance they are launching this to compete in the Android market. It is almost impossible for them to get traction. OnePlus spent 5 years trying and they are finally up in the top. Google the Father of its own OS and their devices are dropping in value faster than my childhood baseball cards. I honestly still have no real idea what their purpose is for this device other than to push their own platform...?
  • Who mentioned that it would have a world class camera? This article says it won't have multiple sensors, and I've seen some articles here on Windows Central saying it's OK if the camera isn't that great. But maybe I missed something?
  • Dude, Panos stated this in an interview. He was not specific on details except that “working on a world-class camera” was stated. The Android community will be ready to critique the living silicon outta this thing when it gets released. So I am curious. We all know statements like that are not a promise, but why even say something like that. This was an interview in Germany btw.
  • It's anyway wrong ... because it's the wrong OS.
  • As mentioned in the posts (several times), no 5G is not a big deal. Snapdragon 855, not a big deal, most people don't max the power of the chip yet. What we do run out of is ram and storage. And it looks like both are being addressed. So I'm ready for the Duo. Can't wait.
  • How are you going to decide what is and isn't a big deal. It might not be for you but 5g and old processor is not something I want to invest in
  • That's why they're releasing it sooner....the 855 is already "old" at this point, and a holiday release will make it even "older"..
  • Wait... what? You don't want to invest in 5g... check. The majority of us don't invest in the latest processor on day one, six months to a year later, higher probability.
  • I strongly disagree. My next mobile device will have 5G. I'm not in the marker to buy a device every year or every few months. I don't see the point to upgrade until then. So, I think it's subjective. It's the main point for me, so thus, a big deal for me.
  • The majority of people are not using the full speed of 4G let alone a faster speed. And mostly not by choice. Everyone wants a faster speed theoretically, but in reality it doesn't work like that. The same will be true of 5G. A few years from now, yes (hopefully), but now or even next year, no.
  • If it's a cheap device, sure. But if expensive, most of the consumers that want to pay that price don't fall into your "most people" category, at least it's what they think and you can't change majority's mind.
  • The sooner it is launched the better. OK. Make sure the basic functions work. Calendar, email, office, etc. Obviously the dual screen allows you to transform these everyday apps. If I use outlook and edge 80% of the time, then make sure the dual screens (especially in outlook/word/excel) utilizes the dual screens effectively. I have one big peeve with outlook one my phone. I can only see emails that are placed in subfloders by pushing several "buttons" to get to the subfolders and syncing the emails. Maybe the dualscreen will simplify this process. Replying to emails with two screens might make life a lot more easy.
  • As a former Windows phone fan I completely lost any trust in Microsoft under Nadella and therefore I would not invest money in any Microsoft hardware product.
  • So why are you posting here?
  • I firmly disagree with you about missing out of 5G support being a big deal. 5G right now just is not ready.
    Little to no support, hardware requires extra chipset increasing cost and battery drain. Personally the lack of 5G, and not having to pay for it, makes me more inclined to buy this.
  • I strongly disagree. I don't want to buy it now, and then have to by another one in a year with 5G. My next phone/mobile will have 5G. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the point is in upgrading to a new device.
  • Check back in 6 months. 5g will likely be a big feature, especially in urban areas. If the iPhone has it and Duo doesn't, that won't be a good look.
  • Microsoft Store will have it half price after a year on the market trying to get rid of their inventory. It's the same ol' same ol' that U.S. tech corporations use to get rid of excess or obsolete inventory. This way they get to double dip with an excess/obsolete inventory tax write-off and then after filing they get to sell the product at cost.
  • I keep coming back looking for new news of on the Surface Duo, lol a daily obsession!.
  • What a difference a few months make! The article was written in February looking at the possibility of an April release and then COVID_19 comes along... Will we even see the Duo in 2020 now?
  • argh wanting updates
  • Zac, could the hardware be in place for NFC? Just need to wait on the software? Or is the no support for NFC comment around hardware too.