Skip to main content

Windows Central readers shoot down Galaxy Fold 3 in favor of Surface Duo 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Hands On Green
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Hands On Green (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Windows Central)

Votes are still rolling in for our poll on if our readers plan to buy a Galaxy Fold 3 or Surface Duo 2, but unless things change dramatically, there's already a clear winner. As you might expect from our readers, many lean towards Microsoft's rumored offering over the latest and greatest from Samsung.

Yesterday, Samsung announced a pair of foldables, the Galaxy Fold 3 and Galaxy Flip 3. While each of Samsung's devices have a folding display, the Galaxy Fold 3 is more likely to be compared to the rumored Surface Duo 2 (which hasn't been officially announced). There are notable differences between Samsung and Microsoft's devices, but the comparisons are inevitable.

Our poll pitting the two against each other went up around 24 hours ago (on August 11, 2021), and since then, over 63% of voters have said they will buy the Surface Duo 2. That may sound like it's not that far above half of the voters, but almost 25% of participants don't plan to buy either device.

Almost 11% of voters say they'll buy the Galaxy Fold 3 at the time of publication. A rich few (1.52%) say they will purchase both the Galaxy Fold 3 and the Surface Duo 2. With pockets that deep, it's a good thing both devices have NFC for payments.

RoarinRow says in the comments section, "I like the form factor of the Duo. I don't like the concept of a folding screen compared to two screens attached with a hinge, from a durability [perspective]."

While in the minority among our voters, DouttJ is a big fan of the Galaxy Fold 3, stating, "The Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 checks all the boxes. Very impressed with all the new products they showed off today. Microsoft is not only going to have to hit it out of the ball park but with bases loaded to make me think they have a better product than Samsung right now."

Which side do you fall on? We'll leave the original poll open. The comment section on that post is quite active, so you can also jump into the discussion there.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

41 Comments
  • Then we need to redo polls after Duo2 have been announced with full specs.
  • microsoft needs to announce the 2 fast. at least let us know what is in it before people run off and buy the fold 3.
  • only diehard samsung fans run out to buy a $1800 phone.
  • Nah. $900 trade in credit, $200 credit for accessories ($100 of which can be used to upgrade to 512GB), $75 off first responder discount, tons of bundle deals, and a free year of Samsung Care + Wasn't the Duo $1399 at launch? Just because it's on fire sale doesn't mean the Duo 2 won't be expensive, and I definitely don't see Microsoft giving out such incredible trade in values and accessories.
  • Supposedly 800,000 pre-orders. I think they have surpassed fanboys now.
  • the biggest problem I have with the galaxy fold phones (all of them) is each half is too narrow. it's also too tall. and the other issue is how thick the whole thing is when you fold it. the other issue (which was partially addressed in fold 2 and refined in fold 3) was how you had to always fiddle with resizing apps when you wanted to multitask. imagine having 1 monitor and having to resize windows for all your apps. and then doing it on a phone!
  • Completely agree. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference and some prefer a really tall narrow display (even the Galaxy S lines have moved to taller and relatively narrower displays). However, I MUCH prefer the wider aspect ratio of each Duo display. I find it vastly more useful (even if not using both displays).
  • Every phone is tall and skinny for a reason. Wide isn’t popular.
  • it is embarrassingly thick for something that is bigger than teh Duo, they cant even slim that down. It's two galaxy phones glued side by side. Theirs no innovation on this. its lazy and rushed.
  • No innovation? Who else has a mainstream folding screen?! There is no innovation in the Duo. Dual screens have been tried for the last decade and they never catch on because the dual screen form isn’t worth the trade offs. Microsoft doesn’t have a folding screen because they don’t have the technology. They don’t have the innovation.
  • Yes agree the screens are to narrow, I wonder if they will make a wider version which you can store the stylus in and call it the Note Fold or Fold Note. Still at least the fold3 screen doesn't have those 2017 sized bezels like the Duo does. If the Duo 2 doesn't sort them bezels out I won't be giving it a second glance.
  • As someone who prefers the Fold devices I can say you definitely have valid complaints. From my perspective one handed use is actually much more comfortable on a Fold device while closed, while next to impossible on a Duo. Open I can see the Duo being desirable because both screens are larger, but IMO lose out overall because it still has 2 physically separate screen instead of one large one. Thickness is certainly a valid complaint, but I'm curious to see what happens if MS decides to add back on the things you lose to get that thin form factor, such as a real camera, IP rating, etc.
  • Some of the most in depth reviews on youtube prefer Surface duo over fold due to it being better at multitasking with bigger screens.
  • Really? The reviews I have seen mostly summons it up to:
    * Interesting concept
    * Fantastic piece of manufacturing
    * Less then impressive hardware (old chipset, low on RAM and missing features)
    * Buggy but interesting software adaptions to the format
    I have been looking for some longtime more deep reviews on YouTube but have not found any. Do you have any good links?
  • I think it really just boils down to what you want the device to do. I think the Zfold is great, for media and light productivity. But, it is mostly geared to media consumption, IMO. Whereas, the Duo 2 is geared more towards productivity, with media consumption being secondary. Its no different from Smart Watches vs Fitness watches. They both do essentially the same thing, but focus on primary functions for their target audience. Granted, most people want or would like to try the Duo and many see it as a device to compete with Samsung, when it really isn't. However, the reality is, most people that look at the Duo 2 will be people who don't think about the audience it was intended for and compare and contrast its features with mainstream devices. Hopefully, Microsoft can find a happy place and then just refine things from there. I would like it more companies do their take on a dual screen device, but I don't see that happening right now.
  • See, I would argue the complete opposite, that the duo is more useful for media consumption than the Fold. Mainly because watching a video on the fold, given the dimensions, is barely any different to watching it on a regular phone given the aspect ratio. Whereas you could easily run Netflix with Facebook on the Duo. The large surface area of the Fold when opened is much more useful in a business sense as you can use the full real estate for design, spreadsheets, readability, etc. It all depends on the personal use though.
  • yes, i agree with this take. with the fold, because each half is so narrow, it forces you to do everything in tablet mode. samsung and its fans are trying to make it seem like the fold is so flexible and full of choices in what you want to do but it's not. watch a movie on one half on the fold? ridiculous. you have this massive phone and the movie is tiny because the phone half is so narrow. on the surface duo, you can easily watch a movie on one screen and do something completely different on the other. yes, being wide on the surface duo has its downside, namely being able to one-hand the phone and reach across. but the fold has the same problem. there is zero chance of reaching the far end of the long skinny candybar. I previously owned the S20 and S10+ (also S9 and S8) and reaching the far end of the phone was impossible. if anyone ever thought 16:9 was so hard to do things on because of how narrow it is, wait until you try to work with a 24.5:9 screen. a spreadsheet in landscape where you only see a few rows? reading a website or a book on such a narrow screen? you reach the end of the line so fast and then have to pull back your eyes and down to the next line. why are movies and tv shows shot in landscape? because we are land creatures who's eyes are designed to move easily horizontally to see predators. not many predators attack from above and below. there's no technical reason to shoot in landscape. if portrait was preferred, you could just turn all the cameras. think about how people read on a narrow screen. sure, there is some going upward and downward but how do people actually read in a narrow situation? you keep your eyes on a fairly level plane and then you move the page up and down. and people can't fathom how thin the Surface Duo is because most have never seen it in person. when folded, it's barely thicker than a typical candybar slab of a phone. whereas the Fold phones, when folded is pretty much the thickness of 2 phones.
  • I never understood the belief that the Duo is more for productivity, although I'll admit I've never used one for more than a few hours, I use my Fold all day long. It seems that most of the productivity beliefs stem from having 2 physically separate screens, but having a single larger screen is just as productive with the tools Samsung provides. You can snap windows just as easily as on a Windows PC, and you can create shortcuts to instantly open any particular window/app configuration. Microsoft is also partnering specifically with Samsung to optimize their Office suite and Outlook for the Fold 3. Seems like the best of both worlds.
  • Fold 2 is a beast so I'm going for the Fold 3.
  • One more point on the Duo: for mobile gaming, I could not conceive of a better form factor. The 2:3 screens give a huge amount of real estate relative to the screen size for the game. Also, because the second screen folds around your hand, it's like having a PopSocket built into the phone that takes up no space. You almost can't drop the Duo in this mode (at least not accidentally) -- most stable handset ever.
  • I voted to buy neither - I still want to see the finished product for SD2; can't believe that 'camera' is the finished product :(
  • They're different form factors for different use cases. Personally, I can't shake the Duo for productivity. It is so much better to have two separate displays that are basically independent of each other than one large display and having to manually open up split screens and such. I get an email with a submittal attachment and I can view the PDF on one screen while I take notes or reply to the email on the other. All the while I have the attachment open separately. Yeah the camera blows but hopefully Microsoft addresses the issue on the v.2 without that unsightly bump.
  • All those use cases are overblown by fanboys. Duo has some real advantages like that Flex may be too thick for many people. But use cases? First they are rare. 1% of people have those use cases and then those people have them 1% of their time. Yes it is legitimate to look at the email and the attachment, I did it, but honestly you won't get even 1 in 10 emails that require that even if you are a heavy user of this use case. Second this can be performed on the Flex. While Duo may be slightly better optimized from several aspects you can have apps side by side on Flex. Saying that you need a physical space between apps is like saying that you need a physical keyboard on the phone - for 0.1% of people that may be the case but it is so rare that can be treated as pervert.
  • I’m a Project Manager in my late 50s, I ain’t no fanboy. I get 50-60 emails every single day and this device, warts and all, has been a savior for me. I see other PMs doing the same thing with their iPhones and iPads whereas I use the Duo. I used to be one of those myself, but it’s not fun. I guess it’s ok when you’re stuck in an office with a desktop and multiple monitors but not in the field. Hell to the no.
  • on the surface duo, you pretty much never have to think about how to arrange things because it's pretty automatic. on a fold, you have to arrange the apps like arranging app windows on a single monitor. even if you designate how you like the apps to be located on the screen, in many situations you end up having to rearrange them which means you're constantly thinking about something that's automatic on the SD.
  • “Automatic on the SD” means it is inflexible. You only have one choice, which is a weakness, not a strength unless your needs never change.
  • I'm pretty sure you can do that on the Fold devices, well the taking notes part more on the Fold 3 with the pen support. Microsoft has also said they are optimizing their software for the Fold 3, as they have a partnership with Samsung. https://www.phonearena.com/news/samsung-galaxy-z-fold3-z-flip3-microsoft... This includes Outlook, so your use case is most likely covered. It may even be improved as the Duo has pretty famously buggy software. I get the appeal of 2 physically separate screens, but similar to windows snap function on desktop Samsung already has nailed the ability to manipulate windows with extreme ease, and yes you can create shortcuts that keep the same exact window/app configuration. The cherry on top is that you actually have one huge screen for when you want to use it.
  • I'm on team Duo, except I'm jealous of galaxy's dex mode. The original duo that ran windows had a continuum type mode, making it not only a phone/tablet but also a desktop.
  • Did it? How do you know?
  • If the DUO has Windows 10 Continuum its a definite purchase.
  • I see there is no option of "I'll buy the first one that gets Windows 11 hacked on it"
  • Surface DUO. But with less Android maybe? Or even some aspects of windows phone added 👍
  • dude windows phone is dead...let it go.
  • ive already bought the Fold 3. I tried the Duo last year and it was not for me, so I went with the Fold 2. Now once the Duo 2 comes out and I can take a look....then maybe I will trade in my Fold 3. But right now Microsoft needs to show me they fixed all the issues....I'm not going to assume they did and wait.
  • It's been nearly a year and they haven't fixed all the issues... The most annoying for me is the fact that Microsoft Launcher doesn't even have feature parity with the version in the play store that you can install on all other Android phones!
  • I wonder how many people that voted have tried the Fold 2 and the Duo? The software experience on the Fold is much better... The Duo still feels buggy 12 months after release, issues with gestures, still stuck on Android 10 and the SMS organiser app doesn't work in landscape on the device, to name a few...
  • I'm going with the Pixel 6 Pro. Neither the Fold or the Duo feels fully developed yet and to many questions around usability, functions and plain durance is need to be hashed out. Still in my opinion the Fold is closer to move out of the beta phase and in to the mainstream even if the price is steep. The Duo still have a lot to prove and the difference between Duo and Duo 2 will be huge so judging the Duo 2 on the base of Duo is a bit premature.
    Maybe in the two years to come all this will be answered and the Duo 4 or Fold 5 will be my next device after the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • If money where no object neither. I do dream of owning a samsung z flip. I actually like the clamshell idea. I think this is the only use case for the folding screen that makes sense. I'm not a fan of a big phone being bigger. My phone has two purposes, buying junk and calling people. Anything more will be frustrating. One device to rule them all is not practical for me.
  • Definitely the Fold 3, I already pre ordered. MS software is still going to be optimized by Microsoft as they have an existing partnership with Samsung and have even said as much. What I need is one large screen, not 2 smaller screens.
  • I have the Fold 3 on pre-order as well, and there were good incentives for those of us coming from an iPhone that pre-registered. The Fold 3 screen is the same size as an iPad Mini 5, just 3/8" shorter. Since they also allow app pairing (2 or 3 at a time) it should be easy to set up productivity apps. I'm afraid the camera humpback on the Duo Deux is going to turn off a lot of perspective buyers in comparison, and when in full screen mode (check one out at your local Best Buy) the crease disappears in that big screen without bezels down the middle.
  • 800,000 pre-orders for the Samsung devices. I think the market is speaking. Will Microsoft even release Duo 2? How will they compete with Samsung when their device is not nearly as innovative?