Microsoft's first-generation Surface Duo is — to be blunt — not a particularly good phone. It also, presumably, hasn't sold well in its first year on the market, dropping as low as $1,000 off its initial MSRP just a few weeks ago. And despite a promised Android 11 update that is still MIA, it seems as though Microsoft isn't ready to throw in the towel on its foldable phone series just yet.
Last month, a YouTuber going by the name "Tech Rat" uploaded a video showing off leaked photos of the Surface Duo 2, featuring a similar design as the original with a much larger camera bump on the back of the phone. This footage flew under the radar until this morning, when Windows Central was able to confirm that, indeed, the images shown were legitimate, as is the triple-lens setup housed within that bump. The biggest surprise, however, might be that Microsoft is trying again at all.
Aside from that chonky camera bump, there are a few other slight changes to the chassis. A new black model is shown off alongside the classic white variant, complete with a matte finish. The USB-C port has been centered along the bottom of the right side of the device, and the dedicated fingerprint sensor has been removed (and likely replaced with one embedded in the power button).
Along with these photos, we're also learning about its potential specs. Unlike last year's phone, Microsoft is preparing to launch with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888, which would place it on par with other 2021 flagships. It'll also include NFC this time around — better late than never, I guess.
Despite the bump in performance, this doesn't seem like the kind of revision that should make first-gen owners jealous. Outside of the slight hardware changes, it'll be interesting to see if Microsoft has improved the quality of both the software and the cameras. Throwing a third lens on the back just isn't enough to make photos shine — the processing will need to be improved, too. With any luck, a refreshed Surface Duo also means the arrival of the long-awaited Android 11 update for current owners.