Microsoft's Surface Duo failed to ignite sales charts when it launched last fall, and it wasn't much of a splash with critics either. Since then, we've seen the Duo's price droptime andtime again. But we get it. Some of you are holding out just to see how far it can fall before picking up one of the most unique handhelds on the market today. Your patience continues to pay off — Woot has the Duo on sale today for $550.
Admit it, Nintendo fans: when Microsoft revealed its first official Android-powered smartphone, all you saw was a $1400 Nintendo DS Pro. With its newfound focus on streaming games in the Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft is reevaluating how it approaches them on the Surface Duo. With the latest version of the Android app, controls on the Duo can be entirely assigned to one screen in your hand, leaving the second screen free for gameplay.
As folding phones gained momentum last year, Microsoft released its own take. The Duo is not a good phone for a number of reasons: it's big and awkward, it's got an unusual form factor that's not particularly well supported, and its camera is bad. But it sure is unique, and today, you can grab one for $600 on Woot — the lowest price for it we've seen so far.
Long gone are the days when smartphones were tiny and cramped, and multitasking on them was a distant dream. With the adoption of larger displays and more flexible software, smartphones make it easier than ever before to do more at once. Split-screen, a native Android feature, already lets you work with two apps at the same time. Now Google is reportedly working on a way to make it even easier to multitask, with a new App Pairs feature for launching two apps simultaneously.
Microsoft's first Android phone is the Surface Duo, a dual-screen device released last month. It was an extremely tough sell for anyone but the most die-hard Surface fans, but now it has dropped to a slightly-better price of $1,199.99, a $200 discount from the original MSRP.
Over the past few years, smartphones have stopped evolving at a rapid pace and settled into iterative, yawn-inducing update cycles. Just like how a desktop PC from eight years ago can still handle basic productivity tasks in 2020, a flagship smartphone from two or three years ago isn't radically different from what you can buy today, and there’s only so much room for innovation in the flat glass slab form factor. This has sent some manufacturers to go back to the drawing board in search of something more radical and exciting. Samsung has released severalfoldablephones, LG is developing a dual-screen device, and now Microsoft has the Surface Duo.
The Surface Duo is Microsoft's first smartphone since the collapse of Windows Mobile, and it's no ordinary phone either. The dual-screen form factor is designed to improve productivity, but it also introduced some software problems that Microsoft hasn't entirely solved. The hardware was also a common point of criticism, as there are more than a few missing features compared to other premium Android devices.
There's a lot that can be improved with the Surface Duo, and now that a second model is in development, here are some aspects of the phone that definitely need to be changed in future revisions.
We got our hands on Microsoft's Surface Duo last month, but we weren't allowed to give it the ol' bend test. Now that the device has been released into the wild, YouTuber Zack JerryRigEverything Nelson tried it out in one of his infamous durability videos — and the results are a little surprising.
The Surface Duo is one of the few recent examples of a new form factor in smartphones. Although it shares similarities (and some use cases) with foldable phones, such as the Galaxy Z Fold2, the choice to use two individual displays comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. That begs the question: is the Duo best used as a primary phone, or a secondary device to compliment an existing phone?
After much anticipation, Microsoft launched its very first Android device last month. In Corbin's review, he called it a phone for enthusiasts, and that's something Microsoft seems to be embracing. Microsoft has released the Surface Duo's kernel source, which will assist third-party developers in building custom ROMs and kernels for the unique device.