In Microsoft Event yesterday the world’s biggest tech company announced several new products but the one that stole the limelight was the Microsoft Duo, which is a kind of smartphone with dual screens and surprisingly running Google’s Android operating system.
The announcement of the Surface Duo comes as a surprise because the company had managed to keep it a complete secret. It was also not expected considering that Microsoft had called it quits on the Windows phones back in 2017.
Although there was some murmur that Microsoft was working on a new Surface Phone, the Surface Duo turned out to be different from what was expected earlier.
The Surface Duo as the name suggests comes with two displays of 5.6-inch each separated by a hinge that rotates 360-degree. When the device is folded out the two displays spreads into one big 8.3-inch screen.
The device is thin and comfortably pocketable which could also be used as a miniature tablet. The Duo boots Android OS and is capable of running two apps simultaneously on both the displays. Gamers can particularly like the device considering one of the displays can be used as trackpad or keypad. Even the e-books reader will find it pretty handy.
The Surface Duo is currently powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. However, as the Duo will not hit the market until the holiday season in 2020, it will be upgraded with the latest Snapdragon SoC next year.
Nevertheless, Microsoft doesn’t call it an outright smartphone, rather addresses it as the “industry-pushing technology” trying to push it as a new form factor. But we can’t say it is not a phone for the functionalities it promises to offer.
The Surface Duo shown at the event seems to be work in progress though. It doesn’t have a camera on the back or the outer of the phone. Also, there is no E-ink outer display for calls or notifications. Microsoft must realize users don’t appreciate opening the device to do works as simple as checking notifications.
Also, the bezels are chunkier compared to the full-screen displays that we are seeing on almost all the smartphones nowadays. Hopefully, Microsoft will work in these areas before the device sees the daylight.
The reason why the earlier Windows phones couldn’t create a niche for themselves is that the Windows Phone OS simply didn’t have the answer to the Android or the iOS operating system which were getting far richer in terms of apps and features with each passing day. So, with Microsoft falling back on Google’s Android OS finally we reckon the decision will make a difference this time.