Microsoft has made its Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone available for purchase, with prices for the device starting at $1,399.
The Surface Duo combines two 4:3 OLED displays that are connected side by side with a hinge. The two 5.6-inch displays result in a 3:2 8.1-inch overall tablet-style screen size.
The device can be held horizontally or vertically, with the same app utilizing the two screens or different apps displayed on either screen. Alternately, it can be stood up like a tent to watch movies on one screen in landscape mode. The 360-degree hinge means it can also be folded up into a more traditional form factor with a screen on either side, or closed up altogether like a book.
“Join a Microsoft Teams meeting and see participants on one screen while you present your PowerPoint slides on another. Open the Amazon Kindle app and read a book like a book. Position Surface Duo’s screen like a tent and watch a video hands-free. Use Surface Duo in Compose mode to quickly respond to an email, or tilt it into portrait for a more immersive way to scroll through web pages or photos. Pair your Surface Duo with a supported Bluetooth controller to play games on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or with Surface Earbuds, coming Sept. 10 in Graphite Grey, to listen to your favorite playlist or podcast. Or easily take notes with the Surface Slim Pen, sold separately.
The Surface Duo is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and has 6GB of DRAM, up to 256GB of storage, an 11-megapixel f/2.0 camera, Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB-C 3.1, and a 3,577mAh battery that Microsoft says provides “all-day battery life.”
The device supports LTE on T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon networks, but there is no support for 5G. The Duo works with Microsoft’s Surface pens (sold separately) and comes with a protective bumper cover.
The Surface Duo runs a heavily skinned version of Android, and any Android app will run on it without modification. Developers can optimize the layout of their apps to take advantage of the dual displays. Microsoft is also using specifically-designed algorithms to instruct apps to open on the correct display depending on the user’s needs.
The Surface Duo was unveiled in October 2019, alongside the larger Surface Neo. The release date and specific details of the Surface Neo remain unknown, but it’s expected to run Windows 10X, a new custom software based on Windows 10 that’s designed for dual display devices.
Check out the video embedded above for MacRumors’ first look at the two devices at Microsoft’s October event.