Microsoft Surface Duo: Everything Australians Need to Know

Microsoft surface duo
Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft Surface Duo will be launching later this year. With its dual screen displays and focus on multi-tasking, it looks great. But  it’s going to be super interesting to see if it will pop off or suffer the same fate as the LG V50 ThinQ. This is everything we know about it so far.

Microsoft Surface Duo Specs

Microsoft Surface Duo

For the most part the specs look pretty decent — especially the beefy processor. But there are a few questionable ones in there. The first is the 3,577mAh battery, which is actually split in two.

While hardware isn’t everything, this does seem low for the inevitable juice drain a dual screen phone will have.

  • Display: Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED displays (1800 x 1350); Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED display (2700 x 1800)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • OS: Android 10
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB – 256GB
  • Battery: 3,577 mAh (split across two batteries)
  • Camera: 11MP with 4K video capture
  • SIM: Dual SIM (nano and eSIM)
  • LTE: 4G
  • Weight: 250g
  • Dimesions: 5.72×3.67×0.399 inches (folded) and 5.72×7.36×0.19 inches (folded)

And while such a large device probably had enough room for a 5G modem, you won’t find one here. But this really isn’t a deal breaker. Making the Surface Duo 5G would have driven up the price significantly when 5G really isn’t at the make-or-break point in devices yet.

Camera

The single 11MP camera is also a concern. While photography clearly isn’t the focus of this device, it’s still a flagship. It doesn’t have to house the most hectic Leica or Sony lenses — but when a phone is likely to cost over $2000, some attention should be paid to such an important spec.

Of course, hardware isn’t everything. The Google Pixel 4a proves that. And Microsoft seems confident with the Surface Duo camera.

Microsft says it has a 85-degree diagonal field of view “artificial intelligence for the front and rear.” It also boasts low-light and HDR functionality as well as seven times ‘superzoom’.

Surface chief Panos Panay even showed off a Surface Duo pic on Instagram recently — and it looks pretty slick.

On the video front it supports 4K and 1080p recording at 60fps.

There is no dedicated rear camera on the Microsoft Surface Duo. The primary lens is baked into the screen. Instead you will need to flip the device around.

Design

Microsoft Surface Duo

The design of the Microsoft Surface Duo is the most significant thing about it. It’s a dual screen phone, after all.

But besides the obvious, there is one thing that really stands out when it comes to the design — the gigantic bezel. It’s reminiscent of older iPhones and seems like a questionable choice. With a display that big its a shame that so much screen real estate is being gobbled up by blank space. The in-built camera doesn’t taken up that much room.

The Surface Duo’s hinge is also an important design feature, and the on where it really shines. In fact, Microsoft says its the smallest and most innovative 360-degree hinge ever. It allows the device to be treated like a 2-in-1 laptop, but with even more options. The Surface Duo to go into book, compose and tent mode.

The dual screen and multi-faceted design also allows for optimised app support. While easy dragging and copy and pasting across the screens is a big focus, it goes even further.

The algorithm is designed to predict how apps will run and open. For example, if you’re on Twitter on one screen and click a a news link it should open on the second screen. Apps will also be able to extend across the two screens.

And if you have any favourite apps you’ll be able to pin them to your home screen.

The extended and split screen options will also be available for web pages.

Back to the physical traits, the Surface Duo will have a white finish sporting a silver Microsoft logo. There will also be a Surface Slim Pen avilable for the phone if you love that stylus life.

Availability

One of the most impressive things about the Surface Duo is how Microsoft supports both single-screen and full dual-screen modes for various apps. (Gif: Microsoft)

Unfortunately, we we won’t see the Surface Duo in Australia for awhile. Microsoft has told that the device will release in the U.S. exclusively on September 11.

“Initially, Surface Duo will be available in the U.S.,” a Microsoft spokesperson said to Gizmodo Australia in an email.

“We continue to take a measured and phased approach to availability to meet customer demand and partner expectations. We’ll share more information about market expansion at a later date.”

Microsoft Surface Duo Australian Price

Because the Surface Duo doesn’t have an Australian release date yet, it also doesn’t have a local price. However, it will cost for $US1,400, which comes to about $1,955.

So it will almost certainly be above the $2,000 mark once it hits our shelves.