As expected, Microsoft unveiled an update to its Surface Duo dual-screen smartphone at its September Surface event. The Surface Duo 2 sports many improvements, including a faster processor, 5G, revamped cameras and a new ‘Glance Bar.’
Overall, it really seems like Microsoft took the criticisms from the original Duo and made those improvements accordingly. And, it has me very excited to try out the Duo 2.
First up, the Duo 2 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which should help significantly improve performance over the original Duo. Additionally, that means the Duo 2 will support 5G. Overall, this is a huge change and should go a long way to making the Duo competitive with other flagship foldable devices from Samsung.
Like its predecessor, the Duo 2 sports two ‘PixelSense Fusion’ 5.8-inch AMOLED displays that can be used together as one 8.3-inch screen. This time around, however, the screens offer a 90Hz refresh rate, which should make scrolling and gaming smoother. Microsoft also boosted the battery to 4,449mAh split across two cells — it’ll be interesting to see how this battery life holds up given the original Duo’s surprising longevity with a smaller 3,577mAh battery.
The ‘Glance Bar’ is another exciting enhancement with the Duo 2. Based on the pictures, it looks like the edge of the display has a subtle curve along the edge of the hinge. When closed, it allows users to see a small strip of the screen, which displays the time and lights up with notification bubbles to show how many calls, messages and other notifications are waiting for you when you open the phone.
Another major area of improvement is the camera. Microsoft added a new triple rear camera array with 12-megapixel wide, telephoto and 16-megapixel ultrawide cameras. That alone is a significant bump over the single selfie camera on the original Duo, but how well these new cameras perform remains to be seen. Speaking of the selfie camera, it also got a slight improvement to a 12-megapixel sensor.
Finally, the Duo 2 will be available in two colours — ‘Glacier’ like the original Duo and a new ‘Obsidian’ option. Microsoft says the Surface Duo 2 will cost $1,899 in Canada and will be available for pre-order on Microsoft’s website starting today. The Duo 2 will be available for purchase starting October 21st. That means the Duo is still quite expensive, but with the significant overhaul Microsoft has done, it might actually be worth the money this time around.
You can learn more about all of Microsoft’s Surface announcements here.
Image credit: Microsoft