What you need to know
- Our friends at Windows Central managed to get their hands on the Surface Duo 2 for review.
- The device offers several upgrades from its predecessor, from the processor to the displays and the cameras.
- The Surface Duo 2 is available now, starting at $1500.
That's a notable improvement over the original Surface Duo, which in our review was described simply as a "hot mess." However, that's to be expected given all the upgrades Microsoft stuffed into this relatively thin device.
The new Surface Duo 2 is powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset found in this year's best Android phones. With that comes faster performance and, most notably, 5G, which was missing from the first-generation Duo.
The camera situation has been improved now that Microsoft isn't relying on a single internal sensor. On the back is a triple camera setup with standard wide, ultrawide, and 2x telephoto lenses.
The displays have also gotten a nice bump, with a 90Hz refresh rate across both panels and a slight curve that allows users to check for notifications when the device is closed.
That's not to mention the bump in RAM, additional storage option, and the software upgrades found all throughout the device, which runs Android 11 out of the box.
All-in-all, it's an impressive upgrade from the sleek but underwhelming first-gen Surface Duo. At least on paper. Of course, the real question is how it performs in real life, especially given its $1500 price tag.
If you want to know more about why this device gets four stars, check out Windows Central's Microsoft Surface Duo 2 review and decide for yourself whether or not the latest dual-screen Android device deserves a look.
Double the fun
Multitasking made easier
The new Surface Duo 2 is Microsoft's latest dual-screen Android device, with plenty of upgrades like a new 5G chip, stereo speakers, more cameras, and a cool way to glance at notifications while the device is closed. The Microsoft Duo 2 just might be the best way to multitask.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
I love MKBHD's analysis that Microsoft made a device that is objectively an upgrade in every way and yet got worse to use.
I think he's almost entirely wrong. There's some merit to his noting that the camera is a bit more rigid in its use cases, but it's overblown. The first Duo might have accommodated folded photo taking, but the photos were objectively bad. It's not hard to understand the physical arrangement of the camera and take photos around it. Flexibly taking bad photos isn't a "more usable" solution when the photos are so bad you never care to take them. Otherwise, he's pretty much just wrong. They made an effort to address the closed-screen notifications worry with the Glance Bar. It might not be an external display, but it doesn't hurt the usability of the device in its traditional senses and does offer a workable improvement. The pen is a mild step up because it can add a case to charge wirelessly (it'd be a bigger upgrade if it supported the Slim Pen 2's haptics). Marques' overall point is that he clearly doesn't like the Duo form factor. It doesn't work for him. His arguments are essentially "this isn't the device I would use, so it's bad." He doesn't do much to explain what makes the Duo 2 harder to use (behind the flawed camera argument), versus just generally suggesting the Duo form factor shouldn't exist.
Agreed. He doesn't try to find or address a use case for the SDv2, just seems to trash it. Compares it to other phones that are used for completely different purposes.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.