Microsoft's Surface Duo appears at the FCC ahead of an early launch

Surface Duo
Surface Duo (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Surface Duo appears at the FCC.
  • It confirms LTE bands, and model number 1930.

We've been reporting for some time now that Microsoft is planning to launch Surface Duo much earlier than originally planned. Announced as a Holiday 2020 device, we believe Surface Duo will actually launch ahead of schedule, sometime this summer, meaning the product should be ready for pre-orders in a few short weeks. Today, it appears the Surface Duo is passing through the FCC, if Droid-Life's excellent sleuthing is anything to go by.

Surface Duo passing through the FCC means the product is almost ready to go. Internally, I'm told Microsoft is currently in the production validation stage for Surface Duo, which is the last hurdle before real production begins. This stage only takes a few short weeks, and I'm told we're at the very tail end of this test phase now. Microsoft is expected to start ramping up production of the Surface Duo very soon, in time for a late August or September release.

Droid-Life points out that the FCC mentions "both screens" and different hinge-angle tests alongside network tests. Droid Life also says that these tests confirm that the product has NFC, but I believe that's wrong. The mention of NFC in one test does not mean it will have NFC tap and pay support. I continue to hear that the retail units for Surface Duo do not have support for tap and pay.

Duo FCC Network Test

Source: FCC (Image credit: Source: FCC)

Interestingly, the FCC listing is under a confidentiality agreement until October 29. This means that if Microsoft doesn't want things like the user manual and internal or external photos of the hardware to leak before general availability, the device must launch before then, meaning the product is almost certainly confirmed to be shipping before Holiday 2020 at this point. I think we'll see Surface Duo much earlier than October, anyhow.

Now that Surface Duo is passing through FCC, we're not far from the finish line. FCC approval is one of the last hurdles before a product can go on sale. And usually, it's only a few weeks between a product showing up on FCC and pre-orders for said product being announced, at least in the case of Microsoft hardware.

I'm told Surface Duo will ship with a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB RAM, and 11Mp single camera, up to 256GB storage, and with a 3460mAh battery. I'm told the product doesn't have 5G, wireless charging, or NFC capabilities. You can find my full specs list here. What are your thoughts on the Surface Duo? Are you excited that the device is almost ready? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden