Microsoft had in the past, attempted to create smartphones running their own in-house operating system. Unfortunately both their Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile were met with lukewarm reception at best. Hence with the Microsoft Surface Duo, the company is banking on Android to help them level the playing field. As its name suggests, this latest smartphone from Microsoft is made up of two huge displays to let you have more visual real estate. Are you ready for a huge clam-shell smartphone from Microsoft?
Microsoft Surface Duo as a mini tablet
With the Microsoft Surface Duo, you have the option to the two display separately or as one single huge display. There are two 5.6-inch AMOLED screens that are attached together with a 360-degree hinge. With the hinge, you can open the smartphone flat to be a tablet or you can set it at an angle to work like a laptop. Alternatively, you can flip the screens completely to have both of the displays facing outward back-to-back.
Microsoft Surface Duo can be used in any way that you like
Here comes the killer feature: Each of the screens can be used to run different individual apps at the same time. In other words, you can run your Chrome browser on one display while answering your email on a another display. Talking about productivity huh! This will allow you to use your smartphone like a laptop, albeit a mini one. Still, this cool feature of running different apps independently on separate screens can really be a boon for those seeking to ramp up their productivity.
Microsoft Surface Duo can be used as a tablet
2 screen can run different individual apps simultaneously
Like I have aforementioned, the Microsoft Surface Duo can be used as an 8.1-inch tablet. So you can browse a webpage, read documents or even use other apps on a "larger" display with an aspect ratio of 3:2. However do note that this can only work with compatible apps. I believe that out of the box, a lot of Microsoft's very own apps will be able to support this "Full Screen" experience such as their Office apps, PDF Reader, News, One Note and Edge Browser just to name a few.
Microsoft Surface Duo supports all Surface Pen models
Under the hood, Microsoft Surface Duo is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, mated with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 internal storage. Unfortunately there is no expandable storage onboard which is really a bummer for a such a productivity smartphone. On top of that the 6GB of RAM is in my opinion, insufficient for a smartphone that will need to support 2 displays that could run different apps simultaneously. Microsoft should have at least thrown in 8GB of RAM as bare minimum.
Ramp up your productivity like a pro.
In terms of photography, Microsoft Surface Duo boasts an 11-MP adaptive camera for both the front and rear shooters. The cameras are capable of shooting 4K video at 60fps. Those who loves to shoot video will be happy to note that there will be a gyro-based digital video stabilization and HDR for your still images. There is also dual mic with noise suppression and echo cancellation for better voice calling clarity and video recording as well. If you are someone who loves to use a stylus, Surface Pen is supported to be used with this Microsoft Surface Duo smartphone. Will this provide a better experience compared to a Samsung Galaxy Note? I doubt.
Watch Microsoft Surface Duo in action
It is a shame that this smartphone from Microsoft only comes with a mono speaker so you will be deprived of all the audio enjoyment such as listening to music or watching Netflix. There will be a fingerprint reader and the usual wireless connectivity. In terms of battery, you will get a 3,577mAh battery that is claimed to have a 27-hour talk time. It will support 18W fast charging. Still to have two screens, the battery included is relatively small. Microsoft Surface Duo will come with hefty price tag of US$1,399 (RM5,899) and unfortunately it has too many shortcomings. Microsoft Surface Duo which will be officially available on the 10th of September. For more information about, head over to Microsoft's official website.