Last October, Microsoft gave the public a little taste of its dual-screened Surface Duo. The phone is due to be officially unveiled during this October’s Surface event and hit the market during the 2020 holiday shopping season. But we could get a much earlier launch of the Surface Duo according to Windows Central
. Citing sources said to be familiar with the matter, the software and hardware are finished and that could allow Microsoft to unveil and release the Duo well ahead of schedule.
According to the latest report, Microsoft hopes to have all of the OS customizations complete by early April; as a result, we could see Microsoft announce limited availability of the device for this coming summer with an early release for developers and enthusiasts. The unveiling could take place during the spring when the Surface Go
2 and Surface Book 3 are expected to be introduced. The device will sport a pair of 5.6-inch displays with a resolution of 1350 x 1800. When the displays are opened side-by-side, an 8.3-inch screen is created.
The basic Surface Duo model will sport 6GB of memory with 64GB of storage
The Duo will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform which is last year’s flagship chipset. This could keep the price down. The entry-level version of the phone will feature 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage. While there will be other configurations, the Duo will not have a 5G variant-at least not this year.
The Surface Duo in laptop mode
While it would be nice to see the Surface Duo, uh, surface earlier than expected, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the one thing that almost every story mentions these days: the coronavirus. Microsoft has already announced that the disease will have an effect on its PC business and it certainly could impact the Surface Duo. While Microsoft might plan on releasing its dual-screen productivity device earlier than expected, the company is going to need to see what kind of havoc the disease is causing this spring before it makes a decision on moving up production of the device.
Remember folks, the Surface Duo is not a foldable phone like the Samsung Galaxy Fold
, Galaxy Z Flip
, Huawei Mate X
, and Motorola razr
are. The latter all rely on a foldable screen. The Duo uses two separate displays that when opened side-by-side, have a vertical border between them. The phone will also reportedly use a patented hinge that not only folds to 360-degrees, it also tracks the position of the two screens and can change the UI depending on this information. For example, if you open the Duo in “tent mode” (like an upside-down V), the hinge will know that the screens are in that position and will change the UI to support an alarm clock.
Another mode, possibly called laptop mode, has the Duo held in landscape. When opened, the top screen will be used as a display, and the bottom screen will show a virtual QWERTY keyboard. Putting the device on a table in this setup will make it look like a miniature laptop computer. The Duo also comes with a Surface Pen and it is the first Microsoft device to use Android. So don’t spend any wasted time worrying about the app gap. Instead, you should be excited to see how Microsoft and other developers handle the form factor with their apps.
Just recently, we told you that without an external display, Duo users will be able to see the time, notifications and answer calls through a “peeking” system
. By opening the device to see just a “peek” of the screen, this information will be made available for Duo users to see.
If you’re already hyped-up about the Surface Duo, you might want to keep your fingers crossed hoping that Microsoft does decide on an earlier than expected release.