Microsoft Surface Duo 2: News, features, leaks and possible release date
Microsoft finally launched its ‘Surface Phone’ in 2020 with the foldable Duo. But with it now being a little long in the tooth you may justifiably be wondering when, and if, there’ll be a Surface Duo 2.
The Microsoft Surface Duo tried to ear a place among the best Android phones using an atypical strategy. It has two displays and folds together akin to a laptop, giving it a very distinct look.
Though there haven’t been any formal announcements about a Surface Duo 2, there are already some rumours swirling regarding the sequel, which could arrive later this year. Here’s what we know so far and everything we want to see.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 – release date and price
- The original Duo had drawn out launch
- A follow-up could be set for release this year
The Surface Duo had a long-winded road to release. It was first announced in late 2019, with a full release in places like the USA coming in September 2020. The UK and other European nations had to wait until February 2021 to finally get the phone.
We doubt it will be a similar process for Duo 2. Windows Latest has reported that the Surface Duo 2 is scheduled to launch in ‘the fall’ of this year, which points towards a September or October release. Of course nothing is confirmed yet, so it’s worth taking any leaks with a hefty pinch of salt.
Like other foldable phones, the Duo was rather pricey upon release and has only recently seen a price cut in the USA. When it was released, a Duo would set you back $1399 (128GB) or ¢1499 (256GB) – now you’ll have to pay $999.
It’s a little pricier in the UK, owing to the more recent release date. The 128GB model has an RRP of £1349 and the 256GB model is £1449.
What we’ve also seen with foldable devices is that the second model comes out a little cheaper. This was the case with the Z Fold 2 from Samsung, which had a lower RRP when compared to the first Fold. Hopefully we’ll see this ring true with the Duo 2.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 – features and specs
- The next Duo could have a focus on camera skills
- We would expect to see 5G added
One of the bigger misses with the first Duo is its camera. The pricey device only has a single 11-megapixel sensor and the response to it hasn’t been great. It would make sense for this to be one of the biggest upgrades with the sequel and the early rumours suggest this might be true.
A Microsoft job listing (via WindowsLatest) shows it is looking for a ‘Principal Android Camera System Architect and Engineer’, clearly showing camera is a focus. It does seem slightly late to be hiring for a product we expect to see released this year, so the fruits of this hiring might not be seen until the Surface Duo 3. The same site has also reported similar job listings looking for people who are familiar with 5G tech.
5G was an odd omission from the original Duo and it will surely be added for whatever Microsoft has planned with the Duo 2 as even most of the best mid-range phones now have the network tech.
The same leak also suggests that Microsoft is working on a new camera app for the first-gen Duo.
There haven’t been that many leaks regarding the Duo 2 yet and we’re still very much in the dark over things like the hinge design, display tech and internal specs. With the Duo launching with the older Snapdragon 855, it would be nice to have the Duo 2 launch with the latest Qualcomm SoC.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 – what we want to see
Aside from coming with the latest chipsets and supporting 5G networks, there are a couple of other obvious areas we’d like to see improved with the Duo 2.
We’d like to see slimmer bezels surrounding larger displays to give it more of a modern look and a bigger focus on imaging, possibly with a bit more variety in the lenses and focal lengths used.
It would also make a lot of sense for Microsoft to try and use more Xbox branding here, utilising the Xbox Game Pass game streaming (formerly known as xCloud) feature that lets you play various Xbox games on-the-go. The dual-screen design could be a winner for gaming (if the panels are bigger) as you could use one as a gamepad and the other for the title itself.