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Microsoft Surface Duo shocker! Dual-screen Android phone to arrive early?

As tech firms around the world warn of potential coronavirus-induced production delays, Microsoft is reportedly bucking the trend by aiming to bring the Surface Duo to market early.

A new report from Windows Central claims the two-screened Android phone is pretty much ready to go, despite the firm advertising a ‘holiday 2020’ release window. The report cites multiple sources saying the folding device could launch “much earlier than originally announced,” meaning early adopters could be pocketing the Duo this summer.

The sources say the hardware is practically done, having been in development for quite some time. Android 10 has also been available for ages and all that’s left is to finalise “top-level OS customisations and in-box app experiences specific to Surface Duo.”

That could be complete as soon as April, according to the reporter’s sources. A summer release, which might be staggered according to the sources, would give Microsoft the chance to get the Surface Duo out there before Apple, Google and Samsung launch their latest handsets.

That would afford it the opportunity to impress those who might usually buy an iPhone or a Galaxy Note, for example.

Related: All the best foldable from CES 2020

We’re already getting a fair idea of what the book-like device will offer when Microsoft does pull the trigger. Earlier this week we saw the potential to  ‘peek’ at notifications without fully unfurling the device.

A leaked video shows a purported animation of the UI feature, which would show home screen alerts on the right hand display, just by opening the device slightly. The notifications appear condensed on the near-edge of the display, enabling users to quickly dismiss them with a quick swipe if they don’t wish to fully engage with them.

Alongside the Surface Duo Android smartphone, Microsoft is also plotting the Surface Neo, a larger-screened version of the dual screen format, this time running the forthcoming Windows 10 X operating system.

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