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Surface Duo 2: Folding phone confirmed during Microsoft event

Microsoft has confirmed the existence of the long-rumoured Surface Duo 2 folding phone.

After tons of rumours and leaks, Microsoft finally pulled back the curtain on the Surface Duo 2. While the original Surface Duo suffered from having dated specs at the time of its release, the Surface Duo 2 paints a much different story, with improved specs across the board.

This is a developing story, so check back for more information…

Release date

While we do know that the Surface Duo 2 is coming, Microsoft has yet to reveal exactly when the phone will be hitting store shelves.

Of course, it’d be unlikely that Microsoft would wait too long after the phone’s announcement to bring it to market, so an October release date would be a safe bet at this time.

Price

New reports from Naver are claiming that the Duo 2 will retail at $1,500 in America, a good $100 more expensive than the first Surface Duo which started at £1350/$1399.

There haven’t been any other reports that dispute this new price tag, though we don’t know what the pricing will be across the pond and in Europe. Foldable phones in general are pretty niche, and since the Samsung equivalents are so expensive, we wouldn’t be shocked if the retail price started around this new rumour.

Design and screen

The Microsoft Surface Duo will pack a total display size of 8.3-inches, making it larger than the inner screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and 0.2 inches larger than the original Surface Duo. Unlike most flagship phones however, the display will cap out with a 90Hz refresh rate as opposed to the current norm of 120Hz.

Much like the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Duo 2 has a smaller screen that can be used for viewing notifications when the phone is closed. This small glance bar is found on the outer section of the device’s hinge, giving you a means of checking the times and any ongoing notifications quickly, without having to unfold the phone and unnecessarily waste battery.

There’s also a hidden magnet on the phone’s exterior, giving users a place to leave their Surface Slim Pen when it’s not in use. The raised camera bump also turned out to be true from the rumours provided, meaning that it won’t be possible to have both screens sit flush, back to back against one another.

Specs and camera

One of the biggest criticisms levelled against the original Surface Duo was that, by the time it came to market, its specs were already out of date, despite how impressive the foldable form factor was. Microsoft seems to have taken this issue on board by loading the Surface Duo 2 with a sheet of premium-led specs.

For starters, the Surface Duo 2 will pack a Snapdragon 888 5G chipset under the hood, giving it the same processing prowess as other top-tier flagship phones on the market.

With that newer chipset comes the ability to connect to 5G frequencies, nabbing users faster internet speeds in the process (so long as 5G is offered in your area and by your network carrier).

The camera set-up has also been given a huge boost. Long-gone is the lonely 11MP sensor of the original Surface Duo, replaced with a fully-fledged triple-sensor array in the successor.

The Surface Duo 2 packs a main f/1.7 wide sensor, an f/2.2 ultra-wide and a f/2.4 telephoto lens for better depth perception in portrait mode. During its presentation, Microsoft showed the new and improved camera app in action, which allows users to see the viewfinder on one screen and the preview of the picture they’ve just taken on the other.

Features

Multitasking is still a huge focus of the Surface Duo 2, but this time around Microsoft showed off a much faster UI powered by the aforementioned Snapdragon 888. Microsoft Teams was shown off on the new phone, with live video feeds displayed on one screen while personal notes are shown on the other.

Game Pass was also presented on the Surface Duo 2, with the bottom screen offering up a control pad while the action takes place on the top screen. Microsoft also mentioned that some games on the Google Play Store would be optimised to make use of this form factor.

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