The long-awaited Surface Phone finally became a reality at Microsoft's October 2019 event, as the Surface Duo was unveiled for the first time.
The Duo is quite unlike any device the company has ever manufactured, with the device sporting two screens and the latest version of Android.
However, the unveiling came more than a year before an expected release date, to ensure developers could modify their apps to run on this new form factor.
When is the Surface Duo release date?
Sadly there’s a while to wait as the Surface Duo is due to be released ‘Holiday 2020’. This could well be delayed due to the coronavirus, which is having an impact on supply chains.
Microsoft said: "Although we see strong Windows demand in line with our expectations, the supply chain is returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated" adding that "Windows OEM and Surface are more negatively impacted than previously anticipated."
The firm's products are typically manufactured in China, which has been affected by the coronavirus since it started there.
However, the rumours since have suggested that Microsoft may actually bring the launch forward to Summer 2020.
How much will the Surface Duo cost?
With a release so far away, there’s no price for the Duo yet but you can bet this folding phone is going to be expensive.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is nearly £2,000 so we don’t doubt that Microsoft will also be asking a high price.
Microsoft Surface Duo specs
The first major rumour surrounding Surface Duo specs comes courtesy of Windows Central. Zac Bowden is suggesting the device will come with the following:
Want some Surface Duo specs? Here's what I know so far:— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) May 15, 2020
- Snapdragon 855
- 6GB RAM
- 64/256GB storage
- 11MP Camera
More specs and details: https://t.co/qtCa3F3xCd
The use of a chipset from 2019 may come as a surprise to some, but the 865 requires a separate 5G chip and was unveiled after the Duo made its debut.
It may also allow Microsoft to keep costs down, particularly considering foldable devices have been relatively expensive so far.
Other key specs include a 3460mAh battery and fingerprint sensor of some sort, although there's no support for expandable storage.
The Surface Duo will apparently ship with Android 10, but an update to Android 11 will be available soon after.
Below is the information we found out when the Surface Duo was unveiled in October 2019:
The Duo is essentially a smaller version of the Surface Neo. They’re both dual-screen folding devices, however the Duo is a smartphone running Android.
It has a pair of 5.6in 1800x1350 OLED displays separated by a 360-degree hinge, so this isn’t a single folding screen like the Galaxy Fold. On the back is Gorilla Glass and the design means you can bend it into various different forms like a convertible 2-in-1 laptop.
Microsoft has also made it compatible with the Surface Pen stylus, but little else has been confirmed about the Surface Duo. The video shown looks like USB-C is the chosen port.
There have been various sightings of the Surface Duo since its unveiling, including from Microsoft employees. Senior Director Frank X. Shaw very deliberately placed it on the table of his work from home setup, before Chief Product Officer showcased its photography capabilities:
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Sharing a special moment captured on my Surface Duo. While I am working from home, Costas is learning from home. We're sharing my office today, he's studying for his CAL mid-term. It's great for him to have tools like #Windows and #Surface to help him study in this time. #workfromhome #learnfromhome
The Surface Duo wasn't the only dual-screen device announced by Microsoft at its October event. Read all about the Surface Neo here.