After nearly five years of exiting the Phone market with their last Windows Phones, Microsoft has re-entered the market with a new phone, the Microsoft Surface Duo, which is branded as a “Productivity device with Telephony built-in!” by Microsoft.
With dual-screens and running the Android OS, the device is awesome and practical. I have been using Two Monitors in my desk for years, so I can clearly see the huge productivity and ease-of-use that comes with two screens over a single screen. Surface Duo has the potential to kill the iPad (& the Android tablet) along with the ultra-portable laptops.
With a two-generation old processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 that’s in my mid-range phone (Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite), a 11 MP camera, a 3500+ Battery the hardware specification for the Surface Duo are modest.
Will I buy the product?
I wish I can, but I won’t be able to, as it is only available in the USA (I don’t expect it to come to India in the near term due to India’s Atmanirbhar rules and Microsoft’s own approach to launching hardware products in the country), and at US$1400 + taxes (INR 1,05,000+) it is way above what I am willing to spend for a Version 1.0 product and in the middle of a pandemic and economic contraction. Even then, I am liking the bold bet and direction Microsoft is trying here.
Lastly, when (it is a question of timing) Apple releases a dual screen iPhone, the world will be celebrating this as a new category, forgetting all about Microsoft’s earlier work. Before that can happen, I hope Microsoft iterates quickly on Surface Duo (to rev up the spec, reduce the price) and establish a loyal userbase with the earlier adopters and business users. #SurfaceDuo