However, with my curiosity, I was able to see some potential issues with the Surface Duo. For one, typing can be a little uncomfortable in certain directions. If you click on the text field on the left screen in book mode, you’ll get a one-handed keyboard aligned with your left thumb. It sounds like a good idea, but I can’t imagine typing a lot with one finger and it seems too awkward to lean in with my right hand. Instead, you’ll have to switch Duo to landscape mode for a large keyboard that fits both thumbs. You can use any Surface Pen to jot down notes too, but that̵7;s something you’ll have to buy separately and carry around in your pocket as there’s no way to attach it to the Duo.
Microsoft is also going against the trend of multi-camera smartphones. The Surface Duo only has a single 11-megapixel shooter located above its right display. It looks like a typical front-facing lens – to use it as a rear camera, you simply need to fold the screen. While Microsoft says the Duo has portrait mode and can take multi-frame HDR photos, it’s all software-based. It will not be able to take advantage of the different lens lengths like other high-end smartphones. There was also no mention of any night mode, so you can forget about good low-light performance. While Microsoft might still surprise us with the camera, the specs don’t give me much hope.
The Surface Duo also looks a bit odd when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 2, their third attempt at making a versatile phone work. But Panay, who used to be a part of the company, thinks there’s a very clear reason why Microsoft chose to manufacture a device with two separate hinge-connected displays. “I believe in windows,” he said. “I believe in windows.” The company has found that users multitask differently when they can organize their work on two separate screens, instead of one. And of course, that also makes the Duo much cheaper than the original Galaxy Z Fold, which cost more than $ 2,000 (we don’t yet know the price of the Z Fold 2). The $ 1,380 Galaxy Z Flip is a bit more reasonable, but its smaller screen isn’t nearly as useful as the Surface Duo.
Surface Duo can be pre-ordered at Microsoft Store, AT&T, and Best Buy. It will also work on T-Mobile and Verizon networks, if you have an unlocked model.