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Microsoft announces new version of its dual-screen Android phone

Microsoft announces new version of its dual-screen Android phone
Microsoft is hoping a bigger screen, battery, and more powerful processor will bring people to its high-priced smartphone

Microsoft has launched the second version of its Surface Duo 2 smartphone, a dual-screen folding device that runs Google’s Android operating system.

The software giant is touting new dual-screen experiences for its office apps, as well as gaming and streaming, on brighter and larger displays. The old Duo had a 60Hz 8.1-inch screen while fully opened, while the new one has increased that to a 90Hz and 8.3-inches.

Much like the Surface Laptop Studio, which Microsoft also launched at its event today, the Surface Duo 2 can be used in several modes due to its hinge: a ‘book’ mode for general use, a ‘compose’ landscape mode, and a ‘tent’ mode for viewing content.

The new device has also been updated with a triple lens camera on the back – a major omission from the first version – made up of an ultra-wide 16MP f/2.2 lens, a 12MP f/1.7 wide angle, and a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens.

Binne, the Surface Duo 2 has been updated with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 5G chip, a marked improvement over the Snapdragon 855 that was used in the previous version and criticised for being substandard compared to other Android phones.

Battery life is being improved as well, with the 3,577mAh limit from the original increased to 4449mAh on the new version. The RAM and ROM is also being improved, with 8GB of processing power and up to 512GB of storage, putting it closer to conventional Android devices but still notably less than the 12GB of RAM that might be found in a Samsung Galaxy S20.

This must also be marked against its price point – $1499.99 – which is $100 more than the original Duo.

A price increase is surprising compared to the other major foldable phone maker, Samsung, which has dropped the price of its Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip devices over time in order to try and push what it considers to be the next generation of mobile devices – although, the Galaxy Z Fold still starts at £1,599 in the UK.