Surface Duo 2: All the rumored features for Microsoft’s new foldable one

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Microsoft’s Surface Duo launched in 2020, and rumors have it that the foldable follow-up is coming this week.

Scott Stein / CNET

Microsoft’s annual Surface event happens this Wednesday (So you can follow the event live), which is expected to launch a bevy of updated hardware products ranging from the Surface Pro 8 through the Surface book and a next-gen version of the Surface duo. If you remember, the launch of the Surface Duo was the mark of the software giant Return to the competing hardware category.

Last year’s Surface Duo was essentially a first-generation experiment – a phone that CNET couldn’t recommend buying unless you might have been a very curious person with deep pockets. The first generation device was a dual screen Android device (yes, android) connected with a hinge that allows it to open like a book. According to Microsoft, the two screens are designed for productivity. In reality, the experience was decidedly different, with CNET’s Scott Stein leaving behind a longing for his “comfy old phone”.

Continue reading: Microsoft Surface Duo compared to its foldable competitors: Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Razr specs compared

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So what’s in store for Microsoft’s successor in 2021, the rumored Surface Duo 2? Read on for all of the rumors we’ve heard so far and what we think we’re on to Microsoft Surface event later this week.


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Camera: Surface Duo 2 can get a camera bump

One of the biggest rumored upgrades to the Surface Duo 2 (unofficial name) is expected to hit the camera threshold. (Yes, rumors have it that this time around there will be a camera bump that changes the back of the phone.) A Windows Central report points to a rear camera bump with a trio of cameras: a 16-megapixel ultra Wide, 12-inch-megapixel telephoto and 12-megapixel standard as well as a time-of-flight sensor for depth.

Keep in mind that the original version had a single 11 megapixel camera inside that can become an external camera if the duo displays are flipped over. It’s extremely rare for a flagship phone to have only a rear camera, and apparently Microsoft has taken note of this, at least for now.

Processor: chipset at the flagship level in the Surface Duo 2. expected

Windows Central’s report also assumes that the new Duo 2 will include a Snapdragon 888 processor, which means it will get a top-of-the-line processor on par with those built into the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and Galaxy S21 Ultra this year are. The original duo owned a Snapdragon 855 that is a step below the Snapdragon 865 or the flagship chipset that powers some of the best Android phones of 2020.

Microsoft Surface Duo

Richard Peterson / CNET

Display: Larger screens, higher refresh rate

Based on the latest rumors creeping up the rumor mill, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a massive design overhaul to adorn the next duo. As I said earlier, the biggest upgrades will likely be to the camera module, but there could be a few display tweaks as well. According to this Windows Central report, Duo 2 will contain two 5.8-inch “high refresh rate” displays. Specific refresh rate numbers are not floating around as far as I’ve verified, but if that rumor works it should be higher than the 60Hz panel used on the original Duo.

Software: Android 11 maybe?

With the full release of Android 12, I hope the Duo 2 ships with Android 11, although there is still no information on whether this will come to fruition. While the first-generation duo received a number of security updates, they never received Android 11, the software developed by Google that ran on pretty much every other flagship phone released last year. Instead, Duo relied on Android 10, but even then the experience was flawed (to say the least). CNET’s Scott Stein, who had some hands-on time with the device, said: the software was plagued by “persistent lag” and that a problem with the orientation of the screen ruined the entire experience for him.


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Price: Microsoft is expected to pat

There’s no word on the price of the Surface Duo 2 either, but the original retailed for $ 1,400. Given that this iteration is rumored to ship with the latest specs and other features, Windows Central has reported that Microsoft will be tapping prices, citing unnamed sources. In the weeks before Microsoft’s event on September 22nd, the company had lowered the price of the original model. You could get it for it in early August as low as $ 400 from Woot, and even now, you can get it direct from Microsoft for half the original price. All of this is a tell-tale indicator that the Surface Duo 2 is making an appearance on Wednesday.

Check back later this week for all about Microsoft Surface, and in the meantime, here everything we expect at the Surface Event 2021including a possible overhaul of the Surface book and a new one Surface Pro 8. And here is Here’s how to watch the Microsoft Surface event live on September 22nd. Plus, why Microsoft doesn’t consider the Surface Duo a phone.

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