After plenty of rumours and many months of teasing (primarily from Microsoft itself), the Surface Duo is finally here. Microsoft’s dual-screen Android foldable was officially released in the US in September 2020, before coming to the UK and other markets five months later.
The dust has barely settled on news of the Duo’s expanded release, but we’re already speculating about what its successor might bring. Here’s all you need to know about the next generation, which we assume will be called the Surface Duo 2.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 release date
The release date of the Surface Duo 2 is almost impossible to predict. The original went on sale on 10 September 2020 in the US, while it’s coming to the UK, France, Germany and Canada on 18 February 2021.
While the second-gen Duo has likely been in development for a while, we think it’s unlikely to be released until 2022 at the earliest. However, a Windows Latest article from December 2020 suggests it will launch before the end of this year – if that’s the case, expect it to be just a spec-bump.
Microsoft may choose to stagger the Duo 2’s release again, as has been the case with the original model.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 price
Our best indicator of price comes from how much the current Surface Duo cost at launch:
128GB storage – £1,349/$1,399.99 (approx £1,082)
256GB storage – $1,499.99 (likely £1,499)
The 128GB model has subsequently been discounted to $999 in the US, but that’s only come five months after its initial release. Expect the Duo 2 to start at a similar price, especially as foldable tech is still relatively expensive.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 rumours
Despite being many months before its expected release, we already have a couple of concrete rumours about the Surface Duo 2.
The same Windows Latest article as above suggests the camera will be a big focus on the second-gen device. That’s based on a Microsoft job listing for a ‘Principal Android Camera System Architect/Engineer – Surface Development’. Given that the Duo is the only Surface device currently running Android, all signs point to Microsoft investing heavily in the next generation’s camera tech.
A subsequentarticle from the same site reports on a patent that could lead to big improvements in the folding technology on the next Duo. Known as a ‘moveable display’, it could allow the screen to fold while putting very little internal strain on the display.
Author Mayank Parmar acknowledges that this tech is highly unlikely to arrive on a 2021 Surface Duo, but he does close the article by saying that the next-gen device could have a faster Snapdragon processor and NFC support.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 wish list
With rumours understandably relatively thin on the ground at the moment, we’ve put together a list of things we’d love to see on the Surface Duo 2. The Duo is decidedly a first-gen device, so there are plenty of potential areas for improvement:
The latest processor – Between the Duo’s announcement and release, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset was launched. This meant the Duo is running 2018’s Snapdragon 855, so we’d like to see Microsoft take steps to avoid a repeat scenario
5G support – Leading on from that, the 865 requires a separate 5G chip that Microsoft hadn’t accounted for in the Duo’s design. Having 5G support on its successor is a must
Slimmer bezels – The Duo is undoubtedly a feat of engineering, but the screens themselves are still sporting a design we saw five years ago. There would be plenty of space for Microsoft to include powerful camera/s and still up the screen-to-body ratio
Multiple camera lenses – Speaking of cameras, the Duo has a single 11Mp sensor, which can be used for rear shots and selfies depending on how you use the device. Adding another lens, be it an ultrawide or front-facing camera, would add a lot to the camera experience
NFC support – There were a few common smartphone features missing on the Duo, but the lack of NFC is arguably the hardest to forgive. Not having the ability to use Google Pay is hard to ignore, so it should be a priority on the next Duo
Bigger battery – Despite the Duo having one battery in each screen, the total capacity is still only 3577mAh. With a number of smartphones now having 5000mAh batteries, it could really do with an upgrade on the Duo 2
Reduce the price – While this might be difficult considering the upgrades here, it would be great to see Microsoft make the Duo more affordable. Currently, most people simply can’t justify spending US$1400 or more on such a device
We’ll update this article as soon as more information about the Surface Duo 2 emerges. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the original Surface Duo.
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