On the sidelines of a complete range of Surface computers, Microsoft yesterday showed the second version of its Surface Duo 2. Discovery of the two-screen Android smartphone.
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Microsoft's Surface Duo, made official at the end of 2020 and launched in Spain at the start of 2021, did not leave us with lasting memories (read our Microsoft Surface Duo test). The smartphone, equipped with two Oled screens and an imposing central hinge, was intended to be designed for productivity, but was penalized by its complex handling, a not really coherent software part, but also by the absence of 5G and by a disappointing photo section. The American firm nevertheless believes in its Android smartphone, Windows Phone being dead and buried, and returns with a second version of the device.
Shown shortly before its release, scheduled for October 21, the device very much resembles its predecessor. We had detailed its technical sheet in this article, and noted the presence of two 5,3-inch screens each (2688 x 1892 px in total for an announced surface of 8,3 inches), a Snapdragon 888 chipset from Qualcomm ( 5G compatible), 8 GB of RAM and a 4449 mAh battery – much more than the 3577 mAh of the first Surface Duo.
When closed, the Surface Duo 2 looks just like the first Surface Duo, except that its USB-C port has been moved slightly. Its dimensions are also similar (145,2 x 92,1 x 11 mm against 145,2 x 93,3 x 9,9 mm), that is to say very imposing when the device is folded: difficult to use it with one hand, given its width. Remember in this respect that its hinge allows the smartphone to be opened up to 360°.
The Surface Duo 2's photo block is particularly protruding.
On closer inspection, there are other differences, to be found on the side of its hinge. It has indeed been refined, and the slabs are now curved at the level of the central part of this smartphone-tablet. It remains very difficult to say that the cut between the two slabs is invisible and that the whole constitutes a real 8,3-inch screen, but the demarcation is much more discreet than on the Surface Duo.
Curved screens to reduce the "cut" effect
Small find to remember: when the Duo 2 is folded, its curved slab is slightly visible from the outside. Microsoft has therefore chosen to display some information (time, notification, charge level when plugged in) on the edge of the device. For the rest, with the exception of course of a launch under Android 11, the ergonomics of the smartphone seem to have been preserved. If the double screen remains interesting to display, for example, a mailbox, a cut will remain visible if you try to display a video in full screen. Finally, let's add that the Surface Duo 2 is compatible with a stylus that we could not try, and that its triple dorsal photo module replaces the single sensor of the Surface Duo, suggesting more versatility in this area.
Those interested can try the Surface Duo 2 starting October 21. They will have to pay €1599 for its 128 GB version. Microsoft will charge its 256 GB model €1699, and will also offer a 512 GB version, which is a little more expensive.