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Get hands-on with Microsoft’s $ 1,400 “Surface Duo” dual-display smartphone

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As Apple prepares to unveil its new iPhone 12 lineup next month, Microsoft will offer two displays and launch the $ 1,400 Surface Duo, a foldable smartphone that’s completely different from what Apple offers. did.

For more videos, subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel. I checked out some foldable smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, so I decided to take a look at the Surface Duo as the foldable smartphone offers an interesting new technology. Eventually it may be visible to Apple.

Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which offers a single foldable display with display technology that covers the hinges, Microsoft has a foldable design with two independent screens connected by a visible hinge. I will. Microsoft’s Surface Duo isn’t durable and wrinkle problems seen on Samsung devices.

The Surface Duo is well built and much attention has been paid to the hinge design, which is not surprising in terms of price. Especially the Surface Duo and hinges feel high quality. This is a foldable smartphone that resembles a premium, futuristic device. Even with two 5.6-inch screens (8.1-inch total), the Surface Duo is surprisingly thin, but what stands out is the hinges.

Microsoft has done a solid job with the build quality of the Surface Duo, but the software doesn’t support it, so the device design is the best. Microsoft uses Android software designed by Google, and the lack of hardware and software integration hinders the user experience and feels unfinished.

Surface Duo is running the Microsoft skin version of Android 10. It offers Android 10 features and some add-ons designed by Microsoft for dual screens, but the operating system is not optimized for this two-screen form factor. Of course, Microsoft and Google can gradually improve the software with updates, but they are not ideal at the time of release.

Despite the poor software, Surface Duo offers some notable usage benefits when it comes to productivity. You can set specific apps to launch at the same time as an app group, so you can pair OneNote with Outlook, a web browser with YouTube, and more. This is great for multitasking, but some apps can also be opened in both screens for browsing your inbox on one screen while doing things like composing emails on one screen .. However, this feature is not optimized for all apps. This is a big drawback.

There are several Surface Duo usage modes. Book mode, as the name implies, is a mode in which both screens open like a book. Single screen mode allows you to place one screen behind the other, just like a traditional smartphone. Compose mode, on the other hand, switches the Surface Duo to a laptop-like clamshell orientation. There is also a tent mode with two sides shaped like a tent for viewing media content.

For most uses, single-screen mode, where one display is overlaid on another, is because most people don’t want to take pictures or chat with someone using a book-like form factor. It feels most comfortable, but it’s useful to have the option to expand another screen to complete the task.

When it comes to specs, the Surface Duo uses a year ago technology with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, which isn’t impressive if all other smartphone makers are focusing on camera quality, 11 megapixels. Limited to cameras. It’s also worth noting that there is also a thick bezel that is far from smartphone makers.

Overall, Surface Duo is revolutionizing the smartphone space and wants to know where Microsoft’s technology will go in the future, given the $ 1,400 price tag, software issues, and overall ease of use. , This is not the right device for most people, not the ones we recommend.

There are some rumors suggesting that Apple is looking for a foldable iPhone, and Apple has filed several patents for foldable smartphone technology, but whether this is a stalemate and also It’s still unclear if Apple’s foldable iPhone will be available in the future Prototyping stage. I don’t know when the foldable iPhone will be released if it’s actually released, but it’s not certain that it will be released in the near future.

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