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Home » Microsoft Surface Duo 2 review: Maybe third time’s a charm

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 review: Maybe third time’s a charm

Microsoft has tried almost everything to get a foothold in mobile, and its current strategy is focused on the Surface Duo 2. This dual-screen smartphone doesn’t change the basics of the original—it opens like a laptop, revealing two identical 5.8-inch. Screen Microsoft says two screens equal “infinite possibilities,” the limitations are clear: this device is for people who live their lives within the Microsoft ecosystem.

If your days are spent in Microsoft Teams and Outlook, while your nights are filled with Xbox Live, the Surface Duo 2 could be a delight. Get out of that bubble, and disappointments will pile up. And for $1,500? Hard sell.

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 has made some necessary improvements over the previous pair, but its appeal is still woefully narrow.


  • Storage: 128, 256, 512 GB
  • CPU: Snapdragon 888
  • Note: 8 GB
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Battery: 4,449mAh
  • Camera (Rear, Front): 12MP primary (OIS), 12MP 2x telephoto (OIS), 16MP ultra-wide
  • Display (size, resolution): (2) 5.8-inch 1344 x 1892 OLED, 90Hz
  • Camera (Front): 12MP
  • Price: $1,499
  • Dimensions: Unfolded: 184.5 x 145.2 x 5.5mm, Folded: 145.2 x 92.1 x 11mm, 284g

  • Perfect for side-by-side apps
  • Both displays look bright and sharp.
  • GamePass touchscreen optimization is perfect for gaming on the go.
  • The hinge is well designed and sturdy.
Cons of

  • The form factor is complicated, and the camera module makes matters worse.
  • Battery life is poor.
  • The Surface Pen barely does anything when paired with the Duo 2.
  • Camera performance is inconsistent.
  • $1,500 is a lot to spend on a phone no matter how good it is.
  • Small software

Design, hardware, what’s in the box.

Look at the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 from the front, and you might mistake it for the original Surface Duo. It still has a smooth glass exterior with no screen, with the Surface logo embedded in the middle. I would have preferred a matte glass body, but the new black color looks sleek, and it’s not as much as I expected. When you open the phone, both displays fold in, like the pages of a book. The hinge allows you to set the Duo 2 in several positions, which Microsoft calls “Postures.” You can set it on a table like a laptop, fold it back for single-screen mode, prop it up like a tent, and more. There are still sizable bezels above and below the display, but that’s not surprising given how thin the phone is — each half is just 5.5mm thick. This also means there is no headphone jack, a common lack of modern smartphones. At least Microsoft has narrowed down the gap between the screens themselves, giving a better spread experience across both displays.


I’m sorry to say that Microsoft’s redesign for the Duo 2 has ruined one of the few things I really liked…

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