Microsoft‘s Surface Duo foldable phone will come to Canada on Feb. 18 starting at CA$1,869.

The Surface Duo represents a new stride for the software giant in terms of market and design. As a revitalized focus in the mobile phone segment after Windows Phone, the Surface Duo wants to capture the hearts of consumer and enterprise users.

Microsoft Surface Duo. Image credit: Tom Li

Its main feature is the two 5.6-inch OLED displays that fold like a book. Each can open an app in fullscreen for better multitasking. The two halves connect via a 360-degree hinge so they can fold back when taking a phone call. They can also pitch up like a tent, handy for when watching videos.

For a flagship device, the Surface Duo’s hardware doesn’t match its prestige. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 system-on-chip (SoC) feels archaic compared to modern flagships, and a single camera questions its competence as a social tool.

While it’s still a capable chip, the Snapdragon 855 is almost two years old and falls short by modern flagship phone standards, especially for one that asks for nearly $2,000. It will be interesting to see if it can stand up to the test of time.

image source: Microsoft

A single 11MP camera doubles as both the main shooter and the selfie camera. Microsoft said it’s capable of optimizing its image quality based on posture. The camera is optically stabilized and can record in 4K. Although lacking flexibility on paper, there are examples of a single camera producing superb results, such as Google’s Pixel 3XL.

Other hardware includes 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, a 3,577mAh battery, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. The phone runs a custom version of the Android 10 operating system.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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