Microsoft Surface Duo. Image credit: Tom Li

Published: December 16th, 2020

The Microsoft Surface Duo folding phone is coming to Canada next year, wrote the company in a blog post yesterday.

The Surface Duo is Microsoft’s bold re-entry into the smartphone market after writing off its Windows Phone division in 2015. With two displays, the Duo aims to provide better multitasking by allowing two apps to open side-by-side. The Microsoft Office suite also gets special treatment on the phone. For example, Microsoft Teams will be optimized for the extra screen space next year.

Instead of developing its own operating system, the Surface Duo uses a custom version of Google‘s Android OS. Microsoft said that it’s spent the past few months on enhancing the operating system’s security and stability.

Source: Microsoft

Crunching the numbers, the Duo’s two 5.6-inch displays unfold into 8.3 inches of total screen space. Each half packs a 2,700×1,800p resolution. Unlike most other folding phones that use a unified folding screen, the Surface Duo takes a conservative approach and joins two separate displays with a hinge.

A layer below the screen sits the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. It features a single 11MP shooter and no 5G support, topped off with a 3,577mAh battery.

Clearly, the Surface Duo isn’t meant to impress with its specs. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is a few years old now, its only camera isn’t stellar. It also misses out on 5G support, potentially as a means to keep down cost and save battery, which is surprisingly solid, according to several U.S. reviewers.

Nonetheless, the Surface Duo will be making a try outside of U.S. Microsoft did not say whether it will update any of its internal specs for the Canadian release.

Equally mysterious is its price. The Duo costs US$1,399 MSRP, which is about CA$1,782 at the current exchange rate. Due to logistics in the supply chain, the price isn’t always just a direct conversion. Expect more details in the near future.

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