Microsoft’s original Surface Duo was… problematic, to put it mildly, but the company appears bent on making amends in 2021. Windows Central sources claim a Surface Duo 2 (or whatever it may be called) will have a release date this fall, possibly in September or October.
The Surface Duo 2 might also represent a sorely-needed upgrade to performance. The tipsters said the dual-screen phone will tout the “latest flagship SoC” for 2021, suggesting it will jump from the aging Snapdragon 855 (already obsolete by the Duo’s 2020 launch) to a much faster Snapdragon 888. You could appropriately expect 5G, and the leak also hints at NFC support for tap-to-pay features.
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You’d also get a much-improved camera system. Instead of the lone 11MP camera from before, the Surface Duo 2 would include an external camera array (complete with bump) to take improved photos.
The basic Surface Duo design will reportedly carry over to the Duo 2 with a few tweaks. You’d see “slightly bigger” screens in the same aspect ratio, but with rounded corners and thinner bezels. It should look more like a modern phone instead of a holdover from 2019, in other words. The general shape and size would remain the same, though, so don’t expect this to be any more pocketable if the leak is accurate.
Some questions remain, however, including the price. The first Surface Duo cost $1,399 when new, making it a very difficult sell unless you were heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem and willing to put up with the phone’s many early glitches. The Surface Duo 2 could face similar challenges if it costs a similar amount, even if the specs are much more competitive. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is arguably a better buy than the Duo thanks to its more powerful internals, reliable software and cleverer foldable display, and it might still represent a wiser purchase if the Duo’s sequel remains expensive.