Are you as curious as I about the Microsoft surface duo 2 review, then get in line as you are about to get some useful information. Folding phones may be the future as many have predicted but right now, they are still at their starting point to the future.
And in this weird time period where companies are still trying to figure out the best way for a folding phone to work, there are two camps: Samsung and others that fold a big screen down to a smaller, pocketable size, and Microsoft, which joins two screens with a hinge to create a digital book-like device.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Review
Microsoft’s first attempt at this, 2020’s Surface Duo, was not very good. It had a head-turning design and plenty of cool factors, but the original Duo was, to put it bluntly, a hot mess. It lacked modern smartphone things like a proper camera, 5G, wireless charging, NFC, and an up-to-date processor.
Even worse, the software was buggy and frustrating to use, with frequent crashes, poor touch response, and limited compatibility in third-party apps for its unique dual-screen features.
Microsoft appears to have righted many of the original’s wrongs. It has an up-to-date processor, refined design, bigger battery, 5G support, NFC support, newer software, and an actual, honest-to-goodness proper camera.
One good Fact about the Duo 2
The good thing about the Duo 2 is that it still has the original’s wow factor. This is just a flat-out cool-looking device and is almost sure to turn heads when used in public. The general design remains the same: it’s effectively two, full-size, super-thin smartphones joined by a 360-degree hinge.
According to the verge, the two halves are slightly thicker than last year’s model, but they are still remarkably thin, and their added thickness makes the whole thing feel more substantial.
It also offers room for a larger battery, which doesn’t have trouble reliably lasting me a day. Also, this year you can get it in white or black. My review unit is black, but I’m partial to the white model, which hides the fingerprints that collect on the glass much better.
The Screen Design
The Duo 2’s unique two-screen design makes it a lot wider than normal smartphones. It’s harder to fit into a pocket, and it’s too wide to comfortably reach across the screen with your thumb.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 has an additional screen on the outside of the phone, and while that screen may be a little small for comfort, it’s a much easier device to use in one hand for quick tasks and fits in my pants pockets easier when it’s closed.
According to engadget, the camera was one of the most frustrating parts of the original Duo, and I was hopeful that the second generation would be vastly improved. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
To be clear, the hardware is better. You get a triple camera system with a 12-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel wide option with a 110-degree field of view. The selfie camera also got an upgrade, going from 11-megapixels to 12.
Photos taken by the Duo 2 are better. In general, pictures were rich and bright, with sharp details, though the camera struggled in low light.
There’s a weird cast in some of the photos where the camera seemed to white balance the same scene differently in back-to-back shots, but that’s a minor issue that other phones face too.
More disappointing is the front camera, which delivered noisy, pale shots of my friends and I, and has a tendency to overexpose everything.
Using the Duo 2 In One Hand Is Far From an Easy Experience
The Duo 2 is just really hard to use quickly or with one hand that’s the main takeaway here. It’s not the kind of phone you can whip out of your pocket to pay for something or snap a pic; everything is much more belabored.
Using the NFC chip to buy a snack with Google Pay requires opening the phone, unlocking it, folding the left screen back, and then tapping the phone on the reader. It’s not exactly fluid, but hey, last year’s model didn’t even have an NFC chip, so baby steps it is.
The Duo 2 Is Far From the One Device to Rule Them All
If you do want a futuristic device that straddles the line between phone and tablet and has pen input, you’ll be better off with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, which has a better multimedia experience; can be used easier in one hand; and far fewer bugs. Or maybe you just wait, after all, this segment is still very much in its infancy.
Everything about the Surface Duo 2 is a tall ask. You could accomplish much of the same with an iPad Mini alongside your phone for a third of the price.
If the first Surface Duo felt like it was 50 percent complete, the Duo 2 is perhaps maybe 75 percent of the way there. I can see the potential. But it does not live up to it, unfortunately.