It’s been practically a 12 months since Microsoft unveiled its dual-screen Floor Duo, and the cell gadget will lastly launch within the US on September 10. The information got here earlier at the moment through an official weblog publish that was apparently published by mistake, however Microsoft’s Panos Panay has now shared more information about the Surface Duo forward of its US debut subsequent month.
To begin with, the Floor Duo will likely be priced at $1,399 for the bottom mannequin with 128GB of storage, and a 256GB model will even be accessible for $1,499. The twin-screen gadget will likely be accessible for pre-order beginning at the moment on the US Microsoft Store, Greatest Purchase, and AT&T, although pre-order hyperlinks should not accessible but. Talking with Windows Central, Microsoft mentioned that “Initially, Surface Duo will be available in the US. We’ll share more information about market expansion at a later date.”
It’s a bit unlucky that Floor Duo will likely be unique to the US at launch, however with a $1,399 launch value, Microsoft might be nicely conscious that this isn’t a tool for the plenty. In some ways, Microsoft is staying true to the unique objective of the Floor line, which is to create new kind elements to empower us to attain extra. That doesn’t imply that Floor gadgets include the newest and biggest specs, and Floor Duo is not any exception.
Specs and design
Microsoft isn’t the primary firm to give you a foldable cell gadget, however not like earlier efforts from Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei, the Floor Duo makes use of two screens linked by a 360° hinge as a substitute of a single foldable display screen. The Duo’s two screens are 5.6-inch OLED panels with an 1800 x 1350 decision and a 4:Three side ratio. Each screens are protected with Gorilla glass coating, and the 2 of them can kind an even bigger 8.1-inch display screen (2700 x 1800) with a 3:2 side ratio. The gadget weighs 250 grams is 9.9mm thick when closed.
On the digital camera entrance, there’s a single 11-megapixel f/2.Zero sensor above the appropriate display screen, which is able to assist numerous options together with auto modes for low mild, HDR multi-frame captures, and a “super zoom” as much as 7x. This sensor will even assist 4K and 1080p video recording at 30fps and 60fps with digital picture stabilization. Microsoft says that the Duo’s Digital camera can also be optimized with AI, although we’ll have to attend a bit to see the way it performs in the actual world.
The remainder of the specs of the Floor Duo should not precisely thrilling: The gadget is powered by final 12 months’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB of RAM, and a 3577mAh battery supporting as much as 15.5 hours of native video playback, as much as 10 days of standby time, and as much as 27 hours of speak time. Once more, we’ll need to see how the gadget performs in the actual world, however the alternative of dual-OLED screens was positively a good selection to protect battery life.
Our colleagues over at CNET printed some photos of the Floor Duo’s internals, exhibiting that the gadgets include two completely different batteries that may drain and cost collectively.
On the connectivity entrance, the Floor Duo will assist WiFi-5 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and LTE on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Cell. 5G networks gained’t be supported, although that’s not most likely a giant deal because the Duo’s LTE antennas will assist as much as 1.2Gb/s obtain speeds and as much as 150Mb/s add speeds. Floor Duo will even function a nano-SIM tray coupled with an eSIM, and it’ll work on all of the aforementioned networks. There’s only one exception for Floor Duo fashions bought by AT&T, which gained’t have an e-SOM and will likely be carrier-locked.
Floor Duo will use a USB-C port for charging, and it’ll assist quick charging with the included 18W charger. Wi-fi charging isn’t supported, neither is NFC. The gadget additionally gained’t assist exterior storage, and Microsoft solely included a mono speaker as a substitute of the stereo audio system accessible on most flagship smartphones as of late. These are positively unusual omissions for a premium gadget, although Microsoft might tackle these shortcomings in a 2nd-gen Floor Duo. The largest shortcoming might be the shortage of an exterior digital camera, which might make it a lot simpler to take images and movies with out having to manually regulate the display screen the place the one front-facing digital camera is positioned.
No extra app hole due to Android
The dearth of native apps is likely one of the important explanation why Home windows Telephone by no means managed to grow to be the third cell ecosystem that may compete with iOS and Android. Nicely, due to Android, the Floor Duo gained’t have an app drawback and it’ll assist all apps from the Google Play Retailer at launch. The twin-screen gadget will ship with Android 10, although Microsoft is already engaged on Android 11 assist.
Floor Duo house owners will be capable to use the 2 screens to run two apps facet by facet, however app builders will even be capable to optimize their apps to make them span throughout two screens with an optimized structure. Microsoft has already executed this work for its inbox apps similar to Microsoft Groups, which is able to be capable to show video calls on one display screen and chat on the opposite.
Amazon Kindle is one other app that will likely be optimized for the Floor Duo at launch: In full-screen mode, guide pages will seem on the 2 screens similar to an actual guide, and readers will be capable to use swipe gestures to show pages. It stays to be seen if Microsoft can persuade the largest app builders to optimize their Android apps for the Floor Duo, however having two screens on a single gadget ought to permit them to discover new productiveness eventualities. It’s value noting that Floor Duo will even assist Floor Pen enter, although the Pen will should be bought individually.
Even when most apps gained’t be instantly optimized for Floor Duo, the gadget will nonetheless be capable to use AI to make use of the second display screen to open related apps: For example, when you may have an e-mail app open on the left display screen and faucet a hyperlink in an e-mail, the hyperlink will open in a browser window on the second display screen. The 2 screens will even make it simple to maneuver photographs, textual content, and recordsdata between two apps opened facet by facet, similar to you’ll on a PC linked to 2 displays.
The Floor Duo will come preloaded with numerous Microsoft apps together with the Workplace apps, Outlook, Microsoft Groups, OneDrive, OneNote, Microsoft To Do, Microsoft SwiftKey, and Microsoft Edge. All Google apps required by Google for Android gadgets utilizing the Google Play Retailer will even be pre-loaded, and the record contains Google Chrome, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google’s Telephone and Messages, and extra.
Microsoft has constructed a custom-made model of its Microsoft Launcher for the Floor Duo, which is optimized for dual-screen gadgets. It will likely be nonetheless attainable to put in different launchers on the Duo, however they could not work correctly till builders to further work to assist dual-screen gadgets. The Floor Duo will even assist Microsoft’s Your Telephone app, and Windows Central is reporting that every one the exclusive “Link to Windows” features accessible on premium Samsung Galaxy gadgets will make their technique to the Floor Duo. That features the flexibility to run a number of Android apps put in on the Duo on a Home windows 10 PC.
“With Surface Duo, we want to help shape the dual-screen category by providing consistency in the way customers experience it and developers design apps. So as we unlock new experiences with Duo, we are working closely with Google to make additions to the Android operating system, paving the way for more apps to take advantage of the full productivity power of two screens,” mentioned Chief Product Officer Panos Panay at the moment.
The Floor Duo is Microsoft’s first Android gadget, and the corporate actually deserves credit score for pushing boundaries and doing a little additional work to optimize Android for this new kind issue. The Floor Duo’s specs might not set the world on hearth, however that is already a stable basis for what might be the way forward for smartphones and cell gadgets. It’s unlucky that the Floor Duo will likely be US-only at launch, however keep tuned to OnMSFT as we hope to get our arms on one as quickly as attainable.