The long-awaited Surface Duo is a dual-screen device that will be equipped with a pair of 5.6-inch AMOLED screens with a resolution of 1350 x 1800. When fully open, users will have an 8.3-inch screen to work with, though be one with a hinge in the middle. Microsoft and Google has been working on optimizing Android for the device, as have third-party app developers. The duo is expected to receive Android 11 a few months after its launch.
Surface Duo will include time-saving multitasking
According to Windows Latest, one of the two settings supposedly made in Android for the phone will improve the Microsoft Launcher experience in landscape mode. This will improve how well the launcher works horizontally and reportedly take advantage of the extra screen size the Duo provides. The second change is a new feature called “Application Pools” that will allow users to launch two applications on the dual screen with just one touch. A Surface Duo user can preselect a couple of apps that they often use together. This will be a good time saver for multitasking Duo owners.
Laptop mode on Surface Duo might look like this
Originally expected to launch during the 2020 Christmas shopping season, Microsoft is reportedly working hard to get the Surface Duo unveiled before Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 is announced on August 5. Specifications can be troublesome for those who always want the best and latest components in their new phone. For example, the Duo is expected to run on the Snapdragon 855 mobile platform. The 7nm chip was widely used in the most iconic Android phones last year. While many may not consider it a hardship, the Surface Duo is considered a productivity device and could come at a relatively high price for a phone with an older generation chipset. The Duo is rumored to be equipped with 6GB of memory with either 64GB or 256GB of storage. A single 11MP camera could sit on the right screen and handle normal photos, videos, and selfies.
The Duo could end up disappointing those who expect a device with a long-lasting battery. While there was a time when it was rumored that the 3460 mAh battery capacity could exceed the day, you should remember that this battery supports the power needs of two displays. But the refresh rate doesn’t seem to be faster than the standard 60Hz (meaning the screen refreshes 60 times per second) and there is no 5G connectivity to power. We’ll have to see if the battery holds up once the phone is released.
If the above patent applications prove to be predictive, the Duo’s hinge will be able to determine the position of the displays relative to each other and will change the UI appropriately. For example, with the phone in “store mode” (like an inverted V), the hinge would know that the displays are in that position and would change the user interface to support an alarm clock for a nightstand. In “portable mode”, the device is kept horizontal with the two screens at a 90 degree angle like a laptop. The lower screen would show a virtual QWERTY keyboard.
Microsoft decided to use Android for its first phone in years instead of going back to Windows Phone. Although the latter had its admirers and was very fluid, the so-called “application gap” prevented the operating system from entering Android and iOS market shares. This was somehow a vicious circle; developers would not create versions of Windows Phone applications because no one was buying the phones. And no one was buying the phones because the apps they use were not available for the platform. Like BlackBerry before, Microsoft realized that all of the app gap-related headaches disappeared when they abandoned their own operating systems and replaced them with Android.