Surface Duo first look: Microsoft’s foldable Android phone

Surface Duo first look: Microsoft’s foldable Android phone

– Remember Windows Phone
from way back when? Well Microsoft is kind
of getting back into making smartphones. This is Surface Duo, and it runs Android. Not Windows or Windows Phone. That’s right. Microsoft is making a
Surface phone with Android. If that sounds surprising, it’s because it really is. But we’ll get back into the Android side in a minute. Duo is part of two new futuristic dual-screen devices that
Microsoft announced today. And they’re coming in Holiday 2020. Surface Duo has two 5.6 inch displays that fold out into an
8.3 inch device overall. And it’s just 4.8 millimeters thin. It folds like many two-in-one laptops thanks to a 360 degrees hinge. And it’s designed to
get more done on the go. It looks tiny for this type of device, and it felt kind of like a Galaxy Note in my pocket. Now, I wasn’t allowed to play around with the software on this device, but it looks and feels
like a tiny pocket tablet that’s also a phone. The difference between this and any other Android phone, except maybe the Galaxy Fold, is visually obvious. But Microsoft thinks this is part of a new category of devices that allow people to do a lot more with tablets and phones
than they do today. As part of this idea, Microsoft also announced a
Surface Neo device today. Which has two larger 9 inch displays. The Duo and the Neo share a very similar design, but they don’t share a
common operating system. Neo, the larger dual-screen device, runs Windows 10 X, and has all your familiar
desktop and tablet apps. The reason this isn’t
running Windows Phone is because Microsoft gave up on that operating system years ago, when it couldn’t convince developers to create apps for it’s devices. Now we sat down with Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, on the Vergecast this week, to talk about why Microsoft
chose Android this time for the Surface Duo. – [Panay] Well because, those are the apps you want. I don’t know how to answer it differently for you. Because there’s hundreds
of thousands of apps and you want them. Asati and I talked about it, it’s about meeting our
customers where they are. And I don’t think the, you know, the mobile application platform’s going anywhere any time soon, you need the apps. – So you’ll get the apps you’d expect from a phone inside
the dual-screen device, but how is this different from any other smartphone? I mean it obviously looks different. And the main idea is making use of these two displays in ways we’re only starting to see other Android phone makers explore. You could run a game on one side, and a game pad on the other, or multi-task by dragging
and dropping content between apps. Microsoft hasn’t thought
of everything you’d do with the Surface Duo just yet, but that’s why it’s announcing it now so developers can fill in the gaps. They’re really aiming to introduce a new form factor here, and a way for a device to
adjust itself on the go, no matter the task. We’ve seen foldable devices from Huawei and Samsung, but the Duo has two separate displays that are made of glass, rather than foldable plastic. Which given the issues
with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, that might be a good choice right now. Microsoft has been
working on this hardware for three years, and Panos Panay tells us that this device won’t change much by the time it debuts late next year. The real key question will be whether Android app developers create the apps and
experiences that really take advantage of this dual-screen device. And whether consumers
want this type of hardware in a phone form factor in the first place. That’s why Microsoft also has its largest Surface Neo device running Windows. And it really feels like the company wants to offer a Surface at every shape and size. Microsoft also seems to be implying that the operating system really doesn’t matter for
Surface devices anymore. And it’s willing to partner
with Google and others to offer what makes sense. So does that means that
Android is the future for Microsoft? – [Panay] (clears throat)
No no no no no no. You want to give customers what they want in the form factor that they’re using. We’ve learned this, you know, the right operating system
on the wrong product or the other way around, pick your words, but what’s the right operating system for the form factor? And in this case, in mobile devices, Android’s
the obvious choice. But anything above that, Windows is everything. Superior for me. – So, will the Surface
Duo and the Surface Neo combine in the future? Will there be a smartphone
that turns into a tablet, that then turns into a laptop, then you dock and turns into a real PC? We’re years away from anything even getting close to that. But it opens up the questions about where this dual-screen and foldable hardware is going exactly. And they’re really hard
questions to answer right now. Microsoft will now need to convince app developers and consumers that these dual-screen devices are truly the new device category that we’ve
all been waiting for. Wherever things end up, it looks like Microsoft want to be ready at every point with Surface. You want a phone that’s a little bit more than a phone that
has an extra display? Surface Duo. You want a tablet that
transforms into a laptop? Surface Neo or Surface Pro. Microsoft is covering
every hardware base here, and it’s leaving it up to you to decide what device you actually need. – [Panay] You know, I think like anything, look at the product you think is most interesting to you and where you think you can be more creative, that’s what I would push. And I think this products gonna be there next year. Not in a hurry, you know, hang out. Take photos or do whatever it is you do on your phone today
for a little bit longer and then, see if we can convince you that you can be more
creative on this product. – It’s been a crazy day of Surface devices and there’s a bunch of hands-on videos you should check out
on our YouTube channel. Be sure to also definitely
check out the Vergecast, ’cause it has the full
interview with Panos Panay, and you don’t wanna miss it.

Antonio Breitenberg

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100 thoughts on “Surface Duo first look: Microsoft’s foldable Android phone

  1. Bryn McKair says:

    I can see myself using that phone because I’m always typing my document on the go using my smartphone horizontally.

  2. Johannes Götzen says:

    I need a Windows Emulator in the phone and no laptop/tablet more. Just a docking station

  3. Johannes Götzen says:

    Is there a pen for the phone or tablet?

  4. SengirShowsU says:

    With Android? No thanks..i was really hoping to go back to Windows phone. It was great. Sorry Microsoft. Hardware difference is less interesting to me.

  5. Funny Cloud says:

    yes! finally! I want them both!

  6. mario says:

    It'll be good for reading books but I can't see any other advantages…

  7. Tony Falcone says:

    Hope they make a faster way to answer calls.

    Pull phone out of my pocket, open device, swipe up to answer.
    Nice to be able to see who is calling and talk from the outside of the device.

    I probably will buy either way.

  8. Chris Tragedia says:

    been using my asus chromebook as a phone for yrs thanx to android and wifi call apps.. put a phone in the neo.. i will buy it.

  9. Bryan de Sá says:

    Naaah, it’s nice, but I think it should have its own os

  10. genium me says:

    Those bezels thou…

  11. Premolatino says:

    Not being sarcastic, can someone explain two 5.6-inch displays folding out into a 8.3-inch display? Pretty sure two times 5.6 doesn't equal 8.3.

  12. Ejaay EJ says:

    Microsoft with a new Form factor?? ever heard of LG V50 buddy

  13. arete commerce says:

    I like the idea of a fold-able phone, I want one, but I don't think Microsoft are capable of implementing it. I've used too many half baked Microsoft products.

  14. Adnan Jafferjee says:

    When the most interesting thing in this video is Panos' AP 😂

  15. Red Maple says:

    dual boot?

  16. kitsand says:

    Wish the Duo would have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

  17. gege p says:

    Nintendo nds did it first decade ago

  18. Martin Kammerhofer says:

    I hope they stick with android!

  19. Aiden Romas says:


  20. i -ritical says:

    How would you see notifications.? Would be nice if that can corporate it into the front windows logo

  21. 포토홀로 says:

    if the windows logo on the outside works as a notification display, that would be awesome 👍

  22. Herma Lent says:

    Why not have more options for the Surface Duo, where everyone can make their own choice regarding operating system. As a choice can make an operating system, one wants Android, and the other wants Windows 10. They have already done the development with the Surface Neo that runs on Windows 10 X.

  23. Itech Iwizard says:

    After seeing the Samsung fold, this looks dated.

  24. ZombieBunny says:

    Nintendo made it again, the new New Nintendo 3DS is awesome.

  25. selim bykkl says:

    Cameras ?

  26. insaneeast says:

    I hope Microsoft will have duel operating system android for hard core android users and Windows for window fans Because loosing live tiles of 950 xl is heart breaking

  27. Nicholas Wood says:

    Gonna fail. no front facing screen of any type. Flips had one just for a single line of text of number or user. People will get annoyed of having to open the phone to see it's just a robo call.

  28. Pepe Pineda says:

    That's it. USA lost the edge on technology. Asia is superior in every way.

  29. Absolutelybrilliant says:

    For duo.. if that is supposed to be a phone then U have to open every.time to see what is going on even quick time check? Pass.

  30. shamuel gamit says:

    Samsung fold is better

  31. Harry Jerry says:

    Good god, I can already smell the Nintendo DS nostalgia coming back

  32. SealMeat IsBestMeat says:

    Ahh just wish the bezel in-between was a little smaller.

  33. Anthony McKenzie says:

    One thing I've noticed. I don't see a camera, has it got one?

  34. mohd sani johari says:

    Very nice. But gonna wait until it bezel.. esp on top & bottom to be lesser

  35. Derrick Smith says:

    I see the incoming memes soon….

    2 x Surface Uno taped together

  36. BadBoySwag420 says:

    where is the headphone jack?

  37. Chaz Mat says:


  38. `Randy Cuffaro says:

    DUO !!! COST ?

  39. Irene Soloviova says:

    NFC + dual SIM and you'll take my money!

  40. Bhalesh Patel says:

    I want Nokia Lumia with Android

  41. MCRN ORB1T4L says:

    "Microsoft is KIND OF getting back into making smartphones" sooo kind of because they… don't use Windows ?

  42. Chris Technologies YT says:

    you mean dual screen phone and not foldable phone

  43. Ali ur Rehman says:

    hats off to microsoft for introducing this device. i wish it was packed with good camera features

  44. Arpan Dhatt says:

    Hmmm….Google search engine is the default?

  45. Xzvius says:

    Make those bezels smaller and it's pretty much a go. Cameras are overrated, just get a couple great ones, but dont do like 6, ridiculous.

  46. MrMoustacheNinja says:

    This phone looks incredible major DS vibes hahahh

  47. Thomas says:

    Whats the song at 2:20?

  48. Filipe Lopes says:

    Ta pooooooooooorrra!!!

  49. simon hanlon says:

    a few years ago at work I was talking to guy and pulled my 930 windows phone out of my pocket, he looked amazed and said "Wow you have a windows phone" in a holding a laugh back tone, then I pulled my 950xl out of my other pocket and he fell about laughing then said "no seriously my mum loves her windows phone " :-)) Finally a windows phone that won't get you laughed at 🙂

  50. Clough Reviews says:

    "It's Fin", "free inch", "fanks to" FFS lad, don't destroy the English language by replacing letters with ones that mean you don't have to try hard to enunciate…

  51. Dyounus 531 says:

    This is not a foldable phone it's a dual screen phone.

  52. gary proffitt says:

    Its nasty, its GIANT for the phone and its screen is plastic ?~ Do we NOT get the picture ? ( sony ,samsung etc etc )

  53. AtSixes says:

    This phone proves that the problem with windows phones wasn't the OS but the hardware team. Two seperate screens? Really? Once again competition is one step ahead. I hope when they stop production once again they won't blame android this time.

  54. Syed Abbas says:

    I will wait for their – windows version they will release next with windows version.

  55. bandeandotj says:

    yearss ago????? hahahahahahah just happenned 2 years ago

  56. Triuneicthus says:

    If it actually folded in half seamlessly to make a tablet instead of there being a small gap between both screens, it would have been perfect.

  57. sharjeel hassan says:

    Look ugliest

  58. [Mats] says:

    Already seeing JerryRigEverything breaking this one apart haha

  59. Mobile Kida says:

    What is name of device at 1:55

  60. Michael Vessio says:

    awesome form factor, just put a answer phone call option on the outside so dont have to fold it open (answer call option mustn't be another screen). Then the form factor will be perfected !

  61. Ashley Babyy says:

    This phone looks so cool! But it worries me that there's no back camera

  62. Tiesemans says:

    You need the apps?
    You want the apps?
    Give me a break … I use a couple of them daily on a functional basis and I need a OS to be able to use them ..
    Thats it.

  63. GLR says:


  64. Elias Dargham says:

    The Way the should have gone with the Neo is run the android kernel in a container and the keep the windows 10 kernel as the main one. That way you get access to win32 apps and apks and the device would be the most flexible one in the market.

  65. Ted Joseph says:

    PS5, new Xbox, New phones, Apple AR, Duo,,, .. 2020 is going to be AMAZING!

  66. Witness ProPro says:

    Windows mobile operating systems were definitely the best for productivity which is how it should have always been marketed. I would love a phone like the F(x)Tec Pro1 with a sliding landscape keyboard running a Windows mobile OS. With seamless Exchange integration, MS Office apps and a logical file system which can be navigated with Windows file explorer. With the aforementioned hardware, a device like this could be a real mobile computing solution. Not to mention the potential use for school children. Parents wouldn't then have to fork out for a laptop and a mobile phone. They could even do their homework on it.

  67. jw van liere says:

    zte do this too with a new ineration of the axon m

  68. Tappedline says:

    give me WINDOWS 10 on my phone I am happy….

  69. Rella Madsen says:

    Give me Plumbago on the Dou and this will replace so many little green books across the DOD.

  70. warak anda says:

    Hopefully this device will come with a pen..

  71. Jonathan Schmidt says:

    No. They are missing one: Professional grade desktop. And no, neither the Studio nor the Surface Book 2 + Dock count. Like … not at all (look at the internals…) That is still missing.

  72. Denstont George Junior Jackson says:

    Both should run windows software, Android OS is for semi pros and pro business people whilst windows os is for business professionals.

  73. jimmydet115 says:

    This used to be what apple did. Well done

  74. Stephen Little says:

    The phone size is so Cool. I have had a Note 3 for a long time now. Why it's the size of screen I want. 4k video. And a Sd slot my basic 32gb but I have put in up to 256gb yes. I love my videos. And taking pictures.

  75. yoshimitsu411 says:

    What is "holiday 2020"?

  76. Atul Gajbhiye says:

    Those old days, imate jasjar, jasjam.

  77. joesaiditstrue says:

    missed the boat on putting a display on the outside imo

  78. Ben Higgins says:

    WTF no camera??

  79. GucciBalboa says:

    Looks kinda pointless, should of had a screen on the outside I don't wanna open it every time I check the time

  80. Khalid Shikalgar says:

    Where is the rare camera 😂😂😂😂😂

  81. GrimmyReaper says:

    Until foldable screens can fix the problems, this is a far better idea and Microsoft already said it would not cost as much as the fold.

  82. Tom Alba says:

    Nice. I'll switch from note

  83. deanosslewis says:

    I had all the apps I needed. Gimme windows mobile again.

  84. Supreme Being says:


  85. Seba92000 says:

    (this is while things get embarrassing and you say SCREW IT)

  86. Mailo Kirmes says:

    The bezels are too thick. I could imagine using that but for many others i think they will be too thick

  87. Jobzzz z says:

    Where is the main camera

  88. phillip hansen says:

    I finally found my dual screen manga reader

  89. KeaFunny says:

    Microsoft killed their on Windows phones by not letting developers make apps for it

  90. Paycheck Suicide says:

    If you wanted to get Google out of your business don't count on its competitors.

  91. Naomi Disaster says:

    It’s basically a Nintendo DS phone

  92. Rabeef Mohammed says:

    where is the Rear camera and flash light ?

  93. ThunderHound says:

    I can do dual duolingo on the duo, while duo the bird watches me on my duo… I need help

  94. Harlock2day says:

    No camera ?

  95. EroJiji says:

    I hope they add in cameras

  96. Thomas Schachtel says:

    Not even out and it looks outdated.

  97. Stone mage says:

    To tell the truth its not really about 'meeting customers where they are" its about admitting that nobody wants Microsoft apps and Microsoft products because the millennials are sold on google products. Microsoft had to bite the bullet and give up their autonomy and bow to google. They know they couldn't sell it if people didn't have access to the google play store. Overall this is the first step in Microsoft eventually selling out to google. I have told people several years ago it won't be long before we see the day that Microsoft is bought out by google. Even though this is a 'new device' that Microsoft is putting out there they simply just cant EVER get the look right. It still doesn't look modern as it should and looks kind of behind the times with that grayish cover. Microsoft truly is on its way out of here. The only thing keeping them alive is the operating system windows. Believe it, Google is going to buy them out.

  98. apolytikion says:

    Duo in matte black 🤤

  99. Naturally Selected says:

    Is there a normal Microsoft phone coming out too?

  100. Hypercube says:

    It'll be great using TeamViewer with the keyboard on a separate screen. Also, streaming games to it in a-frame config with a controller will be great too.

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