The Surface Duo 2 could fix one of the original's biggest flaws. Last fall, Microsoft released its first phone in four years with the Surface Duo – a very different take on the foldable trend with a clamshell design that opened up to reveal two screens with a clear divide between them.
Judging by subsequent discounting, it didn’t set the world alight: the phone’s $1,400 price was quickly slashed, falling as low as $410 at one point. And as our Surface Duo review points out, part of the reason could well be the underwhelming specs. With 2019’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 powering things, it felt like the internals didn't live up to the innovative design.
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But it looks like Microsoft has listened to feedback with the Surface Duo 2. A new entry on Geekbench lists the Surface Duo 2 as packing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip, the same processor that features in the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Plus, there's an extra 2GB RAM versus last year, taking it to 8GB. The device is listed as using Android 11.
Although not the very latest chipset – that would be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus – these specs would certainly make the Surface Duo 2 more competitive than its predecessor. Other leaks suggest that this generation of Surface Duo will be a revision rather than a revolution, with a similar design spotted in leaks earlier this year, albeit with a triple camera this time around. The camera was another weak spot on the original, so it’s certainly encouraging to see Microsoft focusing on making improvements there for the Surface Duo 2.
Windows Central also believes that the handset will fix a few other issues we had with the last version: NFC will supposedly be introduced for contactless payments; the screens will offer a “higher refresh rate"' and we should see a larger battery. Plus, of course, the new chipset means the phone will also support 5G.
The million-dollar question is, however, how much will Microsoft will charge for the new handset. The original wasn’t what you would call competitively priced until Microsoft began to aggressively slash the price, and this time around the company faces Samsung’s new, refined foldables that have price cuts of their own. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is $200 cheaper than the previous generation (albeit still extremely expensive at $1,800), while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 now starts at $999.
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