When the Surface Duo was first announced, it was accompanied by a release date of Holiday 2020. We’d already heard that Microsoft had plans to push it out earlier than expected in a bid to beat the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 to the punch, but now we have clear evidence that a launch is imminent.
Microsoft’s Your Phone app now has assets for the Surface Duo, as spotted by Windows Central’s Zac Bowden.
Looks like Your Phone already has the assets to differentiate between normal Android phones and Surface Duo pic.twitter.com/BBnKenOF1EJune 20, 2020
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In the replies to the tweet, Bowden adds that the cut out on the right is a fingerprint reader, and restates that he’s been told the device will arrive in the next couple of months — so either July or August.
And here’s a closer look at the assets, via ALumia:
TwoScreenDeviceFrameSingle pic.twitter.com/yYDDKl34rIJune 20, 2020
Your Phone, if you’re not familiar, is a Windows 10 app that allows Android and iOS handsets to play nicely with PCs. From the app, owners can get much of their phone’s functionality replicated on PC, from text messages to the ability to make and receive calls. And while you may personally not use it, it would look pretty bad for Microsoft if its desktop OS and first smartphone since 2016’s Lumia 650 don’t work smoothly together.
Bowden himself had already revealed the topline specifications for the Surface Duo. You’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU, backed by 6GB RAM and 64- or 256GB storage. Those two screens will each have a resolution of 1,800 x 1,350, and a 3,560mAh battery will be powering things.
That means that in terms of raw specs, the Galaxy Fold 2 is likely to be significantly faster, but we already know that Samsung likes to price its foldables at the ‘optimistic’ end of the market. Hopefully Microsoft will see an opportunity to beat the opposition on price as well as release date.
Of course, Microsoft’s reported strategy of trying to get out the gates ahead of Samsung is not without its risks. There was a reason the release date was originally Holiday 2020, and bringing it forward is a bit of a gamble — especially given Microsoft’s lack of recent smartphone experience and the remote working conditions enforced by coronavirus.
A dual-screen experience is pretty new, and one that could be made or broken by the user experience. If the software feels rushed or buggy, then it could kill the idea off before it catches on. If the rumor of an imminent launch is indeed correct, we just have to trust that Microsoft knows what it’s doing.