We are less than a month away from the launch of Microsoft's first phone in years, the Surface Duo. That's according to Windows Central, which says it's heard from sources that the dual-screen handset is launching during the week of August 24.
The news comes after the Surface Duo hasn't been particularly camera shy in recent weeks, appearing in videos direct from Microsoft, in photos while being used by Microsoft employees and in regulatory certification filings. The device is reportedly ready ahead of schedule — something you don't hear all that often in the tech world — as it was initially penciled for a holiday 2020 launch.
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It's also surprising, given that Microsoft's Windows 10X devices — like the dual-screen Surface Neo — have been pushed back until at least 2021. In fact, the latest rumors surrounding the Neo claim it may not ship until spring of 2022, which is a massive setback when you consider that Redmond announced the tablet at the very same event in which it first showed off the Surface Duo, in October of last year.
We're particularly curious about how the Surface Duo may have evolved over the nearly year-long gestation period. When we first heard about the Surface Duo, Microsoft said it was powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor mated to 6GB of RAM, and that it had a single 11-megapixel camera.
It's quite possible the hardware has been updated somewhat in the interim to keep parity with the latest flagship Android phones, like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 20. And if it hasn't, well, we hope the Duo's price at least reflects as much.
Regardless, we're excited to get our hands on the Surface Duo and see what Microsoft's vision of mobile computing looks like these days. It's been so long since the Surface maker has had any smartphones to show off, and even though some aspects of the Duo look a bit dated — like the fact it has two 5.6-inch screens side-by-side rather than a modern folding panel — Microsoft could win us over with clever software and use cases that make Android a productivity powerhouse.
If nothing else, it'll be interesting to see how the Surface Duo compares against Samsung's more professional, work-focused flagship Galaxy handsets, like the Note 20 and Galaxy Z Fold 2, which will be revealed on August 5. It's going to be a fun end to the summer.