Surface Duo renders fully reveal Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 rival

Surface Duo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The prolific leaker Evan Blass has another leak for us: official looking renders of the Microsoft Surface Duo, just ahead of its rumored release date.

As per usual, there wasn’t much commentary provided, though Blass claims that the leak is specifically for the Surface Duo that will be sold by AT&T. And it should be on the market before the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 hits in September.

Frankly, there isn’t too much here that looks different from recent leaks – or indeed the original teaser Microsoft gave us nearly a year ago. The only real difference we can see is the flash in the top right-hand corner of the opened up handset.

The Surface Duo on AT&T

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

What is more interesting is how Microsoft’s first smartphone is looking software wise after it finally put the Windows Phone experiment out of its misery back in 2016. And make no mistake about it, this is clearly and obviously an Android handset, despite the presence of Microsoft stalwarts Edge, OneNote, Teams, LinkedIn, Office and Outlook.

For a start, the required Google folder is there, and we can clearly see the icons for Maps, Chrome, Google and Gmail poking out. The Play Store and YouTube both get prime positions in the middle of the home screen, and there’s even a Google search bar at the top of the left screen. Et tu, Bing?

Microsoft Surface Duo closed

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

In terms of third-party apps, there’s just Spotify on the homepage, though mysteriously there also seems to be notifications for both Facebook Messenger and Twitter in the top left-hand corner for a bit of real-world flavor.

We shouldn’t have too long to wait to see what Microsoft’s take on Android is like in action. While the Surface Duo was originally slated for Holiday 2020, the company has reportedly shifted things forward so that the handset can take on Samsung’s foldable: the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Rumors point to an August 24 reveal – a week ahead of when Samsung has promised more details about its own foldable.

Previous Surface Duo leaks point to a handset powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB RAM, with storage configurations of 64, 128 and 256GB rumored.

The two screens on the Surface Duo are reportedly 5.6-inch 1800 x 1350 AMOLED displays, and there will be a single 11-megapixel camera, which doubles up for selfies and regular photos. It’ll run Android 10, and be powered by a 3,460 mAh battery – though how that will cope with two large screens to power is one of the big known unknowns of things as they stand.

Surface Duo vs Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a different sort of foldable phone, with a 6.2-inch exterior display that you can use when the device is closed. The interior display measures 7.6 inches when unfolded and has a 120Hz refresh rate. Samsung has also engineered a new hinge that can stay open at multiple angles, added fibers underneath the hinge to sweep away any dust and debris and narrowed the gap when the phone is closed.

Samsung hasn't revealed the full specs of the Z Fold 2 yet, but we would expect a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and a battery that has a capacity of 4,380 mAh like the original.

Overall, the Surface Duo looks intriguing, but the pricing and how well the software works across the dual displays will go a long way towards determining how it stacks up against the Galaxy Z Fold 2. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.

  • Hardware Geek
    I've been looking forward to this phone launching and depending on reviews I may have to get one. The 855 is disappointing though so here's hoping they update it with the 865 or I may wait for a good sale or the second generation.