A new report cites multiple sources pointing to an early summer release of the Microsoft Surface Duo. This is great news, at least to the people who are eagerly awaiting to get their hands on the “phone that isn’t a phone” — myself included.
The report by Windows Central claims that rather than releasing the Duo in the 2020 holiday season, Microsoft is zeroing on having all the software completed and ready for manufacturing starting on early April. It also claims that the Surface Duo will be shipping “in limited quantities” this summer.
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The publication cites Microsoft insider sources, claiming that this launch will target “developers and enthusiasts.”
With the hardware and underlying software ready, the report claims that “Microsoft is currently focused on finalizing the top-level OS customizations and in-box app experiences specific to Surface Duo”.
Perhaps this is the reason why we have begun to see leaks on the cool new tricks that the Redmond company is putting together for this device — like the ability to peek on your notifications by opening its dual-screen clamshell. The company also recently released a beta version of the Surface Duo‘s new Android launcher, which is available for any smartphone in the Google Play Store.
We also know that the Surface Duo is out of the lab and being actively tested in the real world which is indicative of beta testing and points to the fact that, indeed, it must be close to completion.
Last January we saw Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella carrying the device in his pocket and casually showing it to people in public. And, earlier this month, we saw someone using the device in a Vancouver subway car.
In the video, however, the device could be seen having some difficulties — being sluggish and apparently locking up. This, however, would be typical of a device in a beta stage. After all, knocking down bugs is the entire point of the testing process.
Old specs, no 5G
According to Windows Central, the Surface Duo will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — which is a bit underwhelming knowing that this will device will be pushing two screens simultaneously and will probably need as much firepower as the latest 865 chip can offer.
The other alleged implication is that the Surface Duo will not have 5G support built-in. That’s another negative point on a device that could greatly benefit from having the fastest access to the internet at all times.
It’s yet to be seen how these two drawbacks will affect the experience and therefore the public perception of the device. Hopefully, the form factor and the final UX will be factors that will make these specs irrelevant.
If everything goes well, Windows Central claims, Microsoft will announce the phone in a spring event, alongside the Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3. Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Fold 2 has also been tipped for a possible summer release, which would make for an interesting foldable phone showdown later this year.