RIP Surface Duo—Microsoft reportedly ditches the weird form factor

Surface Duo 2 is running on Android 12L.
in great shape , Surface Duo 2 is running on Android 12L.

Microsoft

Windows Central’s Zack Bowden is the go-to reporter for any Microsoft Surface rumors, and his latest report is that the Surface Duo 3 is dead, or at least, a device in the same mold as the Surface Duo 1 and 2. Has been done. There may be a Microsoft device branded “Surface Duo 3” someday, but the Surface Duo form factor—a dual-screen device with a 360-degree hinge—is dead. The report states that Microsoft is now working on a “more traditional foldable design” with a “180-degree hinge, internal foldable screen and external cover display” – so very similar to the Galaxy Fold.

The Surface Duo line is built around two of the weirdest Android devices on the market. Instead of the tall, thin displays that Android phones typically use, both Surface Duos used short, thick displays, making the Duo line the widest smartphones on the market. The original Surface Duo was planned to run the canceled “Windows 10x” OS, which would have taken advantage of the unique screen aspect ratio. When that OS was canceled, the project was saved as an Android phone, but a lot of Android app layouts got screwed up because of those smaller, thicker displays, limited vertical screen space, and Android’s large header and tab bars. further reduced by It looks like Microsoft wanted to land on a basic outline similar to Moleskine notebooks, but Android apps just aren’t designed for that aspect ratio. Furthermore, when folded, it’s also a pain to try to hold it with one hand, being dramatically wider than any other smartphone on the market.

After two near-identical versions, Microsoft was coming around to a “too broad” line of thinking. The report states that the canceled Surface Duo 3 will feature a “narrower and taller edge-to-edge display,” which would keep the phone in a more reasonable form factor.

Microsoft's next phone will be like the Galaxy Fold, with a bigger foldable display.  It even runs Excel!
in great shape , Microsoft’s next phone will be like the Galaxy Fold, with a bigger foldable display. It even runs Excel!

Samsung

With those plans dead, what is “supposed to be a third-generation Duo internally” will be a more generic foldable smartphone, and it’s unclear whether it will be branded “Surface Duo 3”. As we argued in our review of the original device, outfitting the device with a continuous internal screen would be a vast improvement over the dual-screen design. With a bigger foldable display, you can still get all the dual-screen functionality via Android’s software split-screen mode, but with the added benefit of having one big screen for tablet apps, movies, games and websites .

Besides the Android-incompatible form factor, there are a number of other problems with Microsoft’s Android phones that the company will need to fix. The Surface Duos have always felt like beta foldable devices, and this compromise could work if they weren’t the full price of a true foldable phone. The $1,400-$1,500 price tag basically wasn’t competitive for two smartphones glued together, so you have to wonder what’s up with Microsoft’s supply chain. Microsoft’s Android software division has also been a hot mess, leading the company to outsource the Surface Duo 1 OS two months ago and resulting in a disastrously buggy build of Android. Microsoft has since bought out the team it was outsourcing its Android builds to, but so far, Surface Duo customers have seen the worst-in-class Android update record.

The report details Microsoft looking to better integrate its Android phones with Windows through an internal program called “Perfect Together”, which would create Apple-style integration between the phone and the laptop/desktop. Used to be. Despite the failure of the Surface Duo, Bowden says Microsoft is “all-in” with Android and “eager to expand its line of Android smartphone offerings” beyond the new foldable device. The report says that Microsoft has prototyped several ideas for a “mainstream” slab-style Surface Phone that could someday ship.

It looks like we’ll be waiting a while for Microsoft’s next Android phone, with Bowden saying that the foldable “doesn’t have a concrete shipping window yet for the device, which means it’s going to be ready in time for this fall.” Not likely.”

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