The new Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is an improved foldable phone

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Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is a new and improved foldable pocket

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 enters foldable phone fray, with a host of improvements that bolster its status as a miniature workstation

Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 comes right after the original, which we sampled in March. Just as Samsung has stuck to its guns with the revised Z series of foldable phones, which use folding screen technology, Microsoft has decided that its own form factor – two independent flat screens separated by a smooth hinge, is the best and most productive way to move forward. .

The main improvements with the second-gen Surface Duo 2 are the addition of 5G and a triple-lens camera. Each screen is now slightly larger, at 5.8 inches from 5.6 inches, while the main productivity advantage over its folding rivals is the clearer demarcation between screens when using the device. half open – for video calling, watching movies, typing in a Microsoft 365 app or game.

The more rounded edges of the screen allow notifications to be displayed along the spine when the Duo 2 is closed, as well as the time, unread messages, missed calls or battery charge status . The fingerprint reader is now integrated with the power button, which makes the opening experience simpler, but it’s still a bit of a performance to deploy compared to a traditional phone. The neat “peek” mode shows the time you open the fractional screen, but it’s not a device for sending sneaky messages in meetings.

The Duo 2 is part of Microsoft’s dramatically revised and revamped Surface ecosystem, scheduled to coincide with the launch of Windows 11. A newer and sleeker pen, the Surface Slim Pen 2, which magnetically clips to the edge of the filter. Improved haptic feedback means the tip can realistically “slide” across the screen, as if you were writing on real paper.

Multitasking is Duo 2’s best feature, with the ability to switch apps between screens, take video calls while browsing documents, preview emails, easily edit photos, or read books electronic as if it were a real foldable book. The latter is made possible by an enhanced version of the Kindle app, one of the few third-party apps that has been revised to take advantage of the Duo 2’s twin screens, as well as all of Microsoft’s software.

The game also benefits, with touch controls located on the lower screen to keep the action away from intrusive fingers. Two apps can be “pinned” together, so that they both open at the same time on their own screen. Finally, the Duo 2 is now available in Obsidian Black as well as the original Glacier White.

Is the Duo 2 the future of phones? Probably not. Some wonder if there will ever be a Duo 3, such is the rapidly changing world of technology and the pressure to achieve instant success. Microsoft no longer sells a regular smartphone, and it’s probably easier to think of the Duo 2 as a small tablet, rather than a big phone.

As such, while not really a handheld device for everyday use, Duo 2 is best treated as a miniature workstation. And this is where it is in a field of its own. §


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