Just over a year after the original, Microsoft is back with a second generation of the Surface Duo.
The premium foldable headlines with a variety of notable upgrades ranging from the top-tier Snapdragon 888 chip, 5G connectivity, greater RAM, larger displays and a triple camera set-up. We'll be diving into all the key specs and features below.
Much like Samsung's dual-screen darling, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Microsoft's big focus on the Duo 2 is productivity – particularly with immersive multi-tasking across the two screens with Microsoft 365 apps and stronger camera support for video calls. The processor and RAM boost also makes the Duo 2 more equipped gaming, especially as the device comes with Xbox Game Pass built-in.
Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Duo 2, including release date, price, and specs.
When will the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 release?
- Announced on 22 September
- On sale from 21 October
The Surface Duo 2 is on sale now, following its release on 21 October. That was less than a month after it was announced, a big improvement on the lengthy delays with the original.
We're separately tracking where to buy the Duo 2 in the UK and US (both on contract and SIM-free).
How much does the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 cost?
- 128GB storage - £1,349/$1,499
- 256GB storage - £1,429/$1,599.99
- 512GB storage - £1,589/$1,799.99 (in black only)
The handsets will be available in Glacier (white) and a new Obsidian (black). The 512GB storage option has also been added.
The Duo 2 starts at the same price as the original in the UK, but $100 more in the US its predecessor. Here are the prices for the original Duo:
- 128GB storage - £1,349/US$1,399.99
- 256GB storage - £1,449/US$1,499.99
This device was heavily discounted just a few months after release. It remains to be seen if the same will happen with the Duo 2.
Microsoft Surface Duo 2 design & features - What's new?
There Duo 2 improves on the original Duo in a few significant ways. Here's what you can expect...
Snapdragon 888 5G
The biggest jump is under the hood for the Duo 2, which moves up from the Snapdragon 855 to the new Snapdragon 888 with 5G, which means you can expect significantly faster core performance and graphics speeds along with greater battery efficiency.
There's also the welcome boost to 8GB RAM (from the original Duo's 6GB), making the handset all the performance-driven whether that with gaming or multitasking across demanding apps.
The step up in performance specs isn't a surprise given how much Microsoft touts the Duo 2's productivity benefits. With two displays, Microsoft promises the Duo will allow running two apps simultaneously, dragging and dropping between screens (in supported apps), creating App Groups for the apps you use most often, note taking and sketching and optmized display experiences with recreational apps such as TikTok, Kindle and Spotify.
Of course, mobile productivity gets a boost with 5G – whether that's for calls or collaborating on Microsoft 365 or accessing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and using the Duo as an on-screen controller.
The Duo 2 preserves the AMOLED display quality of the original Duo, but the panels are larger. The single panel spans 5.8in (1344x1892) and reaches 8.3in (2688x1892) when fully open, adds a fifth of an inch more to the original size.
Refresh rates get a boost too – while nowhere near the Galaxy Z Fold 3's 120Hz, the Duo 2 moves up from 60Hz to an adaptive 90Hz.
A "glance bar" along the spine of the phone also shows you all the essential notifications and details, including battery life.
The original Duo offered 3,577mAh of juice which promised up to 15.5 hours of local video playback, 27 hours of talk and up to 10 days of battery life on standby. The Duo 2 gains a 4,449mAh battery, with All-Day Battery Life, according to Microsoft. The upper limits of video playback remains at 15.5 hours but talk time gets a minor bump up to 28 hours, maximum.
Microsoft is also introducing 23W Fast Charging (to be sold separately), up from the original Duo's 18W.
One of the biggest upgrades in the Duo 2 is the triple camera set up with a 16Mp ultra-wide (f/2.2 aperture, 110-degrees), 12Mp telephoto (f/2.4 aperture with 2x optical zoom and OIS), and 12Mp wide lens (f/1.7 aperture with OIS). The front-facing camera offers a 12Mp sensor (f/2.0 aperture).
It's a significant jump up from the original Duo's 11Mp camera which served both as the front and rear camera.
Video recording features include HDR video in 4K (at 30fps and 60fps).
The Duo 2 runs on Android 11 and comes pre-loaded with the full range of Google apps (Assistant, Calendar, Maps, Photos etc.), while also offering core Microsoft apps too including Edge, OneDrive and Teams.
However, with early reviews suggesting software is once again the major sticking point, Microsoft has released a substantial update for the Duo 2. Microsoft simply says the update "improves device stability", with no mention on how this is achieved. Initial reviews on Reddit have been positive, with users reporting a faster, bug-free experience.
Surface Duo 2 full specs
- Snapdragon 888 5G
- Dual PixelSense Fusion Displays
- open: 8.3in AMOLED (2688x1892)
- Single PixelSense Screen:
- 5.8in AMOLED (1344x1892)
- HDR, 100% SRGB, DCIP3
- Dual displays with 90Hz adaptive refresh rate
- 800 nits max brightness
- Rear: 12Mp wide f/1.7, 12Mp telephoto f/2.4, 16Mp ultra-wide f/2.2
- Front: 12Mp f/2.0
- Android 11
- Wi-Fi-6 802.11ax (2.4/5GHz)
- Bluetooth 5.1
- Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
- Stereo speakers
- 4449mAh (typical) dual battery
- 23W USB-C Fast Charge
The Surface Duo 2 also ships with the following Microsoft applications:
- Intune Company Portal
- Microsoft Authenticator
- Microsoft Bing Search
- Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft Lens - PDF
- Microsoft Office: Word,Excel, PowerPoint & More
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Start
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft To Do
- Xbox Game Pass
Want more Surface Duo 2 goodness? It featured as the lead talking point in episode 84 of our weekly podcast Fast Charge, where we also discussed the affordable new 5G-capable Nokia G50 and our impressions on the first public release of iOS 15.
Here's everything you need to know about the original Surface Duo.