The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 was released last year and marked a substantial upgrade over the original. The second iteration was sleeker overall, had support for 5G and a proper three-camera array.
But despite the upgrades, the Surface Duo 2 was never really in the conversation for best foldable phone.
It's Snapdragon 888 processor is no slouch, but the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is just better. Likewise, the three-camera setup is a far cry from the original 11MP single sensor, but it's equally far from the technology available from Samsung.
It was a great upgrade, but not quite enough to compete.
Now, with the Microsoft Surface event just a few weeks away, I think that the Duo could get an upgrade to compete with Samsung's flagship. Current rumours have focused on the Microsoft Surface laptops, but the Duo could well have snuck under the radar.
Prices for the Duo and Duo 2 have been slashed by a number of retailers in the UK and the US. To me, that says that a new device is inbound, and old stock must make way.
It's in line with the Duo's release history too. The original lasted around a year before the announcement of the Duo 2, and that has just had it's first birthday.
Microsoft's confirmation (opens in new tab) that the Duo 2 isn't being discontinued doesn't change my view either. The original Duo has still been available at the same time as the second iteration, and I can see value in Microsoft having an older generation available alongside its new icon.
Microsoft Surface Duo 3: features I'd like to see
I, for one, don't mind the look of the Surface Duo. While other companies have gone all-in on having secondary displays on the front panel, I think that defies the point of a foldable phone. That being said, one welcome change could be on the way.
A patent (opens in new tab) for a 'foldable display device' has been registered by Microsoft, which appears to feature a display that covers the entire body of the device, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4. The patent also suggests that this could fold a full 360°, which could offer some interesting usability.
Where I would like to see some upgrades is in the camera department. The three-camera system was a welcome upgrade, but it still fails to live up to its competitors. That's not to say it's a bad camera, but the finer details that you see from other devices can sometimes get lost.
Elsewhere, I'd expect to see the display upgraded to tack on a 120Hz refresh rate. I wouldn't say it's especially necessary in general, but it will be needed if Microsoft want to challenge at the top of the foldable phone world.