Microsoft first unveiled its take on the foldable smartphone last year, after Samsung had released the Galaxy Fold but before it launched its Galaxy Z Flip clamshell. There were rumours the American tech giant was going to pip Samsung to the post this year, launching the Surface Duo just before Unpacked in August, but it never materialised.
But the speculation is over, and Microsoft has finally made it official with news of the Surface Duo's release date.
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Microsoft has announced (opens in new tab) that its Surface Duo will be available to buy from September 10 with prices starting at an eye-watering $1,399. That's still cheaper than the Original Galaxy Fold, which retailed for $1,980.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 was showcased at Unpacked, but Samsung didn't divulge how much the handset would cost. We're expecting it to come in at $1780 and $1980 based on industry expert Ross Young (opens in new tab), with the strategy being to boost sales by dropping the price by $100 - in spite of the improved features, S-Pen, and 5G.
Pre-orders will open in September, which is when we'll get more details, but that means that the Surface Duo is going up against a more stylish, but more expensive foldable, that exudes mass appeal compared to the no nonsense dual-screen device.
This is not a phone for 99% of people. It's a phone for Surface fans. Microsoft put in what they could to make this SUPER thin device work. It's not meant for everyone. https://t.co/mKL8kwL6PFAugust 12, 2020
Microsoft has yet to confirm the Surface Duo's specs, but based on leaks and rumours surrounding the handset, it's likely going to house last year's Snapdragon 855 chipset, with Twitter leaker Max Weinbach predicting (opens in new tab) that it'll feature "128 or 256GB of storage with 6GBs of RAM, 3577mAh battery, 18W fast charging," and highlights that the processor has been optimised for dual screens.
He goes on to add (opens in new tab) that the Surface Duo "is not a phone for 99% of people. It's a phone for Surface fans."
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The Surface Duo's advantage is that with dual-screens measuring 5.6-inches each, or 8.1-inches combines, users won't have to worry about the issues with folding glass. As well as offering durability, the Duo is incredibly thin; measuring 9.6mm when closed, it opens up "into the thinnest mobile device on the market," says Microsoft.
We'll have to see is Microsoft can convince the everyday smartphone user to pick up its newest device, or if this is firmly one for Surface fans and business customers. The Duo will battle it out against the Galaxy Z Fold 2 next month - let us know which one you'll be rooting for!