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The Surface Duo features that make the dual-screen smartphone so special

SurfaceDuo 6
© Microsoft

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A few days ago, Microsoft announced the launch of its Surface Duo. Now a 35-minute video shows what makes the dual-screen smartphone so special.

Microsoft already gave a first glimpse of the new folding smartphone at the end of 2019, but only started pre-ordering it in the USA a few days ago. At the same time, the company also provided a number of technical data on the Surface Duo, which allowed initial conclusions to be drawn about performance and battery life.

In a new video, Microsoft now shows some additional important details, aside from megahertz and megapixels. Panos Panay, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, demonstrates in this 35-minute clip what makes the smartphone with two separate screens so special and what features Microsoft has developed for this new class of devices.

Surface Duo: More than just pure Android with two displays

The most important feature of the Surface Duo is clearly the separated display. Accordingly, Microsoft has thought of some special things for handling the dual-screen smartphone regarding this detail.

For example, Microsoft's adaptation of Android recognizes when you open a link from an app to a website. The link is then not simply opened in the same half of the display, but appears next to the original app. The same also applies to apps that want to start navigation in Google Maps.

In addition, so-called app groups allow for example ready-made combinations of two apps. These groups are stored on the home screen and allow quick access to two apps, which are often opened side by side. As an example, Panay showed an app group consisting of Instagram and Twitter. It's up to the user, what apps they want to combine.

As you would expect from Microsoft, the company has also planned a close collaboration between Surface Duo and Windows PCs. The video shows how the apps on the smartphone can also be used directly in Windows. However, the company apparently still needs to work on the performance, as the speed of the apps displayed on the PC left a lot to be desired.

Preorders for the Surface Duo have started in the USA a few days ago for around $1,400. The device is scheduled to be available in stores from September 10, 2020. The company has not yet announced an international launch date.

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  • 49
    storm Aug 17, 2020 Link to comment

    Last year's hardware, huge price, big seam between screens, gimmicks without real problems to solve. Microsoft botches it again.