As part of its annual Surface event, held today in New York City, tech giant Microsoft has announced the launch of a new Android smartphone. The foldable Surface Duo device will feature two independent screens that can be used together or independently.The new smartphone’s displays are both 5.6″. When unfolded, the screens form a mini-tablet with an 8.3″ screen. Alternatively, when rotated a full 360 degrees, the Duo can be used as a regular handheld device.
Redefining FunctionalityAs well as using the fully-opened device as a tablet, each screen can run its own application independently. In landscape mode, this allows the use of the second display as a keyboard or video game controller. The Surface Duo marks the first foray into the mobile phone market for the technology company since its failed efforts with the Windows Phone. General lack of interest in the products meant that development on them fizzled out around 2017. The company posted the following preview video of the Surface Duo to Twitter earlier today:
Holding a concept model of the device before the crowd, Microsoft Product Chief Panos Panay stated:
Meet the new Surface Duo. Coming Holiday 2020. #MicrosoftEvent pic.twitter.com/75uoCMwm0L— Microsoft Surface (@surface) October 2, 2019
“I’m pretty excited to show this to you… This is Surface Duo.”Whilst the operating system will be Android, the version appears to have been modified heavily to look like the new Windows 10X designed by Microsoft specifically with dual-screen devices in mind. Although precise details of the handset are not confirmed, for now, rumors abound that the Surface Duo will feature a Snapdragon 855 processor.
A Variety of DevicesAlong with the Surface Duo, Microsoft used the New York event to showcase its new Surface Neo laptop. Also featuring dual-screens and the Windows 10X operating system, the device is the latest installment of the innovative Surface range, which the tech company first introduced in 2012. Microsoft plans to release the Surface Duo and Neo in time for the holiday season next year. The decision to preview the dual-screen devices so early may well have been influenced by the sudden influx of similar mobile devices from top manufacturers hitting the market of late. Samsung just released its Galaxy Fold, and the Motorola Razr and Huawei Mate X are both due out soon. Today’s Microsoft Surface event did feature some products that will be available a little sooner than next Christmas too. The company announced the Surface Laptop 3 in two sizes, the almost-pocket-sized Surface Pro X, the stylish Surface Pro 7, and the unique Surface Earbuds. These products are expected to ship in time for this holiday season. What do you think about these new folding mobile phones? Will you be buying one? Let us know your thoughts below.
Images are courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.
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