Folding screen smartphones have been around for the past two years, but when they started to launch, not all manufacturers were successful. This is quite true of the first generation Surface Duo. This can be considered as the first high-end Android smartphone product from Microsoft on the market.
But the difficulty in integrating the software is not the biggest problem. New hardware is a concern. The hardware of the first dual-screen Surface Duo phone launched became quite outdated compared to other competitors in the market such as Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi.
Now there are more rumors and early leaks about Surface Duo 2. Can this smartphone fix the mistakes from the first generation and bring success to Microsoft?
Does the new generation of Surface Duo bring anything different?
According to many users, the Surface Duo is a beautiful device, different from most current folding smartphone models, but disappointing software and hardware make it not worthy of the price of $ 1,400. As a result, after nearly a year of launch, the retail price is below 500 USD.
The first images that are said to be the near-final prototype of the new generation Surface Duo 2 have leaked recently. The series of photos reveal the rear camera module equipped with up to 3 lenses. In which the convex lenses are similar to many high-end smartphone models currently on the market.
Previously, Surface Duo only had a single camera on the front and no rear camera. So this would be a noticeable improvement.
The leaked image also shows that the Surface Duo 2 will come in two colors black and white and will not have a fingerprint sensor on the side. Most likely it will be embedded in the power button. The USB-C port has also been relocated and placed in a central position at the bottom of the device.
The Surface Duo doesn’t have a small screen on the outside, which other OEMs often use to their advantage for foldable smartphones. That was a big shortcoming on the first-generation Duo because there was no way to quickly see notifications every time the phone beeped.
It’s not clear if this is the final prototype or just an early prototype of the Surface Duo 2, but if the device doesn’t have an additional display for notifications, it will be a big disappointment for many people.
Lightly upgraded hardware
Software was once thought to be a major disadvantage for the Surface Duo because Microsoft had only just entered the Android smartphone market. However, it’s the “hardware” that messes things up.
When it was first launched last year, this machine running Snapdragon 855 chip was almost two years old. There is no denying that this chip has the same power as many competitors, but the price really makes many people find it difficult to understand.
Previously, it was rumored that the second-generation Surface Duo 2 would support 5G and use the latest Snapdragon 888 chip. This will definitely be a big improvement worth the wait.
In addition to the processor upgrade, the Surface Duo 2 is expected to support wireless payments via NFC. NFC is not present in the first-generation Surface Duo.
Surface Duo 2 is also said to have 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal memory, and the device will not support expandable memory cards.
Camera: The biggest upgrade and addition
In terms of camera, Surface Duo is one of the biggest smartphone failures. To make the device ultra-thin and compact, Surface Duo was forced to sacrifice when it did not integrate a rear camera, but only used a single selfie camera on the front. It is worth mentioning that the camera on the front has a low resolution so it cannot make a difference.
As the latest leaked image Surface Duo 2 will have up to 3 rear cameras, combined with LED flash and another sensor. Of course, when integrating the rear camera cluster, it will make the device look significantly thicker and difficult to place on a flat surface or use it with one hand.
The three cameras on the back are said to be wide-angle, super-wide-angle, and a telephoto lens. It’s not clear how many selfie cameras the Surface Duo 2 has, though.
Price and release date
According to experts, Microsoft is likely to launch Surface Duo 2 around September or October. This is also the time when Google is expected to launch the foldable Pixel smartphone line.
Meanwhile, Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldable smartphones at its Unpacked event this August.
That said, from now until the end of the year, there will be many companies launching folding screen smartphones. This will certainly increase the level of competition in the foldable smartphone market. Does the new generation Surface Duo have a chance to attract customers before experienced competitors?
If Microsoft persists with the high price point, there is little chance, but if Microsoft devices are attractively priced and offer quality upgrades, Microsoft may still have a chance.
If not for the different rear camera cluster, the Surface Duo 2 looks almost the same as its predecessor. However, it is not clear whether the leaked image is an initial prototype or a finished version.
It will be interesting if Microsoft has tweaks to the screen, such as making the bezel thinner. Hopefully as the compatible app base grows, more apps will be compatible and contribute to enhancing the experience for the Surface Duo 2 series.
Refer to Slashgear