I’ve spent weeks using Microsoft’s ambitious new foldable phone with 2 screens — here are the best and worst things about it (MSFT)

Surface Duo closed gray

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After remaining largely absent from the mobile phone industry for years, Microsoft finally made its grand reentry with the Surface Duo: a dual-screened Android phone that folds in half like a book.

It’s an ambitious idea to say the least. Like the Surface tablet that preceded it, the Surface Duo was born from the idea that a mobile device doesn’t have to fall into just one category. The Surface tablet, for example, aimed to replace some of the duties of your laptop.

The Surface Duo isn’t quite trying to serve as both a tablet and a phone. But with two screens and an unconventional design, it’s certainly trying to do more than the average smartphone.

While I loved having two screens for multitasking, the Surface Duo, which launched on September 10 for $1,400, asks you to make too many compromises. 

Here are the best and worst things I’ve found about using the Surface Duo over the course of the last two weeks.

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The Surface Duo’s versatile design made it a great daily companion.

Whether I was propping it up like a tent to use as a second screen throughout the day, or holding it like a book to read in Amazon’s Kindle app, the Surface Duo’s flexible design is easily its best trait.

That’s all thanks to the Surface Duo’s 360-degree hinge, which enables the two screens to bend all the way back so that the device can assume a variety of poses. 

The ability to take on multiple form factors — combined with the extra screen real estate you get from a phone that can bend in half — make the best case yet for why foldable phones should exist in the first place. 

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It also offers excellent battery life.

The Surface Duo never left me scrambling for a charger. After a full day’s worth of use, I still had more than 30% of a charge left the next morning.

It’s common for the batteries in high-end smartphones to last for more than a full day, but based on my experience that’s an unusually high percentage to have left over.

Of course, it’s important to remember that battery life will always vary depending on how you use your device. During my time with the Surface Duo, I primarily used it for checking email, browsing the web, chatting with co-workers on Slack, and streaming video.


It also has promising software features to take advantage of those two screens.

With the Surface Duo, Microsoft didn’t just join two screens together — it ensured that the software was designed to work smoothly across both displays. 

Certain apps like Amazon’s Kindle reader and Microsoft’s suite of Office tools and apps have been optimized to work especially well on both screens. Kindle, for example, has been updated with a page-turn animation to recreate the experience of reading a hard-copy book. Microsoft’s news app also lets you browse headlines on one screen while reading a story on the other.

But unfortunately, the software still has its quirks.

The …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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