Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Review

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is much bigger than the original Surface Duo and is incredibly close to solid, finished products. However, some slight UI glitches do crop up infrequently, and only owning 8GB of RAM is an odd choice for a device focused on productivity. Still, it’s the only tool like it, so if you’re into the idea, it’s apparently for you.

The specs aren’t the most majestic part of the new Surface Duo, though. Instead, it’s the device improvements Microsoft has moved to use the device on day-to-day support that make it feel more like something we’d be happy carrying in our pocket every day.

Of course, there is still any bugginess, especially when you’re bootlegging the device, but rather than feeling like difficulties inherent to the device, like last time, it appears like something that can quickly be corrected in a firmware update. However, the bugs do hinder the experience of utilizing the device.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Performance and Specifications

Surface Duo has a good chipset in it. While it was a neat idea, the original device struggled precisely because Microsoft has the same problems with its phones that it does with its laptops – it never includes powerful enough componentry. So instead, Microsoft has incorporated the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, a marked improvement over the Snapdragon 855. And while Microsoft has also combined more RAM in the Surface Duo 2, with 8GB instead of 6GB, it still isn’t quite suitable for what this phone is trying to do.

But it’s more than UI crashes. Many times camera opens to capture pictures of the beautiful scenery, only for the phone to get stuck in the phone app. as the phone becomes completely unresponsive.

While the Surface Duo 2 works, it works amazingly and starts to make you see precisely what Microsoft was working for. However, it is nevertheless way too buggy to disappoint anyone that isn’t instantly sold on the device’s design. And then, coupled with the lack of RAM on the device, which naturally apparently contributes to the bugs, thanks to the two screens, it shows the flaws in Microsoft’s approach to hardware design.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Design

It’s a black phone, which implies it won’t reveal dirt or scratches quite as fast, which is good because it uses the same glass outer casing as the last device. It does mean that fingerprints are a bit more visible, but we can get rid of the fingerprints quickly with a quick swipe, so that’s not a huge chance. However, unlike the innovative Surface Duo, which began with a rubber bumper to keep the device protected, the Surface Duo 2 does not, and that’s a severe problem.

Because it is such an incompetently shaped device, too, and we understand it doesn’t fit in any of our pockets, it is a device you’re going to keep in your bag. And, well, you want a case to ensure it stays pretty.

One of the most noticeable variations, though, is the large camera bump on the back. It is because Microsoft went with a more powerful triple-lens camera setup this time around, which means the camera now protrudes a considerable amount from the phone’s back. In addition, the camera is surrounded by plastic material, which extends a bit further than the glass back of the camera.

Surface Duo 2 just sort of feels a bit odd when you’re practicing it in a one-screen mode, which we often do when we’re just starting to type out a quick text message. It’s not sufficient to be uncomfortable, but it feels a bit funky. Surface Duo 2 has displays that curve throughout the edge of the device, and you can instantly tap the unlock button to show the time printed on the side.

It will also confer a little light-based notification when you’re getting a call or a text, but beyond those basic notifications, you’ll have to open the device to look.

The Surface Duo 2 hinge is precisely the same as it was on the Surface Duo, and that’s a great thing. It has just enough friction that won’t be accidentally open, and once it is open, you won’t get it waving around or anything.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Dual Screen

The original gadget had two 5.6-inch AMOLED displays with a 1,350 x 1,800 resolution, which combined into a “single” 8.1 display with a 1,800 x 2,700 resolution—the Surface Duo 2 narrows bezels a bit to expand the displays.

There are two 5.8-inch displays, which unlock up to a full 8.3 inches. And Microsoft holds the PixelSense classification by giving each display 1,344 x 1,899, making it a combined resolution of 2,688 x 1,892. So it is a slightly higher resolution, but the larger display cancels it out.

What does get the displays even better, though? It is that they each have a 90Hz refresh rate and a peak of 800 nits of brightness. As a result, all content looks gorgeous on the two displays, and whether you’re browsing Instagram, watching Netflix, or struggling to pay attention in a long Teams meeting, everything will look beautiful.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Camera

With the Surface Duo 2, Microsoft has done some vast improvements, making it at least good enough to get photos that look like they came from this decade. There are two cameras, one 12MP front-facing camera and a triple-lens camera on the back. In addition, it includes a 12MP wide lens, a 12 MP telephoto lens, and a 16MP Ultra-Wide lens. We’ve included some camera samples down below.

Battery Life

Microsoft insists on up to 15.5 hours of video playback and 28 hours of talk time, which seems impressive. 

Cost and Availability

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is ready today, starting at $1,499 / £ 1,349 / AU$2,319. You’ll receive the standard configuration with the Snapdragon 888 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage for that price. So, the Surface Duo 2 is an upscale device. Still, especially now that it has a high-end chipset rather than the mid-range silicon in the original machine, it’s more competitive with the phones around it.