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Windows Phone: Microsoft’s first Android phone, the Surface Duo, is now available

Windows Phone:

Windroid —

The dual-screen phone costs a lofty $1,399.


  • The Microsoft Surface Duo.


    Microsoft

  • Here it is closed, with a pen.


    Microsoft

  • Laptop mode.


    Microsoft

  • The 360 hinge.


    Microsoft

  • It folds flat, and each half is a crazy-thin 4.8mm.


    Microsoft

  • Two screens means side-by-side apps.


    Microsoft

  • You can use it vertically.


    Microsoft

Microsoft’s Surface Duo, a dual-screen Android phone from the maker of Windows, is now available to order and shipping to consumers. This is the first smartphone Microsoft has released since the end of support for the Windows Phone platform five years ago.

Priced at a steep $1,399, the Surface Duo features two 5.6-inch OLED screens, each with a resolution of 1,800 by 1,350 pixels. The screens are separated by a 360-degree hinge, so you can open it like a book or fold it all the way around. Of course, the device is enormous—145.2mm×186.9mm×4.8mm. As our own Ron Amadeo noted when the phone’s ship date was officially announced, that’s a bit big to be considered a phone in some people’s book, given that it won’t fit in many pockets. And to that point, Microsoft doesn’t exactly call it one.

So if it’s not a phone, is it a tablet? Sort of, but it comes with phone-like features, running a smartphone build of Android and including voice calls on the same cellular networks like AT&T, which is the carrier that sells the phone in addition to the unlocked version sold directly by Microsoft.

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo alongside the Surface Neo, which is also a dual-screen tablet/phone hybrid. But the Neo is built for a version of Windows designed for dual-screen devices rather than Android.

As for specs, the Surface Duo has 6GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 855 processor. It comes in 128GB and 256GB variants and includes a 3577mAh battery. There’s just one camera (11 megapixels), but it can be either a front or a rear camera depending on what you do with the hinge. User authentication is done via fingerprint reader, and the device supports input from the Surface pen. As for ports, there’s just one: USB-C.

It also only has one speaker, so you won’t be getting stereo audio here. That said, it would have been challenging to make stereo audio happen with just two speakers given the number of ways you could hold or orient the device.

The Surface Duo runs Android 10. Android 11 just came out this week, so the Duo comes with the prior version of Android. That’s not that uncommon with Android phones, though.

Dual-screen phones like this have emerged in part because the recent attempts by companies like Samsung to make foldable screens haven’t gone that well (just read our reviews), but the dream of opening up a smartphone-sized device to use a giant, tablet-sized viewport lives on.

If you’re feeling like an early adopter of this sort of thing, you can order the Duo from Microsoft’s website starting today.

Listing image by Israel Rodriguez

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