Following the initial announcement of the Surface Duo folding Android phone late last night, Microsoft has now put the device up for pre-order. Before you get too excited, as anticipated it’s only available in the USA for now, but we have gotten our first glimpse of the official specs.
While we find the overall concept of the Surface Duo exciting and are very much hoping to get some hands-on time with it, there are a few decisions we’re worried about. Firstly the single 11MP camera is a cause for some (or much) consternation. With smartphones rising and falling on their camera performance these days we hope that the single lens in the Duo is up to the challenge.
The other glaring omissions for us, and some of our readers have already chimed in with this, the lack of NFC. A phone that will cost over $2000 in Australia, even a folding one with a cool hinge, should support all the top tier features and that includes NFC for mobile payments. Microsoft provided Android Central with a statement on the lack of NFC calling the device a first gen device that should not be expected to provide fundamentals only (we beg to differ):
Surface Duo does not currently offer NFC. The role of any first-generation design is to focus on fundamental scenarios that solve customer challenges. Surface Duo is purpose-built for mobile productivity and giving people new ways to complete complex tasks while away from their computer. With this core priority complete, we will listen to customer feedback and apply that lens to future iterations of the product.
It seems strange for a device that is going to cost north of AU$2000 to overlook including a simple NFC chip that costs a few cents but there it is. It also would have been nice to have seen Qi charging in the overall package, considering this is a premium phone. The statement above sort of explains the lack of NFC, Qi and a decent camera but it will be a tough sell for them for someone as a primary device without these.
Here’s the full specs:
|Display||Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED 1800 x 1350
opens to an 8.1-inch 2700 x1800
|Storage||128 or 256 GB internal storage|
LTE (no 5G)
As expected the Duo will come preinstalled with basically every Android app Microsoft make as well as the standard Google apps you would find. Unlike many OEMs Microsoft is at least telling you upfront, here’s the list:
Microsoft preloaded applications
- Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office Lens, PDF Reader, and more
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft To Do
- Microsoft News
- Microsoft Authenticator
- Microsoft Bing Search
- Intune Company Portal
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection
- Surface Audio
Other preinstalled apps:
- Google Search
- Google Assistant
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Google Duo
- Google Photos
- Google Play Movies & TV
- Google Play Store
- Google Maps
- YouTube Music
- Sound recorder
- Spotify (Unlocked)
Internationally there were also a list of the preinstalled carrier apps which we really hope they don’t make their way onto any Australian devices. We have reached out to Microsoft Australia for any details on a potential Australian release.