FORBES: Microsoft’s Duo Is One Of The Most Exciting Phones Of 2020

Microsoft says the Duo isn’t a phone, despite very clearly being a phone.

Microsoft’s Duo shop
Microsoft’s Duo shop

After the collapse of Windows Phone, which spawned some impressive but flawed devices, you’d be forgiven for thinking Microsoft has no real route – or reason – back into selling smartphones. The Surface Duo changes that.

By Jay McGregor

Microsoft says the Duo isn’t a phone, despite very clearly being a phone. We can dismiss the “new category” classification as marketing guff, but the dual screened nature of the device does make it somewhat unique.

LG, of course, has launched a similar two-display phone – but one of the displays is an optional add-on purchase rather than a core part of the experience. 

What Microsoft appears to be offering is a phone that’s based entirely around two displays that oscillate between acting as one-single screen and two separate ones depending on your current task. 

This is what makes the Duo exciting. The promise of what it can do and the questions around whether or not it can actually, practically, pull it off

The promise is providing the bigger screen experience, with all of the benefits of dual-display functionality, in a smaller device that isn’t compromised by a somewhat awkward foldable screen/hinge (like the Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone). Also the promise of new apps that are specifically designed for this split-screen phone that aide creativity and productivity in a genuinely useful way, rather than pretending to. Microsoft successfully tweaking Android to have a hint, a soupçon, of Windows’ desktop dexterity would be a huge, huge win too. More

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Jay McGregor

Jay McGregor Senior Contributor Consumer Tech FORBES