Microsoft had one more thing to announce at the end of its Surface event in New York City: a foldable Surface phone that runs Android.
Called the Surface Duo, it looks a lot like Microsoft’s just-announced dual-screen Surface Neo laptop, only it's more portable. It features two 5.6-inch screens and can rotate on a 360-degree hinge so that it works as an 8.3-inch tablet. The device can fold together to protect the screens, or open up so that both screens can be simultaneously used. You can even have the device closed with one screen facing out, like a regular phone.
Each display is capable of displaying a different app, or they can function as one large screen together. The best part is the Surface Duo is compact enough to fit in your pocket. Oh, and it runs a version of Android, albeit a heavily skinned one.
Still, you can use the Surface Duo to make calls, take photos, and, well, do everything you expect from an Android mobile device today, although Microsoft clearly thinks of this particular device as more than a smartphone. The company's Panos Panay even seemed reluctant to call it a "phone" on stage.
Today we shared where Surface and Microsoft are...and where we're going. I hope you liked the products. We can't wait to see what you do with them #MicrosoftEvent #SurfacePro7 #SurfaceLaptop3 #SurfaceEarbuds #SurfaceNeo #SurfaceDuo pic.twitter.com/UIoW8SDPNN— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) October 2, 2019
According to Wired, the Surface Duo features a Snapdragon 855 processor, but that might not be in the final production unit. Keep in mind the Surface Duo is in early preview. It won’t even be available to buy for a while, as it is expected to launch during the holiday season next year.
Microsoft's Surface phone has been rumoured for years. So, introducing a Surface-branded phone - that folds, no less - is a momentous occasion for the company, but it remains to be seen whether the device will resonate with consumers before ultimately launching next autumn.