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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft's Surface Duo has been out in the US for several months, but it's now been announced that it will debut in the UK, Canada, France and Germany in early 2021. The Android-based device is a tablet first, but it can also make phone calls.

In a blog post, Pete Kyriacou, vice president of Microsoft Devices said: "We’re excited to share more information at the beginning of 2021, so stay tuned for more." 

Surface Duo is an exciting device in concept, but the reviews have been mixed, though Time called it "one of the best inventions of 2020". Microsoft says it is continuing to improve the software, saying that - via App Annie data - it is now the third-largest developer for the Android ecosystem globally. 

You can create your own App Groups to automatically open your preferred suite of apps and Microsoft says that over 1,000 different unique groups have so far been created. "We’ve heard from customers who open their Surface Duo as soon as they get in their car," says Kyriacou "with Spotify playing on one screen while Google Maps guides them to their destination on the other. There are numerous possibilities for personalizing your Surface Duo experience."

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Some apps have been customised especially for Surface Duo - TikTok and Spotify will show you videos or enable you to play music on one screen while you browse on the other, while the Amazon Kindle app enables you to read off the dual-screen just like a book. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 15 December 2020.