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Microsoft Surface Duo arrives in Europe next week

by Mark Tyson on 12 February 2021, 11:11

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Surface

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaep6y

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The Microsoft Surface Duo was released in September 2020. It was Microsoft's way of entering the folding phone market and realising its Surface vision in this market – without having to hop on board with the flexible screen technology which has proved technically difficult for some - and I think still looks sub-optimal with the crease still seen on even the newest prototypes.

With the Duo you have two separate screens that work together, and various reports have noted that the overall experience has improved by some margin recently. The polished experience comes thanks to system updates, and the release of new larger-screen and multiple-screen friendly apps – but more big name apps with proper support would be welcome. What hasn't changed, is the hardware under the bonnet. Even ahead of launch the underlying hardware was looked at with disdain by HEXUS readers, who variously described the processing hardware as 'meh' or 'middle-of-the-road' but at a very premium price.

Microsoft promised to deliver the Surface Duo to the rest of the world in 2021, and it will start making the device available in the UK, France, Germany, and Canada from 18th February. In the UK Microsoft says that buyers will be able to find Surface Duo phones at both Currys PC World outlets and online, and direct from the Microsoft store. It will be priced at £1,349 from these outlets.

In France (FNAC, Darty) and in Germany (MediaMarkt, Saturn) it will be priced at €1,549. At the time of writing we don't have pricing for Canada. On the topic of pricing, in the US, where it debuted over a year ago, the Microsoft Surface Duo has had a price cut from $1,399 to $999, but we don't know if this is a permanent cut.

Looking at earlier comments it hardly seems worth asking if any HEXUS readers will be interested in buying this quite unique smartphone, but you can still share your thoughts. I like the device with its form factor and my main grumble isn't about the underlying processing power but rather the camera system being seen as weak compared to alternatives. Then of course, we have the pricing, which is a bit of a problem. If you are considering one of these device then it might be worth a look at Microsoft's latest blog on the year ahead for Surface Duo.



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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If this had been priced £600/£700 in the UK I might have bit but at twice the price? It's a hard no. I just picked up a realme X50 Pro 5G (Snapdragon 865, OLED, 8GB/128GB, NFC, 65W charging etc) for £360. I could get one of these for everyone in our household for the price of a Duo, which is crazy :(
That pricing strategy alone would wind me up to the point of refusing, on principle, to buy onto this but, as it happens, I'm not interested in premium phones anyway so it's academic. Also, that form factor does not appeal to me, whatever the price.

This one is not for me.
I don't get why people compare this to standard-format flagship phones or complain that it's not powerful enough. It's clearly not for people who are interested in those, nor for people who want top speed and power. It's for people who want whatever the Duo is - a foldable that's not even like other foldables.

It's like complaining that a helicopter isn't as fast as a jet, as cheap as a sailboat or as easy to park as a car. So what? It's not aiming to be. If you're in the small niche that needs to hover, a helicopter is worth the price.
Nelviticus
I don't get why people compare this to standard-format flagship phones or complain that it's not powerful enough. It's clearly not for people who are interested in those, nor for people who want top speed and power. It's for people who want whatever the Duo is - a foldable that's not even like other foldables.

….
Who is doing that?
Nelviticus
I don't get why people compare this to standard-format flagship phones or complain that it's not powerful enough. It's clearly not for people who are interested in those, nor for people who want top speed and power. It's for people who want whatever the Duo is - a foldable that's not even like other foldables.

It's like complaining that a helicopter isn't as fast as a jet, as cheap as a sailboat or as easy to park as a car. So what? It's not aiming to be. If you're in the small niche that needs to hover, a helicopter is worth the price.

I think there is some merit in the comparison, because this isn't 2 phones, it's two screens, one SoC, 2 batteries (one big, one small), and a pair of hinges. If anything it should be cheaper than 2 higher spec midrange phones :P