It feels like a lifetime ago since Microsoft announced the foldable dual-screen Android device, the Surface Duo. Nine months later we may finally be seeing the device launch – the Surface Duo has passed through the FCC approval process, which is usually a sign that it’s around the corner.
The device has also received Bluetooth SIG certification, which is one of the last steps before launching a mobile device running the standard.
The Microsoft Surface Duo features two 5.6-inch displays that can rotate 360 degrees, allowing it to be fully unfolded as a miniature 8.3-inch tablet. Both displays is able to run two different apps at the same time, but it can also be turned into landscape mode where the Duo will allow the second display to be used as a keyboard or game controller.
As this is a first generation product for Microsoft and a completely new form factor, don’t expect it to run the latest hardware – it has been in development for quite some time so they had to choose a final hardware architecture ages ago.
It will run the relatively old Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, paired with 6GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage. It will have a single 11MP (f/2.0) camera and a rather small 3,460mAh battery.
Now that we are fully into the era of foldable phones, the device itself isn’t the most exciting prospect. The fact that it runs Android is a major step for Microsoft after abandoning their own mobile software platform. It is the first time in years that Microsoft has decided to venture in the world of smartphones, after they bought the Nokia Lumia business and ran it to the ground.