Microsoft reveals the Surface Duo, a folding phone with a laptop aesthetic

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Recently it feels like folding phones have been having a spike in popularity. Overnight (August 13), Microsoft revealed its newest device, the Surface Duo, a folding phone take on the company’s popular Surface run of laptops.

The phone itself has a familiar design to it, reminiscent of the laptop run of the same name, and is quite a unique looking device. Hinging from the middle and opening like a book, the phone allows you to have two things running concurrently on each screen, so you can have a page open on one screen and be texting a friend on the other.

Although the Surface Duo will be launching in the United States on September 10, there is no solid date for an Australian release. It’s a pretty safe bet that it’ll come to Australia eventually, but we can’t tell you anymore than that at the moment.

Microsoft Surface Duo: Key specifications

How can you look past the Surface Duo without squinting your eyes and thinking it’s a laptop? The Surface Duo is a folding phone with a huge dual display, leaning very much in on being a ‘phablet’ – part smartphone, part tablet.

The screens are AMOLED displays, 8.1 inches in size (or 1.95cm squared), to a 1800 x 2700 pixel resolution. The phone can be folded to 180 degrees, and be used like a hinge-less phone at 5.6 inches in size. On top of this, the Surface Duo has a Snapdragon 855 processor on board, and one camera – an 11MP camera in the selfie position.

A folding phone

Surface Duo: Cameras and features

If you’re buying the Surface Duo for a camera, you’ll certainly be disappointed. The Surface Duo only has an 11MP camera in front, mimicking the design of a laptop. It’s a generic wide camera, so expect average camera quality.

On the topic of the battery, the Surface Duo appears to be quite lacking. The battery is quite small, at 3,577mAh, with 18W fast charging. The dual screens may also suck up more power than you’re used to, so prepare for frequent recharges.

In good news, the processor is a decent one. Inside of the Surface Duo is a Snapdragon 855 processor, which performs pretty well. The GPU is an Adreno 640, which will be great for phone gaming.

In terms of storage the Surface Duo sports two options – 128GB and 256GB, both with 6GB of RAM. The Surface Duo is also compatible with 4G and 3G networks, and is available in a white finish.

A person reading from a phone

Surface Duo: Plans, prices and release date

We don’t yet know when the Surface Duo will be making its way to Australia, nor do we know if Telstra, Optus or Vodafone will be picking it up. We do know that the phone will be released on September 10 in the United States, at a US$1,399 price point (about A$1,960).

If you’re considering a new smartphone, it might be worth shopping around for a new mobile plan. The Surface Duo seems like it’ll be a good phone for creators who want a more portable replacement for their laptops, so for use on the go you’ll need a decent-sized phone plan. Below you’ll find some great postpaid and prepaid SIM-only plans to choose from.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Images: Microsoft

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