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Microsoft Surface Duo Review Rundown

MicrosoftPublished on 21 Mar 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Overview

Neoscore* 0%
Pros**
  • Beautiful dual-screen design
  • Two 3577 mAh batteries for two-day battery life
  • Stunning dual-display camera
Cons**
  • Nothing in particular

Summary

Microsoft's folding Surface Duo phone tries to redefine foldable smartphone, but it stumbles on usability. Depending on who you are, it is a phone, tablet, high-tech Kindle alternative, or a pocket-friendly computer. Microsoft preloaded the Surface Duo with the full Office Suite, and once you dive into these apps, the utility of the second screen becomes clear.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.

Rundown

androidauthority[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 47%
Reviewers from androidauthority have found the following[***]:
The Microsoft Surface Duo has a single camera on one side of the device. The camera is inconsistent in switching to the correct screen to use as a viewfinder. Exposure doesn't always meter correctly, though. The Duo feels like a concept more than a product, and one that needs more refining before it's ready for the mainstream.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Foldable design
  • Good battery life
  • Good performance
Cons[**]
  • Lackluster camera
  • Laggy viewfinder

digitaltrends[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 72%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The Surface Duo runs last year's Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 platform, the same chip featured in 2019's Galaxy S10. It's also got 6GB of DRAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, depending on how much money you want to drop. Microsoft claims you'll be able to get up to 27 hours of talk time, but who wants to spend that much time chatting?
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Beautiful design
  • Two screens
  • Excellent battery life
Cons[**]
  • Software still needs work
  • No 5G support

laptopmag[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 70%
Reviewers from laptopmag have found the following[***]:
The Surface Duo runs Android 10. Its pre-installed software is a beautiful melange of Microsoft and Google apps. The keyboard takes up the whole display and I couldn't see what I'm typing. The Duo doesn't know whether it's a phone, tablet, high-tech Kindle alternative or a pocket-friendly computer.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous 360-degree display
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent battery life
Cons[**]
  • Lackluster performance
  • Unresponsive keyboard

pcmag[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 33%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
The Surface Duo has the worst outward-facing camera experience of any phone I've ever tested. The photos the camera takes, meanwhile, look like images from a phone that's several years old. The Duo's use of a year-old processor and 4G are forgivable; the processor is fast enough.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Foldable screen
Cons[**]
  • Lackluster camera performance
  • Software bugs
  • No wireless charging

techradar[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 63%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
The Surface Duo has a single-lens 11MP camera, which is on the front of the device. This camera will be pulling double-duty, both acting as a selfie-cam and also as the main camera when you flip the device around into single-screen mode. This device is only powered by last year's Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and 6GB of RAM. It would have been nice if Microsoft deigned to support wireless charging with the Surface Duo.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Sleek design
  • Dual-screen setup
  • Good battery life
Cons[**]
  • Sub-par camera
  • No Surface Pen included

theverge[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 50%
Reviewers from theverge have found the following[***]:
The $1,400 price of the Surface Duo certainly isn't a result of high component costs. The Duo is trying to be a new kind of device — not a phone, not a tablet, but something in between. It has a bunch of good ideas, but the execution is bad in places.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Very good battery life
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Good cameras
Cons[**]
  • No 5G
  • Not the best value for money

tomsguide[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 63%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
The Surface Duo 2 keeps the same dual screen design as its predecessor, but upgrades the chipset to the Snapdragon 888. It also has larger 5.8-inch displays, a 90Hz refresh rate, mmWave and Sub-6 5G, and a triple-lens rear-facing camera with 12MP wife and telephoto lenses, 16MP ultrawide lens, and 2x optical zoom. On top of this the phone comes with a power button fingerprint scanner, support for the Surface Slim Pen2 stylus and a significantly larger battery. It's up to you to decide whether it's worth the extra $800.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Superb dual-screen design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid performance
Cons[**]
  • Software hiccups
  • No wireless charging

wired[8]

Sentiment Score[*] 36%
Reviewers from wired have found the following[***]:
The Duo is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855, the flagship chip that was in dozens of 2019 Android phones. Typing on glass as though it's a physical keyboard doesn't feel good at all. The camera is frustrating too. There's no NFC, so you can't use the Duo to make contactless payments.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Beautiful dual-screen design
  • Good battery life
  • Solid performance
Cons[**]
  • No NFC
  • Poor camera
  • No water resistance

References

1. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo review: Prototype first, product second. androidauthority. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
2. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo review: The future of smartphones is a work in progress. digitaltrends. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
3. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo review. laptopmag. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
4. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo Review. pcmag. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo review. techradar. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo review: double troubles. theverge. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
7. ^ Microsoft Surface Duo review: A beautiful, bewildering $1,400 phone. tomsguide. 2021-02-09 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Review: Microsoft Surface Duo. wired. 2020-09-10 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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