Among folding phones, the Microsoft Surface Duo stands out.

For starters, it kind of looks like a Nintendo DS—but for productivity. Unlike, say, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, it’s got two screens instead of a single one that folds in half. Microsoft’s Office 365 software is built-in and optimized for it. When Microsoft unveiled it and the Surface Neo last year, gadget and enterprise nerds rejoiced. Finally, a Microsoft phone that was interesting—and potentially revolutionary.


But now that it’s here, how does it measure up to the hype? Folding phones are still a nascent category, and most of us have never had the chance to play around with one in person. Our resident mobile phone whiz, Sam Rutherford, however, has basically seen them all—including the Surface Duo. Which is why he patiently put up with all my dumb questions about this phone in particular.


Will the Duo’s single 11-megapixel camera make me look like a potato? Is it awkward to hold when you’re trying to make calls? What can this particular dual-screen phone do that my regular single-screen phone can’t? How easily does Android 10 handle Microsoft’s dual-screen format? Do the middling specs hold up in everyday use? Most importantly, is it worth the moolah?

Sam’s pretty much covered all that in his excellent review, but in case you wanted to see how the Surface Duo works in action, we’ve got you covered too.

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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I think people can consider this as either a somewhat dated phone with an unusual form factor (size) and then ding it for all the older technology OR they should really be talking about this as a tiny laptop (ala “surface”) that you can make phone calls from. If you think of it in the second context as a laptop/tablet with a virtual keyboard and running Android (vs. MacOS or Windows), then your perspective might change.

To me (as a business person) I think I would buy this except that all the reviews I’m hearing is that it’s very, very glitchy at this time. I can’t have that. I need something reliable or I still have to drag my laptop with me everywhere (or my iPad).

I’ll be waiting on the next gen and letting MS/Google fix the software.