Surface Duo: With double display Microsoft returns to mobile phone market

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With double display Microsoft returns to the mobile phone market

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Photo taken Oct. 2, 2019 New York shows Microsoft Corp.'s foldable smartphone Surface Duo. (Kyodo) | Photo taken Oct. 2, 2019 New York shows Microsoft Corp.'s foldable smartphone Surface Duo. (Kyodo) |

Microsoft's new smartphone, the Surface Duo, at the presentation in New York

Source: picture alliance / Kyodo

Just a few years ago, Microsoft left the smartphone business. Now the company returns with an unusual unfolding device. He has a target group of customers in particular.

es was the Surprise of the fall event of Microsoft in New York. The technology group, which had given up its own Windows phones just a few years ago, wants to return to the smartphone market.

The new device called Surface Duo is said to stand out strongly from classic smartphones like Apple's iPhone. It comes with two displays each with 5.6-inch diagonal, which can be opened to a large screen.

It is not a big, pliable folding display like Samsung or Huawei. These screens can cause big problems – Samsung had to postpone the launch of its Galaxy Fold model for months. Microsoft relies on classic LCD displays with extremely thin edges and sturdy metal hinges. They are intended to give the impression of a single large work surface.

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Many details of the device have not yet been announced, as it should come until Christmas 2020 in the shops. But already the key data makes one sit up. As operating system Google's Android is to be used, in an unspecified "modified version". However, Microsoft's hardware boss Panos Panay promises, "all Android apps" will run on the device.

Under the hood – as with almost all other smartphones – a chip with technology of the semiconductor designer ARM werkeln. So far, the plans are based on an integrated LTE mobile modem. 5G did not want to comment on the event in an old warehouse in New York.

Microsoft itself does not speak of a smartphone, but calls the device only "Surface". With a 5.6-inch screen size, the duo comes in handy like a slightly pettier iPhone 11 (6.1-inch display), but can be opened up to twice the size.

The duo gets a big brother

The development is not without irony. In the early days of the smartphone era, mobile phone market leader Nokia had decided against Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. It did not go very well, Microsoft's platform was depended on Android and Apple's iPhone ecosystem. Then Microsoft bought Nokia's mobile phone business in an attempt to still anchor Windows Phone in the market.

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Mitsuya Kishida, President of Sony Mobile Communications Inc., introducing the new Sony Xperia 1, during the Mobile World Congress, on February 25, 2019 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. (Photo by Joan Cros / NurPhoto) | No distribution to resellers.

The acquisition turned into a financial disaster in the billions, thousands of employees lost their jobs, the Nokia investment was completely written off with the exit from the smartphone market. And now Microsoft comes back with an Android phone.

Times have changed, too. Meanwhile, all major Microsoft offerings for Android are available. Thus, the device could be marketed for the retail market or as an entry-level device in the corporate sector.

The duo also gets a big brother, the Neo, with two hinged 9-inch displays and the new Windows 10 X, which is designed to optimize working with two screens. Compatible devices with Windows 10 X are also announced by manufacturers such as Asus, Dell, HP or Lenovo.

Photo taken Oct. 2, 2019 New York shows Microsoft Corp.'s foldable smartphone Surface Duo (L) and tablet Surface Neo. (Kyodo) |

Surface Duo (left) and his big brother, Surface Neo

Source: picture alliance / Kyodo

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who had appeared at the show, had more to offer than a glimpse into the glass ball. For the ambitious business customers the Surface Pro X is introduced, the new top model of Microsoft's mobile series. It gets a specially developed processor, the Microsoft SQ1, which is said to be particularly energy efficient, and a 7.3-millimeter slim case.

LTE Advanced ensures the connection to the mobile network. The display features a 13-inch display, two USB-C ports and a quick charge function. Smart: As an accessory, there is a new keyboard and a flat pen, which is stored inside the keyboard and also loaded. Unfortunately, the new keyboard does not fit the previous Surface devices. Pricing starts the Surface Pro X at 1149 euros.

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The Tablet Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Laptop in its third generation also appear largely redesigned in terms of interior and equipment. With its broad range of products, Microsoft is demonstrating its unwavering commitment to firmly anchoring the Windows platform in the mobile and cloud world and not leaving the market to Apple's iPad, MacBook Air or MacBooks.

In the fourth quarter of the past financial year, sales of Surface devices increased by 14 percent. Microsoft does not reveal more precise figures, its sales are hidden in the More Personal Computing business.

That can really be the new iPhone 11

For whom is a change to the new iPhone 11 worthwhile? WORLD technical expert Thomas Heuzeroth has extensively tested Apple's new flagship. The most important results and a demo of the new camera lenses in the video.

Source: WORLD / Thomas Heuzeroth, Martin Heller

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