Microsoft is gearing up to launch its next foldable phone tentatively called the Surface Duo 2, but the official reveal may have been spoiled by a handful of leaked images that show the device rocking a major upgrade. The original Surface Duo received acclaim for its sleek design and the productivity-centric software tweaks that aimed to make the most of its dual-screen form factor. However, things didn’t go as Microsoft planned, thanks in no small part to an exorbitant asking price for outdated internals and bad software tuning.
The Snapdragon 855 series SoC inside the Surface Duo was at least one generation old by the time it hit the shelves, and the rest of the innards weren’t much worth writing home about either. Another key shortcoming was the single 11-megapixel camera that received its fair share of criticism for the underwhelming imaging performance. All of this transpired at a time when smartphones that cost half as much were offering as many as four cameras with better sensors and image processing chops. To top everything off, the software also turned out to be a buggy mess initially.
It now looks as though Microsoft is going to address a few of the aforementioned failings, especially in the specifications department. Leaked images courtesy of a the Tech Rat YouTube Channel and which Windows Central claims to be legitimate, allegedly show a near-final prototype of the Surface Duo 2. The most notable aspect of the foldable phone’s leaked images is the rear camera module that can be seen housing three lenses, most likely in a wide + ultra-wide + telephoto/macro configuration. This is actually a major step up from the first-gen Surface Duo, which had no rear-mounted camera and came equipped with a single camera sandwiched between the two screens.
Better Cameras, Faster Processor, & Stiffer Competition
Yes, the large camera bump is not as elegant as the clean aesthetics of the first-gen Surface Duo, but the triple-camera setup’s functional benefits serve a much higher purpose than aesthetic fulfillment — especially for a device that is easily going to cost north of $1,000. However, details such as the megapixel count or the sensor make are currently unknown. The leak also hints at the possibility of a larger display and smaller bezels, paving the way for a more refined look. Additionally, the recessed fingerprint sensor seen on the original Surface Duo appears to have been eschewed in favor of a sensor embedded in the power button, or possibly an in-display fingerprint sensor.
There’s also a mention of a flagship chipset inside the Surface Duo 2, and given the purported ‘late 2021’ launch windows, there’s likely to be a Snapdragon 888 series SoC inside. Moreover, the next foldable phone by Microsoft is said to come equipped with an NFC chip to facilitate contactless payments. Another noteworthy aspect is that the phone is depicted in two color options — black and white. The Surface Duo 2 is expected to debut around September or October, and will be going up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, and possibly the rumored foldable Google Pixel smartphone as well.
Source: Windows Central