The Microsoft Surface Duo launched this week for $1,400 and we went ahead and found a way to get our hands on one. I’m still not really sure why we did that, because this device has so many glaring issues that are evident without even using it, but a big part of me is simply curious about what Microsoft was trying to accomplish. Because of that and the fact that it runs Android, here we are.
I’m still not sure if we’ll put together a full Surface Duo review, as I’m just not sure it’s worth the time, but we at least wanted to get started on the device with a quick unboxing and tour. For those who haven’t followed this saga, this video should catch you up while it shows both hardware and software tours.
My first impressions here are that Microsoft did indeed create a fabulous hinge system and premium piece of kit. After using the phone for a few minutes, you can’t help but find some joy it opening, closing, and folding the phone in different ways. The dual screen experience is one I can totally see myself using heavily while at home on the couch (couch phone!) as I view the live end of the world happening on Twitter and a little Warzone action alongside it.
Those positives aside, it’s so obvious right away that Microsoft has done a horrible job at optimizing Android and the experience they are trying to push. The gestures are weirdly too sensitive, there is noticeable lag and janky animation happening everywhere, and the lock-ups and bugs present make for pretty underwhelming use. I really do hope that Microsoft is up for multiple updates over the next few weeks to polish this device or it will be a quick Surface Duo death. A phone this expensive shouldn’t run this poorly.
So, here’s a start to us testing Microsoft’s big Android debut. I’m looking forward to my brain adopting two screens at a time, but a big part of me is waiting to see Microsoft’s software support speed.
Some of our best videos.