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Inside the Microsoft Surface Duo

We got to look at a see-through version of the Duo and peek at the circuits inside.

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Scott Stein, Sarah Tew
Microsoft Surface Duo
1 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

The Microsoft Surface Duo is a $1,399 Android phone made by Microsoft. It's a dual-screen device. We haven't tried a working one yet, but we did get to hold a version with glass to see through to the inside.

Microsoft Surface Duo
2 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

The Duo looks like a magic Moleskine made of metal and glass. It's roughly the same size as a little notebook.

Microsoft Surface Duo
3 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

The iPhone-esque packaging is appealing.

Microsoft Surface Duo
4 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

The 360-degree hinges on the Surface Duo are smooth, from what I got to try to so far. They enable the two halves to bend around and stay in any position.

Microsoft Surface Duo
5 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

Stacked on top of a Moleskine and a Nintendo 3DS XL, the Surface Duo looks right at home.

Microsoft Surface Duo
6 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

There's one USB-C port on the Surface Duo... and no headphone jack.

Microsoft Surface Duo
7 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

A look into the internals. The Surface Duo has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and several custom Microsoft processors to handle its dual batteries and Microsoft Pen support.

Microsoft Surface Duo
8 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

Poking out of a notebook. It's pocketable, but still wider than most phones.

Microsoft Surface Duo
9 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

The other battery is smaller, yet Microsoft promises both batteries will drain and charge together. It's a unique proposition.

Microsoft Surface Duo
10 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

The hinges funnel wires to both sides, including power management. It's a lot of small wires.

Microsoft Surface Duo
11 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

Here is it next to a Nintendo 3DS XL, which the Surface Duo reminds me of. The dimensions are similar, but the Duo is thinner. It can stay open like a little laptop or a handheld games console.

Microsoft Surface Duo
12 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

Thickness comparison: The 9.9mm Surface Duo is thicker than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but not by much.

Microsoft Surface Duo
13 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

Microsoft won't say how many bends the hinge is rated to last, but it should work for years, or the life of the device. (We'll have to test.)

Microsoft Surface Duo
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Another size comparison.

Microsoft Surface Duo
15 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

Verdict so far: The hinge and build feel great. Now let's see how the apps and actual performance work.

Microsoft Surface Duo
16 of 30 Richard Peterson/CNET
Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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Microsoft Surface Duo
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