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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
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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.

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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.)

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14 of 30 Scott Stein/CNET

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

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