Surface Duo 2 vs. Surface Duo: Everything new in Microsoft's folding phone
Microsoft's new Surface Duo 2 comes with a faster processor, better cameras and other upgrades.
Lisa EadiciccoSenior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Microsoft just announced the Surface Duo 2, which comes with a slew of upgrades affecting everything from the camera to the processor and display. The phone starts at $1,499 and is available for preorder starting today; it will ship beginning Oct. 5. Microsoft made the announcement during its fall product launch event, where it also unveiled the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3 and Surface Slim Pen 2.
Among the biggest changes coming to the Surface Duo 2 is a more advanced camera system that includes three lenses instead of just one like last year's model. The original Surface Duo had one camera located on the inside of the device, meaning you had to open the phone and fold its display backward to use it as a regular camera. The new Surface Duo 2 has a rear-mounted camera system just like a traditional smartphone.
Microsoft's latest foldable phone runs on a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, the same chip inside Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, which should give it more power for running apps across both screens.
The new foldable will also be getting 5G support, slightly larger screens and other key sensors and connectivity options missing from the original like NFC support and Wi-Fi 6. There's also a new display strip near the hinge that should make it easier to see notifications and the time when the device is closed.
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Taken together, the changes should make the Surface Duo 2 a much more capable phone than its predecessor. But it's too soon to tell whether these upgrades will be enough to address our broader concerns about the first-generation Surface Duo's usability, particularly when it comes to how the software works across both screens.
Here's a closer look at how the new Surface Duo 2 compares with the original.