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 Eadicicco Senior 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.
Expertise Apple, Samsung, Google, smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, fitness trackers
Lisa Eadicicco
2 min read

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 8Surface 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. 

Read more: Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 needs more than faster performance and better cameras to win the foldables race

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.

Read more: Microsoft Surface Adaptive Kit improves laptop accessibility

Watch this: Surface Duo 2: Microsoft's two-screen wonder gets another shot at premium phone fame

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. 

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 vs. Surface Duo

Microsoft Surface Duo 2Microsoft Surface Duo
Display size, resolution, Dual 5.8-inch AMOLED; 1,344x1,892 pixels. Combined: 8.3-inch AMOLED; 2,688x1,892 pixelsDual 5.6-inch AMOLED; 1,800x1,350 pixels. Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED; 2,700x1,800 pixels
Pixel density 401ppi401ppi
Dimensions (inches) Folded: 5.72x3.63x0.43 in. Unfolded: 5.72x7.26x0.22 inFolded: 5.72x3.67x0.399 in. Unfolded: 5.72x7.36x0.19 in
Dimensions (millimeters) Folded: 145.2x92.1x11mm Unfolded: 145.2x184.5x5.5mmFolded: 145.2x93.3x9.9mm Unfolded: 145.2x186.9x4.8mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 10 oz; 284g8.8 oz; 250g
Mobile software Android 11Android 10
Camera Triple lens: 12-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel telephoto, 16-megapixel ultrawide11-megapixel
Front-facing camera 12-megapixelUses main camera
Video capture 4K4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5GQualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB
Expandable storage NoneNone
Battery 4,449 mAh3,577 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Right sideRight side
Connector USB-CUSB-C
Headphone jack NoNo
Special features Dual-screen display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)Dual-screen display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $1,499$1,400
Price (GBP) Converts to £1,100£1,349
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$2,070Converts to AU$2,540