Officially, Microsoft’s upcoming dual-screen Android phone—the Surface Duo—remains slated for a holiday release. However, following a new round of leaks and rumors, there’s a growing pile of evidence indicating that the Surface Duo’s launch could happen a lot sooner.
Late last week, longtime Windows enthusiast Paul Thurott posted on Twitter that Microsoft was planning virtual briefings for “Microsoft MVPs” regarding the Duo on August 12, which suggests that Microsoft is already well underway when it comes to prepping for the Duo’s retail debut. Furthermore, according to a source who spoke to Windows Central, Microsoft is planning to start shipping the Surface Duo as early as the week of August 24, months before the 2020 holiday season.
Also, for anyone who has been fervently searching for any other tidbits about the Surface Duo, Microsoft’s head of communications, Frank Shaw, has been flexing on Duo fans by dropping a number of photos on Twitter through the spring and summer showing the Surface Duo, with the frequency of these teasers having increased over the last couple months.
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And if that wasn’t enough, recently, noted leaker Evan Blass also released a handful of what appear to be official product renders in a post on Patreon titled “Microsoft Surface Duo for AT&T,” which includes an assortment of high-res imagery and a strong hint that the Surface Duo will be available directly from at least one major U.S. carrier.
For anyone who has been following the development of Microsoft’s Surface phone from back when it was just a concept called the Microsoft Courier, the Surface Duo’s sooner-than-expected launch is encouraging because it seems to show that Microsoft has confidence in its first-ever dual-screen device.
Additionally, sporting a dual 5.6-inch AMOLED displays, the Surface Duo represents a very different approach to giving people bigger screens (or at least more screen real estate) when compared to something like Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2, which features 7.6-inch flexible display or even something like the LG V60, which sports a single main display that can be augmented via a detachable second-screen accessory.
That said, even though it appears that Microsoft is pushing for a widespread release, the Duo may still end up being a relatively niche product. That’s because while the Duo is expected to have solid (though not quite flagship-level) specs including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. Native stylus support, the inclusion of dual-screens, the lack of multiple rear cameras, and a potentially high price tag means the Duo might be better suited to business use than serving as someone’s daily driver.
Regardless, if the leaks are true, we should be in for a lot more Surface Duo news to drop before the end of the month, so stay tuned for more info.