Upon further review: The Surface Duo won’t be killing the iPhone anytime soon

Dial back the expectations.


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The reviews of the Surface Duo are in and the Macalope regrets to inform you that the iPhone-killing future is going to have to wait a bit.

Who could have foreseen this surprising turn of events? Other than everyone, the Macalope means.

The title of Dieter Bohn’s review at The Verge is a bad omen.

“Microsoft Surface Duo review: Double trouble.”

Okay, that doesn’t sound great but maybe the details of the review will show that…

Given its capabilities relative to other phones, it is absolutely not worth that price.


Long story short, the Surface Duo lacks NFC, wireless charging and 5G, its software is buggy and the camera is “trash” that is difficult to even use.

After all that work, the results are muddy, noisy, and in low light, they’re a mess. Plus, they arrive well after you hit the shutter button.

All this for $1,399. And no bag of chips. To think the Macalope is old enough to remember when the Duo was going to go “head to head” with the iPhone 12, by which he means he is more than… [checks calendar]… a month old.

It’s 2020, people. Take a look outside your window. We should probably be done being unreservedly enthusiastic about new technology products (even those from Apple) before they arrive. And when you stop being a pie-eyed lover of technology and start being a realist, you realize you simply shouldn’t pay $1,399 for a slow, buggy phone with a bad camera.

Writing for Yahoo Finance, Daniel Howley is a little more enthusiastic, but he still recognizes the flaws. “Microsoft Surface Duo review: A two-screen Android phone that could change everything.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip.)

…you can’t deny the benefits of being able to use different apps on two separate screens at the same time.

You can’t, but you might not want to pay $1,399 just so you can have it in your pants. And as Bohn notes:

In truth, there’s nothing the Surface Duo can do that you can’t do on your current smartphone or tablet.

Again, this is a cool device that has promise and of all the folding phones out there, the Surface Duo looks to be the best. It’s just that given the state of the folding phone market, that’s like picking a favorite 2020 forest fire. These are more prototypes than phones you should actually consider buying and pundits should stop trying to hype them as worthy competitors to established lines.

If the Surface laptop is any indicator, though, Microsoft will spend a few years refining the Surface Duo and eventually get it right. Or at least directionally correct. Or pretty good if not necessarily amazing. Or, who knows, maybe even it’ll get really good. And that would be great. Because someone needs to offer some real alternatives.

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