Microsoft's Surface Duo smartphone to be released next month

Microsoft has revealed that its first smartphone for four years, the foldable Surface Duo, will be released in the US on September 10 for a colossal $1,399 (£1,072). 

The mobile device, first announced last year, unfolds to reveal two displays which can be used individually or together as a single 8.1-inch screen. 

However, the Surface Duo doesn't sport a truly foldable screen like that of Samsung's Galaxy Fold, as it has a hinge down the middle of the two displays, allowing it to close like a book. 

The device, which was unveiled by Microsoft in October, does not have 5G connectivity. 

Microsoft has begun taking orders for the dual-screen Android device in the US, although a release date for the UK and the rest of the world has not been confirmed. 

The Surface Duo will be a new rival in the foldable phone category, going up against the devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X.  

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Microsoft Surface Duo is displayed in New York. Microsoft is back to selling smartphones for the first time since it abandoned its mobile business more than four years ago

Microsoft Surface Duo is displayed in New York. Microsoft is back to selling smartphones for the first time since it abandoned its mobile business more than four years ago

Microsoft calls its Surface Duo – its first phone since it abandoned its mobile business in 2016 – ‘the perfect balance of productivity and mobility’. 

'It's thin, it's sleek, it's probably one of the sexiest devices we've built,' said Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, during an online briefing this week.

'I'm not trying to reinvent the phone, but I do believe this is a better way to get things done.'  

The Surface Duo – which was captured on video being used on public transport earlier this year – consists of two 5.6-inch screens that rotate around a central 360-degree hinge for use in a range of positions.

Microsoft Corp's Surface Duo phone. The device is powered by Google's Android operating system and starts at $1,399

Microsoft Corp's Surface Duo phone. The device is powered by Google's Android operating system and starts at $1,399

The two screens provide two separate displays or can form one complete 8.1-inch display like any tablet – albeit with a gap in the middle due to the hinge. 

The idea is that users can enjoy a tablet-sized screen for work and multitasking while being able to fit the device in their pocket.  

Surface Duo is supposed to be a tool for getting work done with its productivity apps, similar to how many business users employ dual-monitor setups with PCs.   

CEO Satya Nadella, for instance, uses one screen to take notes and the other to read a book on Amazon's Kindle app.

In Microsoft's Teams chat app, a video chat occupies one screen while the other screen displays chats. 

And in Microsoft's Outlook email app, clicking a link in the body of an email opens the link on the opposite screen, so the user can continue reading or responding to the email.

Users can also lie one screen flat and use an attachable Bluetooth keyboard to resemble a conventional laptop. 

Microsoft is pitching the Surface Duo as a more useful tool than a conventional smartphone

Microsoft is pitching the Surface Duo as a more useful tool than a conventional smartphone 

When opened like a book, the Surface Duo is a slim 4.8 millimeters thick, making it what the company says is the thinnest device on the market. 

‘With two screen connected by a revolutionary 360-degree hinge, Surface Duo brings together the best of Microsoft and Android to re-imagine productivity on the go,’ the company states on its website.   

Microsoft maintains that the Surface Duo is not a phone, despite the fact it makes phone calls, but part of its Surface range of 'two-in-one' laptops. 

‘Make no mistake, this is a Surface device,’ said Panay at the Surface Duo’s launch event back in October.

‘We know scientifically you'll be more

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