Microsoft Surface Duo available today, but early reviews might put you off buying one

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Microsoft’s Surface Duo was released in the US last year and, after months of waiting, it’s finally launching in the UK today. This new dual-screen smartphone is pretty unique with it featuring a butterfly design that opens like a book to reveal an 8.3-inch tablet-style display.

Microsoft says it has created the Surface Duo for those users who want the ultimate multitasking experience with it able to run two separate apps at the same time on those double displays. There’s also the option to use one app and the other screen as a keyboard or game controller which is a nice touch.

Other extras include an all-day battery, fingerprint scanner and Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. There’s also a single camera which can shoot images in low light and record video in 4K quality.

Unlike previous phones from Microsoft, the Duo is powered by Android allowing fans to gain access to millions of apps and games from Google’s Play Store.

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On paper, all those specs and clever design certainly sound appealing but there appears to be some issues with the Surface Duo.

Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the Surface Duo has a chunky hinge which separates the two screens and there’s also no display on the front which means you have to open it to check your email or respond to messages.

It also hasn’t got any access to the latest 5G data speeds and the processor isn’t the latest and greatest brains from Qualcomm – in fact, it’s powered by the Snapdragon 855 which launched back In 2018.

It’s also pretty expensive with anyone wanting to own one needing £1,349 in their bank account. is yet to get our hands on the Duo but a number of US publications have published extensive early reviews and the feeling is very mixed.

In its review, The Verge praised the design and build quality but berated the camera calling it “trash”. The technology website was also concerned by numerous bugs including “the keyboard jumping into view for no earthly reason.”

In summary, The Verge’s executive editor Dieter Bohn added: “There are more than enough problems here to keep me from recommending it. Maybe if this didn’t cost fourteen hundred bucks we could be having a different conversation. But it does.”

Tom’s Guide had similar feelings with their review again praising the design but finding the performance from that older processor lacklustre and the camera falling well behind its cheaper rivals.

Tom’s Guide’s Adam Ismail called it “A beautiful, bewildering $1,400 phone” and he also found the device suffered from those annoying bugs with his review saying that “all too often the Surface Duo does not respond predictably.”

Cnet also weighed in with some negative thoughts with its review saying, “The Duo has lots of rough edges and unsatisfying experiences.”

And in his summary, Cnet’s Scott Stein said: “Microsoft is striving for something that just hasn’t come together on this first Duo. Maybe it will with the next one. Right now, I don’t see who the Duo is for.”

The UK reviews are yet to appear but we’ll bring you our thoughts just as soon as we’ve taken delivery of the Duo. So watch this space.

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